10 Mobile Marketing Best Practices
While the marketing and advertising communities have been calling mobile devices the third screen, after 1) the television and 2) the computer, Gerry Christensen describes mobile marketing as the third wave of pull marketing, coming after toll-free, vanity phone numbers and Web sites. Christensen is chief technology officer at Zoove Corp., a mobile technology firm in Palo Alto, Calif., that offers StarStar Dialing, a marketing response method alternative to current texting options (such as shortcodes). He explains that one of the most appealing aspects of mobile marketing for both marketers and consumers is that an exchange can be both immediate and lasting, allowing the consumer to request information from the marketer in the heat of the moment but then save the communication for further review and response.
Since the third screen is a highly personal medium—consumers and business people carry such devices on their persons and use them primarily to communicate with family and friends—responsible marketing is paramount to keeping this channel open to commercial messaging. Before embarking on any mobile marketing ventures, review the following list of 10 mobile marketing best practices outlined by Andrew Reiskind, chief privacy officer at Harte-Hanks Inc., a direct and targeted marketing company based in San Antonio. Reiskind points out that some of these practices can be tested.
“1. Do not send mobile messages of any kind without prior consent. For messaging programs for which users will be charged, confirm the opt-in using a double-opt-in method.
2. Each outbound message should be clear as to the identity of the sender.
3. Every several messages, marketers should include a reminder of how to opt-out from future mobile messaging. The user should be informed of this opt-out mechanism at the time the user opts in.
4. Implement standard shortcodes. For example, if a user replies to a message with ‘STOP,’ this should be considered an opt-out from further marketing (and perhaps all) messages.
6. The opt-out mechanism should be ‘co-located’ with the opt-in mechanism so a user knows where to go to opt-out.
7. Establish an expiration date for the opt-in. For example, if a user has no interaction with the marketer for six months, the marketer should seek another opt-in before it sends further marketing messages to that user.
8. Do not sell or rent lists of cell phone numbers of users who have opted in, unless it has been made clear to the users that such sale or rental is a possibility.
9. Each mobile carrier will have its own requirements for any subscription or other services that are billed through that carrier, so marketers should be aware of those requirements as well.
10. Treat consumers and business individuals the same with regard to mobile messaging. While B-to-B marketing has its own distinct culture, where cell phones are concerned, consumer and business rules are practically the same. In business, most all of us guard our own cell phones!”
To learn more, Reiskind advises marketers to check out a set of best practices for cross-carrier mobile content (http://www.mmaglobal.com/modules/content/index.php?id=91) that have been developed by the Mobile Marketing Association. And he adds, “As always, it’s best to seek counsel before engaging in any mobile messaging program.”