Pulling Back The Curtain On Text Message Mobile Marketing
Ask 100 marketers if they use direct mail, email, social media, TV, radio, and/or outdoor in their marketing strategies and campaigns and the majority of them will respond in the affirmative.
Now, ask them if they use any mobile marketing tactics and they'll tell you that mobile marketing comes right after taking a magic marker and drawing an ad on a bathroom wall in terms of priorities and hierarchy. Am I the only one who finds it amazing - utterly amazing mind you, that despite its rapid rise in usage and popularity, mobile marketing - especially text message mobile marketing, remains a mystery and enigma to many marketers?
I am surely not the only one who thinks this way, right?
During a recent conversation with him, he told me that despite the fact that we live in a mobile first society, "many marketers have yet to embrace this new reality."
It's Not A New Reality, Either
"Mobile text messaging, the same 160-character dispatches first popularized by nimble-fingered teenagers, may be the closest thing in the information-overloaded digital marketing world to a guaranteed read."
That was the opening line to an article about text message marketing written in the New York Times - in 2009.
Four whole years ago and still it appears as if marketers would rather plan a campaign using Morse Code than do anything related to mobile and in particular, text message marketing.
So whether it's fear, ignorance, both or something else, marketers across the land are not capitalizing on the bounty that lies before them. Ponder this little nugget of info James shared with me: "95 out of 100 of your customers who have opted into your text messaging program OPEN and READ your mobile messages within 3 mins."
Now I am no math major but that sounds like a pretty good percentage to me.
Perhaps that's the reason James and his team at Mogreet created the recently released 2013 Guide To Text Messaging Regulations & Best Practices. Well he told me they in fact created it "to help marketers better understand how to leverage the ubiquity of mobile messaging, while also staying abreast of the changing regulations and guidelines involved in using this channel of marketing."
Ok, so there's that reason, too.
Regardless of the reason, the need was clear to well, clear up any misconceptions and allay any fears marketers may have when it comes to text message mobile marketing.
And wouldn't you know it, at the top of page 2 of the guide, Mogreet sets out to no, not bust a move, but bust a myth:
So while text message mobile marketing is highly regulated, it is not overly complicated - if you know the rules. And thanks to the folks at Mogreet, you have at the very least, some basic ground rules.
Their guide has some do’s and don’ts of text message (SMS/MMS) mobile marketing including some which can be filed under "common sense" including the fact that this type of marketing is permission based, you should always be completely transparent about your text marketing program, the need for full disclosure and to always get everything in writing.
Again, all of this should be second nature to marketers but of course that's not always the case, now is it?
More Where That Came From
This is just the tip of the iceberg of course as there are lots of other valuable tips in the guide when it comes to text message mobile marketing including:
- Confirming the Subscribers’ Opt-in and Initial Messaging
- Switching Partners & Shortcodes – How to Migrate Your Mobile Subscribers
- Opt-ins expire. Be Aware of The Six/Eighteen Month Rule
- Now That Your Database Was Built Properly, Time To Message Your Fans
- The What & When re: content
And lots more including risks and consequences if you do something wrong.I highly recommend downloading and using the guide as a reference.
Rise & Shine
There's one last thing I want to share with you re: my conversation with James. We were discussing the fact that marketers (and all us humans for that matter) are innately drawn to that "shiny" new object - the one thing, whatever it is, that attracts all the attention.
To all those marketers who want a shiny new object when it comes to text message mobile marketing, James has the answer you're looking for.
"Messaging does have a shiny object – it’s called (multimedia rich) MMS, he says. ""What would Pinterest be without pictures? Well, text messaging has evolved just like Pinterest and Instagram and progressive marketers are starting to insert pictures, videos, songs and all forms of compelling content into their messaging. That’s what MMS was created to do and it works natively on 95% of mobile devices in the United States."
Sounds pretty shiny and intriguing to me and something I would surely be "looking into" at the very least if I were a marketer.
Photo credit: Ed Yourdon
Named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review and a Top 50 Social Media Blogger by Kred, Steve Olenski is a senior creative content strategist at Responsys, a leading global provider of on-demand email and cross-channel marketing solutions, and a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing. He can be reached via
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