A Publication of WTVP

Mobile marketing is the most direct, personal and timely form of marketing in history. Cell phones and mobile devices are rarely shared, making them an intimate part of a person’s lifestyle, and they are often one’s primary computer.

Here are some simple tips to get you oriented in the right direction when it comes to effective, user-friendly mobile marketing campaigns.

  1. According to Nielsen, social networking was the fastest-growing category among users of both mobile apps (240% growth) and mobile browsers (90% growth). Mobile marketing is not an option for most businesses, it’s a necessity. Like it or not, you must meet your customers where they are and promote your business in ways that fit with known customer behavior. Among these behaviors are mobile search for local products (with immediate sales) and mobile web browsing.
  2. Mobile ad campaigns must be cross-platform compatible, ie. must display correctly on the iPhone, Blackberry, Android, tablets and other mobile devices.
  3. Mobile ad messages must be short, clear, urgent and have a call to action.
  4. QR codes (scanned by mobile device/smartphone bar code scanners) are effective for engaging customers with your brand. Link the QR code to a mobile-only discount coupon, relevant video presentation, product information or other object of value.
  5. Use a URL shortener in QR code image generation to keep the QR code pattern design simple and easy to scan.
  6. Use a free online QR code generator that enables tracking. Recommended: Delivr (
  7. Use the recipient’s real name in your message so that it’s more personal.
  8. Target your message whenever possible to the known needs and buying habits of the recipient.
  9. Identify yourself and your brand right up front.
  10. Don’t use text abbreviations or all caps for emphasis. You may use all caps for the call to action.
  11. Use text messages without large files like photos whenever possible.
  12. Link to the mobile version of your website, blog or mobile-specific landing page for product sales and information.
  13. Use QR codes in your print advertising, store signs, business cards, brochures, catalogs and other offline promotional material.
  14. Mobile marketing is most effective for retaining customers, not new customer acquisition, because current customers are more open to receiving text messages from you.
  15. In your email marketing, ask customers to provide their cell phone numbers so you can text them special discounts, product news and important announcements.
  16. Link to blog posts, company videos on YouTube, Facebook page, Twitter page, Foursquare page, Google+ page and other web destinations you want your customers to know about.
  17. Don’t message customers at odd hours of the day or night. Avoid Sundays and holiday messaging unless it’s vital to the marketing strategy and relevant to your target audience.
  18. Send a reminder message two or three hours ahead of an event, not two or three days ahead.
  19. Never send unsolicited messages (spam) to anybody, as you must get their permission first.
  20. Make it easy and simple to unsubscribe from your text messages. “STOP” is a commonly used unsubscribe command.
  21. Many customers will not have fast data connections. Their speeds will be slower than a PC, and their screens rather small, so design your mobile content with this in mind.
  22. Mobile device users don’t seek mysterious or flashy images. They want to know why you’re messaging them, what the deal is, what the benefit to them is, and how to respond to take advantage of the offer.
  23. Conduct a usability test of your mobile marketing campaign. Ask your employees, friends, family or colleagues to receive some messages, respond to them and give you feedback on how they liked the experience. Try it out yourself. Do you like what you see displayed on your phone? Is it clear and easy to respond to?
  24. Remember that mobile device displays are not as easy to navigate as a web browser rendering of web content on a PC, laptop or tablet.
  25. Integrate your mobile marketing campaign with all other promotional efforts. Mention it on your blog, your ecommerce site, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.
  26. Consider occasionally sending out brief non-commercial text messages that provide links to relevant web content that your customers will find valuable (e.g., important news items), so you don’t appear as a spammy hype machine pumping out nothing but sales pitches.
  27. Offer exclusive content or discounts to your mobile customers so they feel special, like an elite crew of fans receiving unique favors and red-carpet treatment.
  28. Define a feasible objective for your mobile marketing campaign and track the results.
  29. Use a mobile-only web analytics service to track responses. Check out AdMob, Bango and Mobilytics.
  30. Let people know that you’re doing special mobile marketing promotions. Whip up your own buzz about it, insert fliers into customer bags, create a business card that lists all your online presences, including mobile-related sites like Foursquare. Blog about your mobile promotions and encourage people to join in the fun and savings.

Steven E. Streight is a web content developer, blog strategist and social media consultant. Contact him at [email protected].