Image by: www.bluewaikiki.com
By Gordon J. Pruitt
There was a time when getting an email address was the end-all be-all of customer information gathering. While email addresses are still great to gather, there is a new king in town: the mobile phone number.
It is the wave of the future, gentlemen.
Studies show that younger people use email less and less, citing it as too slow and dinosaur-like. They want instant gratification, the kind that text and talk deliver – both accessible via their mobile number.
To advertisers, emails are easy to delete or relegate to the Trash heap, and are – consequently – easy to miss, skip or slip. Meanwhile customers are more than likely to answer YOUR OWN PHONE, no matter if you recognize the number or not.
Are you picking up what I’m putting down? Good.
Winning Hearts & Minds
But how do you collect a number that most people keep near and dear to their hearts and minds? A personal cell phone number is THE MAIN WAY modern people communicate with others, and especially those that they care about the most.
And they do not give it up so easily.
Having that number gives you an intimate access to your customer unlike any other form of direct marketing. That’s why everybody seems to be asking for the mobile number these days, whether in person at the register or online via a form.
Getting Those Digits
How do you get people to actually type in their mobile phone number on your website? Develop a service of some kind that requires you to send customers an update via text, that way you HAVE to have their number.
Text a tip of the day, fresh headline or freebie. Maybe just a funny thing that happened in the office with a discount offer. Whatever.
The extra expense associated with setting up such a program pales in comparison to the sales boost that comes from successfully starting, maintaining and properly utilizing a vibrant mobile phone number database.
Mine Older Subscribers
You can even hit up your current email subscribers to gather even more numbers. Send out an opt-in email to your current subscriber base, asking them for their mobile number.
You may have to sweeten the deal a bit by offering a contest or some other giveaway to get them to cough up their digits. But hey, they are your valued customers who actually signed up for something that you created, they deserve a little special treatment/incentive.
Work Those Numbers Like A Respectful Mule
Once you’ve got this valuable marketing component in your database, what are you going to do with it?
First of all, you need to respect mobile numbers. You will ruin it for yourself and everybody else on the planet if you suddenly start blowing up people’s smartphones with ads and offers.
Second, with a mobile phone database in hand, you have the best way there is to reach your customers. Take advantage of it. Send a daily reminder, offer or update is about as far as you want to push it. But by all means work it.