» Should You Try Mobile Opt-in Marketing?

Should You Try Mobile Opt-in Marketing?By now your wedding business should be aware that mobile marketing is on the rise. While you know it’s something your business should be doing, it’s another thing entirely to start up a mobile marketing campaign or program! You can mobilize your website, Storefront and emails, but those are not your only options for reaching engaged couples on their mobile devices.

If you’re interested in sending immediate information on a more personalized basis, here’s a brief introduction to mobile opt-in marketing!

What it is

Traditional marketing tactics do not require your target audience to opt-in because most traditional marketing tactics are 1-to-many – meaning that one business is communicating with many people with one message. Traditional marketing tactics include print advertising, direct mail or radio and television ads. With the social media revolution, social networks opened up two-way communication with their audience. Now users can “like” your business’ page on Facebook and interact directly with your business. This change caused other changes in marketing strategies to shift from sending a mass message to crafting more relevant and timely messages based on behavior.

Opt-in marketing means that users have given your business permission to send them information on a 1-to-1 basis. The best and most popular use of opt-in marketing is email marketing – if you don’t have explicit permission to email a given person (whether they opt-in through your website or establish a business connection with you) you’re likely to be marked as spam and suffer other penalties.

Mobile opt-in marketing is very similar to email marketing, except that instead of giving you permission to send them emails, users are giving you permission to send them voice, text or other mobile messages to their smartphones or cell phones. Mobile opt-ins go beyond being able to interact with your business via smartphone; the user is giving you permission to push messages directly to their phone number.

How to do it

If you’ve ever opted-into an email newsletter list for a publication or individual business, you’ve seen how easy it can be! You’ll need to create a form to collect the phone numbers as well as some simple legal language to lay out your terms and conditions. These terms will explain in detail what you are and are not allowed to do with the user’s phone number. CTIA – The Wireless Association and Mobile Marketing Association have some great best practices for messaging consumers in the U.S.

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» 7 Productivity Apps for Wedding Professionals

Wedding and event professionals are often out of the “office” a lot, which means you’re depending on mobile devices to keep you up to date with everything. It can be frustrating enough to get work done while you’re on-the-go, so it’s important to use the right apps to keep everything straight! Here are seven of the top productivity apps for wedding professionals from our Pinterest board, Apps to Make Your Life Easy!

	7 Productivity Apps for Wedding ProfessionalsCarrot

Have trouble keeping up with your to-do list? More than just a to-do app, Carrot rewards you for completing items on your list! Each time you complete an item, Carrot awards you points which unlock other features. These upgrades to the app make it easy (and addictive) to keep checking off the tasks on your list. We promise you’ll want to keep adding tasks so you can cross them off!

Chronos

If you’re wondering where all your time goes, look no further than Chronos. Without having to manually enter your time and tasks, Chronos automatically categorizes your time to help you analyze what you do each day. You can also track progress towards personal goals to make sure you stay on track.

DocuSign

The DocuSign app provides a simple and secure way to electronically collect signatures. This app eliminates the hassles, costs, and lack of security in printing, faxing, scanning, and mailing documents! If you don’t have access to WeddingWire Client Sites, it’s the next best thing to being able to quickly and easily get the documents you need from your clients.

Mailbox

Have trouble managing your email? The Mailbox app is for you! Mailbox combines your accounts to one place where you have the option to snooze certain email conversations so you can focus on more important items in your inbox. Plus, the app learns from your actions to help keep your accounts under control – the way you would organize it yourself!

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» 3 Advantages of Having a Mobile Presence

3 Advantages of Having a Mobile PresenceSpend time walking around a public place and you’ll see the majority of people using mobile devices in one way or another. Whether texting, surfing the web or playing a game, people are on their smartphones and tablets at an ever-increasing rate. As a wedding and events professional, you may find it hard to understand how you can take advantage of this trend – but you can (and should).

While the core of your business is the same – you’re still selling the same product or service – mobile customers expect a different experience when searching for their perfect Pros. Your business’ information needs to be easily found, read and digested so those searching during a free moment can learn all they can quickly and efficiently!

Don’t just take our word for it – below are three advantages of having a mobile presence for your wedding business:

Conduct business anywhere, at any time

When potential customers can interact with your business on mobile, it makes it easier for them to keep your business in their consideration set. If a potential customer cannot find or access your business’ key information from her phone, she might cross your business off her list and keep moving forward with a competitor. WeddingWire’s mobile site allows potential customers to find your Storefront and inquire about your business on-the-go, meaning that you’re never out of touch. Our Mobile Website Creator also makes it easy for your business to optimize your website for mobile in a few easy steps, without having to consult a website developer.

Improve customer service quality and responsiveness

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» 7 Surprising App Stats

It’s no secret that mobile technology is quickly becoming an all-in-one platform to which we’re all connected. In fact, within 4 months mobile use will actually surpass desktops, and within 9 months there will be more mobile devices than people on earth! We’re in the middle of a mobile revolution – is your business ready? Check out these seven mobile app stats that may surprise you!

Also, be sure to stop by our Pinterest page and check out our board, Apps to Make Your Life Easy, for our suggestions apps to help you manage your business and stay organized!

7 Surprising App Stats | WeddingWireEDU Blog

» Mobile Apps: Don’t Worry, Be Appy!

Webinar Recap!

Mobile Apps: Don't Worry, Be Appy!Yesterday, we hosted our monthly educational webinar for premium members. This month, we focused on mobile technology and the best mobile apps to help you run your business! WeddingWire CMO Sonny Ganguly gave the latest stats on mobile apps adoption and growth as well as shared a list of 41 apps you’ll love (since the average smartphone user has 41 downloaded apps!).

Communication has evolved rapidly over the past 50 years. We’re in the middle of a mobile revolution – mobile use will actually surpass desktops within the next 4 months! To keep up with the mobile growth, make sure you mobilize your website, emails, payments and your client experience. Also, don’t forget to mobilize yourself by investing in a smartphone and/or tablet if you haven’t already!

Check out some more interesting stats from this month’s webinar:

  • 82 billion apps have been downloaded in 2013
  • 1.5 billion apps are available in the Apple Store and Google Play
  • Revenue from apps in 2013 is projected to be $25 billion
  • 800 apps are downloaded every second from the Apple Store
  • 4.4 billion people worldwide will use apps by 2017
  • Within the next 9 months there will be more mobile devices than people on earth

Sonny also named his top 41 apps you should download today to help your business – you can find these and more on our Pinterest board, Apps to Make Your Life Easy!

One thing to remember: mobile is quickly becoming an all-in-one technology to which we’re constantly connected! Follow the tips in this month’s webinar to get ahead of the curve.

Want to watch this webinar? All of our past webinars are available in our Education Center for premium Pros! And stay tuned for information on next month’s webinar.

» What We Learned at Digital East 2013

What We Learned at Digital East 2013This week, members of the WeddingWire team attended Digital East 2013, DC’s premier gathering of marketers, entrepreneurs, web strategists and other professionals in the digital realm. Speakers included representatives from industry leaders such as Twitter, Buzzfeed and Facebook. WeddingWire’s own Senior Email Marketing Manager Matt Byrd also spoke on email trends, tools and tactics.

We had a great time learning about content strategy, mobile marketing, customer engagement, social media, email marketing, search marketing and more, so we can share some of the best education with you and work to apply it here at WeddingWire!

Check out our highlights of upcoming digital trends from the conference:

  1. Only 20% of what you post on social media should have a conversion goal (get a new lead). The other 80% should be split between providing information, entertaining your followers and prompting interaction. Prompt interaction whenever possible – remember, interaction is the “social” in “social media.”
  2. Visual content is on the rise. In fact, on average, articles containing relevant images have 94% more total views than articles without images. Try out visual networks like Pinterest and Instagram. Make sure your blog posts have images to break up your text and link posts on Facebook and Twitter with images for increased engagement.
  3. The growth of mobile is driving new strategies for content creation, content consumption and advertising. Businesses need to be smarter about how they are interacting with consumers on mobile devices. The first step? Make your site mobile-friendly!
  4. Marketing is becoming more and more data-driven. The ability to track the success of marketing tactics is becoming more important in determining the true return on investment (ROI) for marketing dollars. This trend can be seen across all industries, from business to politics.
  5. Interacting with customers on a variety channels is becoming the norm. New technologies will not kill older forms of media – just as TV didn’t actually kill off radio – but they will change the way we consume certain types of media. It’s important to keep all these channels in mind, such as social networks, websites and blogs, when coming up with strategies.
  6. Changes in search engine optimization (SEO) tactics and regulation are making it more important than ever to not only understand the keywords your customers are using, but also what those keywords say about the customer’s behavior. The better you know your customers, the better you can anticipate and predict their needs to be their top business choice!

We enjoyed meeting the best of the best in the digital world, and we’re so excited to use what we’ve learned to help power our Pros! What do you think about these trends?

» Tablet Takeover: The Latest Stats

So far, 2013 has been the year of the tablet! PC sales are down, and we are quickly entering a “one screen world” where work, phone, music, entertainment and more are all centered around a tablet.

Once a novelty item, tablets have become mainstream devices – and often the computing device of choice for businesses, families, consumers and more on-the-go.

Check out some latest must-know tablet stats:

What do you think? Is your business ready for the “tablet takeover?”

Check out all 15 stats here from CMO.com!

» It’s Time to Embrace Our Mobile Future!

It's Time to Embrace Our Mobile Future!Have you mobilized your business? The worldwide phenomenon of mobile technology is creating a booming market, and it is reported that consumers will spend a whopping $860 billion dollars this year on mobile devices! More importantly for our businesses, a shocking 80 percent of consumers will leave a mobile site after just one bad experience. Don’t miss out on these potential clients interested in your services just because your business has not gone mobile.

Still not convinced the power of mobile?

Here are some stats to get you up to speed on our mobile future:

  • By 2014 mobile is predicted to overtake desktop Internet usage
  • According to a new report, more than half of American adults now own a smartphone (and 91 percent of adults own a cellphone of some kind)
  • The higher your earnings, and the younger you are, the more likely you are to own a smartphone
  • One half of all local searches are performed on mobile devices
  • Google reports that 40 percent of mobile consumers turned to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile Web experience, and 57 percent wouldn’t recommend a business with a bad mobile site
  • The majority of customers will abandon a mobile site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load
  • 53 percent of American consumers use their smartphones to access search engines at least once a day
  • 43 percent of email is opened on a mobile device, this means think “simplicity first” when designing your email campaign and make your message clear

All of these stats make it very clear that clients are no longer only searching for their perfect Pros on desktops or laptops. This means that you need to create a strong online presence for your business – today!

Luckily, WeddingWire makes it easy to create a mobile site for your business in just a few minutes for premium Pros as part of membership! Get started by logging into your account, navigate to the “Marketing” tab, and select “Mobile Website Creator.”  Then, easily optimize your website for mobile and tablet devices. Simply copy and paste your custom code to your business website to get mobile and tablet friendly versions of your site!

Make your business mobile-friendly this year with this mobile goals checklist:

  • Create a mobile presence for your website!
  • Track your mobile Google Analytics to see how your business is doing with mobile visitors.
  • Mobilize your business emails to make your messages optimized for smartphones and tablets, with simple, relevant content and large buttons and a clean design.
  • When you visit your mobile site, make sure your business is easy to contact with a quick form or direct button to email or call for more information to maximize leads.
  • Keep your directory updates accurate on sites commonly accessed on the go, including: Google Maps, Google+ Local, Yelp and more. Provide a simple description of your services, your hours of operation, your phone number, your address and a link to your website.

Don’t be afraid to embrace our mobile future! By following these Pro tips, you will connect with more new clients searching on the go and positively impact your business this year.

» Entering the Mobile Revolution: 5 Ways to Prepare Your Business

Yesterday, WeddingWire CMO, Sonny Ganguly, presented ‘Entering the Mobile Revolution: 5 Ways to Prepare Your Business’ as part of our monthly webinar series.

Each one hour webinar for paying members is designed to inform you about the latest industry trends and give you the tools you need to grow your business. This month’s webinar focused on:

  • How to prepare your business for the mobile revolution
  • Mobile trends, interesting statistics and fun facts about mobile growth and it’s impact on your business
  • How to connect with potential clients, and stand out among the competition on mobile devices
  • The impact the mobile revolution has on search results
  • How to mobilize your business by dinnertime, using the Go Mobile tool

All of our past webinars are available in our Education Center for paying members. Stay tuned for more on our upcoming August webinar!

» The Mobile Revolution is Upon Us: Part 2

 

 

This post was written by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire. You can follow him on Twitter @sonnyg. Sonny leads WeddingWire’s marketing strategy, customer acquisition, and business development.

 

 

In part 1 ofThe Mobile Revolution is Upon Us,” we focused on smartphone’s rapid growth, and how mobile is becoming the top search driver for many small businesses. In part 2, we will examine how to mobilize your business!

Get Started with Mobile

Now that you know the impact that mobile will have on your business today and in the future, are you ready to mobilize your website?

Good news! Despite what you may think, mobilizing a website does not have to be expensive or time consuming. Our goal at WeddingWire is for local business’ to stay on top of the latest technology, and we aim to ensure your business will run as efficiently as possible across every type of mobile device. Recently, WeddingWire launched a new Go Mobile tool, allowing businesses to create a custom mobile site in seconds!

Go Mobile Features:

  • Creates a mobilized version of your site with all your business information
  • Automatically identifies traffic coming from mobile devices
  • Fully customizable pictures and styling
  • One tap to contact, call or map your business
  • Optimized across iPhone, Android and other mobile devices and tablets
  • Automatic synchronization of your business information
  • Separate tablet version also customizable and automatically synced

As you can see, mobile is the future! Clients are viewing your website, conducting local searches, and planning their special day on-the-go.  Add “going mobile” to your business’ to do list this year, or let WeddingWire help you Go Mobile in just a few minutes. Either way, it is important to make sure your business considers a mobile friendly website and marketing strategy soon!

The last five years have been the social revolution.  We like to say that the next five years will be the mobile revolution!

» The Mobile Revolution is Upon Us: Part 1

 

This post was written by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire. You can follow him on Twitter @sonnyg. Sonny leads WeddingWire’s marketing strategy, customer acquisition, and business development.

 

 

By 2014, more people will access the web from mobile devices than from all desktops and laptops combined. Consumers are turning to mobile devices for everything from searching for businesses and reviews, to processing payments and contacting vendors directly. Now is the time to mobilize all aspects of your business, from your website to your emails.  You have to make sure to create a great mobile experience for potential clients when they are on-the-go!

How often have you been out of arms reach of your phone in the past day? Likely, not at all!  Mobile devices are unique as they constantly tether us to technology. To effectively run your business, you must be “online” all hours of the day to respond to inbound requests about your services, manage current clients, and stay in touch with employees and other vendors. With constant access to Internet, consumers are searching for local services on their mobile devices in increasing numbers, yet shockingly, only 1% of small businesses have optimized their websites for mobile viewingIt is time to mobilize all aspects of your business, but let’s first examine how quickly mobile is growing.

Smartphone Growth

Impact on the Web and Search

Mobile is becoming the top search driver for many small businesses. However, over 61% of small businesses don’t have a mobile search strategy and are therefore missing out on consumers trying to find them via a mobile device. Don’t let your business fall behind!

Check back soon for the second part of the series, focusing on how to get started with mobilizing your business website, and WeddingWire’s Go Mobile feature!