SMS Marketing Bait-n-Switch

A common and costly mistake made in SMS marketing is using the bait-n-switch technique. Derek Johnson, CEO of Tatango breaks down how the bait-n-switch technique works and why this isn't a good idea for any SMS marketing campaign.


Video Transcription

Hi, Derek Johnson from In the SMS marketing industry, I see a lot of different things. One of the most frustrating things I see is a tactic called "SMS bait and switch." Let me explain how this works and why you don't want to do it for your own SMS campaign.

Let me show you a bad example. Let's say you're running an SMS contest and you tell people, "Hey, I'd love for you to enter my contest, text WIN to a short code, like 33733, and you'll be entered into my contest." Well, sounds like a great deal. So I get out my phone and I text WIN to the short code and automatically I receive back "Thanks for entering." Awesome. I entered the contest. Whoa, what is this? "You are now subscribed to weekly deals." That's what we call bait and switch. You just flipped it on them, pretty much, and said, "Look, enter a contest, now we're opting you in for future deals and promotions." Not good.

Here's what you want to do: you want to, again, advertise, "Hey people, join my contest, text WIN to a short code." And you want to send back a message, obviously, that says "Thanks for entering." But then, instead of just saying, "Hey, now I'm going to send you future messages," you want to let them have the option of opting in for future messages. Again, you don't want to bait and switch them. First, you want to have them reply "deals". "Deals" is the keyword that opts them in for future alerts. So now, once they text message "deals," now they know that they're being opt in to receive future text messages, unlike this one.

There's a way that you can get around it, but I don't see very many people doing this. Instead of just saying, "Hey, enter my context, text WIN," you can say, "Enter my context, text WIN, in addition you'll receive future text message alerts," something like that. That's another way to avoid the whole bait and switch thing. Hopefully this helps. It'll make your campaign more safe, and plus, it won't anger your customers.

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