As I sit at my computer this morning with several browser windows open as well as my email and a few word documents, you’d be surprised to find out that I’m not paying the slightest bit of attention to my computer screen. No, I have my nose buried in my iPhone, checking on my email as well as doing various other work tasks.
Before you can ask, yes, as I write this I do feel a tinge of over-indulgence and I can’t help but think how my Thoreau-praising high school English teacher would be waving his finger if he could see me now. That’s beside the point though, just as I am overly engaged by my cell phone, so are many of your customers.
Next time you are in a coffee shop, grocery store, airport, even the movie theater, stop and look around. I will wager that more than half of the people surrounding you are completely absorbed by their smartphones – checking email, playing games, sending/receiving text messages.
The question at hand is, how, as a business owner, do you leverage your customers’ obsession with mobile communication? It’s no longer enough to say that you have a website or an email address. In today’s constantly changing marketplace, successful businesses survive and thrive because they take their company to consumers. Here are some easy ways to get your business riding the mobile marketing wave before the day is through:
· Build (and promote) it and they will come. Building an app is a great way of promoting your business to mobile users. There are quite a few companies now specialize in building apps and websites for business owners. However, if you’re building an app be prepared to promote it to your current and potential customers. Set aside not just money to build the app, but money to advertise it.
· Make your site mobile. If your website is not optimized for mobile usage, then you may be missing tons of valuable sales opportunities. Websites that aren’t optimized may be completely inaccessible or confusing to users. Building a mobile site is a free, and guided process thanks to several helpful online programs.
· Make your emails mobile. In the same way that creating a mobile website is crucial to your business’ success, ensuring that all emails you send can be viewed through a mobile device will help you capture more sales opportunities. Make sure your email’s title is concise and that all of the important information is close to the top. It’s never a bad idea to send a test to your own phone.
· Use text messages and QR codes to energize consumers. Sending special deals and offers through text messages or QR codes is a cutting-edge and creative way of spreading the word about your company. Be sure if you are sending text messages to your customers that you don’t abuse the privilege of having their personal phone number. Use it sparingly.
· Encourage reviews before your customers get out the door. Post a sign in your store asking “How’d we do?” Include a QR code to the review section of your Facebook page or to your review site of choice, and then consider periodically reaching out to consumers who gave you good reviews.
For more information about mobile marketing or the BBB Marketing Program for Accredited Businesses, visit BBB.org.