How to Properly Collect an Opt in SMS Database (Part 2 of a few)

Following up on my last post, this is part 2 of How to Properly Collect an Opt in SMS Database. The first two methods outlined last time were enter a phone number online and Click a button on a mobile webpage. My intention for this article was to cover the other two TCPA approved method …   Read More

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How to Properly Collect an Opt in SMS Database (Part 2 of a few)Following up on my last post, this is part 2 of How to Properly Collect an Opt in SMS Database. The first two methods outlined last time were enter a phone number online and Click a button on a mobile webpage.

My intention for this article was to cover the other two TCPA approved method for collecting SMS numbers but I decided to just cover one right now and give a couple of examples: Send an MO message containing an advertised keyword.

Advertising a keyword is fairly simple and can be done in a variety of ways but however you choose to do it please remember that there are strict guidelines set forth by the carriers that you should follow. I covered these in my last article but here they are again:

  • Program Description ( Alerts, News, Special offers etc etc)
  • Messaging Frequency ( 5/messages a week, 2 messages a month)
  • Messaging costs (Msg & Data rates may apply)
  • Display a link to ‘comprehensive’ SMS T&Cs or Privacy Policy
  • If the Program is recurring then STOP instructions are required
  • Help instructions

If you are advertising a keyword and short code on the web, on printed collateral, the side of a bus or anywhere at all, all of these items are required and can be summarized very succinctly into a few lines of text that look like this:

  • TicketDepot Alerts: Ticket Deals, and Show Info. 2 msg/mo. Msg & Data Rates may apply. Text HELP for Help or text STOP to end messages. Terms & Conditions. View our Privacy Policy.

These are essentially the same guidelines you need to follow when using a web form to capture cell numbers for marketing. Keep in mind that Carriers do not always require the ‘double opt in’ method but we here at mobileStorm highly recommend it for a variety of reasons.

Sending a MO (Mobile Originated) message containing an advertised keyword is really quite simple to set up and is very effective as well. This method speaks to the ‘instant gratification’ factor of text messaging: you see an advertisement, fire off a quick text and receive an immediate reply. This method works exceptionally well if you, the Marketer, include a highly incentivized offer in the initial opt in process like the coupon code example below. You can have a ‘single opt in’ or a ‘double opt in’ process for most sms programs.

An example a single opt in message flow, with a coupon code looks like this:

MO: Tickets

MT: TicketDepot Alerts: Welcome! 2 msg/mo. Msg & Data Rates may apply. Use code XD45NRA to get 50% your first ticket purchase! Reply HELP for Help, STOP to End.

While this type of message flow is compliant and acceptable, mobileStorm will always recommend obtaining ‘rock solid’ opt in proof for SMS subscribers. What ‘rock solid’ opt in proof entails is asking a potential subscriber to reply ‘YES’ to your initial MT text from their handset before sending them a ‘Confirmation’ text. That message flow, the ‘double opt in’, with a coupon code included, would look like this:

MO: Tickets

MT: TicketDepot Alerts: Ticket Deals, and Show Info. 2 msg/mo. Msg & Data Rates may apply. Reply YES to continue or reply HELP for Help.

MO: YES

MT: TicketDepot Alerts: Welcome! 2 msg/mo. Msg & Data Rates may apply. Use code XD45NRA to get 50% your first ticket purchase! Reply HELP for Help, STOP to End.

In both examples a potential subscriber is sent a great offer (50% off) and is also made aware your text messaging program details; messaging frequency, message cost, what type of content to expect, instructions for Help and instructions on how to opt out. The difference is that the second method adds that extra opt-in proof. The fact that the subscriber received the initial text message, read it, and replied YES if like Compliance Gold for marketers. In this day and age of SMS lawsuits run amok having the most opt in proof for each of your subscribers is becoming increasingly important.

mobileStorm offers a variety of options for these type of text in campaigns: Timed Auto Responders, Date-Triggered Auto Responders, Age Gates (for Gaming and Nightlife clients who require age limits for subscription), Drip SMS campaigns, Inbound Data Builder Campaigns, Coupon Management and several others.

About the Author

Forrest Knighton is Sr. Director of Client Operations for mobileStorm.

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