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Grow Your Business Technology

11 Mobile Marketing Solutions for Small Businesses

11 Mobile Marketing Solutions for Small Businesses
Mobile marketing puts your business in front of customers on devices they use the most. / Credit: Mobile image via Shutterstock

If you haven't tried mobile marketing, now is the time. Mobile marketing lets businesses get in front of customers on the devices they use the most: their smartphones and tablets. Using text messages (SMS), multimedia messages (MMS), push notifications, geolocation and other mobile technologies, mobile marketing lets businesses send coupons, special discounts, announcements and other promotions to highly targeted customers. By reaching out to customers on devices that they take everywhere they go, mobile marketing campaigns can work wonders in influencing in-store walk-ins and, ultimately, purchases. To help you get started, here are 10 mobile marketing solutions that are both accessible and affordable to small businesses.

Editor's Note: If you're looking for information to help you choose the Mobile Advertising service that's right for you, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

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Managing multiple mobile marketing campaigns? Huzzah Media is an all-in-one mobile marketing solution specifically designed to help small businesses connect with mobile customers through various mobile channels. Its suite of mobile marketing services includes Huzzah Apps, a do-it-yourself mobile app maker; Huzzah Loyal, which brings loyalty programs to mobile devices; Huzzah Mobile Ads for purchasing advertisements on apps, searches and other mobile properties; and Text Marketing to send offers and notifications to customers via text message. All of this can be done in one centralized hub, making it easier to streamline and manage campaigns.

The easiest and most popular way to reach customers on their mobile phones is by texting them. Text message marketing service Mogreet Express aims to make texting customers a breeze by automating campaigns. First, choose a keyword that represents your business. Combined with an assigned short code, customers will use this keyword to join your text-messaging list — for example, by texting "JOESPIZZA" to 585858. The autoreply feature then lets you send a welcome message or a thank-you offer the moment customers join the list, while the scheduling feature lets you automatically send future text messages. You can also track your success with real-time analytics that monitor campaign performance, subscriber counts, sent messages and more. [What is Mobile Marketing?]

Another popular form of mobile marketing is using mobile devices to find out more information about a product simply by scanning a bar code or quick-response (QR) code. ScanLife's Mobile Engagement Platform goes the extra mile by letting customers scan everything from UPC and QR codes to NFC, images, print ads and even actual objects. After scanning, customers are taken directly to websites, videos and other interactive sources. Such technology was once only available to large companies with generous marketing budgets, but ScanLife gives small businesses access to the same high-tech consumer mobile engagement solution on a small business budget. 

Figuring out marketing budgets and gauging returns on investment (ROI) can be challenging for small businesses, particularly when it comes to mobile marketing. Convertro eliminates the guesswork by delivering key insights into mobile ad performance, allowing small business owners to make well-informed mobile marketing decisions. This platform can track all mobile elements on the path to purchase by creating customer profiles, no matter what devices they use to engage with your business. For example, if a prospective customer sees a mobile ad on his or her tablet, sees an ad for the same product on her smartphone two days later and then finally makes the purchase on his or her laptop, Convertro's cross-device attribution technology accurately determines the impact of the mobile activities toward the final purchase. If small business owners have this information, they can make data-driven decisions on how to shift their ad spending toward the most efficient and profitable channels with the greatest ROI.

Are videos more your thing? Formerly payvia, Outspoken is a different kind of mobile marketing platform. In addition to plain text messages, Outspoken lets businesses send high-quality multimedia messages to boost engagement during mobile marketing campaigns. Its video transcoding service, called Brilliant, aims to deliver the highest visual and audio quality across different devices and carriers. This way, customers always have the best possible experience, whether they are using an iPhone, Android or Windows device on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile or other services.

Sometimes, what small business owners need is a comprehensive mobile marketing solution. SUMOTEXT is a mobile relationship management platform that offers a wide range of mobile marketing solutions. These include mobile coupons, mobile loyalty programs, mobile wallets, mobile alerts and mobile giving (for donations). SUMOTEXT offers four flexible service options based on your business's needs: self-service for do-it-yourself campaigns; managed services, including dedicated training, execution and support; hybrid services that combine an account manager and in-house execution; and API for advanced users.

[For a side-by-side comparison of the best text message marketing services visit our sister site Top Ten Reviews.]

Who doesn't love a great deal? Combine online coupons with GPS, and you've got MobSav, a mobile app that lets businesses reach, attract and offer discounts to local customers. They could be down the street, around the corner or already in your store, and a simple alert or app check will reveal special discounts that could potentially lead to a purchase. All customers have to do is show their device to take advantage of their discounts. Additional features include bar-code coupons, unlimited ads to local customers, and reporting tools. MobSav is used by thousands of customers, making it an excellent addition to existing or future marketing campaigns.

Mobile marketing is all about sending texts and alerts at the right time and place. Thumbvista, a mobile marketing company that specializes in geofencing and location-based messaging, can help. After customers opt in to receive text messages, Thumbvista lets businesses collect specific demographic information and use it as filters to better target consumers — for instance, by gender, age and location. Then, Thumbvista's geofencing technology lets users set up a "geofence" around the target perimeter — using buildings, blocks, miles and other locations — to trigger where, when and to which customers alerts and text messages should be sent. By letting small businesses tailor their mobile marketing campaigns, Thumbvista lets them create more effective and relevant messages while providing ultimate control over marketing spends and ROI.

The beauty of mobile marketing is that customers can also do the work for you. Foursquare, a mobile app that connects people to businesses, engages customers by allowing them to check in, recommend and create conversations about local businesses they visit. Categories include food and coffee, shopping, the arts, nightlife, outdoor activities and more. The app also connects to Facebook for an even wider net of potential and repeat customers. Foursquare has more than 45 million users and 1.5 million registered businesses. 

Is email marketing part of your marketing strategy? With the majority of mobile users now checking their inboxes on smartphones and tablets, it's more important than ever to make sure customers can view emails the way they were intended. Email marketing service MailChimp offers mobile-friendly email templates that make emails look good on any device. Users can choose from professionally designed templates or create their own. Spare customers from emails that aren't formatted correctly for their device, and put the focus on your message instead.

Don't know where to start with mobile marketing? Try Mobile Mixed, an online resource packed with useful tools for businesses wishing to go mobile. There, you'll find a collection of informative articles, podcasts, interviews and videos, as well as a variety of mobile marketing tools. Mobile Mixed also offers mobile marketing coaching, strategy plans, workshops and other services. Those who like to learn by doing can also check out "The SMS Marketing Handbook," a step-by-step guide to help businesses get started with mobile marketing.

Editor's Note: If you're looking for information to help you choose the Mobile Advertising service that's right for you, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

buyerzone widget

Originally published on Business News Daily.

Sara Angeles
Sara Angeles

Sara is a tech writer with a background in business and marketing. After graduating from UC Irvine, she worked as a copywriter and blogger for nonprofit organizations, tech labs and lifestyle companies. She started freelancing in 2009 and joined Business News Daily in 2013. Follow Sara Angeles on Twitter @sara_angeles.