When I began my internet career, my first “legitimate” email address was a CompuServe number.
Back then, if you told someone you were doing work on the web (or the WWW as it was ever-so-fondly called), they’d often look at you quizzically, wondering whether or not you made a good porn star or how much money you had from trafficking whatever illegal things you were selling. Allegedly.
These days, I get thousands of emails about mobile with the same sort of questions as folks had then. People want to know what to do, what not to do, and a lot of times they just want to tell me the eleventy bazillion reasons why it doesn’t/won’t work for them. As if mobile marketing is a choice. Ha! I went through exactly the same battles when people told me the internet was like the CB radio. Ah-em Bill LaPierre.
But I digress…
Here are some of my best tips to improve YOUR mobile journey. (These come from the questions I am most commonly asked.)
1. Look at what kind of traffic you’re getting…
Separate your handheld traffic from your tablet traffic. Tablets and phones are NOT the same thing. The industry experts like to group them together because tablet conversion is 2-3x that of most traditional sites and eleventy bazillion times better than most smartphone conversion. Grouping all mobile traffic together masks phone conversion problems but they need to be separated.
Experts say “oh, you can’t do that because is a Nexus a phone or a tablet?” Look, it’s not rocket surgery. If you’re taking your primarily phone calls on it, it’s a phone. If you’re using it to play Candy Crush and watch Netflix, it’s a flipping tablet.
Why does it matter? Mostly because email traffic is typically “phone” traffic and if you learn how to separate it properly, you’ll also figure out how to design to it; what kind of landing pages you need; how you can best use your selling space (selling on a 2×4 is often more challenging than one might think); what things you need to ask for and what you don’t (for example, you don’t need to dedicate an entire screen to asking for the email address of someone coming from email), and so on.
Plus, phone traffic is ON A PHONE. I realize this is like stating “water is wet” but many marketers tend to forget that if the customer is ON THEIR PHONE and you have a call center it’s much easier – and usually far more lucrative – for the user to push a CLICK TO CALL button than it is to maneuver your shopping cart.
2. Work your transfer.
If you only listen to one tip that I have this is it – if someone puts something in their mobile cart, show it in their regular cart. You can use email and mobile numbers to help you do this.
3. Use spreaders.
I like to think of the whole sales process as feeding a rat to a snake – and you really want to know where the rat is stuck in the snake so you can squeeze him out the end.
When you know where your rat is stuck in your snake, use a spreader to get them to the next level. A spreader would be a pushpage, instigated chat, v-chat, sometimes even a text message. Whatever you need to do to smooth the gap.
4. Don’t get sucked up in the industry buzz.
Learn what’s best for you by trying it, tweaking it, and then perfecting it. Do more of the stuff that makes you money and less of the stuff that doesn’t. It’s that easy.
Test out triggered text messages. A lot of “experts” will tell you that folks hate them. Personally, I have to be willing to bear your child for you to get my phone numbers these days. Triggered text for a lot of companies? Life-changing. Granted, very few people use triggered text messages properly but they are still one of the best marketing things I’ve ever seen. In. My. Career.
Work your internal search. There are hundreds of articles stating mobile search is exactly the same as regular search. It’s not. Searches are often shorter and more specific (or way longer and completely incomprehensible) and people tend to make a lot more mistakes. Plus, mobile search is used more frequently and there is typically much more of a priority put to it. (Meaning that showing 1,232,832 finds on something isn’t going to be useful to anyone on a mobile device. In fact, chances are they’ll struggle with 20 and look at less than 5.)
Don’t get caught up in the tools, the programming languages or the platforms. Figure out what your users need. Look at what features they’re using (or what they’re not); which device(s) they are using; whether or not they are buying or browsing; etc. If 95% of your traffic is coming from YouTube, you’ll need something entirely different than a company where the majority of the traffic is coming from their email program.
I like responsive design and it’s not a silver bullet. You can’t just “go responsive” and have all the evils of the world go away. In fact, for some folks it makes things worse – not just because it can be slow and pricey – but because it can make marketers really lazy and what you do on your tablet isn’t the same as what you do on your desktop. Nor is it the same as what you do on your phone. (Hint: no matter what you do – you are going to need to REALLY work your navigation as if your life depended on it.)
5. Develop new contact strategies. (Chances are good that your mobile efforts are going to need different contact strategies than your traditional efforts.)
Because things happen much faster mobile-wise, your contact strategies should often happen much faster too.
With mobile, you’ll also have more contact methods in your arsenal and they’ll work differently.
So what does this mean?
It means that if you’re sending out an abandoned cart program – you’re going to want to mail it faster. You also may want to add more emails to your plan – so if you normally send out 3 emails, test 5 or 7. Try SMS as well. Abandoned cart text messages work really well. Remember, there’s a big chance that your mobile cart sucks – so don’t send them back to where they abandoned/struggled in the first place – try to get them on the phone or to your traditional site (if your cart is better.)
Store locator emails are another big thing. When someone goes to your site, and searches to find a store, there’s a pretty big chance that they want to go to that store today. On the page with the locator, collect their email address and send them a coupon. Collect their mobile number and send them a text. Do both. (If you don’t do offers, send them a “grocery list” of things they should look at – stuff you don’t want them to miss when they visit.)
6. Figure out the importance of your referring URL’s and market to your users accordingly.
So, here’s the thing…
In most cases…
If someone comes in from Facebook, they are not at all equivalent to someone who comes in direct/no referrer.
If someone comes in from a branded PPC search, they are typically lightyears ahead in terms of qualification than someone who came in from a Twitter link.
Social media can drive a ton of mobile traffic but if you’re like most folks, very little of it will immediately convert to a sale. Customer service nightmares? Yes. Sales? Don’t count on it to pay your bills. (Hint: If you have to put all your eggs in one basket, put them in your direct/branded keyword strategy. That’s where you will make the most money. Period.)
What are YOUR best tips for mobile marketing? Send ‘em to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll publish the best ones in a future post.