Give consumers control over text marketing initiatives

It may be fairly simple to create a text message program for customers, but, like all effective marketing efforts, mobile must be measured and prove return on investment. Brands may also need to integrate customer information into a database.

Mobile marketing has its own unique set of complexities that marketers must learn if they are to incorporate mobile into the mix.

Here is a set of text messaging best practices:

Label the message. Consumers may not recognize the short code when they receive a text message, so make sure that the company or campaign is identified in the first word in each message. Many marketers don’t realize this and send out generic messages that the consumer may not recognize.

Use abbreviations. It is acceptable to use abbreviation that are common to text messaging such as “msg&data rates may apply,” which is “messaging and data rates may apply.” Make sure the abbreviations are commonly understood. 

Know when to use opt-out messaging. The opt-out may not need to be in each and every message, but check with a mobile marketing expert. The Mobile Marketing Association recommends including the opt-out on a “regular basis.”

Understand terms and conditions placement. Add a terms-and-condition statement to the corporate, brand or
mobile website to provide an easy link to information. Include all information about the mobile campaign including the number of messages, type of content, a statement on messaging and data rates, phone numbers for customer service and instructions on how to opt-out.

Remember to use “help” messaging. All short message service (SMS) programs require “help” messaging. When the consumer texts “help” to the short code, a message should be returned with an explanation of the program, a link to another version, a phone number to contact a call center, an interactive voice response system, or an e-mail address. The help message should contain opt-out instructions. 

Know how much is too much. Don’t send messages too often. Just as with other channels, the right message frequency is different for each type of customer and campaign. Allow consumers to select their desired frequency. 

Integrate messaging. Provide mobile as an option for consumers, keeping in mind that more people will choose mobile as their only channel in the future. 

Above all, remember that the consumer will decide whether to participate in mobile programs. Remember to keep these best practices in mind to get the most from every mobile investment.

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