Expert Advice

Getting Hotter - Mobile Marketing

Victoria Wurdinger | July 10, 2011 | 6:17 PM

The Internet, mobile phones, TiVo, viral marketing, MySpace and almost every new technology in the last five years has had one big effect. Consumers are now in control of the medium and the message.

What can you do so they don’t you turn off and tune you out? Use a system that goes where they go, and give them what they want.

In “Mobile Phone Marketing,” an articled shared via e-mail by Australian International Marketer of the Year Bob Pritchard,  Matthew Costello, a co-founder of “5th Finger” global mobile marketing firm, writes that, “Mobile is set to become one the most important marketing mediums for the 21st century, not only because the device has become the singularly most personal important pieces of technology ever, but because of the sheer number of mobiles in the hands of consumers and their increasing use as a connection point.”

That’s a mouthful. What can salons do now? Several firms help you market to mobiles.

For instance, Televox Software’s ( messaging service “HouseCalls,” makes automated reminder calls and confirms appointments. Like many systems, it requires you have scheduling software and an Internet connection—that’s all.

Smile Reminder ( also reminds clients of appointments via their cell phones or e-mail accounts. The client communication system integrates with nearly 100 different scheduling systems to help physicians, spas and salons manage client relationships.

The system can also:

• Send text messages to help you fill late cancellations.

• Include one-click confirmation, a Google map and the ability to add the appointment to the client’s reminder calendar or PDA with standard appointment reminders.

• Allow clients to refer a friend with one click and track the referrals for you.

• Send a newsletter or customized promotional message.

• Send mini-surveys. If any client clicks on “less than satisfied,” within 30 seconds, you get a “Smart Alert,” so you can call the client immediately.

Tony Fortner, owner of Sona MedSpa in Frisco, Texas (, uses Smile Reminder mostly for appointment reminders because it saves time.

“Clients make appointments with us three, four months in advance and can forget,” he says. “A week before their appointment, we send out a confirmation to their mobiles and e-mail addresses; three days before, we send a reminder.

“They can opt out of the cell phone part if they want. Not only does this save us a lot of time, it saves clients money because we charge a $50 fee if they don’t cancel within 24 hours.”

Most clients are happy to opt-in to mobile messages because they appreciate being reminded of their appointments. And if you have downtime to fill at a slightly discounted price, who wouldn’t want to hear about it first?



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