Columnists Brad Simon Internet Marketing Strategies: Mobile coupons

Internet Marketing Strategies: Mobile coupons

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Mobile Coupons are an extremely affordable and effective marketing tool. According to recent studies by Mobile Commerce Daily, 66% of consumers would like to receive text offers from retail stores with which they do business, and those numbers are expected to rise rapidly over the next year.  However, only 23% of consumers have actually received an offer from a store on their phones.  Why? Because retailers are falling far short of consumer expectations.

Text messaging has become second nature to consumers. In fact, of the 271 million Americans that have a mobile phone, 90 percent have sent or received a text message.

Two years ago it was much easier to drive foot traffic into your store with a simple tweet or Facebook status update. Today, with 71 percent of tweets being ignored, and 84 percent of company status updates never seen by a follower, ROI for social posts has dropped significantly. E-mail marketing, while popular, is ignored (not even opened) by 90 percent of recipients.

Text message marketing, on the other hand, shows immediate ROI. In fact, the rate of return is so high that Coca-Cola allocates 70 percent of their entire mobile marketing budget to text message marketing.  Consumers have their cell phone within reach 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  95% of all text messages are opened within 90 seconds of receiving.

Keyword Mobile Coupons are a great way to build your mobile database and get customers into your jewelry store.  Mobile Coupons work both as a Loyalty Program - getting your existing customers back into your store - and as Lead Generation to finding new clients.

Keyword Mobile Coupons are coupons sent to your customers cell phone automatically when they text your keyword to your short code. Your coupons can be general in nature such as $25 off your next purchase of $150 or more, or specific to a product or category such as Buy 4 Designer Beads and Get 1 Free.

The value in Keyword Mobile Coupons comes from your marketing efforts.  The better you market them, the greater results you will have.  The results you gain are both short and long term. 

• In the short term you will see increased traffic in your store.  On average Mobile Coupons receive 10 times better results than traditional coupons. 

• In the long term you will build your mobile database for you to send your customers future promotions, event announcements and news about your store.

Here are some ideas to help you get started marketing your Keyword Mobile Coupons.

E-Mail List - One of the first things you should do is send your e-mail list an announcement about your Keyword Mobile Coupon.  This is one of the easiest ways to get your existing customers onto your mobile database and bring them back into your store.

If you set-up more than one coupon for different products you can send one e-mail announcing all the coupons.  Or you can announce one coupon along with information about the product or service featured in the coupon.  Then rotate the different coupons in separate e-mails once a week or every other week.

Point of Sale - Getting your customers to request a Mobile Coupon while they are in your store is a great way to quickly build your mobile database.  Training your sales staff to inform customers about your Mobile Coupons is of upmost importance.  There are two approaches you can take.

1. Inform customers they can request a coupon on their phone to save on today’s purchase.

2. Tell customers to request your coupon to save on their next visit.

The first approach will generate more coupon requests.  This is for long term results as they are already in your store making a purchase, so it does not drive the prospect into your store.  However, you now have their contact information and permission to send future promotions to them.  This can also be useful to help close a sale when a customer just can’t quite decide whether to make the purchase or not.  The added incentive of receiving a coupon may be the enticement needed to complete the sale.

The second approach may not generate as many requests.  Some customers will believe that since they are making a purchase today they don’t plan on needing the coupon for another jewelry purchase.  However, for those that do request the coupon you stand a great chance of having that customer come back into the store for another purchase soon.  The one drawback that you need to be careful of is informing the customer about the coupon before the sale is made.  They may decide to not purchase today and come back later when they can use the coupon.

In addition to training your sales staff, have cards with QR Codes to request the coupon around the store.  The cards can be displayed in the store for customers to see or for the sales staff to carry with them to hand to the customers to use.  Counter top tent signs or full sheet signs displayed at appropriate places around the store are also great tools to use.  Younger customers in particular like the interactivity of scanning QR Codes and receiving coupons on their phones.

Website/Blog - Having consumers request a Mobile Coupon is an excellent way to get them off the Internet and into your store.  Information about a general coupon can be placed on your home page as well as other pages around your website.  Specific coupons should have the information to request them on the appropriate pages for that product or service.

If you have a store blog be sure to announce your Keyword Mobile Coupons in a blog post.  Be sure to include the Keyword and Short Code in larger font size to be easily seen and clear to the customer what they need to do to receive your coupon.  Adding a couple of paragraphs about your products or services which apply to the coupon helps for the post to be found in search engines and gives your customers more information about your products and store.

You can include a QR Code in your blog post or on your website.  This way anyone reading the post on a computer can easily scan the code to generate the text message to send.  The QR Code should be at least 150 pixels square or larger.  At this size your customers should have no problems scanning the code.

Always be sure to include the “Fine Print” required about being added to your database.  An example of the text to include is:

“Watch for future great savings, discounts and other info.  No more than 6 per month. Standard Text Message or Data rates may apply. You can stop receiving messages at any time by replying STOP to the message.”

Social Media - Share your Mobile Coupons with your Fans and Followers on Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and any other Social Media you are on.  People on these networks are following you to stay informed about jewelry and especially about your store.  They are a natural audience to receive your coupon and ideal people to have in your mobile database.

Including a picture about the products or services the coupon is for adds interest to the post and will generate more interaction.  A QR Code to generate the message could also be used for the accompanying picture.  Be sure to include text instructions of your short code and keyword.  You should also include instructions to request your Mobile Coupons on any videos you create for your store and post on YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, or other video websites.

Not only will your Fans and Followers want your offers, coupons are one of the most shared items on Social Networks.  Your Mobile Coupons can easily go viral, generating new leads for your store.

Direct Mail - Add instructions to receive your coupon in all direct mail campaigns you run.  This doubles the effectiveness of your campaign as you are advertising the promotion you are conducting, plus announcing the new Mobile Coupons.

Post Cards work great if you just want to send an announcement on your Mobile Coupon.  Not having to open an envelope increases the read rate.  Plus, the response rate is greater than other promotions as consumers see that they can respond quickly and easily with their phone without leaving their home or office.  Be sure to include both written instructions to receive the coupon as well as a QR Code to create the text message.  Also include the “Fine Print” mentioned above in the section on Blogs.

Existing Advertising - Add instructions to receive your Mobile Coupon in all your advertising.  Whether you do co-op billboards, radio, TV, newsprint, direct mail, or any other form of advertising, adding your Mobile Coupon information is a great way to piggy back your Mobile Coupon without adding cost to your advertising budget.

In addition, if you use different keywords in each of the different types of advertising you can easily track the effectiveness of your advertising.  With Keyword Mobile Coupons you can track both the number of coupons requested and the number of coupons redeemed.  You can then figure cost per lead and cost per sale of each of your advertising media.

Be Creative - What you put in your Keyword Mobile Coupon and how you market it is limited only by your imagination.  Sit down with your sales staff and brainstorm creative ideas for your Keyword Mobile Coupons and different methods to market them.

Interested in getting started with Mobile Coupons? - Mobile 4 Jewelers (www.Mobile4Jewelers.com) is a full service Mobile Messaging Service.  It is exclusively for the jewelry industry and has programs starting as low as $37 per month.  In addition to providing all the tools you need to create and maintain your text based marketing, we offer to set-up all your mobile campaigns and send out your messages for you or you can login to your dashboard and easily do it yourself.  Text Mobile to 28748 to receive a coupon for $25 off your set-up fees.

Brad Simon is co-owner of Internet 4 Jewelers, offering Internet Marketing services for retail jewelry stores.  Their services include Local Search Marketing, Social Networking, and Mobile Marketing.  You can contact Brad at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call him at 864-680-4416.

 
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