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Unread 24th Oct 2011, 08:12 AM   #1
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Getting a foot in the door - SMS Service vs Mobile Website first?
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This is a quick thread just to see the general consensus as to what people believe is the most sellable, foot in the door service? I know both of these are very workable individually and each can be upsold off the back of the other one.

Granted, I'm too much of a thinker and not so much of a doer, and I've been meaning to get started in my offline venture for at least a month now, yet I'm still pondering all the possibilities.

Anyhoo, I was all dead set about offering mobile ready websites to local business, thinking that is should be an easy sell, and is not a service that is being offered by every web design company out in my locality. Armed with some official statistics and graphs of smart phone usage, as well as QR codes to showcase what can be done with a website, it should "Wow" the clients.

But being the worrier I am, I'm inclined into thinking too many business owners won't be convinced that they need this, and that they've sunk alot of money into the current website and SEO services already etc etc. I know, I know, you're always gonna have people who won't be convinced and you just gotta move on.. Yadda yadda.

However, I wanted to get ore clued up about SMS services as that would be an upsell after people have agreed to buy a mobile ready website from me.

But this SMS service can be sold on it's own straight up. I don't think it will pay as much up front, but sure will be a risidual monthly income.

I think may business owners would respond with "we already have a website" to the mobile web site offer, but with the SMS marketing they could be very intrigued. It's only the big companies in the UK which are doing SMS campaigns, and you see it on the TV ads, so these business owners should be aware of what SMS marketing is, but they just wasn't aware of how it can be done and the costs.

I think it may be easier to sell them the SMS services, especially if you explain to them about how to get opt ins such as incentives and staff competitions (staff member to get most opt ins gets an end of month bonus or something).

If you then direct people to a URL in the SMS campaigns, this is where a mobile website upsell comes in.

Anyway I'd like to hear people's thoughts on this, SMS service first or mobile version of a customers site as your foot in the door initial sale?
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Unread 24th Oct 2011, 09:15 AM   #2
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Re: Getting a foot in the door - SMS Service vs Mobile Website first?
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Great question. Your assumption is correct, that a mobile website can be a "simpler" sale to make, easier to grasp and understand for many biz owners. The key is to allow them to understand: 1) they are losing customers who are searching locally and come upon a non-mobile-optimized site, and 2) how they can use a mobile site to get new customers (with landing pages, QR codes, coupons and perhaps SMS). Its easy to get a biz owner to agree that their regular site looks like crap, but then you need to translate that (sales skills) into solving a problem for them.

A mistake a lot of people make in selling SMS is over-complicating the sales process. It's easy to overwhelm a typical business owner with all the ways SMS can help them, rather than focus the sale on solving one problem with a simple, easy-to-grasp solution. Again, you are not selling technology, you are selling solutions: more customers and more revenue.

You can analyze all you want, but until you take action and start trying to sell, you will never know the answer for you. No one strategy works for all people (we all have different inherent skill sets) or all situations (type of biz, locale, etc). The best answer would be to try and test both (leading with SMS & mobile sites), sometimes we can't afford that luxury and if so, pick one and go to it! Test, fail, learn and keep trying! Good luck.

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Unread 24th Oct 2011, 10:13 AM   #3
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Re: Getting a foot in the door - SMS Service vs Mobile Website first?
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My experience is that the SMS plays better into the mobile website than vice versa. From what I've seen mobile sites are going from $249-$499. I've charged anywhere in between there, from $249 up to $399. But that is a decent chunk of change for a small business. But - like you said - if you sell them on the idea of the SMS first, then the mobile site will follow.

Obviously if people are going to be sending out URLs in their SMS messages, then if they go to their "regular" site that could be a real problem for some mobile phones. But if they have it point to a mobile-optimized site - and you can get one today for the low price of $399! - then their SMS recievers will be much happier. It really just makes sense. So far I've got a pretty good closing ratio on the mobile sites by selling the benefits of the SMS first.

I've also started the option of paying for the mobile site monthly (but I don't turn over any files and I won't let them host it until it's paid off) so it's even more affordable. That seems to be working, too.

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