Many companies still view mobile marketing as a "future" strategy. Reasoning for this is varied. Maybe they don't want to expand their marketing budgets in a downturn or see the technology as immature. There does appear to be a "wait and see" attitude while many advocates claim each successive year is "the year of mobile marketing." Also, "Mobile Marketing" has now come to include rich applications for high-end phones. This muddies the water a bit since it is entirely unnecessary to create a downloadable application to create a very successful mobile marketing campaign. SMS campaigns are the least expensive and have the greatest reach given the limited number of "smart" devices in the hands of consumers.
Even within the SMS space, many companies which have implemented SMS campaigns are not tapping into its potential. A blogger notes his personal experiences regarding campaigns in which he's participated only to find he receives no value. Companies generally are not interacting with their prospects.
I have personally experienced the same thing. Mobile campaigns to which I responded never made any attempt to actually market to me. I may have opted out, but the opportunity was lost. This is clearly anecdotal but relevant nonetheless.
You can learn from the mistakes of other and turn SMS marketing into a windfall.
The most basic SMS campaign involves a call to action on a real estate agent's sign or rider. This is the beginning of your relationship with the prospect. If you manage your campaigns properly, every prospect becomes a potential sales channel because SMS is viral. It is easily forwarded and on many devices the SMS can be forwarded to an email address as well as another device. So how do you make the most of your campaigns?
Provide the information: Don't be stingy
I can't tell you how many times I've viewed an online, sign-based or print-media listing ad where the price or property details (or both) are missing. This is an "old-school" habit that should just die. A number of agents, brokers and property managers mistakenly believe that by withholding information, they will entice the prospect to call. This may be true in a very few cases, but in general it is merely an annoyance that will turn off prospects. It also completely undermines a mobile campaign because there is nothing of value to be forwarded.
Even if it does prompt a call, it is more than likely a waste of your valuable time to field that call. This is true even when you are not particularly active. If the property doesn't meet the prospect's criteria, then you have more than likely burned a bridge, especially if you have no other listings that do fall into the prospect's target.
In the case of a mobile campaign, you're probably not going to get a call anyway. A mobile user can simply c/p the address of the property into a search and find the listing price from Zillow or Trulia within the first three search results. If it does match his criteria, he's more apt to call another agent to show the listing then you because you didn't provide the information he desired.
Laying aside mobile for a moment, this is just a good practice all around.
Don't Call Us, We'll Call You
When a prospect texts in to get listing information, it is best to respond via text rather than call. Some prospects won't mind you calling but it is better to be safe than sorry. Consider that the prospect may just be gathering data for a friend or relative. If you've provided them with all of the data they need, you are more likely to get a callback request from them if you use the same medium they used to contact you.
Include contact info in your mobile ad
In order to get the most out of the viral possibilities, you want to make sure you have your cell number included in the mobile ad's response text. You don't get any information about where this information is forwarded so you want to make sure that the nth-degree receiver has your contact information.
Expand your reach via other media
The sign or flyer box probably reaches the fewest number of prospects as compared to your other advertisement vehicles. It is far less targeted than your other media spends. So, experiment. Use a code on your signs. But also add either the same code or another code with the same property info to your other ads. While it seems counter-intuitive to put a text code in a classified ad, in our experience we find that people do actually respond.
One of our customers even added their text code to their craigslist postings and were quite pleasantly surprised that responses from the web listing far outstripped the sign responses. This makes logical sense if not intuitive sense. More people saw the text code online than did by driving by the property.
Tip: Try a classified ad that only contains the mobile enticement.
Beautiful 2 bdr duplex: Text to: 88000 Message: DBT22
You just saved a bunch of money by reducing the word count and will increase your trackable results at the same time. Since when has that been possible via classified?!!!
Increase your analytics capabilities by using separate codes
You can save a little bit of money by using only one code per listing. However, you may lose valuable data which, if collected, could end up saving you a lot more in the long-run. By using a separate ad code in each media buy, you can compare response rates and over time focus your advertising budget to only the areas where it gives you the most ROI. And you never have to ask the question of your callers "Where did you hear about us" - a practice that is usually inconsistently applied within an office of several agents/assistants.
Sign placement is important as well but we've already covered that in a previous post. Check back for new tips and information. At DriveBuy we're passionate about helping our customers get value out of SMS marketing.