We’ve been thinking a lot recently about the early stages of a mobile messaging campaign. Specifically, how marketers can easily get started with multi-media messaging.
A big part of that easy set-up is powered by Moments, the omnichannel customer engagement hub where anyone can build automated conversations and interactions, no matter how technical they are.
But the truth is, your messaging journey starts earlier than that.
It starts with building a contact list. Without an effective process for this, all your mobile messaging efforts could be in vain.
So here’s a quick overview for any marketers who want to build a contact list for their mobile messaging campaigns.
It breaks down into five key steps.
1. Make your offer clear, compelling, and consistent
Let’s not be coy about it, an opt-in is an exchange of value. You want your prospect or customer’s contact information – and they want something of value in return.
So it’s your job to sell that value to them as if it were a real product or service. In exchange for their prized phone number, what will they get?
Will you be sending them discounts and promotions? Will they be the first to access newly launched product lines or offers? Will they benefit from a loyalty program?
It has to be a clear and compelling offer that addresses a real demand or desire (otherwise good luck justifying that phone number request). And here’s the thing that people get wrong time and time again: don’t mess with the offer. If they sign up for something, give them it. Don’t be tempted to change the nature of your campaign halfway through. They’ll feel duped, and you could find yourself in hot water if you’re acting without the appropriate permissions.
2. Incentivize sign-ups
Earning permission to market to consumers is no easy feat. It’s not as simple as other mobile messaging opt-ins, where the benefit of signing up for things like delivery updates are obvious to your audience.
So sometimes, you have to go above and beyond the offer itself. Sign-up rewards like additional money-off discounts, free giveaways, or entry into competitions are possible incentives.
3. Make the opt-in experience a breeze
If your opt-in process is cumbersome or confusing, what will your subscribers expect the rest of their experience with you to be like? Probably more of the same.
So start things off on the right foot. Make the process smooth and easy. There are plenty of options available to you, depending on your physical and digital setup.
Make your call to action prominent on your website. If you have an online store, you can invite buyers to opt-in when they’re at the checkout. Where there are checkboxes for permissions, best practice dictates that you should leave these unchecked by default – don’t trick people into opting in just because they didn’t see you had pre-selected it for them.
Then there’s the text-to-register option, which is a natural choice for your messaging campaigns. Encourage your staff to share the details with customers, put up posters or advertisements, and if you’re using a short code, you can invite consumers to text in a relevant keyword.
4. Play to mobile’s strengths
Here’s a tip that sounds obvious but that lots of brands forget. You’re inviting customers to sign up for mobile messages, so make sure you really lean into the benefits of the format. After all, why should someone sign up for mobile messages instead of email, phone, mail, in-store or any other kind of interaction with your brand?
Use the features of mobile messaging to your advantage – for example, expiration dates for time-sensitive deals, location-based campaigns for local offers, and in-the-moment engagement that mobile really excels at.
5. Maintain your contact list
The last tip is to remember that a mobile contact list isn’t a one-and-done job. If you neglect it, it won’t just get outdated – it could get you into some serious trouble.
In terms of your use of the list, make sure you maintain momentum so customers get familiar with the type and frequency of your messages. Too many brands rush in and quickly run out of ideas for engaging promotions and content.
Then you have to remember to make it easy for people to opt out of your campaign and your list. There are rules you must follow about informing subscribers about STOP messages and so on.
Lastly, and very importantly, you have to follow all the relevant rules that govern how you retain and use personal information. These are different in different countries and regions, so do your research and make sure you’re covered for CCPA or GDPR or whatever applies to you. (Or make sure you have a messaging partner you can trust to help you stay compliant.)
Once you’ve built your contact list, you’re ready to start creating mobile marketing conversations.
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