Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ensuring Mobile Marketing Success: Being a Responsible Direct Marketer

We've been talking a lot about mobile marketing in the last week or so, and for good reason: it's becoming a more important part of our direct marketing toolbox.

Interestingly enough, mobile marketing is going through some of the same challenges and consumer scrutiny as e-mail marketing did a few years ago. There is a lot of focus on how direct marketers are communicating with customers and prospects via the mobile phone. In a recent article from Striata (an electronic messaging specialist), it is reported that there is a very strict code of conduct that must be followed in order to ensure the success of any mobile marketing campaign. In fact, Mia Papanicolaou, e-marketing manager at Striata said: “These are powerful direct digital marketing mediums -- but campaigns not executed within the code of conduct could seriously undermine the overall effectiveness of integrated marketing strategies where SMS and MMS direct digital communications are reinforcing the more conventional methodologies.”

Furthermore, Papanicolaou points to certain "do's and don'ts" for direct marketers to follow as they consider embarking on mobile marketing campaigns. Here are the do's:
  • Ensure there is a reply path so that the recipient can easily unsubscribe at least cost
  • Personalize the message with the recipient's name
  • Start the message with the sender's brand name so that it is identified up front
  • Regularly check replies and honor requests to unsubscribe
  • Clearly communicate how to unsubscribe
  • Use “STOP” as a general default unsubscribe keyword
And, here are the don'ts:
  • Send messages exceeding 160 characters (or it requires two messages)
  • Use sender ID because if the recipient responds the reply will be lost in cyberspace
  • Send messages from a premium rated SMS short code as this prompts reply without revealing the cost
  • Use capital letters unless it is to highlight something critical, or a capitals brand name, or the message's “call-to-action”
  • Use SMS “talk” or “speak” such as phonetical abbreviations – the target market may not appreciate it.
While Striata references the South African market in this particular article, we think these are good points for direct marketers everywhere who are interested in embarking upon a mobile marketing campaign. The bottom line is to not be intrusive to the consumer. While trying to sell our products and services to customers/prospects, use good common sense as a good rule of thumb. This will help to spell success in your mobile marketing efforts!

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