Whether you like it or not, your prospects and customers rank you based on their mobile experience with your content.
A day doesn’t pass where an ideal customer is accessing your information, messaging, posts and advertising on a mobile device.
In today’s multi-device world, your challenge is how to utilize mobile to take your customer experience to a higher level.
Whether you’re just getting started with mobile or looking to 'up your game', it’s important you aren’t starting off on the wrong foot by making some of the most common mistakes.
Some of these mistakes can be deadly, while others are just a nuisance for your prospective customers.
Over the few years, the team at MOBIT have developed mobile strategies for top brands and hundreds of small businesses around the world. We thought we would share some of these experiences with you. To be fair, there’s an incredible amount of lousy mistakes being made out there as businesses dive into mobile marketing.
I’m not just talking about the “lazy not even testing your own campaigns” kind of lousy, I’m talking the “we didn’t even think through why or how mobile would help us reach our goals” kind of lousy.
If your mobile marketing needs an upgrade, start by seeing if you’re committing any of these mobile marketing mistakes.
1. Not Having A Mobile Strategy
Mobile has become increasingly more important as the percentage of mobile users has grown. Mobile now accounts for over 70% of all web traffic, and if you don't have a mobile strategy in place, you're missing out on a significant number of potential customers.
This is an even bigger deal if you are an eCommerce business, as 75% of all eCommerce visits now come from mobile devices.
It doesn’t end with web traffic either, although, that’s where most businesses stop.
Does your website need to be mobile-friendly? Yes.
Is mobile marketing just about your website? Hell no!
19% of all in-store retail sales are influenced by mobile. That’s $698 billion dollars.
Mobile coupon campaigns have increased by 440% since 2012, while print coupons are down 10% over the same period.
Your mobile strategy is more than a good website. It’s engaging with customers no matter their location or their device.
2. Planning For Mobile In A Silo
Your mobile strategy should fit with the rest of your marketing efforts.
Planning a mobile initiative as a completely separate entity can lead to a disconnect when your customers try to move from their mobile devices back to a desktop and even into your store. Consumers use their mobile devices for connectivity and content. They are looking for improvements in how they consume and experience mobile content from your business, but many mobile experiences are still falling short.
If you approach mobile in a silo, you prevent your business from giving customers a seamless, easy access experience.
When integrating your mobile correctly you’ll enable yourself to deliver mobile communications that are more helpful, streamline how your mobile content can be found and consumed, and provide just as much content through your mobile channels as you do on your desktop experience.
Your customers are getting comfy with their mobile habits.
If your business can cater to the mobile experience from tap to interaction to purchase, you’ll earn future business and traffic.
3. Not Having A Mobile-Friendly Website
I feel like a bit of a broken record on this one, but it’s where most businesses need to spend some serious attention.
A mobile-friendly website is no longer a nice to have. Google's changing algorithms now place emphasis on mobile friendly web experiences and how they show up in mobile search results. There is even talk that brands might not rank for their own branded terms if they don’t have a mobile friendly website.
With more consumers accessing the internet from a smartphone, it’s a mandatory for all businesses.
No if ands or but’s about it.
4. Sending Non Mobile-Friendly Emails
Of the few people that receive your emails, over 80% of these will open and read your emails on their mobile devices.
By including unfriendly elements such as Flash, large images, or two column, non-responsive emails, you are making it harder for those customers to engage with your messages.
5. Making It Impossible To Navigate
This goes hand in hand with having a mobile-friendly website but warrants its own section.
There are still businesses out there that do not offer their full site’s content and even full navigation when being accessed from a mobile device.
As a business you have to remember that you have no choice in how, when, where and on what device customers choose to connect with you.
So when they click on a post you shared on Facebook and land on your mobile site, they should be able to navigate and learn more about your business and what you offer.
Just because they are on mobile doesn’t mean they don’t want a full featured experience, so don’t remove key areas of your site from your mobile navigation.
6. Making It Hard To Opt-In
Pop-ups on mobile are generally awful. They rarely open as they should, and are annoyingly hard to remove. Make your opt-in part of your mobile page easy to complete.
Don't request the same amount of info in the sign-up as you would on a desktop version.
People are usually looking to simply drop in their phone number or email and then move on.
You can always ask for additional information in a follow up email. In fact, always try to get additional information in follow up engagements. Above all else, when seeking opt-in for your mobile list, let your prospective customers know how many messages you will send them each month. For the mobile channel, less is more.
7. Making Your Mobile Checkout Painful
When creating your mobile checkout, build it to ask for essential information only. Use back-end programming to parse out additional information as necessary.
For example, do you really need your customer's address if you are providing a digital product? Probably not.
Did you know that every Visa card starts with 4, Mastercard with 5, American Express with 3, and Discover with 6?
Asking for the credit card number and type is unnecessary.
If you accept promo codes of any sort, make sure that when a customer enters it (in the beginning of the checkout experience) that you update the total price immediately.
The same goes for shipping.
It there is no transparency on the actual final price, consumers will become hesitant and abandon the cart.
You’d be surprised at how many retailers don’t do this.
8. Burying Your Mobile Call-To-Action
Many people accessing your website via mobile have time constraints. Make your call to action strong and clear near the top of your mobile site.
Don't bury it below mountains of text.
If the page they are on is content heavy, definitely repeat your call to action in the middle and end. But don't expect that every visitor will read all or even any of the text.
Outside of making it hard to opt-in from your website, don’t crowd your mobile call-to-action on signage with tons of other copy.
Make it the primary call-to-action or the secondary...don’t tuck it in the fine print and expect people to see it.
9. Not Activating Your Other Channels With Mobile
Make sure that all of your channels are ready for mobile.
When integrated properly, mobile can give your other channels more legs and reach to engage customers.
This includes updating your social media profiles to include click-to-call functionality, adding your keyword call-to-action throughout your in-store signage, direct mail, social media channels and more.
The same goes for your app if you have one in your business.
Mobile is a great way to start the conversation and integrating throughout your existing media channels makes that conversation much easier to start.
10. Not Branding Your Mobile Messaging Program
Look at the most successful mobile programs from top brands.
They’ve been branded in some way.
- Mobile VIP’s.
- Mobile Alerts.
- Mobile Insiders.
Whatever your program is called, give it an identify and specific benefits that you use to promote to your audience.
11. Sending Too Many Messages
Never, never, ever annoy the customer.
Just because your mobile messages (SMS and MMS) are read within three minutes doesn’t mean you should send all messages through this channel.
Mobile messaging should not to be used the same way email. For example, if they were sent a special offer while browsing the gardening department, you shouldn't send them another when they move to the cosmetics section.
Best practice is sending only 2-3 messages a month, making sure the expectations are set so customers understand what they’ve opted-in to.
12. Not Sending Enough Messages
This is the polar opposite of the previous mistake, but can be just as deadly.
If you are not sending enough messages to keep your company in your customer's mind, when you do send one, they may have forgotten they even signed up for your list.
You risk looking like a random messenger or spam, rather than the targeted messaging they originally agreed to.
Leveraging a content calendar to develop a messaging calendar will solve this mistake and the previous mistake.
13. Not Utilizing Exclusivity
When customers sign up for a mailing list of any kind, they expect to be presented with offers that they won't find elsewhere.
Most companies are good at using exclusivity in email, but forget about it when it comes to their mobile messaging.
Make sure your mobile customers feel appreciated by providing them with discount codes and special offers that are only available to mobile subscribers.
This gives them a reason to remain in your program.
14. Not Leveraging Time Sensitivity
Mobile is the perfect platform to leverage time sensitivity.
Most people are constantly attached to their mobile devices, which gives you the opportunity to create extremely time sensitive offers.
Think about offering a lunch special if your restaurant is usually slow during that time, or a discount if you make a purchase within the next hour.
Offer up flash sales driving visits to your physical store or your mobile website.
15. Not Taking Advantage Of Location
Before sending out a text, you need to think about where the end user will be when they receive it. in the car? At home? in the office? At the mall? what time are you sending the message, and where are they at that time of day?
If the consumer is initiating the conversation (pull as opposed to push), why not incorporate location-specific data into the interaction.
For example, if you are a retailer and you want to reward people shopping in your store with a special offer, try using location based messaging.
Put up a sign in the aisle or near point of sale display that says, “Get today’s deals, just text DEALS to 12345.” that way, anyone interested in getting these deals can opt in instantly.
16. Forgetting About Local
If you are a local retailer, you must make sure all of your location information is up to date with the major search engines. Google Business Pages is especially important, since it can show up in search results. Make sure your NAP citations are accurate and consistent across all directories. That’s your name, address and phone number. Make sure these are up to date and that you have the click-to-call option turned on.
Don't forget about your listings in other directories such as Facebook and Yelp etc. Make sure you've claimed the listing and that all of the information is accurate for your store.
17. Using Flash
Do not use Flash in your mobile website or messages. It's that simple.
It doesn't load at all on most devices, and the rest don't load it very well.
It also makes your load time slower, and speed is the name of the game in mobile, even more so than on desktops.
18. Slow Loading Pages
This one goes hand in hand with the previous mistake. Slow loading pages are a death sentence on mobile. MOBIT landing pages have been designed from the ' ground up' to load super fast when accessed from your SMS or MMS message. For other pages, the time restricted attribute of mobile means that most customers are not willing to wait longer than 2 or 3 seconds for a page to load.
You can test your page load speed here and it will also give you suggestions on how to make your pages faster.
19. Building An App As Your First Mobile Effort
While an app could be well received if you already have a large mobile following, it unnecessary when you are first getting started and especially for most SMB’s.
Your customers aren't searching the App Store for your business, they're searching Google.
Couple this with the fact that most mobile apps are awful, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Concentrate on getting your mobile website up to speed, and worry about an app later...never.
20. Not Playing By The Rules
There are written and unwritten rules regarding mobile messaging and marketing.
Failing to follow them could lead to account suspensions, fines, and opt-outs.
This page lists the rules, guidelines, and a code of conduct for mobile marketers.
Check it out and keep your campaigns in the clear.
Don’t be shady.
21. Trying To Do It All Yourself
As a business owner or marketer, you are already stretched thin.
Trying to implement a strong mobile strategy on top of everything can be challenging.
Whether you'd like to admit it or not, you'll need help building a robust strategy and that's where strong experienced partners can add value.
Make use of the tools and agencies that specialize in mobile and you'll be off to a better start than most.
Here’s why you should work with a mobile marketing agency.
22. Knowing When Not To Use Mobile
Mobile isn’t always the answer.
If a program is not mobile appropriate - have the discipline to use another medium.
Mobile works best when time, location and interaction matter. If you are unsure, ask our team for advice anytime.
23. Jumping To Shiny Objects
Shiny object syndrome is something most people have experienced at least once.
It’s the feeling of wanting to jump ship on your old, reliable plan to go after the newest, hippest thing. This happens a lot when it comes to a new technology or tool that’s available.
Avoid this as much as possible. Create a stable, robust mobile marketing plan using best practices and proven platforms.
You don’t have to ignore every new thing though.
Leave yourself some room to experiment, so when the next Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat comes along, you’ll be ready for it.
24. Trying To Do What The Big Brands Are Doing When You're Getting Started
Big brands have the luxury of bigger budgets.
They’ve also most likely don’t much more research on their customers than your SMB and that’s ok.
That just means you can’t try to replicate the exact same programs the big boys are running because it may not align with your audience or budget.
If you try to do exactly what they are doing, you can’t expect the same results.
25. Trying To Be Perfect
Perfectionism is a dangerous trait.
It’s slowed me down a lot in life. Maybe you’ve been there.
Your website is never going to be perfect. Even if it was, all it takes is one Google algorithm change to send shockwaves through your design, content, and rankings.
Aim for great instead of perfect.
Pursue simple and get fancy later.
Doing that will make sure that you are up-to-date with all of the important stuff, without the added stress and time that comes with trying to make sure that nothing is ever wrong.
26. Not Starting
Usually this mistake happens because of the previous one.
When you want everything to be perfect before you launch, you end up never launching.
An OK mobile strategy is better than none at all.
So put together a simple, easy to use mobile game plan, and get going.
27. Not Defining What Success Looks Like
What gets measured gets managed.
If you don't have a definition of what mobile success looks like, you will never know if you achieved it.
This links back to perfectionism.
By having a couple of key metrics that you track, you won't get stuck in an endless cycle of trying to make everything perfect, tracking every data point available.
Take The Time To Think It Through
Double check your mobile game plan.
Are you making one or more of these mistakes? If the answer is yes, what can you do today to change that?
If you're just getting started with mobile, keep this list in mind and save yourself some time, pain and heartache.
As you start building your strategy, you now know what not to do, so you're already ahead of the game compared to most other businesses.