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How to implement a mobile lead-generation campaign

Five years ago, mobile was the little train that could in the digital marketing universe. It had all the hype and heaps of potential but little to show for its efforts. Fast forward to today and mobile has emerged as a powerful online marketing tool for many brands ? or has it? 

To be sure, mobile has accumulated an impressive percentage of advertisers? online marketing spend. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, mobile accounted for 9 percent ($3.4 billion) of all digital advertising in the United States in 2012. EMarketer projects mobile advertising spend in the U.S. will rise to $7.29 billion in 2013. 

Unfortunately, a lot of what consumers see in mobile ads is a replay of Internet advertising from 10 years ago. Far too often, when brands launch a mobile campaign, they reflexively revert to the ?shrink theory.? That is, they shrink a Web banner to fit on smartphones and call it a day. 

This a great way to annoy consumers. After all, it is next to impossible to read a standard Web banner when it?s displayed on a screen the size of a person?s palm, and a terrible way to maximize revenue from mobile marketing. 

Like any good online marketing campaign, mobile advertising requires a lead-generation component to generate sales. And great mobile lead generation requires a complete rewrite of most brands? mobile marketing playbook. 

Here are three cost-effective strategies you can deploy to implement a successful mobile lead-generation campaign. 

Strategy #1: Format your pages for mobile devices
Many brands are lured by sexy terms such as responsive design or HTML5, causing them to overcomplicate the process. 

Keeping it simple is the best advice when designing for mobile. 

Building basic landing pages with simple forms and clear calls to action will ensure that your page loads properly and quickly across all devices. 

Avoid having touch functionality, as many consumers who are either older or living in emerging economies still use feature phones that do not support it. 

Designing simple mobile landing pages will also improve load time and will reduce bounce rates of users visiting your site over a mobile network. 

Since the user is on a mobile device, make sure to take advantage of information such as GPS and header information to auto-fill as much of the consumer?s data as possible.

Strategy #2: Use pay-per-call and SMS marketing
Two ways to capture leads that are unique to mobile are pay-per-call and SMS/text message marketing. 

If you have a call center, using pay-per-call can generate qualified calls to your interactive voice response (IVR) or inbound call center. 

Setting up a pay-per-call campaign is easy. There are several vendors that offer robust analytics and tracking capabilities. 

SMS/text message marketing, when used within the proper compliance and regulation standards, can also be an effective way to nurture your lead. 

Mobile users are busy and may not have time to fill out a full form when visiting your funnel. 

By simply capturing their phone number with proper opt-in you can follow up with a series of SMS messages to get the user to complete the process. 

A major benefit to using both pay-per-call and SMS is that they are available on all phones, not just smartphones. 

Strategy #3: Native applications
Now, let us get to something that is only available on smartphones, but can be a huge opportunity for the right advertiser: native apps. 

Imagine being able to force users who visit your current Web lead form to bookmark your site. This is, in principle, how app installs work. 

Building an app to capture leads does not need to be a major undertaking. You can build very simple apps that are basically a shell for your Web-based lead form. 

I suggest starting with Android as it is an easy framework and the user base is much more diverse than iOS.  
Getting users to install apps, especially ones on the phone?s app store, is far easier than getting a user to commit to filling out a form. 

Once installed on a user?s phone you will always be around in her consideration set. 

Apps have the additional benefit of allowing consumers to fill out your lead-generation form at a time and place that is convenient to them. 

In addition, native apps can pull a lot of information, including email and phone number, directly into the app, helping to reduce the quantity of fields a user will need to submit.

MOBILE IS EVOLVING quickly. The brands that adapt quickest stand to benefit the most as consumers move to mobile as their primary source of information. 

The most obvious but often poorly executed step is to mobilize your current lead-capture flow. 
Another route is to take advantage of the power of phones and capitalize on pay-per-call and SMS functionality. 

Finally, for marketers that really want to push the envelope, consider building native apps. Not only will you have a new touch point with potential leads, you will also benefit from organic store rankings on Google Play and iTunes. 

Alex Tsatkin is vice president of mobile at performance media company MediaWhiz, a Matomy Media Group company in New York. Reach him at