If you sit down and think for just a moment, there is a good chance that every single one of your customers have a cell phone. Most of them have an iPhone or Android device. So, you have yourself a remarkable application built, but your customers aren’t downloading it; and if they do download it, they just aren’t making use of it. So, what can you do to engage your mobile customers?
Ultimately, SMS is the most effective medium that markets can utilize to reach customers in today’s day and age. However, too many markets are using SMS as an ax as opposed to a scalpel. Marketers are overwhelming their customers: due to SMS campaigns (mostly), traffic in the SMS world will reach nearly 10 trillion messages this year.
So, how can you successfully engage your customer base without completely overwhelming them? If you are smart, you will construct a geofence around essential physical sites: schools, airports, arenas, stores, and possibly competitor outlets.
These geofences create special zones that will trigger a text message or some other form of action when a customer enters or leaves the area. This is known as geofencing, and it is a relatively new concept in the mobile marketing world—and there are some secrets that you need to familiarize yourself with if you want to get it right.
Over the last few years, we have helped hundreds of companies integrate geofences and location into their applications, platforms, and campaigns. Here is what we have learned throughout that time.
Secret #1: Be Where Your Customers Are
It is important that you construct your geofences where you assume that your customers are rather than where you want your customers to be. In doing so, you can boost your marketing return on investment (ROI). What this means is that you probably don’t want to build a geofence around your own store. Instead, you want to focus on building geofences around other locations like schools where soccer moms hang out, airports where busy travelers are, and competitor stores where you want to lure customers away from, etc.
Secret #2: Big Geofences Don’t Work
Essentially, you can have a geofence of any shape or size. However, you need to know whether a customer is passing by your store or is in an attractive DMA. Therefore, you want to focus on building geofences that are smaller and more relevant. A good rule of thumb is to build a geofence that is only about four minutes from your doorstep. In a mall, this means that the travel time is on foot. If your store is on the street, then you are looking at a few blocks. If you go bigger, then you are reducing your messaging relevancy.
#3: Bland Messages Don’t Work
You aren’t going to be able to drive a customer to your store if your primary message is an advertisement as opposed to an action. Keep in mind that you aren’t the only person performing geofence actions. In fact, over 50 percent of U.S. mobile advertisement spending is local. Therefore, it is imperative that your message is locally relevant, brief, and prompts action. Don’t be cheap, either, as money will always encourage action.
#4: Make the Message Important
For about 10 years now, the latte coupon message from Starbucks that appears on your iPhone has been known as the Holy Grail for location-based services. Persistent handset location can be costly when it comes to battery life, not to mention the fact that what customer wants to receive dozens of texts on their phone as they peruse the mall? If you decide to construct a geofence, make sure it triggers an action that is important. For instance, it isn’t important to save 25 cents on a cup of coffee, but if you are going to redirect a high roller from a competing casino down the street, then that’s important. Choose the purpose of your geofence carefully and wisely.
#5: Keep an Eye on the Clock
Geofences aren’t just places on the map; they are places in time as well. When you encourage action on a trigger and the time at which you notify a customer to perform an action is just as important.
#6: Everything Needs to Be Measured
You may not be familiar with how all of the metrics can have an impact on your geofencing campaign return on investment, but it is important to record them regardless. Geofences combine the data and physical world, adding up to a brand-new world for marketing analytics—and you may be surprised where you can gain insight from. American Eagle was able to determine from their metrics that messages sent at a certain time of day helped drive up purchasing behavior by up to 65 percent.
When it comes to mobile advertisement spending, geofencing is an effective weapon at engaging customers. The aforementioned secrets can help get you the return on investment that you have been seeking. For more information, contact us at WebDetail.