Mobile Marketing

As we promote Newport Beach as a wonderful destination and we try to bring visitors to our hotels, restaurants, and community to utilize our attractions and activities we must stay current with customers who are more digitally connected.

Long gone are the days where people plan their itineraries in advance, print it out, fold it up, and keep it in their back pocket. Now, smartphones rule the world and travellers are quick to hit apps to enhance their experience.

American Express Open Forum’s Leyl Master Black takes a look at five tools to improve mobile marketing.

Mail Chimp
Mail marketing is aMail Chimp key way to stay connected to customers.

For example, MailChimp has added a number of mobile features that allow you to view your email campaign stats, see who is tweeting about you and manage your lists and subscribers. MailChimp also offers mobile-friendly templates for your newsletters, so your campaign will look good when users read it on their mobile devices.

MailChimp also offers Chimpadeedoo, which gives customers the ability to sign up for your newsletter via an iPad. Customers visiting your store, restaurant or hotel can sign up on the spot. One company, Monkey Joe’s Parties & Play in North Carolina, was able to grow its subscriber list from 250 to 10,000 users using this app.

MailChimp is free plan (2,000 subscribers and up to 12,000 emails per month.)

Red Stamp
Red Stamp enables small businesses to create and send custom, branded letterhead, business cards, notes, invitations and announcements from mobile and desktop devices.

Red Stamp says its customers are landing new clients by sending customized thank you notes as they walk out of meetings, and they’re also using the service to share visual, branded, real-time conversations with their social networks and create festive, branded invitations for events.

The cost is a one-time fee of $29.99 for custom design and set-up and a $4.99 monthly fee for unlimited digital and social sharing. Paper postcards are just 99 cents — including $0.33 U.S. postage — and Red Stamp will print, address and mail your cards for you. International sends are an additional 30 cents.

Mobile functionality can also make it easy for customers to join your loyalty program.  Swipely now offers a simple “text to join” mobile loyalty program that works seamlessly with the credit or debit card consumers already have in their wallet.

A popular organic restaurant with multiple locations in the Bay Area is using Swipely to run its mobile loyalty program, promoting it with signs in their restaurants that invite customers to join the program with one simple text message. In one month, they saw that 60% of the customers that hit their mobile signup page submitted their credit card to join the rewards program. In January alone, hundreds of customers signed up, which means that the restaurant can now market to those customers via email.

A recent Time magazine mobility poll found that 32% of people would rather text than talk if given a choice. With this in mind, TextUs.Biz allows businesses to send and receive texts from customers via their computer or iPad. Small businesses can use the service to send customer appointment reminders or group promotional offers, while customers can use it to request an appointment or reservation.

TextUs.Biz is free for the first 100 messages, which includes web and iPad access. For small businesses sending more than 100 messages a month, the “basic” cost is $24/month for 1,500 messages, the “premium” is $44/month for 5,000 messages and “pro” is $74/month for 10,000 messages.

IDC research indicates that smartphone users check Facebook an average of 14 times per day, so make sure to consider Facebook’s latest advertising products, such as Facebook Offers and Promoted Posts, to reach and engage your target customers.

SweetFrog Frozen Yogurt recently saw an average of 2.9% redemption rate on Facebook Offers, Facebook’s virtual coupons that are available on both desktop and mobile. Some stores reported over 10,000 in-person redemptions.

Promoted Posts, which allow business owners to easily turn an engaging post into an ad to reach more people with their messages, also work well on mobile.