Political SMS Marketing

Political SMS Campaign Fail

Earlier this week I wrote about Michele Bachmann’s political SMS campaign, which I gave a solid B+, with the chance to earn an A+ with only a few minor fixes. This week I found Ron Paul’s political SMS campaign, which hands down gets an F- from the team here at Tatango.

Before I get into why this campaign earned such a low grade, I wanted to give the team behind Ron Paul’s SMS campaign two options on how to proceed after reading this post.

  1. Take the free advice I’m giving and turn that F- into an A+ and start kicking some political SMS campaign ass.
  2. Be complete D-bags and send me a cease & desist letter for trying to help.

Now that’s out of the way, onto the fun stuff, how I can turn this political SMS campaign around. Lets first start off with why this campaign earned an F- in the first place. Below is a screenshot of Ron Paul’s website with his SMS campaign opt-in circled at the bottom.

Political SMS Campaign Fail - Ron Paul

Lets zoom in a little and see what we are working with…

Political SMS Campaign Fail

So why does this political SMS campaign receive an F- grade? This SMS campaign violates three key SMS marketing rules laid out in the Mobile Marketing Association’s U.S. Consumer Best Practices. These three violations are as follows.

  1. Doesn’t include the phrasing “Msg&Data Rates May Apply”. (section 1.2-4)
  2. Doesn’t include information on how to opt-out of the SMS campaign. (section 1.2-4)
  3. Doesn’t send a PIN to a mobile subscriber when using a web-based opt-in. This unique PIN allows for confirmation that the mobile subscriber is in possession of the mobile phone, only after the PIN is entered back into the web-based opt-in form. This opt-in method prevents people from subscribing other’s mobile phones to SMS campaigns. (section 1.5-6)

How would I fix this if it was my political SMS campaign? First, I’d get rid of the web-based opt-in, the whole PIN process in my opinion is way too confusing. Instead of the web-based opt-in, I would use a mobile call to action, like “Text RON to 68398.” You can see the mockup I made below with the appropriate phrasing as mandated by the Mobile Marketing Association and the mobile phone carriers.

Ron Paul Political SMS Campaign

What do you think, would these changes make this political SMS campaign go from an F- to an A+ grade? Would you suggest anything other changes? Let me know in the comments section.


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