Mobile Marketing Best Practices

In the mobile advertising space, there is one organization that sets the rules for everything that falls under the big umbrella of mobile advertising. This includes: mobile web, multimedia messaging, mobile video/TV, mobile games/applications, and of course— text messaging. We see two options of how you can make sure your text messaging campaign stays in compliance with MMA (the Mobile Marketing Association) guidelines.

First option, you could read all 144 pages of the U.S. CONSUMER MOBILE MARKETING BEST PRACTICES for Cross-Carrier Mobile Content Programs. Second option, keep reading and we will condense those 144 pages into eight key compliance issues that pertain to anyone running a mobile campaign through a service like Tatango.

Before we jump into this, let’s make sure we are all on the same page. While the 144-page document contains information on all types of mobile advertising, we will only go over what pertains to standard rate, recurring subscription, and text messaging campaigns. Or more simply, text messaging campaigns that only charge standard text messaging rates. Premium services, which are the opposite, have the ability to add on a “premium” fee to a customer’s mobile phone bill. Recurring subscriptions means that they are opting in to receive messages on an ongoing basis into the future, so no contests, voting applications, etc.

Ok, let’s get started with the eight key mobile marketing best practices that have to be addressed when running a mobile marketing campaign.

  1. Program flow and information must not be misleading in any way. Pretty simple concept: Don’t mislead someone into opting in, don’t mislead them in the text message itself and you should be just fine.
  2. If web-based opt-in is used, the use of a “PIN” code is suggested to confirm possession of the handset. This means that if someone tries to opt into your text messaging campaign from a website by entering their phone number, they will receive a PIN (the fancy name for a few random characters or numbers) sent in the form of a text message back to their mobile phone. This person would then take that PIN and enter it back into the website to confirm that it’s their phone. Sounds kind of confusing, but don’t worry; Tatango handles all of that process.
  3. If opt-in is initiated from the phone by the user sending a “KEYWORD” (the fancy name for a campaign-specific word like pizza, discounts, soccer, etc.) that is all that is needed from the user’s side to opt-in.
  4. A subscriber immediately terminates a service and all future messages from the service by sending a text message containing the word STOP, END, CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE or QUIT to the campaign short-code. Don’t worry about this; Tatango automatically takes care of this through our system.
  5. When a subscriber opts into one of your campaigns, they must receive a confirmation text message to their mobile phone. This confirmation text message must include the following: Program sponsor, program name/description, contact information/HELP, opt-out information, the words “Msg&Data Rates May Apply” and subscription duration (if applicable). Whoa — sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? No need to worry, Tatango does this automatically whenever someone opts into your campaign.
  6. HELP and STOP commands must be supported for all campaigns. This means that at any time, if a subscriber text messages the word HELP or STOP to the campaign short code, it must work. We handle all of this for you, it’s all automated at Tatango.
  7. After opting out of a campaign, the user must receive confirmation with a message containing the keyword HELP for additional information. Again, don’t worry, Tatango does all of this automatically.
  8. HELP command must return the following information, program sponsor, service description, “Msg&Data Rates May Apply,” frequency of messaging (if applicable), customer support information (1-800 number, email, website, etc.) and opt-out information (STOP). Yep, we do this automatically too. Don’t you love how automation makes things easier?


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