Why Text Message Marketing Must Always Be Opt-In

Are you afraid of giving your mobile number to businesses? When it comes to text message marketing, many still believe if they give their mobile number, it’ll be sold and they’ll get unsolicited texts.

But this should never happen. Companies are legally required to get consent (or opt in) or they’ll face consequences.

Breaking the Rules = Heavy Fines from the FCC

Texting users without permission can bring down heavy fines and significant penalties from the FCC. Those fines can reach up to $1,500 per text, per person. This is covered under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991, which was amended to cover SMS in 2012 by the FCC. The TCPA makes it mandatory for businesses to receive “prior express written consent” before texting consumers.

Know the Legal Requirements of Text Marketing

Momares’ text and text-to-win programs are designed to only text to those who opt-in. This ensures clients don’t inadvertently run afoul of the legal requirements. Our recent blog post on the legal rules of text messaging covers everything that you need to know before you start your campaign.

Is Your Program in Compliance? Ask Yourself These Questions

Before you launch your campaign, be sure you can answer YES to all of the following questions. This ensure you are indeed establishing a respectful and lawful relationship with your subscribers:

  1. Are you sending text messages only to users who have provided express consent per MMA regulations?
  2. As part of that consent, are all programs and instructions, including message and data rates, program terms and privacy policies clearly displayed with all opt-in promotions?
  3. Have you taken steps to ensure the user’s consent applies only to the specific program for which the user opted-in and the consent has not been treated as approval for other programs?
  4. Are you using double opt-in for subscribers who join the program via a Web form or other method? (In many cases, texting from a mobile phone is the one time that a single opt-in should be permitted.)
  5. Have you communicated that opt-out (STOP) and assistance (HELP) mechanisms are available at the time of opt-in?
  6. Are all opt-out requests honored within 72 hours of receipt?

Rocking the Conch Republic: Results of Our Text-to-Win Sweepstakes for the Florida Keys & Key West

Would you enter for a chance to win a trip to the Florida Keys & Key West with fun, food & VIP tickets to Fantasy Fest? More than 11,000 people did in a successful text-to-win campaign for the tourism council.

This was the council’s first time using text-to-win or mobile marketing this way. It was an effort to increase awareness for the destination. You might be thinking everyone’s heard of the Florida Keys as a vacation spot, right? It’s well known among older generations, but the council wanted to reach the next generations, including Millenials.

With that in mind, we set up their text-to-win with a form to collect information, including date of birth.

Here’s a look at the results:

  • Objective: increase awareness for the destination
  • 11K completed sweepstakes entries with information such as First, Last, Email, Mobile and DOB.
  • 17k+ Visitors to the sweepstakes entry page
  • Data showed the majority of participants were from Florida, followed by Texas, California and Pennsylvania.
  • Average participant age was 54
  • More than 50% of participants were women
  • Breakdown by generation: 40% Boomers, 40% Gen X’ers, and 20% Millennials
  • This also led to 44,000 new fans to the Florida Keys Facebook Page
  • Text-to-win was shared more than 1,000 times on Facebook

The council was very pleased with the results, although a little surprised by the average age and generational breakdown. It just goes to show that everyone’s now on mobile and while text does offer greater access to Millenials, it also varies based on your audience and the appeal of your offer to that age group.

What made it a successful text-to-win?

  • It was promoted in multiple channels, including social media, online and in print
  • It was marketed often and consistently
  • The prize was relevant for the audience and was presented well
  • Appealing graphics and the offer itself got attention
  • The program captured valuable user information that can guide the sponsor in future efforts
  • The campaign generated a list of more than 11,000 mobile subscribers

A response from the council:

“The professionalism, dedication and hard work from the team at Momares helped us achieve our goals as a destination, allowing us to access a new mobile user platform as a means to communicate with and attract potential and repeat visitors to the Florida Keys. Momares proved to be a partner who understood the destination’s needs and goals.”

– Julie Botteri on behalf of the Florida Keys & Key West Tourist Development Council

Why SMS Marketing Is the Key to Reaching Millennials

There are 77 million Millennials in the US today and half of them use their mobile phone to research products and services. If you want to reach them, your best bet is mobile.

Millennials make up one of the largest segments of the population in the U.S. at 77 million. And roughly 85% of them own smartphones, according to Nielsen. So how do you reach them? Text and SMS marketing.

Here are some reasons why text message marketing is the key to reaching Millennials (ages 18-34).

Millennials Prefer Texting

If you want to reach Millennials via smartphone, using text message marketing is the best way to do so. Text messaging is the most dominant form of smartphone communication for Millennials, per a 2014 Gallup poll. In fact, it’s most prevalent for anyone under 50. And, of course, we’re talking text messages for which they’ve opted in!

Text Messages Have Higher Open Rates than Emails

The open rate of text messages is 85% or higher. Compare that to email open rates of roughly 20% or less. This difference can have a dramatic impact on your ability to reach prospects and customers. Need I say more?

Text Messages Are Preferred Over Mobile Apps

Do you use all of the apps on your phone? Users are getting app fatigue and are unlikely to download another app unless it offers significant value. Don’t force your customers to download an app to interact with you. You risk getting deleted. Use texting instead. It’s on every smartphone and everyone knows how to use it.

Millennials Don’t Use Voicemail

The New York Times says voicemails are about as obsolete as swing dancing and are virtually useless to Millennials. Part of the reason is voicemails are considered a little more cumbersome, when the same message can be sent instantly with a text. Is your company still making cold calls for sales? With this generation, it’s not a good idea.

Want to reach Millennials with a mobile campaign? Contact us or call us at (305) 505-5393 for help.

Mobile Marketing: Leading Advice & Quotes for 2016

As a leader in mobile marketing, we’ve predicted the rise of mobile for years. In 2016, mobile is getting more attention as mobile usage now dominates all other forms of communication.

Take a look at these insights on mobile marketing from leading experts to decide if your business is ready for mobile in 2016.

The Most Consequential Year

“2016 will be the most consequential year for companies on the path to customer obsession, and that includes adapting to empowered customers who expect to get anything they want immediately, in context on their mobile devices.” – Julie A. Ask, Forrester Research

Missed Opportunity

“SMS marketing is, truly, the biggest missed opportunity.” – James Harrison, Oxygen8 UK

Staying Power

“SMS has staying power in a world that has become saturated with multiple chat and messaging platforms.” – Brian Patterson, Go Fish Digital

Plays a Key Role

“SMS may be viewed as antiquated technology – but the reality is it that SMS plays a key role in connecting most modern technologies.” – Jamie Tolentino, TNW

In a Renaissance

“SMS, or text messaging, is in a period of renaissance currently.” – Brian Heikes, 3Cinteractive

He goes on to describe a study by SAP global, which showed that 70% of consumers feel SMS is a good way for a company to get their attention and 64% believe organizations should use SMS-type engagement more frequently.

It’s Familiar

“Texting is easy. It’s familiar.” – Kyle Vanhemert, Wired

This is why texting texting will stand the test of time–in contrast with apps which have a learning curve. As Kyle says, it’s a “medium in which we’re already fluent.”

High ROI

“Sending an SMS message is much cheaper than most marketing channels, and it can deliver the same (if not higher) level of ROI.” – Krissy DeAngelis, Waterfall

How to Promote Your Mobile Campaigns on Social Media

Whether you’re offering Text 2 Win prizes, mobile coupons or other offers, your campaigns will only succeed as long as you keep promoting them.

We see many clients promoting their campaigns once or twice, then letting them fall off the radar. Are you doing the same? If so, you’re losing opportunities to get new subscribers!  Be consistent about reminding your fans/followers of your text message offers.

Read on for tips on promoting your mobile offers, in some cases on auto pilot.

Promoting (and Scheduling) on Facebook

It’s a no-brainer to promote your campaigns when they launch. But how do you keep it going consistently? Schedule those posts.

Did you know you can schedule posts within Facebook? You can schedule a post to run each week. Here’s how…

1. Enter your text and upload your photo in the post box on your Facebook page. Then, instead of clicking “Publish,” click the down arrow right next to it and select “Schedule.”

2. Choose the date and time you’d like it to post on Facebook and click “Schedule.”

3. Facebook will confirm it has been scheduled. You can see all of your scheduled posts by clicking “Publishing Tools” at the top menu of your Facebook page and “Scheduled Posts” on the left.

4. Your post will appear at the scheduled time. Make sure to interact with any fans who respond!

Remember to include your call-to-action. A photo or visual will also help get attention.

Other Networks & Tools

For Twitter we recommend scheduling a message to run once every day or two (at different times).  If you’re posting on LinkedIn, we suggest 2 times a week while the campaign is running.

You can also schedule posts with apps like TwitTimer or Hootsuite.