SMS Marketing Best Practices

Sears Text Alerts – You Had One Job…

Have you seen the website yet? To sum it up, it’s a website full of images chronicling jobs that were done wrong. Below is an example of the funny images you’ll find on the website.

HadOneJob Example

That brings me to Sears Mobile Text Alerts, which I stumbled across this week. Always interested in what large brands are doing with text alert campaigns, I decided to sign up by entering my mobile phone number. The text on the website said that I’d be receiving a text confirmation, and to simply reply “Y” to confirm my interest in joining their text alerts.

Sears Text Alerts

I received the text message as promised, and replied Y to confirm that I wanted to receive text alerts from Sears. You can see below what I received in response…

Text Message Advertising Example

To be fair, I checked back a couple days after I had tried to join their text alerts program the first time, just to make sure this wasn’t a temporary glitch in their system. I also tried joining the Sears text alerts program on different mobile phones to make sure it wasn’t just mine, and in both cases I was still receiving the error message.

The scary part is how long has this has been going on for, and how many mobile subscribers Sears has lost due to this error. Considering this is a national brand, and it’s been a couple days since I’ve noticed this issue, I’m guessing they’ve lost thousands of mobile subscribers due to this error. What really sucks is that this isn’t Sears fault, it’s the fault of the SMS provider they’re using.

How do you avoid this type of error for your own text alerts campaign? It’s actually pretty simple. The first thing you want to do is to make sure your SMS provider runs frequent unit testing on all their critical SMS messaging systems. The second thing is to only work with an SMS provider that offers truly dedicated account management for your campaign. Working  with an SMS provider that runds frequent unit testing  and offers a dedicated account manager can significantly cut down the risk of something like this happening to your own text alerts campaign.

Need a new SMS provider Sears? Give me a call directly at (206) 274-6599 ext 131 and lets talk about how to fix this mess.  – Derek


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