Local Mobile Marketing

Local Mobile Marketing with text messages isn’t really a fad or a phase. It’s a natural progression of marketing tools. Some people don’t like text message marketing, but for the most part, it’s easy to avoid getting what you don’t want. Your customers won’t give your their phone number or check the box for “text messages” if they don’t want them.

Recently I used a text message coupon to get $1.00 a burrito at the local Mexican restaurant.  When I signed up to be on their marketing list, they asked if I wanted to get text messages or e-mail, I thought I’d try text messages out. Why not? I like eating at the restaurant, and always appreciate a discount.

So how can small businesses start local mobile marketing  without paying an arm and a leg, without hiring some IT person or programmer or an online company to run it? Simply put, how can small businesses do it easily, for next to no money?

[stextbox id=”warning”]The answer is simple AND free. [/stextbox]

There are two quick ways to get a text messaging campaign going. (I suppose there are 121 ways, but why wade through the other 119 when these work just fine?)

The first one is Twitter. Imagine that! Twitter is that micro-blogging site millions of people use for social marketing efforts, everyday. Well, it just so happens Twitter has a secret little tool that you can use in your marketing efforts. It works like this:

  1. Set up a Twitter account with a relevant, useful name. If you’re a Tex-mex restaurant, something like TexMexFreebies would be great!
  2. Once that’s complete, you can begin your marketing efforts. Wherever you plan to market your SMS Text service, tell people to text the word “TexMexFreebies” (your Twitter username) to 40404, and let them know they’ll then be subscribed to get discounts, deals, etc. . .
  3. Then when you have a deal to announce to your customer base, log-in to your Twitter account and “tweet” (ie post the message). Once it is posted, all your subscribers will get it on their phone. Don’t send out more than you told them you would, or they’ll begin to dislike you immensely.
  4. You can’t use pictures this way, or html, but do you really need a graphic to say “$1.oo off?”
  5. Rinse and Repeat.

The second way t do local mobile marketing is with e-maill. Mobile phone companies have special e-mail addresses that go directly to the users phone. For example, if you have a Verizon Phone and your number is 515-555-6543, then an e-mail sent to 5155556543@vtext.com will be delivered as a text to that person’s phone. Set that up as a group in your e-mail system and you can send an email/text to your audience whenever you want. Just make sure to get their phone number and their mobile carrier information when they sign up on your list. With a little skill you can use pictures this way.

[stextbox id=”info” color=”000000″ bgcolor=”babcbf”]

Mobile Text Phone Numbers by Carrier

Alltel – @message.alltel.com
AT&T – @mms.att.net
Nextel – @messaging.nextel.net
Spring – @messaging.sprintpcs.com
Suncom – @tms.suncom.com
T-Mobile – @tmomail.net
Voicestream – @voicestream.net
Verizon – @vtext.com or @vzwpix.com (for photos and video)


That’s not the only way you can reach your customers’ mobile phones. Check out my posts about doing that with Foursquare Marketing, also make sure you’re registered with Google Maps and keep up with Facebook Places to see what they’re rolling out.

If you register for my Free Notes below, I go into a bit more depth and introduce some new ways to market to your customers with their mobile phone. I invite you to sign up and check it out.

Local Business Internet Marketing – What it isn’t

You’re on the verge on being inundated by local business internet marketing services.

While you dote methodically on growing your company, internet marketers are planning to visit your company in droves in the near future. Because the need is so great and the experience level so small, small business owners are going to be getting phone calls by the dozens by June of 2011.

And what you’re going to hear is this, “Let us get your site to the top of Google, so you can stop paying for billboards and yellow pages”. They’re going to tell you about the antiquated nature of newspapers, and the inability to track revenue from billboards. And you’re also going to hear that the ability to follow-up with your customers is where the gold is.

Guess what? That’s all it’s going to take to get millions of business owners to sign the dotted line.

But that is exactly what’s going to get those same millions of companies to switch from one local business internet marketing professional to the next, month after month. Because local search marketing is not about getting to the top of Google – and it’s not about following up with your customers. Local Business Marketing

To acquire customers using the internet, you’re going to have to be found – that’s the part about getting to the top of Google. But being on top doesn’t mean people are taking their credit cards out ready to buy.

Local business owners who are personable on site are going to need to extend that personality to the computer monitor. Products that sell themselves at the register are going to have to be marketed online. Nobody’s buying that last second “Hershey” bar on your site, if they have to wait 7 days for it to arrive.

The bottom line is this: until you’re on the first page of the search results, and until you can both capture and follow-up with your customers – you’re not even in the game.  But once you accomplish that – that’s when the game begins.

Realtors for instance get many more leads from Realtor.com, Homes.com and Craigslist than they’ll ever get from their sites alone. So what if you’re at the top of Google for Mayberry Real Estate? If everyone in the town is searching for listings on Homes.com – your hilltop position will be quiet as a mouse. So don’t let a marketer sell you the #1 position for Mayberry Real Estate if all your customers are on Craigslist.

Once you climb the search results to page 1, and get your customers to the front door, then you’re going to have to use your charm, your personality and your guile to meet their every need. You’re going to have to test and restest, to try things and fail, to ultimately become a friend to your customers.

Local Business Internet Marketing isn’t about being on top of the mountain. It’s about getting to the top and then proving to your customers that you deserve to be there. And ultimately to “employ” your customers to help you stay there by blogging about you, tweeting about you and making videos for you.

Local. Likable. Learned.

Local Business Marketing: It’s not all me

Some important folks visited my blog this week. I say important because they’re important to me, but it’s not like the guy who invented Oreo’s stopped by to read this stuff. 🙂 They’re stopping by occurred the same time I was working with a new client. And unfortunately the lesson I was trying to teach the client, I hadn’t adopted myself.

In our first meeting together, I was explaining what my role would be. I was explaining how my job was to bring new clients in the door using the internet, how I was going to go about capturing the information about the new clients and then how we were going to keep marketing to them via e-mail or mail or whatever.

Well, it occurred to me while I was there that the local business had a job too.  While it’s my job to get new clients there, it’s the local businesses job to keep them there and leave the door of possibility open that the person would come back.  What I mean by that is their job is to be friendly, clean, current and fair. Even if you have what the client wants, if the place is not inviting – they’ll unsubscribe from our e-mails.

That lesson came back on me. It’s hard to have a dirty blog, but it’s not hard to have outdated information. After getting back from my meeting with them, I took a look at this blog and realized the About Me section is from the first week I started. Lettersfromdan has morphed over time and that part is just not relevant.

What my important visitors thought when they visited, I’m not sure. But I can tell you right now the About Me section doesn’t reflect what I told them I was writing about. So this weekend, it’s time to take my own medicine. You can read the old “About Me” section right here, otherwise, I’m committing to you that all parts of this blog will be up to date.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Local Marketing Strategy Template

How nice would it be to follow a template for local marketing strategy? In fact, I really wanted something I could put together and sell to all our clients. Who doesn’t really? How easy would that be to fill out some template information and then charge companies “big dollars” to get it done. Lucrative, for sure.

But we quickly found out that while a template sounds good – it won’t make the phone ring for the client. In fact, we’ve found the needs of our clients to be so incredibly different that only small parts fit into an overall formula. Basically our local marketing strategytemplates are no more than systematized paths. Continue reading “Local Marketing Strategy Template”