5 Mobile Marketing Tools to Reach Busy Consumers

Mobile MarketingWith 80 percent of customers using their mobile device to shop, a marketing strategy that does not account for mobile is foolish at best and self-sabotaging at worst. More customers comparison shop online, make retail purchases and use their mobile device to review businesses. These decisions affect their brick and mortar shopping habits and follow the businesses they support to receive promotions and deals, which is why mobile marketing initiatives are more vital than ever. Overhaul your mobile strategy and improve your ROI with these five tools.

Red Stamp

Red Stamp lets small businesses build their own set of stationary or use templates and send messages on the go from a mobile device. Red Stamp customers have used the app to send customized thank you’s after pitch meetings, exchange business cards with clients and format real-time convos for sharing on social media networks. With templates for the first day or school, bar mitzvah, congratulations, Memorial Day and everything in between, staying in touch has never been easier. Some companies have used these templates to advertise new or one of a kind products to customers, increasing sales and maintaining top of mind awareness.


This app puts customer loyalty cards on smartphones, making the loyalty program more attractive to busy customers who don’t want another plastic card for their wallet. Customers text to join, realizing benefits instantly. Swipely also processes online payments. The customer loyalty application is free to existing Swipely customers and provides a simple way to capture customer email data and market directly to customers.

Address Verification Software

Address verification software checks addresses entered into e-commerce websites and customer signup forms, reducing the amount of bad data entered. Whether entered by mistake or entered purposefully to avoid direct marketing, bad addresses cost you money when you send direct mailings. Enterprise address software automates the error checking process and cuts down on waste.

QR Functionality

QR codes allow on-the-go users to check out your latest promotion, event or product, connect with your business and even convert. To be mobile-friendly, your print messaging, promotional content, brochures and other non-electronic media should include QR codes. Mobile device users can simply scan the QR code to retrieve more information in a manner that’s easy to read on the go. Already digital content, like emails and websites, do not need QR codes because users are online already. However, that print flyer or promotional bookmark would benefit from a QR code and can reinforce your mobile marketing.


The behavioral insight app has your back when it comes to mobile marketing efforts: Qualaroo for Mobile delivers a mobile survey that can help you craft your mobile website, Red Stamp messages and other mobile marketing messages. Draw on Qualaroo’s library to ask targeted questions such as “what is preventing you from converting right now?” or “what feature is most important to you?” When you understand what visitors do and why they do it, you have a leg up on your competition and can better incentivize customers to convert. The Qualaroo app integrates with KISSmetrics and Google Analytics, delivering actionable insights that can help improve your mobile presence and your market share.


Guest Post by Marc Reese

Marc is a young dad and mobile Web designer. When he’s not writing about how technology and business co-exist, he’s teaching his 2-year-old how to shout “YES” during NFL football games.


Smartphones + Smart Students = Apps to an A

smartphone appsLike most students, you’re probably perfectly happy living in the denial that summer break will last forever. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the fall semester is right around the corner — even less than a month away for some students.

But rather than milk your last few weeks of freedom, allot at least part of your free time to prepare for your future academic responsibilities. You don’t want to be the person frantically buying textbooks (next-day shipping fee and all) in the middle of the night before your first day, so get your act together the smarter way by prepping your phone first.

1. gCalcPro Graphing Calculator ($6.99, BlackBerry)

Many of today’s smartphones are more advanced than the first computers, so something as basic as a calculator should be more or less a given. Graphing calculators are expensive, and students don’t exactly have a lot of money to blow. Some professors might be iffy about using your calculator for midterms and other exams. But on average class days and last-minute homework sessions, Crimson Oak Academy claims the gCalcPro Graphing Calculator app has your back for all of your complex, high-level mathematics courses.

2. BrebsFlash Flashcards ($5.99, BlackBerry)

The classic method of flashcard studying is proven effective, but BrebsFlash Flashcards takes it to a whole new level. Use pictures and audio to further solidify your knowledge base, and quickly browse and download decks of flashcards on any subject from www.FlashcardExchange.com and www.StudyStack.com. The cards are smartly arranged by recording your performance with each flashcard and showing the difficult ones more often. An extensive in-app flashcard creation and editing tool makes personalization a breeze.

3. Learn English/French/Italian/Spanish ($4.99, BlackBerry)

Language apps by BlackBerry are essential for students enrolled in foreign language courses. Study abroad programs often claim that learning a foreign language is much easier when you’re surrounded by it. But a plane ticket across the world doesn’t come close to the economic efficiency for these smartphones. Customize your sessions by difficulty level (from Newbie to Advanced), and choose from various, highly applicable language themes. A short audio language session can easily be squeezed in during dinner, bus rides home, or even walking to class.

4. Evernote (Free, BlackBerry, iOS, Android)

Evernote is mentioned so often that you’d almost think it’d be considered “overrated” by now. However, there’s a good reason why this organization app tops every best apps list: it simply can’t be beat. Evernote takes all the clutter from your brain and organizes into nice neat folders, so you can focus on getting that term paper in before midnight. Take notes the old fashioned way by simply typing them into a pad, or store photographs and audio recordings for a new study medium.

5. DropBox (Free, BlackBerry, iOS, Android)

Ideal for a student’s salary and schedule, DropBox keeps all of your essential files immediately accessible wherever and whenever. The app enables automatic syncing, 2GB of free space, and easier file sharing through social media. The app ensures optimum security for private information, while also making it easy to authorize specific users to participate in group projects and assignment first drafts.

Guest Post by Evelyn Stark

Evelyn designs SMS interfaces and enjoys writing about mobile technology in her spare time.


Vonage Mobile App Review

Vonage Mobile App

{Disclosure: Vonage provided product for this review and giveaway. My review is an honest opinion based on my own experience and has not been reviewed or edited by Vonage.}

Recently, I uploaded the Vonage Mobile App to my phone and learned a couple of things about the app.

For starters, Vonage Mobile is a free app for iPhone and Android that allows users to make free app-to-app phone and video calls, send texts and share photos and location with other Vonage Mobile users worldwide.

I had heard of Vonage Mobile as a Voice-Over-IP (VOIP) service. Using VOIP means you save money on phone calls to other Vonage users utilizing  the Internet wherever your phone can get WiFi. For paid users, the Extensions App will extend a home subscription plan that allows you to make calls over the Internet from your home phone and then also via WiFi or 3G/4G on your phone.

We use a home plan called Ooma which is also VOIP but so far I have never used a phone app related to it. I like that Vonage Mobile has both home phone and smart phone usage now.

The Vonage Mobile calling screen is simple and easy to use as pictured below. You can see that there are several options across the top of the app. The first option is a list of contacts that will let you see both who you can call and who is already a Vonage user among your contacts. When I installed the app, I had one contact who uses Vonage but I invited several friends and we’ll see who responds!

Vonage Mobile Keyboard


The menu for the Vonage Mobile App is pictured below. In addition to finding contacts, calling them and sending messages and texts, you can make paid calls to non-Vonage users by adding credits below.

vonage app menu

You can also earn free credits (up to $10) by inviting others to join you and then by having others sign up, you have more contacts to call for free.

Vonage free credit


The Vonage Mobile App is great to suppliment cheap plans for teens and tweens that call and text each other. Right now, my girls do not have smartphones but once they get them, I will definitely suggest the Vonage Mobile App.

As of now, I would have to say that this app is limiting since I know few users and my kids don’t have smartphones but they do have digital devices on which this could really come in handy (iPad and tablet). I look forward to seeing my network on this grow.

Enter to win $50 iTunes Gift Card from Vonage Mobile over at my other blog: DIYFrugal.com



New Product Widget By Shopcade.com

Shopcade widget Shopcade.com just released its new product widget which is fully customizable with dimensions set to auto-adjust to your site.

You can create a list or collection to highlight in the widget or you can set it to automatically pick up products from your content which is especially handy if you auto-add the widget below your past blog posts.


I also like that the pay-out is direct  with no minimum and that the rate for this affiliate program is 75% of Affiliate Commissions or roughly $3.75 on a $50 item.

About Shopcade: Shopcade has some key advantages because readers have easy access to coupons and cash-back deals if they choose to make a purchase. Plus, readers can “want” an item they see on your site and get an automatic notification when it goes on sale. 

In my sidebar you can see a widget I created using my “media” list. (It looks like it only shows up on the home page but I have also embedded it below.) I picked from items on the site already but I could add ones from around the web easily using the “add” function or the bookmarklet they provide for toolbars.

See the widget embedded here in my post:

Try it and see what you think. Right now: Bloggers who install the widget and write a post about their experience on Shopcade can enroll for the chance to be one of four lucky bloggers to win $500 and a full feature on Shopcade.com. The contest begins Thursday, July 25 and runs through Sept. 30.  You can read the contest rules and enter your blog post here!

(Disclosure: I work on team doing PR for Shopcade.com but on my blog all thoughts and opinions are my own.)


Audiobook: The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby AudiobookRecently, I listened to The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald via Audible, switching between my new Kindle Fire
and my Android smart phone’s Audible App which used its smart technology to let me know when I had reached a further point on whichever device I had been on and updated the device I was on currently, given that I had access to wifi on the Kindle or had proper reception on my phone at any particular moment. At my mom’s in N.C., I didn’t have access to wifi so that fave feature was not as effective until I could get back online.

As I pursue my own dreams as a novelist and writer, I am trying to go back and read classics like this one which I picked since my daughters were also required to read it and not to mention the recent movie  The Great Gatsby which just came out on Blu-Ray and which I would love to see.

About The Great Gatsby:

The Great Gatsby follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz and bootleg kings. Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby, and across the bay from his cousin Daisy and her philandering, blue-blooded husband Tom Buchanan. It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super rich, their illusions, loves and deceits. As Nick bears witness, within and without the world he inhabits, he pens a tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams and high-octane tragedy, and holds a mirror to our own modern times and struggles.

What  I found interesting about The Great Gatsby was not just the rich insight into the early 1900s but also the delightful and intriguing descriptions used by Fitzgerald to turn an otherwise banal story into living history. In and of itself, the story is a bit of a bore but the way Fitzgerald gets into his character’s heads and shares their motives and decision making process is fascinating.

Because the language of the story really stood out to me, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the story rather then reading it. Having my headphones plugged into my Kindle as I worked or in my phone as I walked was the perfect medium for absorbing this story.

Details about audiobook:

  • Narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal
  • 4 hrs and 49 mins
  • Member Price $5.95 or 1 credit
  • Average Review: 4.2 stars on Audible.com

1 FREE Audiobook Credit RISK-FREE from Audible.com