ReachTEL conducted a five-question survey of 616 residents in the Victorian Federal electorate of Maribyrnong during the day of 8th June 2013.
10 Best Practices for SMS Marketing Opt-ins
SMS marketing opt-ins are like airport security. Necessary to get in, but no fun. Unfortunately for SMS marketers, the mobile opt-in form is a lot easier to sidestep than airport security. If your opt-in doesn’t work, people just leave and forget. SMS marketing campaigns entail a big challenge: to get people to fill out forms.
At the heart of a good SMS marketing campaign are simple, intuitive and well-designed mobile opt-in forms.
There are three types of forms, depending on where they’re located: SMS, mobile advertising, and a web form. The pure SMS form takes place on the mobile device, a mobile ad appears only to web users, and a web form is a place to sign up for an SMS campaign online via computer. These guidelines apply to all points of entry.
Design for mobile whenever possible, because what is easier for a smart phone is also easier for other devices.
These essential design elements of mobile SMS marketing opt-ins will help you build effective SMS opt-in messaging for both web forms and print.
1) Clear branding. People need the feeling that your form or ad is part of your brand instead of a spammy phishing attempt. Using your company colours and other important brand elements is crucial to that task. The best practice is to include branding in an unobtrusive border surrounding the ad, in order to avoid distracting from the content of the ad.
2) Say it all with an image. Eyeballs come for the imagery and stay for the promise. In the image, have the benefit of opting in be intuitive at a glance. For example, VH1 used a silhouette of a crowd at a rock concert as the background image of an SMS campaign to receive alerts for concerts in your area.
3) State a clear and concise benefit that is appealing to the target audience. This should be an image and no more than a single phrase, in large, readable text. For example, PETA 2’s youth-oriented campaign, “Be the cutest vegetarian alive” contest, says it all. The clear benefit is to be voted attractive and enthusiastic about the cause by your fellow vegetarians. The ad includes pictures of last year’s cute female and male winners, with the statement, “My name is___, and I am a vegetarian.” Very appealing to vegetarian teens.
4) Easy to remember keyword / number combo. The exact vernacular is “Text [KEYWORD] to [NUMBER (WORD)]. Don’t add any more words. For example, American beer brand powerhouse Budweiser’s Track Your Bud campaign integrated clear branding with an easy to remember message "text KING to 23377 (BEERS)." King to beers: got it.
5) Set Clear Expectations. In the first message or two that you send new subscribers, thank them and let them know what will happen next. How many messages will they receive and how often? When will that benefit be ready and how do they get it? Are there any actions they might take to improve their odds?
6) Terms and Conditions. Include a legible disclaimer or terms of conditions statement at the bottom of all ads (web forms can include a link). The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) has some standard wording that you can work from.
7) Place ad in a high-trafficked, targeted area. If it’s on your website, try to make the opt-in message or form no more than one click away from your highest trafficked page. Prime real estate includes the upper right hand corner of the page or a full-width banner.
8) Test ads on fresh eyes. Before you launch, make sure all your decisions come together in a cohesive bunch, and that you are communicating each of these elements effectively by showing it to random users for a few seconds and asking them what they think it is about. If they don’t get the message the way you intended, go back to the drawing board. The user is always right.
9) Integrate across channels. Create opportunities for subscribers to cross-subscribe between multiple channels. On a web form it is best to offer the option of either SMS messages or email correspondence. On print, the text call-to-action often goes alongside a QR code that leads to a mobile form. As you engage subscribers in one channel, offer them other channels to deepen the communication.
With these essential SMS campaign elements in mind, take a cue from some of the biggest brands while fashioning your own SMS campaign opt-ins, tailored to your unique audience. We will leave you with one final consideration, perhaps the most important:
Don’t overanalyse. Instead, get started right away; enlist guidance from our SMS marketing experts at ReachTEL communications, and improve as you go.