Part 3 of our series of “How-To’s” for mobile marketing focuses on perhaps the most important part of running a mobile marketing campaign: gathering subscribers. No mobile marketing campaign is going to succeed unless it has subscribers, and the more the better. The last article in this series explained the need for proper advertising of a mobile marketing campaign. We won’t say anything further on advertising, and if you would like to learn more about mobile marketing advertising please read our article entitled How To Advertise a Mobile Marketing Campaign. Rather, we will discuss the various methods of gathering subscribers and techniques you could use to implement them.
The Mobile Opt-In
In our previous article, we discussed much about the call-to-action and its importance in enticing subscribers to opt-in. The result of an effective call-to-action is mobile opt-ins. A mobile opt-in is performed when a subscriber responds to a call-to-action by texting a word (known as a “keyword”) to a specific 5-6 digit phone number known as a short code. This, in-turn, opts them in to the specific mobile marketing campaign they were exposed to by the call-to-action. Mobile opt-ins are the easiest and most effective form of gathering subscribers because it requires little effort on the part of subscribers and business alike. Mobile opt-ins require only a “single opt-in” which means that once a subscriber opts-in via their mobile phone, they have exchanged their consent for the messages they will receive. They do not need to confirm anything further to receive messages. This is different for other forms of opting-in that are discussed later in this article.
Use Different Text Message Campaigns
There are different types of mobile campaigns that a business can run in order to entice subscribers to opt-in. Examples of such campaigns are:
- Text Voting
- Mobile Coupons
- Informational Campaigns
The text-to-win campaign provides great incentive for subscribers to opt-in. TXT180 has just recently released a feature for selecting random numbers to pick as winners for a text-to-win campaign. Through the right call-to-action, subscribers will be excited to join a mobile marketing campaign in hopes of winning a prize for doing so.
Text voting invites subscribers to share their opinions with the business owner and provide feedback for a variety of different things a business owner may ask for. Combining a text voting campaign with offering a coupon for doing so gives further incentive for a person to opt-in as well as share their opinion/feedback.
Mobile coupons are discussed multiple times throughout this and many of our other articles on mobile marketing. Coupons play a large role in enticing people to opt-in and participate in your mobile campaigns. Just by reading this article, I’m sure you have noticed the number of references we have made to utilizing mobile coupons as a method to drive your mobile campaign. Mobile coupons will be discussed in greater detail in a later article.
Informational campaigns are just as they sound, informational. They provide information to subscribers who opt-in. Examples of informational campaign are real estate and automotive dealerships using the text platform to send information about their listings or cars for sale.
Having multiple methods of opting in will increase the likely hood of subscribers joining your texting campaign. One such method is allowing subscribers to opt-in via the web. TXT180 has a feature known as a “website widget” that is essentially a website form that collects a subscriber’s name and phone number and opts them into the service upon submission of the form, a very effective way to collect subscribers who frequent your web pages. Opting-in through a web interface, such as a website widget, requires something known as a “double opt-in”. We discussed what “single opt-ins” are in the preceding paragraphs, and a double opt-in is just as it sounds. The Mobile Marketing Association’s document on Consumer Best Practices states:
…However, when opt-in occurs via the web or other non-mobile point of origination, the content provider must obtain verification that the subscriber is in possession of the handset being opted-in to the service.
This is known as a double opt-in. Double opt-ins are accomplished by a subscriber opting to receive messages, an auto-reply message coming back to them that instructs subscribers to reply “YES” to the message to confirm their opt-in, and a subscriber replying with the “YES”.
One of the best ways to spread news of your mobile marketing campaign is by word of mouth. Ask your current subscribers to forward a message to friends, asking
their friends to opt-in. Give incentive, such as a coupon or offer, as a reason to send it. Instruct the current subscribers to have their friends who opt-in to forward the phone number of the friend who referred them. This way, you can track how many referrals each of your subscribers have given you and reward them accordingly.
Paper-Based Consent Forms
In addition to opt-ins from a mobile device and the web, a subscriber may also opt-in through a paper-based consent forms. This form of opting-in carries several different regulations that all relate back to permission based mobile marketing. When collecting opt-ins through a paper-based consent form, 2 things must be made known to the subscriber:
- They must be made aware that they will receive text messages. This must be explicitly declared to them. A declaration of what the program is including what they will be receiving (i.e. you will receive coupons)
- On the consent form, there must also be information about opting out (i.e. STOP to cancel), a way to receive additional information (i.e. HELP for help), and the message frequency (e.g. 6 messages per month).
- They must understand that message and data rates may apply. This way, if they do not have a text messaging plan with their wireless subscriber, they are made aware that they could face additional carrier charges for sending or receiving text messages
Once they are made aware of, and have consented to the above information, it’s best to have them sign off on it. Keep this information with you for proof that the people have consented to receive text messages. Most text message marketing platforms will have means to import a list of phone numbers who have consented through these paper-based consent forms. From TXT180′s experience, it is best to opt the subscribers into the service soon after they have given their consent through a paper-based form. People easily forget and if you put off adding the contacts to the system until later, most people will forget they had opted to receive those messages. This usually leads to a high number of opt-outs.
We’ve seen many different methods of gathering subscribers and the more options you have, the better. By combining your advertising and methods of gathering subscribers, you will see your subscriber-base grow. In following articles, we will have additional information about what to do after you have grown your subscriber base.