SMS Advertising Best Practices

When advertising any SMS marketing campaign, a business needs to be aware of industry best practices. Derek Johnson, CEO of Tatango breaks down the five pieces of information required when advertising any SMS marketing campaign.


Video Transcription

Hey guys, Derek Johnson with Tatango here. Today we’re going to be talking about how to advertise your SMS campaign. There are a few things, actually five things, that are required by both the CTIA, the MMA, and the carriers to be present in any advertising. So let’s go through those five things. Here is a campaign that is doing a great job of advertising Text CUPCAKE, which cupcake is the SMS keyword, to the short code, 33733. Then, all the stuff below it is the stuff that is required by all of those organizations and the carriers. So let’s go through those one by one.

The first one, which I think is one of the most important things, is message and data rates may apply. You have to tell people that, if they’re not on a text message plan or they’re not on a bulk unlimited text message plan, that they will be charged standard messaging rates. Now, again, that’s only 12% of the United States that doesn’t have a text message plan, but you want to be very, very clear about what they’re opting in to and the responsibilities of opting in. Usually, what I say is put that below the short code down here.

Then, let’s look at it, “to receive exclusive discounts monthly.” There are actually two things that are included in this phrase. The first one is “exclusive discounts.” All those organizations and the carriers, what they want to display is they want to say what they’re opting in to. Again, just text CUPCAKE to 33733, it doesn’t make any sense. Why the heck would I want to text CUPCAKE to 33733? You have to be very clear in your advertising about why they should actually do that, and this advertising does a pretty good job – to receive exclusive discounts.

The third part is monthly, and what this is, is it tells the customer or the person that’s opting in to this campaign how frequently the messages will come. Again, this could be daily. This could be weekly. This could be monthly. This also builds a lot of trust with the customer. Hypothetically, let’s say it said, “Text CUPCAKE to 33733 to receive exclusive discounts.” As a customer, I might not be okay with opting in to that campaign because I don’t understand well, how many messages. I don’t want to receive messages every four hours about cupcakes. I only eat cupcakes, maybe every week, maybe every month. I don’t want to receive cupcake discounts every single day or every five hours. Again, this will actually increase the opt-ins if it’s appropriate to the discounts that you are offering.

Then, at the very, very bottom here, there are two things you want to include. “Opt-out, text STOP.” Then the second one is, “Terms and conditions, text HELP.” Let’s go to the first one, “Opt-out, text STOP.” This is just making sure that people understand that when they join the campaign, at any time during the campaign they can always reply STOP to the short code, 33733 and automatically be removed from the campaign. They’ll never receive another message again. Again, this is going to increase opt-ins because people feel comfortable. They say, “Well, I’m going to test this out, run it for a couple weeks, but if I don’t like opting in to this campaign, I can get out at any time.”

The next one is the “Terms and conditions, text HELP.” You can actually do two different variations here. You can actually put a link to the terms and conditions of the campaign, or you can just tell them to text HELP. Most of the time I recommend the terms and condition text help. It’s a little easier. It’s a little quicker. It makes sense because it’s on the mobile phone. A lot of people don’t have a laptop that they can pull up a website and the terms and conditions. Plus it’s shorter, and with an ad, with all the stuff that you have to include in there, it does make it a little space conscious.

This is what is required by both the MMA, the CTIA, and the carriers whenever you do an advertisement, whether it’s on the Web, whether it’s in print, Facebook. You want to include all this stuff, both because your phone rules, but also you want to build trust with your customers. You want to make sure they understand what they’re getting into and the things you’re offering with their SMS campaign.

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