Most news organizations have text message alerts for sending breaking news to people, and CNN is no different. To opt-in to receive CNN breaking news text message alerts, you can text ALERTS TO 26688 on your mobile device.
You can see an example of one of these CNN breaking news text messages below. This blog post is called “How To Improve CNN Mobile Text Message Alerts” though, so what would be our advice to CNN to improve their breaking news alerts? See below.
So how can CNN improve their breaking news text message alerts? It’s actually pretty simple, all they need to do is add a link to the story within the text message. Why? When breaking news is announced, guess what most people do on their mobile phones? They search for more information, and guess what they use to search? Google. The problem with Google for CNN, is that Google sources news from thousands of news sources, so even though CNN may be credited for making the person aware of the story, the person is not guaranteed to visit CNN to read more. CNN makes a significant amount of their revenue from advertising, so by sending breaking news via text message, then not directing those web views to their mobile website is a huge loss for CNN.
Also, by linking to a story in the text message, and using a link shortener with built in analytics, CNN would be able to track the amount of traffic that each individual text message brings to the website, and better yet, figure out wording, phrases, topics generate higher click-through rates. This would then help them select stories and message copy in the future that would perform the best.
This isn’t just a CNN problem, as it seems like a considerable amount of news organizations are struggling with how to properly use text message alerts. You can see the mistakes TMZ is making with their text message alerts here.
What do you think, is this good advice for CNN? Let us know in the comments below.