Are You Spamming SMS Marketing Subscribers?

Text Message Marketing Advice – Are you spamming and don’t know it?

OHHH buddy! Here we go. I hope you guys can grasp this one. No body likes a spammer and if you do not know the ins and outs of text message marketing you will become one. Education is key. Everybody is offering a text marketing service but no body wants to help you in your campaigns unless your with and a few other sms marketing providers.

Text Message Marketing is a easy to learn inexpensive marketing medium that has to be taken by the horns and ran with. If you are not committed to your campaigns then forget this marketing medium and go back to advertising in the Penny Saver. You need to understand compliance if you want to be a Pro at it and get results. Text is personal and when you violate it or make rookie mistakes IT COSTS YOU! Maybe not dollars but opt. outs on your text message marketing list. Lets dive into this second part series on good advice for staying away from spam.

If you have set up a text message marketing account with any provider out there you will probably know that you can reserve what most will call a, “Keyword, textword, or Yepword”. When you have set this up you then set and auto-reply or auto-responder. An auto-reply is an automatic response confirming the customer has joined your list that they get just once. An auto-responder is a automatic reply you can receive over and over when ever you text that keyword into your providers short code.

Now you know basics lets pretend you have been growing your list for a while and lets say you have around 1000 contacts on one keyword list. This means if your keyword is, “Restaurant” then all your contacts have subscribed to that keyword list. They have opted in to receiving promotions for that keyword and business on the keyword list represented by the word, “Restaurant:.

RULE 1: You can only promote to customers whom have opted into a specific keyword list or have given you permission to send them promotional messages through text.

RULE 2: You CANNOT change the keyword once a customer has joined that list. This will be viewed as a different promotion and considered spam.

Example 1: My keyword is, “restaurant” and I have had 1o00 people join my list to receive promotions for the keyword, “restaurant”. If I were to delete that keyword, set up a new keyword and then upload all the contacts from the keyword list, “restaurant” onto the new one, well then, this would be considered SPAM.

This is especially true when you change the keyword and start promoting something completely unrelated to what the first list was originally purposed for. SPAMMMMM!

RULE 3: If you acquire a list which you have been accumulating for the past whoever knows how long, you MUST have permission from all contacts on the list to be added to a text message marketing campaign before you start promoting. If you do not follow these rules you will be shut down and the provider could face shut down as well.

SIDE NOTE: If you are using this list for communications its a little different. You still want to make sure you have permission to add your list of contacts then you will want to define the purpose of the list for compliance. Going beyond your defined purpose or adding people who do not want your message is SPAMMMMMM!


Excerpt from 2.1-5 in the MMA Best Practices guide:

“This opt-in applies only to the specific program a subscriber is subscribed to and should not be used as a blanket approval to promote other programs, products, and services. However, after the subscriber has been given the complete details about the opt-in scope, the subscriber may opt-in to receive other messages. A content provider may, however, communicate with existing opted-in subscribers through non-premium messages that a) notify subscribers of updates to their existing service or b) are part of a retention program for that particular service. Directions to unsubscribe from these messages must be clearly available with the delivery of each message.”


SIDE NOTE: The switch happens when you have a list of contacts you accumulated with one text message marketing service provider and have decided to switch to another and take your list with you.

This is a form of spam weather you think so or not. What happens is your contacts have opted into your marketing list with a certain keyword and short code number with your previous text message  marketing service provider and then you switch to a different provider and they have a whole new number for communications.

Not only do they have a new short code number, but they might not have the same keyword available. What happens then is you register a different keyword. This is not good because all you loyal and new customers are opted into your previous keywords list and short code not your new ones.

Imagine with me for a brief moment that you are a customer on your text message marketing list that you have opted in to a text campaign for the keyword, “HOTDOGS” and the short code number is 00000. Number one, you must really love hotdogs, and number two you know the keyword and short code number that you opted into. This is important because you now have trust with this business to send promotions only from keyword, “HOTDOGS” and short code 00000.

But what happens when you do the old switch-a-roo on that customer. Ut ohhhh!….. Now pretend you’re that same customer on the same list and short code, and one day your out strolling a long and BAM! You get a text deal from a new short code number and keyword you never signed up for.

The message reads, “HAMBURGERS: Get a blah blah blah deal for two etc…….

Your jaw instantly drops and you reply STOP because you did not want messages from HAMBURGERS. As a matter of fact you don’t know how they got your number. Your customers will consider this spam and you will have a large opt our rate with angry customers.

How to do it the right way

1. Start from scratch – This is the only true way to make sure you don’t have angry customers.

2. When you have switched to the new text message marketing provider simply send out a message similar to this one. As a matter of fact you could even use this one as a template.

EXAMPLE: Hamburgers: Sliders restaurant has recently changed our keyword from HOTDOGS to HAMBURGERS. You will also notice we change our number from OLD# to NEW#. For staying cool, use this text for a FREE appetizer. Exp 7 days.

In bother cases you can keep your customers trust. It may also be wise for the you to mention they will not receive any more messages from HOTDOGS and your old short code number.

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