Photo courtesy of marc falardeau on Flickr
If your business has a physical location, you can take advantage of geofencing to give your customers offers when they are most likely to take advantage of them.
What is it?
A geofence is a virtual perimeter that is set up around a geographical location using GPS coordinates. For example, you can enter the GPS coordinates of your business location or multiple locations and then set up the geofence as a half-mile radius around that location.
How does it work?
If someone has opted in for them, you can arrange to send a message to that person when they’ve entered into this geographical zone around your business. This can be done through your business app. Facebook has also gotten in on geofencing by offering hyper local ads to businesses to show up on peoples phones or in their web browsers. The messages you push to the consumer can contain a deal or coupon or some other kind of incentive to come into your business.
Another way you can use geofences is to create these perimeters around your competition’s locations. This is technically called geoconquesting. Then, you can send deals and coupons to people when they are near your competitors’ locations, giving them a reason to not shop at your competitors.
Why are they useful?
To put it simply, you are giving people offers at a time when they are most likely to act on them. If you are at home or at the office and you receive an email offering a great deal, you may want to take advantage of that deal, but you may forget about it easily because you are nowhere near that business at the time. If, however, you are within a couple of blocks of that business and you get that same message, you are far more likely to take advantage of it because you know that business is nearby.
Plus, if someone has already downloaded your business’ app, that means they are likely already a customer and will be more receptive to getting offers from your business, making geofences great for retention purposes. You can customize your messages so they only get sent during certain time periods so that you’re not pushing out messages at inappropriate times for your business.
How do you create a geofence?
The short answer is that you tell your app developer that you want to create a geofence. There are various ways to do it, but this post isn’t really meant to get into the technical aspects of it. Or, you could go the Facebook route.
As for the content of the deals you’re pushing out, it should be something that will entice a person to come in and also something that is exclusive.
What else can you do with it?
Geofencing can be monitored and tracked, meaning you can see just how effective it is and change your offers accordingly. It can also be used to tell you when your most loyal customers are in your business and allows you to offer these customers the individualized service that loyal customers deserve.
Geofencing also has a bunch of other uses outside of marketing, too.
By setting up this virtual perimeter and giving people who enter it great offers, you can easily increase foot traffic by giving people who are already nearby a reason to stop in and see you and get a great deal.