The importance of being mobileCan’t remember the name of that cool furniture store on Second Street? Need the number for your daughter’s new dance studio? Or maybe you’re just looking for a good Thai restaurant downtown? If you’re like most people, the answers to these questions are just a swipe and a few taps away, courtesy of your mobile device. It’s a fact; mobile device use has surpassed desktop computers and laptops and now makes up 60% of digital media time in the U.S.

So as we embark on 2016, don’t you think it’s time to make it official? Mobile devices are our certified go-to screens…the one we ”go to” when we need absolutely any type of information. They are the first device we pick up in the morning, the one we carry with us throughout the day and the last device we put down before we go to bed.

What does that mean for direct marketing in this mobile-ruled digital age? It means that the members of your target audience are going to make a bee-line for their cell phones to search for your product or service after reading your direct mail piece. And you had better be ready for them…

  • First and foremost, make sure your website is mobile-friendly. No one wants to zoom in, scroll around and try to click your tiny “Start Shopping” link with the tip of their pinky finger.
  • Consider creating a mobile app for your company. Mobile apps ensure you’ll maintain visibility on your audience’s tech devices and will make it easier for them to make a purchase or find a store.
  • Use mobile marketing to create an “opted in” target list by offering value that incents people to choose to be on your list. We’ve all seen signs in stores directing you to text a key word to a mobile code to receive a special offer. It’s a win-win. The consumer gets 15% off their purchase, plus future discounts sent right to their phone. You get an opted-in customer to add to your target list.
  • Start an ongoing conversation with your audience. Use the first opt-in as an opportunity to gather additional information that you can then use to personalize future marketing efforts. Planning a big sale at your Atlanta location? Let those people in the 404 area code know about it!
  • Remember, mobile marketing can intrude on your audience’s personal space, so be respectful. Send only well-timed, high-value communications…and don’t text them in the middle of the night. This will ensure you don’t overwhelm or annoy your audience and will limit opt-outs. But make sure they have a way to opt out if they want to!
  • Because mobile marketing is so trackable, this one seems like a no-brainer. Analyze your response data to improve the design and content of your next campaign.

If you haven’t done it already, 2016 is the year to integrate mobile into your direct marketing mix. As part of a multi-channel effort it can play a leading role in a successful campaign. The key is making sure all your individual channels are working together like a well-oiled machine. But that’s a story for another day. Watch for next month’s post on omni-channel marketing so you can create the kind of seamless marketing ecosystem that will send your ROI skyrocketing.