SMS Marketing Best Practices

Walgreens SMS Keyword Mistake

While at my local Walgreens this weekend, I saw that they were encouraging customers to use text messaging to download their new mobile app. Awesome use of an SMS Autoresponder if you ask me.

SMS Marketing Keyword Fail

There was one problem though with the SMS call-to-action, they put an asterisk at the end of the SMS keyword “APP”. Not the biggest mistake, but I could see many Walgreen consumers trying to text “APP*” to 21525.

SMS Keyword Fail

Another more minor mistake is putting a period after the short code, which again could cause confusion for customers thinking the phone number is 21525 with a period at the end. You have to remember that mobile marketing and text message marketing is still new to many consumers, you can’t expect them to know that an SMS keyword doesn’t include an asterisk or an SMS short code doesn’t include a period.

Below is what happens when you text message “APP” with an asterisk, you get an error. This could be fixed two ways, the first fix would be not to put an asterisk so close to your SMS keyword (simple) or the second fix, using an SMS marketing platform that strips away non-characters like this in mobile originated messages. By using an SMS marketing platform like Tatango, customers could text APP!?* and instead of receiving an error, they would receive the information they requested.

Wallgreens Text Message

What do you think? Am I being too hard on Walgreens, do you think people would really text message “APP” with an asterisk or a short code with a period at the end? Give me your thoughts in the comments section below.


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