Although we’ve made direct marketing one of our core specialties, we do realize that there is a fine line between effectively reaching your audience and annoying them to death. Nothing has made that more clear than the advent of mobile marketing.

Thanks to the smartphone, marketers can quickly get a message to consumers no matter where they are or what they’re doing. That message can be based on data gathered about the consumer’s interests or simply based on GPS – where he/she happens to be driving at any given moment.

The key is to use the power of this highly targeted form of marketing to give consumers exactly what they want in just the right amount of doses. Too much, and your ad/message/offer will be deleted with the swipe of the thumb. So here are a few rules of “thumb” to keep in mind:

Don’t make the target feel like they’re being watched! There’s nothing creepier than feeling like Big Brother is following your every move. If you start a location-based mobile marketing campaign, make sure your customers opt in for this service. That way, they know ahead of time that they’ll be receiving offers based on where they are.

Make the offer easy to fulfill. If you’re offering customers a credit card, for example, give them an easy-to-fill application that can be completed right from their mobile device. An offer for 20 percent off a meal shouldn’t require the customer to print it out to redeem – include a bar code or QR code that can be scanned from their device.

Be as relevant as possible. Establish a track record of real value. You want customers to see your text or notification and know they’re about to receive an offer that’s worth their while.

Be smart about your mobile marketing efforts, otherwise customers will make a mad dash for the “opt-out” button, leaving your campaign and future sales in the trash folder.