Joel Comm, the perennial innovator and host of the Next Internet Millionaire, has done it again. He is unleashing what is akin to all out war on the cell phone companies monopoly on cell phone advertising.
Any company that has dabbled in mobile marketing knows that the process is long (up to 8 weeks) and convoluted. Joel’s latest venture, TextCastLive aims to streamline the mobile marketing solution with an all inclusive opt in messaging solution designed for marketers.
At Affiliate Summit West I had the chance to test drive the system and see it in action. It is simple. All you do is give your customers a phone number that they text a short message to OR (and this is the best) TextCastLive will give you a form for your site that collects their mobile number and then sends them a message to their phone that asks them to 2X opt in.
Once you have them agreed, the fun begins. You see, mobile marketing is different, it gets read. I know this from working with dating sites that use mobile very effectively to convert trial members into paying members. Here’s how one online dating company I know does it. The site sends its members and trial members profiles of hot singles in their immediate area directly to their cell phone. The message directs them to a mobile site where they can see pictures (if available) as well as a phone number to leave a message for the person highlighted (like a voice mailbox). It converts Free Trial members 10X better than any email can and almost 3X better than a phone room.
Here’s what I came up with in the way of a few mobile campaigns that would increase revenues and/or conversions.
Mobile couponing Send your subscribers coupons directly to their phone, to be used at an event or at a retail location.
Mobile contests Engage your list in a game that they text the answers back and progressively attain more points. Like the trivia games in bars. But the smart marketer would try to extract a bit more about the user through the questions they ask so they can target them tighter in other mediums such as direct mail, outbound calls or email.
Additional Subscription Benefit All paid subscription sites need to look at one metric above all, Stick Rate. Mobile messaging is a unique and extremely personal way of bonding with a subscriber. Create a series of daily messaging items such as horoscopes, sports news, daily inspirations, whatever fits with your content. Try to find a way to break it into 160 character bits and feed it out as manna for the masses.
Trade Show Buzz As Joel and his team did at Affiliate Summit West, build your list from trade show attendees (have your booth bunnies collect cell numbers) and then periodically offer prizes for them to return to the booth. You can make it for a single prize or multiple prizes. I can even imagine that one could also make it progressive. You could also use it to announce a location of a secret party for only VIP attendees (your booth’s visitors). If you are driving visitors back to your booth it is a good idea to have some sort of promotion for them when they get there, such as a new product roll out or additional service enhancement. Just don’t make them come back only for the prize, get them to take an action and commit to using you or at least get them to agree to be followed up on. (NOTE: Another way to make this work for trade shows is to send out a text message after the show alerting them to extended show only pricing.)
In addition to these above there are also a number of location based solutions that mall stores and outdoor companies have been testing, but I do not believe these are part of the TextCastLive offering.
The takeaway here is simple. If you are not using mobile marketing in your business you are probably missing out on sales that can be easily converted with a modicum of effort. Everyone carries their cell phone with them and most look at the messages sent to it, so long as they are not intrusive and welcomed. Offer your visitors and subscribers the chance to interact with your company and your products/services in a whole new way and you will definitely see an increase in revenue.