According to the startling findings of a recent and thoroughly eye-opening Direct Marketing Association survey, 43% or respondents have received “unsolicited SMS spam promoting accident claims or mis-selling financial services.”
The sobering reality for SMS is that spammers have quickly latched on to the emerging marketing tactic to such a degree that it now threatens the future growth of this otherwise red-hot and widely embraced advertising platform.
“This is obviously causing great frustration for those mobile phone owners who are being plagued by spam,” says DMA chief of operations Mike Lordan, “and it’s also causing serious damage to the legitimate mobile marketing industry.”
“If spam is allowed to continue unchecked, then consumers will naturally become hostile to all mobile marketing messages,” he concluded.
Lordan’s comments echo the sentiments of Derek Johnson, founder & CEO of Tatango, who recently, in a guest commentary on MMW, expressed similar concerns about the spam-SMS connection.
“What will cause the demise of SMS marketing as we know it?” Johnson asked in the post. “Simple. The continued practice of SMS providers allowing businesses the ability to import customer phone numbers into an SMS campaign, bypassing their need to receive the customers permission through an opt-in.”
Perhaps what’s most unsettling about the unwanted practice of SMS spamming is the fact that many mobile customers simply don’t know how to address the problem.
The DMA survey, for example, found that 46% of respondents had “no idea who they would complain to,” while another 17% would complain to their network provider.
Ultimately, however, Johnson touched on what may be the only truly viable and effective solution to eliminating – or at least seriously mitigating – the practice of SMS spamming.
“I’m calling for all SMS providers to band together and put a stop to this self-destructive practice.,” Johnson urges. “If we don’t act now, my nightmares will soon become our harsh reality.”