SMS Marketing Best Practices

Target Text Message Coupons Fail

This last week I was at Target in Seattle and was surprised to see an entire wall in the retail store devoted to Target Mobile. I was even more surprised to see text message coupons right beside their mobile website and iPhone/Android app. It’s been my experience that some big brands ignore SMS with its 72% adoption rate in favor of the more flashy iPhone/Android apps, which have a less than a 10% adoption rate. Seeing this was definitely a breath of fresh air for someone like myself.

Target Mobile Marketing Campaign

Even cooler was the fact that Target used SMS to open both the mobile website and the app on the customer’s mobile phone. To do this, the customer texted either SITE or APP to 827438, then they would receive an SMS message in return with a URL directing them to the appropriate place. Pretty cool!

Below is the call to action to receive offers via text message from Target Mobile.

Text COUPON to 827438 for mobile coupons

After texting COUPON to 827438 on my mobile phone and receiving the following text message back, I had a serious WTF moment.

Target Text Message Coupons

Why with only 30% of the population having a web-enabled mobile phone, would Target direct customers to the mobile web to signup for text message coupons? The whole point about including text message coupons with other Target mobile initiatives is that text messaging is accessible by almost everyone. With one simple mistake, Target has alienated 70% of their customer base that wanted to receive text message coupons, but couldn’t because they didn’t have access to the web on their phone.

Target Mobile Coupons

My advice, Target needs to remove this ridiculous step when signing up for their text message coupons. The beauty of text message coupons is that they are simple, when crafting your own mobile marketing campaign, don’t add unnecessary steps to make things more confusing than they need to be. Write that down :)


Jump to Content