On the heels of the Viacom SMS spam settlement, SMS… and spam… are on the minds of many today.
It’s no secret that for small businesses and monolithic corporations alike, SMS marketing is a great way to reach a broad and varied audience. It makes practical use of the cellphone’s popularity and its customer accessibility. You send a message right to the consumer’s pocket. What could be more personal and direct than that?
But “too much of a good thing” applies to SMS marketing too. And so the one major concern that businesses have when looking at SMS marketing is the issue of spam.
You want to make your messages personalized and relevant, but most of all, you want your customers not to view your message as spam. Of course, you never would spam your customer on purpose, but it often happens before we even realize it has happened. And by the time we do realize it… it’s too late. And droves of customers have opted-out.
Spamming: What You Need to Know
Many companies, unfortunately, spam their customers on a regular basis. Eventually, the annoyance becomes too great and they choose to remove themselves from the company’s list, instead of enduring the countless, pointless messages.
And can you blame them? First, it is illegal to send a text message to a number that has not given you express consent to do so. This calls into question not just the ethics of sending an unsolicited message, but also opens your company up to significant legal problems. Plus, when your customers receive message after message of useless information, they are going to lose faith in your company’s ability to read their unique and individual needs as a customer. With your credibility weakened, brand loyalty erodes.
Consider this: the effectiveness of your campaign is dependent entirely on how your customers see your messages. If they are helpful, positive, and well-timed, there will be a positive reaction. If it is seen as spam, even if the message included is genuine, you are going to lose that customer.
Spamming: How to Avoid The Fatal Perception
The simplest way to ensure you are not spamming customers is to craft a message that is relevant and succinct. Yes, this will take a greater effort and more time, but the return on investment is going to be greater as well.
The following are several expert steps to make sure your messages are not only compliant with the law, but also useful to your customer.
- Never buy a list of cellphone numbers and names. This means that you should only send text messages to those who have specifically “opted-in” to this form of marketing.
- Don’t bombard customers. People are busy, and when they see message after message from a company, they are probably going to delete them, rather than hold on to them for later use.
- Focus on company news and offers that are directly relevant to your customer base. They may be pleased to learn that your CEO had a baby, but what are they going to do with that information? Messages about new exciting products and special discounts are going to be much better received.
Text message marketing, when done right, is incredibly effective. When it is done wrong, however, it can pull the rug right out from under you.