Local businesses are in a tough spot when it comes to marketing.
The reasons behind this seem to be deeper than what an online business would face. Some the main things that come to mind with local store businesses is that they will have overhead that a lot of online businesses don’t face. Because of this understanding, marketing and how to get the best spreads and net return on their efforts can be a little bit more daunting than online stores.
Things That Might Make It More Difficult For Storefronts:
- Location, location, location – that plays a big role for walk-in customers. Making sure that local store fronts have appealing stores is just one of the many factors involved in local business, they also have to make sure that once people are in their stores they follow along the process to check out. Usually it is harder to get people to just put stuff in the shopping cart or hold an item as they walk around the store to find more items. Because nobody wants to get in line and then decide as things are being rung up to stop the transaction process. Unlike online stores, you can just click out of the page and be done with that transaction.
- How to track how a customer found out about your location – Many stores don’t even do anything in terms of tracking. They advertise in local magazines, radio, signs or billboards, but at the checkout counter unless the clerk asks “how did you find out about us”, usually don’t just give this information out. It isn’t a priority to them to help the store owner. Sadly even if the store clerk is supposed to ask these questions a lot of times they can forget and not ask, this happens because either they are forgetful, busy and sidetracked or just don’t care.
- All the different marketing channels – For a local retail store, unless they are utilizing tracking codes or coupons that they know came from certain places it can be hard for them to determine where the client is coming from. This is a problem because it becomes harder and harder for a store owner to know which channel is best performing for them. Also if they intend to test these different channels with differing messages or ads, it could take a while to get it all the way through production.
Where Mobile Meets Local
Here is something to consider about SMS mobile marketing. Everyone now has a cell phone, if they don’t it just means they lost it or have some specific reasoning behind that decision. Not everybody gets the newspaper, as we all know those subscription numbers are continually declining.
People not always have cable to see commercials, I for one have gone all Netflix, Hulu and Apple Tv. It is more info that I have time for, and there is no need for me to pay $100+ for the chance to watch Animal Planet. Also even if people do have cable, most make use of the DVR and pass right by those darn commercials.
Also consider that people don’t listen to the radio like they used to do. With the advent of apps, they can have an app that plays only their favorite artists. These services are blowing up right now. Spotify has been all the rage and Pandora is now a public company. Those are just two of the top music players but there are many more.
Yellow Pages….don’t even get me started there. If environmentalists want to save the earth how about they start with the book that is half a tree, that makes it to my front door step and then goes straight to the recycling bin. It’s the only time you get trash on your doorstep and you didn’t even want it. They just need to face the facts, its a dead medium and their web presence sucks too.
So What Are You Left With?
Again everyone has a cell phone. Everybody opens their SMS messages. People are so addicted to the phone that they stare at it waiting for information. Hmmmm, I think we are getting somewhere.
We just canceled out 4 EXPENSIVE mediums for advertising. That don’t have great tracking capabilities, can’t optimize in a timely fashion to A/B test, and are not being used for consumption by a growing population more and more each day.
Mobile Is The Final Marketing Frontier
So here is why local businesses need SMS messaging services:
1. Its cheap, really cheap. You can reach your whole list of clients for a fraction of even direct mail.
2. Its instant. You can see the response as it happens, and if sent with the correct message it can
bring customers in that afternoon.
3. Its trackable. QR codes, coupon codes, it can all be used in a SMS campaign to know just how much business is being drawn in because of the message. We have all seen a great ad and wanted to use that coupon code and then get to the store (because we drove by or something) and don’t have the actual coupon, so we don’t use it and we don’t visit. Then it expires and the opportunity is lost. With a cell phone, they just scroll down their message list and find the coupon and walk in and use it.
4. Its able to be optimized really fast. If you are sending out a message that doesn’t get a great response, you have so many different levels that you can use to try to figure out why and then test it again. In other mediums this takes months, in mobile it takes hours.
But I don’t have a list of clients to send message to.
I hear you on that, the catch 22 of the whole thing. There are ways to get around this that will surprise you.
For one you can have the cashier ask if they would like to be added to your “SMS specials list” or whatever sounds suitable for your business.
You can put up a table tent in the waiting room or at the counter to get interaction that way.
You can try to get some of your email subscribers into this list as well.
You can use those offline tactics that we spoke about earlier as a conversion path to get them to get on the SMS messaging list. This one is where it is going to all tie in together. Because it is a double benefit for the business that is advertising in these mediums already. It is hard to get someone to remember something to write down and bring in the store. But if in your advertisement you know that a certain exact number of people that heard the ad, got in your mobile list, that you then sent messages to that then came in with a mobile coupon and bought something, you have got the perfect sales funnel created.
Bretts Get To The Point Moment
Ok, we know it is here and here to stay. Mobile isn’t going anywhere and is only going to get bigger. Out of all the other marketing channels local businesses can benefit from this the most. The only other method that holds a candle to it is Local SEO. But the difference here is once you build a list or have a list that you can reach, you have power to drive actual foot traffic at will. If this is something that you have been considering giving a shot, then reach out to us. We will give you 50 free credits to test it. As shown below.
PS: If you are interested in learning more about how to do this, please leave a comment and start some interaction and we will get back to you fast. If you have your opinion please also leave a comment and will get back to you asap. If you just can’t wait for that email us.