There are a surprising number of businesses that still have no mobile marketing strategy. Many mistakenly believe it’s just a fad—it’s not. Mobile is here to stay and in 2016, web traffic on mobile surpassed web traffic on computers for the first time. In short, you can safely assume that more than 50% of your customer base is interacting with your company online via a mobile device. It’s getting close to the point where failure to adopt a mobile-first marketing strategy now could put you out of business. Consider the following facts:

  • More than 80% of internet users have a smartphone
  • Half of smartphone users say that the first thing they do when they wake up is check their smartphone
  • By 2019, nearly three quarters of all digital ad spending will go towards mobile advertising

Not only do you need a mobile marketing strategy today, you need to make it your primary marketing strategy. Here are four ways you can get started.

Mobile website

Going back to an earlier statistic—more than half of your customers are accessing your website via a smartphone or tablet. If your website isn’t setup to display differently for such mobile devices, visitors to your site will have a negative experience. In fact, according to one survey, half of respondents said they’d never visit a company’s website again if it wasn’t optimized for mobile. Fortunately, most web design platforms today will automatically optimize for mobile so it’s simply a matter of investing in one of these platforms.

SMS marketing

Just as email made printed mailers near-obsolete in the late 90s, SMS (or text messaging) is making emailed advertisements obsolete today. Junk mail has become so prevalent that the majority (75 to 80%) of all emails are deleted unread. SMS is different in that users have to opt in before businesses can send them texts. While that might make building a database more difficult, it ensures that each recipient values the communications. Text messages have an open rate of approximately 99%. If you don’t know much about SMS marketing, you don’t have to worry, there are business texting platforms that make it easy to create and time the release of texts to your database. They also allow you to look at metrics so you know how effective your strategy is.

Mobile email marketing

Though email is being supplanted by SMS, there are still enough people using it to make it worthwhile. However, just as a majority of your web traffic is coming via mobile, the majority of the emails you send are read on mobile as well and just like your website, it’s crucial for your email advertisements to be optimized for smaller screens if you want people to read them. Most email marketing platforms will do this for you if you use one.

Mobile app

The majority of time spent on mobile devices is done in-app. Developing a mobile app is easily the least important of the four steps mentioned here but it may be worth doing. The mistake many smaller businesses make is assuming that they have to have one. You shouldn’t invest the money developing a mobile app unless it will offer real utility to users and give them a reason to continue using it regularly after downloading it. Mobile apps aren’t necessary for the majority of small businesses. If you still want to capitalize on all the time smartphone users spend in apps, you can invest in advertisements that appear within other people’s apps.