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By Eric Evenstad 21 Jul, 2015

There are many types of businesses that can benefit from text message marketing, however some are better than others. Typically, I tell people that text message marketing is perfect for any business that has customers that live close by and visit regularly (ideally every 1-2 months). While that statement is absolutely true, it’s not very specific. Accordingly, I’ve decided to put together this list of businesses that can benefit the most from text message marketing.

Restaurants
Send out mobile coupons during slow times in order to immediately fill empty seats, offer extended happy hours to text club members, send event reminders (Monday Night Football, live music, special tastings, trivia night, etc.), alert customers about new menu items, get valuable customer feedback by sending a poll question or questionnaire.

Food Trucks
Send a text alert to people when the food truck is parked in their neighborhood, send alerts about lunch specials right when customers are thinking about where to go for lunch.

Coffee Shops
Tell customers about seasonal drinks, send specials on snowy days, manage a frequent buyer loyalty card using your phone instead of traditional punch cards (i.e. buy 10 get one free)

Breweries
Tell customers about new beer in the tap room, promote special events at the brewery, offer specials and extended happy hours to VIP text club members, engage customers with a poll question to identify which beer they want to see next.

Golf Courses
Send out golf specials to fill empty tee times that would otherwise go unfilled, send info about merchandise sales in the clubhouse, offer free driving range tokens to get people to the course.

Liquor Stores
Info about in-store wine/beer tastings, coupons for overstock merchandise, seasonal drink recipes that get people in the door, event reminders along with an attached special (i.e. Happy Fourth of July! Come in and get a free shooter when you spend $20).

Gyms
Send info about upcoming classes such as yoga and zumba, upsell customers by offering specials for personal trainers and merchandise, encourage gym members to bring a friend by offering a mobile coupon as incentive.

Hair Salons
Send appointment reminders, ask customers how often they cut their hair then send an automated message shortly before their next haircut, send mobile coupons for discounted products or add-on services such as shampoo or hair coloring.

Flower Shops
Send personalized messages to customers reminding them of upcoming flower holidays. Send a reminder a week before their anniversary, spouse/mom’s birthday, valentine’s day, etc – along with a special promotion.

Chiropractors, Acupuncturists, Spas, Dentists
Send appointment reminders to reduce the cost of no-shows, send personalized reminders to customers that haven’t visited in a while (i.e. a reminder to visit the dentist every six months), fill empty time slots in the schedule by sending immediate specials/mobile coupons to customers, alert customers about beneficial services/products that they haven’t tried.

Auto Maintenance Shops
Send an automated text to remind customers that they are due for an oil change, tire rotation, etc. Notify customers when their car is done being worked on, send specials depending on the season (i.e. winter is coming! Buy a new set of winter windshield wipers and we’ll install them for free!)

Retail Stores
Offer your VIP customers early bird access to sale rooms, send coupons and specials for out of season products/clothing, alert customers about new store products.

Realtors
Add SMS Opt-in info to ‘For Sale’ yard signs. This allows interested buyers to text in to automatically receive detailed information about the property (including specs, pictures, price, etc). Meanwhile, the system captures that prospective buyers contact info, allowing for easy and immediate follow up by the realtor.

By Eric Evenstad 21 Jul, 2015

Groupon has a bad reputation amongst many small business owners, and for good reason. Groupon failures have been well  documented . Without proper planning, a small business’s Groupon deal can result in thousands of dollars in costs, a flood of negative reviews online, and few (if any) returning customers. For years, my opinion about daily deal sites has been this: Customer wins. Daily Deal site wins. Small business loses. However, I’m here to tell you that this doesn’t have to be the case. After speaking with countless small business owners, we’ve put together some tips, tricks, and tools that will allow your business to turn your Groupon customers into loyal, repeat buyers.

Tip #1: Make sure Groupon is a good fit for your business

Groupon is not a perfect fit for every type of business. Typically speaking, product based businesses should be extremely cautious when it comes to offering a daily deal. This is because Groupon demands that businesses discount their products or services at least 50%,  then they split the remaining revenue. If you’re offering a product, it’s likely that you will be losing a significant amount of money on each unit sold.

On the other hand, service based businesses with limited products tend to be a great fit for Groupon.  These businesses will be giving away more time than money, which is typically a better tradeoff for small businesses. With that said, your business must be capable of accommodating the wave of customers that are sure to come. If your service is lacking and the customer has a poor experience you will miss out on a wonderful opportunity to convert your Grouponers into repeat customers… and you’ll likely pick up a few nasty online reviews.

When it comes down to it, just make sure you do your due diligence. If you strategically pick your offering and provide exceptional customer service you will be well on your way to a successful Groupon campaign.

Tip #2: Use Groupon as a marketing tool

Don’t expect to make money from your initial Groupon deal, in fact you should expect to lose money. When you factor in the mandatory discounts and the revenue split, you will be taking home just 25% of each transaction. If you are using Groupon as a way to make some quick cash you will be hugely disappointed.

Instead, you should approach your Groupon deal as a marketing tool. The goal should be to build brand awareness and attract a large number of new customers to your business. Get them in your door and trying your products or services.  Give them a remarkable experience.

Tip #3: Have a system for communicating with Grouponers in the future

Groupon is a great tool for getting new customers into your business, but it is common knowledge that a loyal customer is far more valuable than a new customer. This means you must have a strategy for converting these new “deal hunters” into loyal customers. The first step, which we already discussed, is to provide a remarkable experience. The second step is to have a system in place that allows you to communicate with your Grouponers in the future. There are a few options here.

1.   Social Media Integration    Get them to like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter.

Advantages:   Builds your social media following. Keeps your business in front of new customers. Allows you to send future specials and promotions.

Disadvantages:   Can be difficult to get people to follow your social media page while they are at your business. Need a smart phone and an incentive typically. Your social media posts won’t be seen as much as you may think.

2.   Email Signup    Get them to sign up for your email newsletter

Advantages:   Easy to get people to sign up (leave a business card, write their email address on a sign up form, do it on their smart phone). Allows you to send promotional emails directly to their inbox.

Disadvantages:   Email has become increasingly spammy so it may be difficult to get your customers to open and read your emails.

3.   Mobile Marketing Signup    Get them to sign up for your VIP Text Club

Advantages:   Easy to get people to sign up (text opt-in, leave a business card, write phone number on sign up form). Allows you to send instant messages to customer’s cell phone. 97% open rate. Very personable.

Disadvantages:   Not everybody wants to receive promotional messages on their phone.

Whichever tactic you choose, it is important that you stick with it, grow your list, and communicate regularly.

Tip #4: Give people a reason to come back

Your future communications should be valuable to your customers. This isn’t an opportunity to endlessly spam them. This is an opportunity to make them feel like a highly valued customer. Thank them for their business, send them free advice related to your offerings, send exclusive coupons and specials, invite them to events. It should be all about them.

Think of it as your own Groupon club that you can market to without handing over 75% of your revenue.  

Do you have any tips for running a successful Groupon campaign? Have you had any poor experiences with Groupon?

By Eric Evenstad 21 Jul, 2015

So you’ve decided to start using Text Message Marketing at your Restaurant. You’ve found a text message marketing company that fits your needs and you’ve obtained your own unique keyword and short code… Now what!?

Now it’s time to start building that list of customer phone numbers! After all, even the most enticing message in the world won’t generate any revenue if you don’t have a list of people to send it to.

Here are 5 easy tips to help you build that list of phone numbers for your VIP Text Club:

Offer a freebie to people who signup to receive your text promotions

  • A free dessert
  • A free beer/glass of wine
  • A free appetizer
  • A free dessert on your birthday
  • A percentage or dollar amount off your next bill

Have your waitstaff and bartenders ask for the signup

Make a contest out of it: Give each of your employees their own unique keyword and track how many opt-ins they can get. Top performers receive a prize of your choice.

Place information about your text club all over your business

  • Table Tents located on booths, bars, and counter tops
  • Bill inserts included with bills and receipts
  • Promotional signs located above urinals, in the waiting area, and on the front of the restaurant.

Tell your social media and email followers about your text club

Promote your restaurant’s text club on your social media pages and email newsletter. This is a great way to turn your online followers into loyal, repeat buyers.

Integrate your VIP text club with your other marketing efforts

Place Text Club info on your print, radio and TV advertisements. This allows you to capture customer phone numbers and track the results of your traditional marketing channels.


Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] /   FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By Eric Evenstad 21 Jul, 2015

SMS Marketing can be a scary topic for many business owners. The technology is new and it’s continuously evolving which makes it difficult to keep up with the latest trends. That is why it’s so important to find a reliable mobile marketing company that will walk you through the entire process. You need to find a company that will provide you with:

  1. An easy-to-use mobile marketing dashboard
  2. A   keyword and short code for obtaining customer signups
  3. Mobile Marketing Expertise

The most important of these three is Mobile Marketing Expertise. It is essential to the success of your campaign that you find a company that will do more than just plop a new technology in front of you and wish you luck. If you’re like most business owners, you are way too busy running your business to be able to learn the in’s and out’s of mobile marketing. That is why a good mobile marketing company will help you:

  1. Build a large list of customer phone numbers
  2. Design campaigns that improve customer loyalty, generate instant demand during slow times, increase average customer spend, and increase customer visit frequency
  3. Analyze the results to ensure continued improvement

At Mountain Mobile, we set ourselves apart from the competition by taking the time to meet with our clients in order to develop a customized campaign that will actually make them more money. Please  contact us   to learn more about our services.


Image courtesy of [samuiblue] /   FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By Eric Evenstad 21 Jul, 2015

What do you think of when you hear the words   Mobile Marketing?

Do you envision a truck driving around town with a billboard strapped to the back? How about a NASCAR car covered in Budweiser ads? Or maybe you think of that pesky airplane noisily tugging a giant banner through the sky above the football stadium?

While these forms of marketing are great for companies looking to create brand recognition, they’re not effective at driving immediate traffic to your business. And they’re certainly not what we mean when we say Mobile Marketing.

Here is the actual definition of mobile marketing, according the the Mobile Marketing Association:

“A set of practices that enables organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network.”

In other words, mobile marketing allows businesses and organizations to instantaneously send highly targeted messages directly to their customer’s mobile phones. Now that is groundbreaking!

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

It means that the days of expensive commercials and print advertisements are over. Today’s consumers want you to communicate WITH them not AT them. Stop interrupting people with a one size fits all marketing message and start building a list of customers who actually want to receive messages from you.

What would you do if your business had a list of 500 phone numbers from customers who have given you permission to send marketing messages directly to their mobile phone? What if you were able to grow that list to 5,000 or even 10,000 people? Imagine how much revenue you would generate if you sent out a mobile coupon at 11 am on Monday, promoting a lunch special. Or how about a dinner special sent out to your customers as they are sitting in rush hour traffic, trying to decide between going to the grocery store or opening up that old can of Spaghetti O’s for dinner.

There’s no limit to how you can use mobile marketing to increase revenues at your business. With an average return on investment of $10 for every $1 spent on mobile marketing, you can’t afford not to have a mobile marketing strategy.


Image courtesy of  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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