Here’s something that can really help your business get the word out and cut costs – mobile coupons. These aren’t coupons that you put in the local paper. They’re paperless coupons that folks can use with their smartphones. It’s a smarter way to offer discounts on your products or services.

A great way to offer mobile coupons is through SMS (short message service) or ‘text message’ marketing. This means marketing to your customers through their cell phones rather than their PC email.

SMS marketing is wonderful because people have their cell phones on them always, and this means that marketing to cell phones gives you a much higher open rate. Offering coupons this way allows you to save considerably on printing and advertising costs.

Bulk Messaging Services

It would be really tough to save thousands of emails on your phone and send them all messages, not to mention astronomically expensive. For SMS marketing, businesses use a bulk messaging service. This is a service that handles your messages for you. For a small fee, they’ll send your message to thousands or even tens of thousands of subscribers.

Growing Your List

Once you’re set up with a bulk message provider, you’ll want to gather a list of names. Tell your customers and everybody online who sees your site or social media profile that you’re offering special deals to subscribers only. If you want to get subscribers fast, give them an incentive for signing up like a freebie or a discount on your services.

The way that most bulk messaging services work, you give your customers a short code. This is a short phone number (usually 5 digits) that they call and they’re instantly signed up. You can also use QR codes, which are the modern-day version of bar codes, which they can scan on their phones and be instantly subscribed.

It’s really important to make sure everyone on your list has subscribed voluntarily. Don’t buy names from someone else or send messages to anyone who didn’t opt in. That’s spamming and in many places it’s illegal.

Coupons You Don’t Have to Clip

There are lots of services online that will make your coupons for you. You sign up with them, enter the details of your offer, and then review the coupon before you download it. Some of these services will not only make the coupons for you but also monitor your statistics to let you know how your mobile coupon campaign is doing.

More people are going mobile, so this is a great way to get them to come to your business. One of the nice things about mobile coupons is also that they don’t waste any paper, which means it’s also nice for the environment.

Marrying SMS and mobile coupons to your offline business creates a great strategy to advertise your services that’s cheap, easy and environmentally friendly.