Respecting Customer Privacy is the Key to Successful SMS Campaigns
So, you’re thinking of making the leap to mobile marketing? Thinking of using SMS campaigns to connect directly to your customers’ and contacts’ mobile devices? That’s a smart idea; text messaging is a comfortable, familiar medium that over 90% of cell phone owners use regularly. No smart phone or additional software is needed to access SMS messaging, and almost 99% of text messages are opened and read… most within a few minutes.
However, before you start adding your customer lists into your SMS messaging gateway’s database, there’s a few things you should know…
Customer privacy is paramount.
In other words, you cannot add customers to an SMS campaign without getting their permission first.
Existing Business Relationships Are Not Enough
Many business owners make the mistake of assuming that an existing business relationship gives them all the permission necessary to add thier customers to an SMS campaign, and concerns of privacy are irrelevant.
This is not necessarily the case.
In 2013, U.S. laws removed the “prior business exemption” from the books. Essentially this means you need to have express written permission from your existing client base in order to contact them via SMS campaign. Alternatively, you can have them subscribe or “opt in” to your campaign via their own handsets, ideally with a double opt in process.
A double opt in process looks like this…
Your Marketing Message: To get 10% off your next purchase at ACE HardWare and to receive exclusive weekly discounts direct to your phone, text TOOLS to 613 707 8978
Your Prospect: Types and sends TOOLS to 613 707 8978
SMS Gateway double opt in message: “Thank you! Please reply Y to confirm that ACE HardWare may contact you via text message.”
Your prospect: Replies with the letter Y.
SMS Gateway welcome message: “Welcome to ACE Hardware VIPS. Max 4 Msgs/month. Msg & data rates may apply. For help reply help, to stop, respond Stop.”
In Canada, an existing business relationship provides you with the “implied” consent to contact your subscribers, provided the last transaction occurred within the allotted time frame as dictated by CASL (Canada’s Anti Spam Law). Implied consent expires, which means Canadian business owners also need to focus on obtaining express consent for their contacts and customers to remain compliant with all relevant laws.
Violating the Privacy of Your Customers is Bad for Your Brand
People are intimately connected to their mobile devices. There’s no doubt about that. In fact, 91% of them have their phone within arms’ reach 14 hours out of every day. So there’s really no better way to hit them up with your marketing messages.
Unfortunately, there’s a cost to this “intimacy.”
And that’s this…
People are much, much more sensitive as to what they perceive as spam on this very personable medium. And while email spam will likely cause your prospect to sigh and hit the “delete” key, spam sent to a mobile device is a different matter altogether.
It’s insulting. It’s annoying. It’s aggravating.
It’s the fastest way to royally piss off your customers.
And it’s by far the best way to damage your business’ brand and acquired goodwill.
If you care about your brand and your customers, you won’t violate their privacy by adding their phone numbers to SMS campaigns without their permission. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Try Our SMS Marketing Service Free!
Local Text Marketer’s service has built in spam and privacy compliance to ensure your customers and contacts are happy and you remain on the right side of applicable spam laws. We also offer a “no credit card” required free trial so you can put our service to the test. There are no tricks, no gimmicks. Try the service. Kick the tires. See if it’s right for you! If it is, we’d love to be a trusted partner in the growth of your business. If not, that’s OK too!