It’s 2015 and practically everyone is now standing ready with their smart phone to text people, browse the web, take photographs and play on the latest apps (oh and even call other people sometimes). The mobile revolution has even moved to smart watches and glasses. The convenience of the mobile device has made it the primary avenue for all modern communication. Therefore, it stands to reason that if you are a business, you need to have a strong mobile presence.

Many companies have jumped into the pool without knowing how to carefully plot their strategy, which often leads to mediocre results. In spite of the fact that mobile marketing is relatively new, there are certain factors that have already been established as being integral to success. Here’s a list of the most important mobile marketing dos and don’ts you need to consider before taking the plunge.

Think Like a Customer

Don’t just take your customers’ contact information without offering them some type of value. Get inside their minds and try to understand what they’d be interested in experiencing from your mobile offering. What service would you want to receive? Why?

If you’re not offering them something that provides a service, you run the very real risk of losing their interest and they may even unsubscribe. Once they’re lost, they aren’t likely to come back. As a result, you’ve lost a significant opportunity. Don’t run that risk. Always remember the importance of providing quality content that meets the specific needs of your customers.

Offer Exclusive Deals

Don’t just take their contact information and bombard them with unimportant messages and ads. Show that you value your customers and take their business and contact information seriously. One of the best ways to do that is by presenting them with a mobile exclusive offer or coupon that is tailored to their interests.

According to Juniper Research, in 2014, there were almost 560 million mobile coupon users. That many people can’t be wrong. Customers will feel rewarded and they’ll reward you with their renewed business. Just be sure to present them with a significant enough coupon that also has an expiration date.

Make Timely Contact

Don’t forget to put thought into your communication efforts. Your goal is to engage. Timing is critical. For example, if you’re offering specials at a restaurant, you want to be sure to send your customers relevant messages. That means you shouldn’t be contacting them concerning dinner specials in the morning or breakfast specials in the early evening. Doing so will only annoy them.

To ensure that you’re appropriately nudging your consumers along, and at the same time adding to your list of customers, you’ll want to employ effective SMS marketing tactics, including incorporating social media, exclusivity, personalization, and more.

Optimize The Experience

Don’t underestimate the importance of providing a pleasant customer experience. Mobile devices are increasingly becoming the go-to spot for opening emails. Frankly, most people I know are sick of sitting in front of their computer. Now that mobile devices have so much computing power, people don't have to be chained to their laptops anymore, and they're taking advantage of this. Therefore, your mobile marketing efforts have to be just as sophisticated and compelling as your traditional online marketing efforts.

If you send an email offer for instance, use an eye-grabbing subject headline and keep it brief with smaller images. Also be sure that users clicking on that offer are taken to a place featuring thumb-friendly navigation optimized for the mobile experience. That means you have to understand the constraints of the devices and that some websites are impractical or unusable on mobile devices. If you’re not sure if your website is mobile friendly, test it by using the Google Mobile-Friendly Test.

Localize Your Efforts

Don’t be left in the past. If you’re a local business wondering if mobile marketing is for you, wonder no more. According to Search Engine Land, 90 percent of local mobile searches result in a purchase.

Be sure to have all of your business’ important information clearly listed and easily clickable on all of your digital media. That means having not only your physical address and contact information listed, but also your hours of operation. If it’s hard to find, many won’t have the patience to look for it and may just move along to a competitor that has taken the time to make their information more readily available.

Published on: Sep 23, 2015
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.