This article is a guest post by Blair Symes, Demand Generation Manager at Ifbyphone. The author’s views are completely his own. They may or may not reflect trendblog’s point of view.

First, some stats: There were over a billion smartphone users worldwide in 2012, and that number is expected to double in the next three years. In the U.S. alone, over 135 million people have smartphones, and that figure is expected to grow 40% to reach 192 million by 2016.

But you don’t need stats to tell you how popular smartphones have become; you just need to take a ride on any bus or subway during rush hour. These days, it seems like everyone has a smartphone.

People spend a significant amount of time each day on their mobile devices, and that includes time searching for and calling businesses. If you aren’t making it easy for them to find and call you – and if you aren’t advertising your business on mobile – you are missing a potentially lucrative marketing opportunity.

How Mobile Differs from Other Marketing

If you decide to build a mobile marketing strategy, keep this in mind: When people are searching for businesses on their smartphones, they often prefer to call the company rather than fill out a web form. It’s easier and more natural.

And it’s also great news for marketers – inbound calls are usually more valuable to sales managers than web downloads. So as you devise your mobile marketing strategy, be sure to focus on driving phone leads.

Some Tips for Driving Phone Leads from Mobile Marketing

  • Have a mobile-friendly version of your web site with a clickable phone number
    (a mobile click-to-call link) prominently displayed. When clicked, it will automatically trigger a call to your business from that smartphone. 
  • Test out different Google mobile paid search ads. Include a clickable phone number for people to call your business straight from the ad. Be sure the mobile landing page for each ad also displays a clickable number prominently.
  • Test out a few banner ads with a call to action of “Tap to Call”. You can run these with display networks targeting mobile sites and mobile apps.
  • Be sure all your emails are mobile-friendly. Chances are a good percentage of your audience is reading your email on their smartphones. Include a clickable phone number prominently in each one.

Measure the Effectiveness of Your Mobile Marketing with Call Tracking

The most successful mobile marketers are the ones that track inbound phone leads back to their specific marketing source. These marketers can do four things:

  1. Determine that an inbound call came from a mobile marketing campaign vs. a non-mobile marketing source.

  2. Pinpoint exactly which mobile PPC ad, keyword search, banner ad, mobile app, social media post, email, text or other source the call came from.

  3. Track each phone lead through its lifecycle to see if it becomes an opportunity and ultimately turns into revenue.
  4. Use this data to optimize marketing spend and maximize lead volumes by only reinvesting in the programs that are working.

To learn more about how to generate and track calls using mobile marketing, you can download the Ifbyphone white paper “Marketing to Smartphone Users: New Mobile Strategies for Driving Sales Calls”.