The following is a guest post by Paul Faherty, Managing Partner at Text2VIP, an Atlantic City based Text Message Marketing Firm.
I believe the foundation for growth and longevity in the SMS channel of Mobile Marketing is ensuring that content remains relevant, timely, respectable and informative. It’s with this in mind, I would submit that a lack of awareness or knowledge on the part of some establishment’s sms campaign managers is under-delivering for many opted-in subscribers. Thus, potentially diminishing the experience for mobile consumers as a group.
As Managing Partner at Text2VIP, a service provider in our industry, I have a heightened awareness of the mobile campaigns and initiatives surrounding me and often opt-in to view, first hand, how other brands and businesses are evolving using mobile. The most commonly found text message marketing campaigns on the small business level today, are conducted on a shared short code. For those unfamiliar, these businesses are utilizing keywords on a short code provided by their respective mobile marketing firm, and this number is shared by hundreds if not thousands of other small businesses. These businesses and brands who share this SMS short code channel can be located both across the U.S. and across the street.
While many of these small businesses are exercising good business sense with regard to frequency of contact and quality of relevant content. The most common SMS marketing faux pas I encounter is identifying the establishment, brand, or mobile campaign in the content of every SMS. One might suggest that these businesses “shall remain nameless”, but therein lies the issue; identifying the establishment in these messages is impossible. I continue to see an alarming number of establishments whom, after handing over their credit card on a website, believe that ALL text messages originating from that service provider’s five or six digit short code—will be automatically associated with their business. They are either unaware or neglectful to the reality that they are sharing this short code with a host of other businesses who are also leasing keywords on the same code.
When those who manage these text broadcasts aren’t aware they are sending phantom SMS offers-redeemable at places unknown, they run the risk annoying and alienating their subscriber base. Even worse, in larger cities where I’m a member of multiple campaigns on the same shared short code, I might assume the content in the text is referring to establishment “A” and go visit, when it’s establishment “B” their competitor who sent me the SMS alert. No traffic is bad enough but sending traffic to another establishment simply because you’re asleep at the SMS dashboard is unforgiveable. If the attached screen grabs don’t serve to illustrate my point, they’ll surely provide some humor.
When submitting copy for print, radio and other traditional marketing, there has always been an emphasis on proofing and re-proofing. While immediate and impactful, Mobile Marketing should be no different and necessitates that businesses put their best foot forward. Taking a moment to review content to ensure that the establishment or campaign name, pertinent expiration dates, and punctuation are all included and correct before sending a text message blast is critical and will serve to make your marketing efforts more effective.