Why Building SMS Text Lists for Import Into Multiple Text Campaigns Should Be Avoided

August 27, 2011 by  Filed under: Marketing 

This article will explore the practice of building text messaging lists to sell to multiple businesses. For example, advertising a free dessert in exchange for a consumer opting into a mobile text messaging campaign for restaurants in the Orlando, Florida area.

An example of one scenario:

Let’s say we want to build a list of cell phone numbers to sell to restaurants in Orlando, Florida. For example: Text *Free Dessert* to 12345 to receive coupons for a free dessert at local eateries. This list would be offered to local restaurants for a fee.

At first glance, this may sound like an innocent practice; after all these consumers are opting in to receive these text messages, right?

Problems that could arise:

  1. The first potential problem with this scenario is that the consumer may not be aware that their cell phone number may be sold to multiple businesses (in the above example – multiple restaurants and eateries).
  2. When the consumer begins receiving numerous texts from businesses they don’t remember opting into, it can give the whole text messaging industry a bad name.

At the very least, the consumer needs to be made aware that they may receive multiple text messages from multiple businesses similar to the popular daily email coupon campaigns like Groupon. The major difference is that Groupon messages come from them and not from multiple sources. The end user knows that they signed up to receive these daily coupon offers and can opt out anytime they choose.

The practice of building SMS marketing lists to import into new campaigns without the express consent of the consumer to receive text messages from that new campaign is frowned upon by the Mobile Marketing Association (“MMA”).

Here’s what the MMA has to say about it in their Code of Conduct:

“Mobile Marketers must implement consent (opt-in) for a specific messaging program. Consent is not carried into other programs unless the user has consented to such communications either 1) when they consented to the initial program or 2) upon the commencement of a subsequent messaging program.”

It clearly states that consent is not carried into other programs unless conditions 1 and 2 above are met.

A safer alternative:

A safer alternative would be to build a targeted list and sell your text messaging service to multiple businesses in exchange for sending their special offers to the list. In this case, you are selling your service; not the list.

Benefits with this strategy:

  1. The messages are being received from one source; your business.
  2. The consumer knows they signed up to receive messages from you so they are less likely to think they are being spammed.

Rosemarie Calabro is the founder of MobileSocialSolutions.us. She specializes in mobile marketing, sms text messaging campaign management, mobile website design and Facebook fanpage design.She is based in Central Florida and works with clients nationwide. Mobile Social Solutions is offering 30 days free sms text messaging when you order a mobile website. Visit: http://mobilesocialsolutions.us to learn more.

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