How to leverage your customer’s smartphone to your advantage

For the past several years there has been strong growth in mobile marketing, and in 2018 this trend will continue. Probably the best thing about mobile marketing is its omnipresence – you can reach your customers at any time, at any place.

Still, in times of information overload, marketers need to be careful and approach mobile marketing the right way. Using a customer’s smartphone to your advantage doesn’t mean we can bombard our customers with numerous offers, send the same email over and over again or bother them to fill out the survey at dinner time, only because we know they’re probably online. Mobile marketing campaigns need to be strategically planned, data-driven and innovative.

If done right, mobile marketing can significantly improve customer experience, make your products and your business more visible and approachable, and of course, help you sell more!

To achieve this we need to both employ the tools offered by new technologies, such as chatbots or voice search but also to rethink the ways we use those more standardized digital marketing tools such as automated emails, newsletters, landing pages and last but not the least – SMS messaging, which is still being used as one the top tools for providing the best customer experience.

Mobile marketing is here to keep the customers engaged with our business and stands for one of the most powerful tools for customer retention in the new millennium. So, in order to leverage your customer’s smartphone to your advantage in 2018, you need to keep in mind the following:

Make mobile experience your top priority

It’s not news that your web presence needs to be tailored for mobile users, but in 2018 this is more important than ever. To make sure our mobile website is appealing to customers, it needs to load quickly and all of its pages have to be mobile responsive. Photos and copy should be optimised, relevant, high-quality and well-placed, and you should try to reduce the need for zooming or scrolling as much as possible.

Content of your emails, newsletters and landing pages needs to be easily consumed on mobile devices, and also light-weight, given that not all users have the same data plan or are ready to spend that data to download heavy emails.

Don’t forget to reduce the size and volume of text in your offers, as mobile consumers are often on the move and don’t have much time to browse through the usual offers you send.

Rethink the ways you use existing digital marketing tools

In the age of the digital customer experience, we are very well aware of the importance of designing truly appealing emails, newsletters, landing pages and text messages. This means our offers need to be visually appealing and optimised and its copy adjusted for mobile users.

Same as any other marketing campaign, mobile campaigns also need to be data-driven and customized with demographic information and customer behavioral data to deliver relevance within the messages we send. Mobile personalization helps us deliver campaigns tailored to each user and it drives customer conversion, loyalty, and retention. Here are some tips and advices on how to use online marketing tools for mobile in an innovative and creative way:

1. Design emails and newsletters for mobile first

In the last few years we’ve witnessed how quickly smartphones overtook computers as the device most often use to open and read emails. Stats from 2017 show that majority of emails sent out by companies are now opened on a mobile device, regardless of what kind of business you’re in.

Hence, there is no stronger reason to rethink our marketing strategies and simply put the mobile first, desktop second! Experienced marketers often highlight the fact that designing for mobile first is actually far easier than the other way around as you can later simply build in the additional elements and expand the offer you have in place.

In this example by real estate company Redfin we can clearly see how the mobile optimised email on the right side looks more user friendly than the one Redfin had in place before. Although the content of their email remained the same, different fonts and the simple “Learn more” CTA make the company’s offer more inviting and eye-catching.Learn more CTA

To avoid double work for your campaigns, start thinking about making things simple from the very beginning.

The strongest reason for designing for mobile first is that this way your prioritize the most important aspects of your offer. Once you have a strong foundation that works, you can later easily expand the offer and add details more suitable for desktop version of your offer(s).

Mobile-first design makes you to really focus and maintain simplicity by removing all unnecessary user interface details. By removing these distractions, you will significantly improve the user experience which makes perfect business sense!

2. Look for innovative ways to use SMS marketing

Considering the fact that people usually read text messages on their phones within the first three seconds upon receiving them, you should never underestimate the power of marketing delivered to them via mobile phones. SMS marketing still serves as one of the best sales-boosting and customer retention channels, regardless of the fact how advanced mobile marketing is in 2018.

To use SMS marketing in an advanced way, we should always look at it as mediating agent that leads the customers to your, more engaging, mobile website or app. As we all know, SMS doesn’t rely on an internet connection and can act as a glue that merges your customer’s offline and online experiences.

For example, in 2017, the Swiss Post came up with a truly unique idea to enable their users to buy postage stamps via SMS messages. People looking to send out a letter were required to text the word ‘STAMP’ to the target number, after which they received a single-use number which they would then simply write on the envelope.SMS messages

If you’re wondering how these stamps are paid for, the company’s solution for this one is quite simple as well. After opting in, the cost of the stamp is automatically deducted from the customer’s phone credit which users, of course, found to be very convenient.

This example clearly shows how Swiss post found a great way to increase their revenues via SMS services by making their product more accessible and make their traditional services closer to today’s customers.

SMS is used as a communication channel for multiple purposes, such as for follow up customer services, event invitations, real-time appointments, coupon distribution and instant polling.

Regardless of the SMS campaign you have in use, don’t forget that each of your marketing strategies needs to be backed up with data such as customer demographics, location, the number and frequency of their purchases. For example, if you send a data-driven, automated SMS to a customer that recently made a purchase from you, you can find out how satisfied they are with the purchased item.SMS Campaign

You can also ask your customers to rate their customer experience, not only the product or service you provide.Automated Text Messages

With automated text messages, you engage the right recipient at the right time and nurture the relationship by offering relevant and customized content to your customers.

3. Minimalistic approach to landing pages

It is clear by now that, if you’re not catering to your mobile audience, your business will suffer for it. You need to go mobile wherever you can and that includes designing mobile responsive landing pages as well.

A mobile responsive landing page is not only the one that nicely displays on your customer’s smartphone, but also the one that has quick load times, short and smart titles and copy, CTA button that works properly on touchscreen and asks for minimum information in their form. To make it more effective, reduce zooming and scrolling, such as in this example by Gumroad shows below.Gumroad CTA

This is a pretty great example of simplicity in landing pages as it fits the screen perfectly, has a very simple design but yet interesting CTA which tickles the customer’s curiosity. Same as with the mobile email example above, this landing page was designed for mobile first, and after the initial success, the company created an expanded version for desktop too.Gumroad CTA

Still, to sell more products and keep the customer buying from you, your landing page needs to bring the attention to the specific matter to a specific group of customers. Marketing automation tools such as landing page builders capture the customers information easily and effectively. Your only job is to choose a template, add a form and define which list of the subscribers it will be directed to.

Invest in new mobile marketing features

As already said, to really nail mobile marketing in 2018, we also need to employ new and advanced marketing tools for mobile:

1. Chatbots

Chatbot, a piece of software designed to act as a person, is quickly becoming one of the most popular marketing tools in the new millenium. The >research conducted by HubSpot in 2017 found that 57% of consumers are interested in getting real-time answers from chatbots on a company website, and that 48% of consumers would rather connect with a company via live chat than any other mean of contact.

Initially designed to provide service information and help customers with frequently asked questions, in 2017 chatbots have come a long way and now are being used to provide a personalized product recommendation and even to facilitate purchases, such as in this example by KLM airlines.KLM

KLM launched its chatbot via Facebook Messenger to assist its human support team and reached more than 500,000 customers in the first six months. Their chatbot turned out to be such a big success that company recently added a voice layer to it to expand its reach.

Before you start with designing one for your business, invest some time in clarifying the best use of chatbots in your company. What is your priority right now? Is it to reduce the time you usually spend answering product related questions or to sell more of your products? Identifying where in the customer experience a chatbot could best help will enable you to reduce the costs and get the best results from it.

Another great thing about customer service chatbots is that they collect data and learn customer behavior which, over time, makes them even more user-friendly and save more of your money and time.

2. VR & AR apps

We already know for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) features in games and platforms such as Pokemon Go or Google Cardboard, but this cutting-edge technology also started to make its way into the world of digital marketing.

Augmented reality also makes mobile devices into essential tools for education, training and designing and lately also affects the ways businesses can present and promote their products. For example, French startup Augment developed an augmented reality mobile app that helps businesses visualize 3D models in real time and real space.

The company encourages businesses to use their technology to connect to online shoppers by allowing them to virtually place products in their home before buying them, such as in the furniture business example shown below.Virtually Place Products

Augment is only the beginning of using AR on mobile phones to test, select and buy products and it’s already been used by retailers to cut down on buyer uncertainty.

Customer service is considered to be a human-to-human interaction in which customer expect a personal touch to help with the issues they have. These are exactly the areas where further technological advances such as AR and VR can and should be used to provide solutions allowing for better consumer experiences.

3. Voice search

Voice powered communication on mobile devices is undoubtedly one of the most popular means of interaction in the digital age. Voice-powered experiences now have a direct impact on businesses as a hot new trend in providing the best customer experience.

It’s obvious that people on the move just love voice search, which is per se good enough reason to add it to your customer services. On the other hand, voice search has made reaching your audience a bit harder than via usual Google search, so you must be prepared to take some additional measures to actually make it work.

In order to make the voice search effective, we need to understand exactly what users are searching for and how they are searching for it. Therefore, to improve the mobile website for voice search, your content should incorporate more natural language. When speaking, people naturally tend to use more words than they do when typing, so the list of keywords needs to contain full sentences, instead of focusing on simple keywords and phrases.

Wrap Up

To leverage your customer’s smartphone to your advantage in 2018, you will need to rethink the ways you use already well-known marketing channels and optimize their design and copy for mobile phones. This includes finding simple, but also creative ways to reach out to customers via emails, newsletters, landing pages and SMS messages.

To get this right, never forget that all the offers you have in place have to be data-driven and target the specific group of customers. The easiest way to achieve this is to automate the offers you have with the help of marketing automation platforms such as smoove which will make your job easier and more efficient.

Last, but not least, you should think about exploring how you can take advantage of new and advanced tools and software for mobile marketing such as chatbots, voice search, and even virtual reality and augmented reality software which altogether present the future of mobile marketing.

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