Marketing in a Mobile World

Mobile marketing can be defined as an online marketing approach focused on reaching your target Mobile Marketingmarket using their cellphone or other mobile device. The most common way is through Short Message Service, otherwise known as SMS and another term for text message. It’s a form of email marketing tailored specifically to phones.

How Mobile Marketing Works

Just like computer based marketing, the first step to mobile marketing is to get a list of subscribers. This can be done using an opt-in form on your website, just like when you build your email list, or other offline marketing channels. You can also set up a short code or short phone number that your customer can call or text to opt in. After they make that call or text they are considered opted in. There are many 3rd party apps that will do this and connect with your email marketing system too.
Once you have your list, that’s when you can start marketing to them. In your marketing messages, you want to continue to build on your relationship with the client by sending them high value content and info. As you continue to build the relationship, you can send free offers discounts or other special deals too.

Who Can Use It?

Any business can benefit from mobile marketing whether they are offline or online. In fact, it’s ideal for small local businesses since their customers are usually using their mobiles when they’re on the go. For example, a local sandwich shop can offer coupons or special promos to their subscribers. They send the coupon at the top of the lunch hour when their subscribers are getting hungry, and their shop becomes the natural and most logical choice for lunch. A recent example I’ve seen for gathering leads was at a shoe store where you could text a number to get a code for 10% off your purchase.

The Benefits

In today’s world, people are always on their devices. We see it everywhere from the table to the grocery store. Most people consider mobile marketing to be a more personal touch then the normal email marketing that we do.
Also, while not everyone is online, most people do have a mobile phone. Mobile marketing can allow you to reach a broader audience that may not necessarily use a computer. And the number of mobile device users is increasing ever year.
Marketing surveys have shown that open rates are much higher on mobile devices than computers. (Check out this great article with some great mobile marketing statistics.) It’s possible, as you can see here, the open rates are higher because, quite often, our inboxes are flooded with emails. Many of us are very picky about what we open and spend time reading. Mobile marketing is also not done by everyone and customers opted in for it, so your customers will be more responsive.

The Disadvantages

Mobile marketing is still somewhat new and uncharted territory which has its perks. But along with these perks it also has its downsides. One downside is that mobile delivery systems aren’t as reliable as regular email sometimes causing your emails to get lost on the way to your customers’ phones.
Mobile devices also don’t have a standard platform like computers do. With so many different means you have to be extra careful to make sure your messages can be seen on a variety of devices. Screen size varies from one device to another, so it may be difficult to make your messages look right. Most email systems have a preview now of mobile as well as desktop I find.
Navigation can also be an issue. In addition to the smaller screen size, it’s difficult to type on mobile devices, how many times have you misspelled something. Scrolling, panning, and zooming can also be annoying to users. Buttons that you want your customers to press must be located in just the right places and your content must be easy to read at a glance.
With SMS marketing, you messages are shorter and can only be up to 160 characters, this is about 40 words or less. Your want to get straight to the point in all your messages and make their impact quickly.

A Different World

The key to success with mobile marketing is understanding that it’s completely different from computers. People have short attention spans and you need to grab their attention in those first few seconds. Your challenge is to get them to engage with your company using their mobile device. A key point to remember here is the more interactive your marketing campaign is, the more effective it will be.
Looking for more marketing campaigns to implement?  Check out my favourite 7 campaigns here.


  1. I can see this being a great benefit for retail stores and restaurants. I’m not sure it would work so well for a service business, but who knows!

    • admin on at

      I’ve found it works well for call reminders and getting people to register for something. I’ve had a client collect leads from the stage by having people opt-in via text.

  2. I am using my phone more and more for everything. As I get comfortable with doing different things on the small screen it opens my eyes to opportunities for my business. I am still challenged to creating a connection with clients through technology. I think that still needs to be done in a personal way.

    • admin on at

      Hi Janet,
      Yes, it’s important to make the communication personal. I’d be happy to learn more about your business and brainstorm some ideas sometime.

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