Mobile Marketing

Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media, shares tips on mobile marketing including mobile coupons, location-based marketing, and optimizing your website for mobile applications.

By Rieva Lesonsky

According to a recent eMarketer report, nearly 20 million U.S. adults will redeem a mobile coupon this year. That includes coupons or codes received from text messages, mobile Web browsers, daily deal sites and QR (quick response) codes. And with the number of smartphone users on the rise, that number is expected to double by 2013.

Mobile coupons are just one of the ways mobile marketing efforts are helping businesses bring in new and repeat customers. If you want to reach a certain demographic or target a specific audience, you need to reach them where they’re getting information—their laptops, tablets and smartphones. Here are a few ways mobile marketing can work for your business:

Announce specials: Consumers will be thrilled to receive specials announcements directly to their mobile devices as long as you’ve cleared it with them first (make sure you get permission!), the message is targeted to the right audience, and you don’t overwhelm their inboxes. Remember, the quality of your messages is more important than the quantity.

Location-based marketing: Make sure consumers on the go can find your business quickly—when they need you. Sites such as Foursquare, Google Places and Gowalla offer tools to help you connect with and stay engaged with your customers. What’s more, users of these sites often share their views with friends, spreading the word about your business like wildfire.

Mobile-friendly website: Most smartphone consumers now expect your website to be mobile friendly—that is, to load quickly and be readable on their mobile devices. Creating a mobile-friendly site means paring down your current site to be simpler (less text, less photos, bigger buttons, etc.). If your site takes too long to load, mobile users can (and will) give up and look for a competing business. If you’re a restaurant, be sure you have an easily readable menu on your mobile site. Retail or service business? Have your specials highlighted and maybe even offer a deal to get them in the door. For more help on getting your website mobile-ready, check out Network Solutions Guide to Mobile Marketing.  

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow Rieva at Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her blog at SmallBizDaily.com. Visit her website SmallBizTrendCast to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.