There’s one more incredibly powerful aspect of mobile marketing that is still extremely under-used by local businesses – text messaging.
Text messaging, or SMS, has experienced huge growth in the number of people who use it regularly. And it’s not only younger people who are using it – it’s becoming more and more common with older users as well.
Local businesses can use text messaging as a marketing tool for mortgage broker to engage their customers on a much more personal basis than even email marketing can provide.
There are two huge advantages to text messaging that really can’t be matched by any other method of communication that can be utilized in mortgage website marketing.
• Most people have their phones with them virtually all the time, so those messages will reach them no matter where they are.
• The vast majority of text messages get read almost instantly when they’re received. Compare that to email that may go unopened for several days.
How can this work in your favor? Going back to our pub example, text messaging could work much the same as Facebook promotions, except it would be even more immediate.
If the pub was slow on a particular day, they could send a text message at 5:00pm and reasonably expect a response that same evening. There’s just no other advertising medium that can reach your customers as immediately that is virtually guaranteed to be seen.
So does that mean you need to be feverishly tapping out text messages to all your customers every time you want to send something?
Not at all. There are services that will broadcast a text message to everyone who has requested to receive them from you. These services let you choose a number, called a Short Code, to use as your point of contact. Your customers just have to send a text to that number to sign up to receive text messages from you whenever you broadcast something out.
You can even set up an automatic response from these short codes, giving you the ability to offer an incentive to get people to opt into receiving those messages.
For example, a restaurant might offer a coupon for a free appetizer on their next visit by texting the word “apple” to their short code number. When the customer sends the text, they get a response virtually instantly with the details of how to get the free appetizer. This can be as simple as “Show this message to your server on your next visit to claim your free appetizer.” But now whenever you broadcast a text message, they will receive it virtually instantly.
“Deal of the day” sites like Groupon and Living Social are another highly effective way in marketing your mortgage business that will reach people through their mobile devices. You can advertise a special offer on these sites, which have apps for smartphones like the iPhone and Blackberry.
These apps offer what is known as “push” notifications of new specials. This works very similar to a text message – when a new offer is posted, the app displays a message on the phone.
Let’s look at Groupon.com as an example, since it’s the largest of these sites.
You list a special offer of some type with Groupon, offering a discounted price, a two-for-one special or any number of other special deals. Groupon posts the deal on their website, sends it out by email and pushes it to all the users of their mobile applications.
Because the offers are geographical, only people in your general area will see it by default. The users of the service benefit by getting a great deal on what you sell and your company benefits by getting a bunch of new customers who might never heard of you otherwise.
Plus, people outside of your immediate market can also view your offer, and buy it as a gift for someone who lives nearby. So you can reach people who don’t even use the service via the people that do.