7 Reasons Why your Business Needs A Mobile Database Before 2017

It’s no secret that Kenya and much of the world is mobile, so it makes sense for businesses to market to their customers through the device customers stare at up-to 150 times a day.

Building a mobile database (The right way) is the foundational element to winning with mobile marketing. A Mobile Database is simply a list of prospects or buyers who you communicate with via SMS or Text Message.

Lets start of with some interesting Mobile Stats

[su_spoiler title=”Kenyan Mobile Landscape” style=”fancy”]

  • Kenya has a 90% Mobile Service Penetration
  • Average time spend on Smartphone is 174 minutes
  • SMS has actually grown despite massive use of OTT’s like WhatsApp
  • Over 39.7M Mobile Subscribers 2015 – 2016 Q4
  • 26.8M Internet Subscriptions of which 99% are Mobile (2G, 3G & 4G)
  • 10.8M Broadband Internet Subscriptions (Smartphones & Tablets)

Sources: CAK and Safaricom

Why you need to Build A Mobile Database Now (Christmas season)

  • More companies are turning to Digital Advertising which is increasing Prices
  • Customers have a high spending intent which means they will be more willing to Opt-in for deals
  • Help create revenue when Marketing Budgets are almost non existent in January – March


[su_note note_color=”#eff431″ text_color=”#000000″ radius=”6″]From a recent internal survey, we found out that businesses do indeed send out sms promotions and alerts. However, there was a sharp contrast in the amount of messages sent vs return on investment.[/su_note]

In order  to be successful with Mobile, you need to create a Mobile Marketing strategy that delivers value to your customers and achieves your business objectives. Here are seven reasons why a mobile database will help you achieve this:


#1: Widest Reach of any Mobile Platform

SMS is a ubiquitous platform independent that can be found on nearly every device





#2: High Open rate

Smart Messaging

The fact is that SMS has an open rate of 98% as compared to email which has an open rate of 22%. This means that promotional messages sent through sms are more likely to receive a higher response than email.

This makes SMS a perfect way to send those alerts, upcoming sales, same day discounts, contests, new products messages instantly.


#3: Instant Response

If your business launched a new service or product one of the best ways to get an immediate reaction from your majority of your customers is through mobile.

A programmed sequence of messages sent over a course of few hours can elicit better information and superior response rates.

Through the use of coupon codes you can then track the sentiments of your buyers giving you valuable feedback which you can use to make improvements. You simply cannot get this type of interaction through any other platform than on mobile.


#4: Trackable R.O.I

Mobile databases gives business owners the ability to connect and sell to their audience which is way beyond engagement when using social media.

The success of your Mobile Database  hinges on the number of subscribers who do what you want them to do, whether it is taking up an offer or visiting your e-commerce site.

Key Metrics you  can measure

  • # of active mobile (SMS) loyalty list Subscribers
  • Net month, quaterly or annual Sales from your mobile database
  • Lifetime Value of Each of your Mobile Subscribers

Don’t get caught up with channel metrics like clicks websites, likes, comments and shares (unless they help measure your main goals). Focus on the Key metrics mentioned above first for sales and revenue.


#5: Owned Media


Having direct access to your audience is key for consistent growth.

Ultimately, whoever owns controls the audience is the boss…

Its the reason why we pay so much for advertising.

[su_note note_color=”#eff431″ text_color=”#000000″ radius=”6″]Did you know the Facebook Newsfeed will cap out in advertising space in 2017. What do you think will happen to the marketing cost? [/su_note]

The Key is to use other media channels to grow your own database.


#6: Activated Online or Offline

Always remember for long term success, Customer opt-ins should be voluntary.

5 reasons why your Customers would want subscribe to your Mobile Database

  • 55% Incentives or Coupons (deals and Promos)
  • 52% loyalty Rewards/Points
  • 26% Product exclusivity
  • 25% Product Information
  • 19% Store News & Events

Gathering opt-in numbers is as easy as using a memorable six-digit short code: for example SMS “KUPONI”  to “71777”  which can be boldly highlighted on all your marketing channels.

Instead of requesting for your customers email on your website opt-in forms you can instead request they input their mobile numbers.

If those two strategies sound too complicated then you have an option of doing it manually at your store or restaurant through the use of paper forms which your customers can fill.

Whichever way you choose to approach building your mobile database your campaigns can be activated online or offline. The idea is to promote your Database across your existing earned, owned and paid platforms.


#7: Affordable 

[su_note note_color=”#fefefd” text_color=”#1613a8″ radius=”6″]20% of your revenue comes from loyal customers who already know, like and trust you. These are the customers you want in your mobile database.[/su_note]

The hesitance and fear from adopting this form of marketing has always been costs and complexity of setup.

Collecting mobile numbers through use of short codes is a simple cost effective way to engage with your loyal customers.

Compared to other forms of  advertising such as traditional print and even social media. Mobile marketing is more affordable not to mention it gives you increased flexibility and control on how you run your campaigns.


How does one get Started?

4 Steps to help you build a Mobile database.

Step 1: Define your business objectives and identify measurements of success.

mobile-objectivesBefore you start building your mobile database you need to determine what your business objectives are and tailor your marketing campaign to fit them.

What are you trying to accomplish with your mobile database? What is your business objective for putting the time and effort into building it? What does success look like (quality vs. quantity)?

You will need to determine if your business objective is to:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Increase engagement with your product or service
  • Drive sales
  • Support for specific promotions Customer relationships


Step 2: Create a 3-12 month user engagement plan with performance metrics.

Once you’ve determined your business objectives you will need to decide on the user experience. Key performance indicators will help you gauge the performance of your mobile campaigns helping you adjust accordingly.

  • What is the intended user experience you want to deliver?
  • What does a post-click experience look like for your brand?
  • What is the brand promise you are delivering to your customers that will help support your business objectives?

[su_note note_color=”#fefefd” text_color=”#1613a8″ radius=”6″]You want to provide your customers with an experience they are not going to get through any other channel. This could mean exclusive offers, content, tips, product information, etc.[/su_note]



Step 3: Develop an integration plan to launch and grow your mobile programs through new & existing marketing channels

Once you have decided what is driving you to grow your mobile database, you want to decide the best strategies to jumpstart your mobile database growth.

Review the marketing channels that you are currently using to reach your customers and determine if there are any low hanging fruit channels (e.g. social media and In-store).


Step 4: Implement it using the right Provider (software & procedures)

It can be a daunting task to find the right provider to partner that will help you achieve your desired results.

What to look for in a Mobile Partner

  • Software (Short Codes, Sender Ids, Offer distribution, Web forms, List Growth and Management )
  • Compliance
  • Mobile Strategy
  • Support


Step 5: Defining Success

Key performance indicators will help you gauge the performance of your mobile campaigns helping you adjust accordingly.

In addition to your Key metrics, consider channel specific metrics that align to the user experience.

These might include:

  • Click-through rate
  • Unique reach or frequency
  • Open rates for email
  • Form completion rate
  • Social shares and more



Although social media getting all the attention right now, its hard to measure returns and reach is decreases year on year

Mobile database represents a more responsive and cost-effective opportunity to drive conversions for your business.

Offering your customers a reward in exchange for signing up is the foundation of what to expect when they receive your messages.

Crafting a 3 month Customer Engagement plan with help you engage with customers and still profit.







  1. Emmanuel M'M
    October 25, 2016 at 6:46 am

    Love this article! We are so obsessed with the cuting-edge, we sometimes forget the more traditional which still has sway.

    While I may not be fully convinced about the open rate of SMS, I do not doubt its value.

    Does this blog have an email subscription? I live for the content created!

    1. samuelgachui
      October 25, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      Glad you like Emmanuel. We are working on Newsletter but feel free to visit anytime.

  2. David
    October 25, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    Good read

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