Apple Wallet is old news.
Yep, that’s right. Good old Apple Wallet is, to be truthful, old news. What’s new is the way you should think about using it to promote your business. It started life a few years ago under the name Passbook, and then with the addition of Apple Pay to the roster, the name was changed to Wallet.
Apple Wallet comes pre-installed on every iPhone, and it’s an integrated part of iOS, so older iPhones get Wallet as well. Not every iPhone is capable of making payments using Apple Wallet – only those version 6 and higher have the thumbprint capability which is required for the payment transactions.
Apple Wallet is good for your business in so many ways.
There’s a use case for nearly every business involving Wallet; it’s a much more complex system than just a payments platform. I’m going to walk you through the features, and give you some ideas on how to use those features to promote your business. I’ll be addressing specific types of businesses as well – brick and mortar, online marketers, online coaches, real estate professionals, nightclub promoters, concierges, event coordinators, and more.
Ready? Let’s get on with it!
Apple Wallet drops cards (technically called passes, a holdover from the original Apple Passbook name) into the users iPhone. Don’t worry, Android users can participate as well, they go to Google Play and get one of a number of third party compatible wallet apps if they don’t already have one installed.
These cards are double sided, with a catchy graphic on the front, accompanied by a few lines of text; the back consists of a list of links to other content you want to feature. Below is an example of a super simple front side of a card (you probably recognize me, lol!).
The QR code on the front of my card is one of the ways that I can share it – I just have people open their Wallet app and scan the code with the reader that’s built in. I can also give them a short URL link to put into a browser if that’s easier for them.
What do the cards in Apple Wallet actually do?
They can do a number of things – membership cards, coupons, event tickets, or gift cards are the primary types of cards. They are easily updated, infinitely changeable, and can launch specific apps – like Facebook, YouTube, Maps, Email, Phone Dialer, etc – directly from the card with one tap on the link.
Here’s an example of the back of a card in use. Tapping the phone number brings up the dialer and the user can complete a call with basically no effort. Pretty handy, especially for the lazy people like me, eh?
Let’s talk about notifications for a moment.
One of the most brilliant parts to the Wallet cards is the notifications system. These are messages that are sent directly to the users lock screen, so they look similar to an SMS message (SMS messages happen to get the most response from users, better than email, better than phone calls, better than anything) on the screen.
These notifications can be configured in a couple of ways – time based, location based, or manually.
Time based and manual notifications should be self explanatory – set a specific time to send an update or manually update. The location based system works with the phones GPS for outdoor notifications, or it uses the iBeacon transmitter for indoor messaging capability. This means that you can set a notification trigger that will display based on where the person is – a concierge might set a welcome message trigger at the airport to greet an out of town guest, for example.
We use notifications to let listeners know when we release a new podcast episode, here’s an example of what it looks like on their lock screen.
Each time we release a new podcast episode and the lock screen notification goes out, we see an immediate bump in listeners across the distribution channels we use (Stitcher, iTunes, our own player, etc).
How can different businesses use Wallet to promote?
#1 – Brick and mortar based businesses.
This covers everything from restaurants to car dealerships, which is a big group, but the basics are the same. Use Wallet to promote by giving your customers store cards, discount coupons, gift card balances, or event tickets to in store promotions.
[DOWNLOAD: iBeacon planner WORKSHEET]
Message your customers based on time or location to let them know when you have specials, VIP events, or other promotions. Welcome them into your store with an iBeacon triggered lock screen notification.
#2 – Real estate professionals.
Whether you’re an agent or a broker, use the cards to create a property listing, just like you would use a single property website. The upside to using a card is that when you’ve sold the property, you can swap the card out for a different property. Create a digital business card and ask your current and former clients to pass on referrals by sharing the cards with their friends, family, co-workers and neighbors.
Use the links on the back to direct prospective buyers to virtual tours, video content about the property, or to provide them with a handy map when they’re heading to your open house.
#3 Podcast producers, online marketers, online coaches.
I’ve already shown you the lock screen notification in the example above; each time you push a new episode (or want to feature an older episode), send a notification to your subscribed listeners, and ask them to share your content with others. Use the back of the pass to link to all of your content, and voila! you have an omni-channel hub in the making.
The same process works equally well with YouTube, Vimeo or other content marketing, and you can send out webinar notifications in real time directly to viewers mobile devices.
#4 – Nightclub promoters, VIP hosts, concierges.
I mentioned the airport welcome message above, that one is always eye catching, and your clients will love it. Use the lock screen notifications to let people know where you’re promoting, what you’re promoting, and with a little bit of thought when you set up your cards, you can group your clients by interest, geography, or any other category that makes sense for targeting the right people for the right events.
#5 – Event coordinators.
If you’re hosting an event that requires a ticket or a pass to attend, create a digital copy for your attendees. By sorting your people into groups – speakers, attendees, sponsors, VIPs, etc, you can craft lock screen messages that help with traffic flow, and enable you to let everyone know when a location or a time has changed for a speaker or an event.
Lock screen notifications help to increase attendance at specific events as well – send out a reminder at 4 pm to all attendees to let them know you’re having a ‘speed dating’ happy hour at 5 pm, or to remind them that the awards show is off premise and include a map.
Sponsors love the added value of mobile wallet cards, since you can effectively market to attendees before, during and after your event – something you cannot do with traditional name badges or paper tickets. Don’t forget that SMS type messaging is THE most effective way to get a response; the numbers prove that email is a poor second place on the response scale.
Wallet cards are a simple, cost effective way to market your business using mobile.
I’m always happy to chat with you about the power of mobile and how you can make the best use of it for your business.
Drop me a line or hit me up on Facebook or LinkedIn. :)