Top 4 Pitfalls To Avoid In Your Mobile Marketing Campaigns

So you might have found this post because you started your mobile marketing campaign and have run into a few problems.  No worries, everyone has issues when first doing a mobile marketing campaign.  It is a new system that most people just aren’t used to and currently it is a wild west of what will work and what won’t work.

Well being in the industry we have heard of some of these great pitfalls and how it can damage a brands image.  Some companies have gotten sued for their bad SMS marketing campaigns. To name a few here are the biggest ones so far.

1. Twentieth Century Fox had to pay out 16 Million for their mistake of sending out SMS messages to people. They did this to promote a movie called Robots.

2. Timberland  had to pay 7 Million when they got accused of SMS spam. That was a bad day for them. Probably keeping them away from doing SMS marketing for a while.

Hopefully if you are a small marketing firm you will not be running into these types of issues with your campaigns. But there is a lot to learn from what they did wrong and we intend to give you this information so that you don’t run into the same issues.

Pitfall #1 – Will Your List Accept Your Messages

Make sure that your messages are to people that are willing to accept your messages. Just because your clients give you their phone numbers doesn’t mean that you can use that as a marketing channel. It seems different when companies are sending junk mail as we have just become accustomed to it and seem to be ok with it, because we can chose to read it or not read it and it isn’t requiring us to look at it. Text messages ideally have to be addressed, you have to look at it to even erase it, that is a gift and a curse for the marketer sending these messages.

The best way to make sure that you are not running into this first pitfall is to have people opt-in and if you really want to be sure that is ok with them to send SMS messages make them double opt-in. This way if anything comes about that you are sending unsolicited messages you can always have this fact to back you up if you ever find yourself in the courthouse.

Pitfall #2 – What You Are Sending

Nobody on the planet likes to be in a hard sell or have promotions pushed on to them. They want to feel as if they are in control of the whole process and the real only way to do this is to have some sort of interaction that sets them in a special group or elite members group.  You can do this a number of ways but usually it is by how you are addressing your message recipient.

Examples – SMS coupon only, or private coupon for our elite members. Here the recipient will believe that they are getting this and nobody who hasn’t opted in to this special list will not get it. But if you chose to do this make sure that it is true. Give them a special deal that really is for them and  nobody else and when you do it has to be of great value.

Plus it would be wise to not send out these special messages everyday. We as a society understand that there can’t be a new best deal everyday. A monthly schedule of these messages will work best, and only once a month. Sending too much will get annoying.

Pitfall #3 – Sending At The Wrong Time

Who Just Sent Me A Text At 2am?

This is going to be different for each SMS marketer.  It will really be determined by who your audience is and how and when you would like them to interact with them.

For example, if you are a retail location, sending out a message to potential customers on a Tuesday for a private sale you are having on Saturday might not be the best time. The ideal time would be on that Saturday morning or Friday afternoon. Most people don’t really plan that far in advance and will forget about what you sent them by the time your sale comes.  This is not because they didn’t want to go to your sale, it is just that they have information overload and will just process that information out of their heads by then. Ideally if you are a retail location trying to send on the ideal pay schedule for most individuals will also yield a better turn out for your event. So at the end of the beginning of a month is more ideal.

Pitfall #4 – Sending Too Frequently

Really Again? Worse Than A Nagging Girlfriend

People will not mind that much if they are a valued customer of yours, to get a SMS message from you ever couple weeks about something you want to share with them. However I was subscribed to a restaurant that sent me stuff everyday about their special of the day. Honestly I love their Lobster Bisque, but I don’t care about their specials that much. Reason is because when I crave a Lobster Bisque I will go there and get it.  What I would want from them is a coupon once a month maybe.  But telling me that they made some soup and it comes to me mid-day on a Tuesday doesn’t really sit well with me. I honestly at that time don’t give a rats ace.  I want to know about it when its closer to night time…dinner time or at least on a Friday or something of the sorts.

Granted I understood why they did it at the times they did, they were trying to drive traffic for their restaurant at times when most people don’t go out to eat.  The concept is good, but in mind the timing and frequency of the messages and what they sent was not.

Brett’s Get To The Point Moment

Ideally look at yourself and consider how you would feel getting a message and who it is coming from and what it says.  If you know that you don’t like certain messages at certain times and think that your client wouldn’t like it either then just don’t do it.

Treat others how you would like to be treated is really what it boils down to.  Making sure you are invited and when you do show up in their messages, your message is invited and at a time that is convenient to them.

PS: If you are interested in learning more about how to do this, please leave a comment and start some interaction and we will get back to you fast.  If you have your opinion please also leave a comment and will get back to you asap. If you just can’t wait for that email us


Chris Brisson

Chris is the co-founder and CEO at Call Loop. He is focused on marketing automation, growth hacker strategies, and creating duplicatable systems for growing a remote and bootstrapped company. Chat with him on Twitter at @chrisbrisson

  • Great post guys. I’d hate to be the company shelling out millions due to sending bad texts to my fans. I’d love to see some case studies of SMS followup sequences that mesh with these 4 tips (sending too frequently, etc).

    • brett

      Yeah that was a major pitfall, pretty sure the person in charge of that might have lost their job on that one.

    • Chris Brisson

      Greg, it’s all about the timing and pace of the texts. No one likes getting overwhelmed with text messages from someone they do not know.

      For the SMS followups, we have some interesting ways to integrate sms and voice into a campaign for increasing sales, profits, and retention.

      What would you like to learn about?

  • Nice 🙂 Love the new blog and format guys! Ha, #3 is right on the nose. For all of us used to sending out email blasts… we usually try to get them in the inboxes early in the morn and right after work… because not everyone checks their email everyday… but some check it ever 5 mins… but, that doesn’t always translate to being the best time for all communication channels.

    That really shows how sms and email work together… sms is a real time reminder/communication… email is a delayed communication channel.

    Great work guys!

    – Trevor

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