I’m a big fan of mobile marketing. Loved using it as an added component of reaching a radio audience. I hate hearing about this Papa John’s lawsuit regarding mobile marketing. Inevitably, those who want to be negative on this marketing method will say it’s a sign of things to come. Get the dish (pun intended) on that lawsuit here. Now, let me explain why I like mobile marketing.
Mobile marketing is an awesome tool when used effectively. There are no shortage of articles saying radio and traditional media outlets have less impact on 18-34 year olds. But, research also shows that age group is receptive to mobile messages. Plus, mobile marketing gives advertisers many options. First, it was just SMS messaging. Now, it’s advancing beyond that, yet simple SMS can still be effective.
Guidelines for effective SMS marketing:
1 – Make sure it’s easy both to opt-in for mobile messaging, and perhaps more importantly, opt-out. Invariably, some folks will sign themselves up unintentionally. They will hold a grudge if you don’t help them unsubscribe quickly.
2 – The message source (you) needs to be identified in the message. You don’t want to be confused or looked up on as being text spam. I think this sender identification will be a key point moving forward.
3 – You must offer an incentive and a call to action. Simply texting a mission statement isn’t going to please recipients. Remember, these folks opted to receive a relevant message from you, not receive just another ad message.
4 – Consider it vital to communicate an expectation of message frequency. Some people may be ok receiving 5 messages each week, while some people don’t want more than 1 message every couple weeks. Do it on your website, point of sign-up, on-air (if you’re in media). You could even include that info in an introductory message once folks sign up to your mobile club.
5 – Like social media, trust is critical to successful mobile marketing. customers trust you’ll send them relevant messages in accordance to your stated policy (see step #4). Don’t violate that trust, ’nuff said!
Now, if you’re wondering “that’s great, but what about the Papa John’s connection?” Well, the company is being sued for $250 million (many lifetime supplies of pizza). The class-action suit alleges the company illegally sends messages at a ridiculous frequency to those who never opted-in. This suit comes nearly 3 years after Papa John’s reminded company and franchisee-owned stores to watch “illegally sending text messages” and ended a relationship with a third-party mobile marketing provider.
The development of ‘best practices’ will prevent lawsuits like the one mentioned above and lead to further growth of mobile marketing.