Mobile engagement means more than following rules

While consumers are happy to be sent mobile marketing messages, advertisers need to do more to win trust and be clear about their use of data. According to a study carried out by txt4ever, in association with the Direct Marketing Association, over half of respondents said that the opt-in process is not clear enough and the majority said they did not know who had contacted them.

“Mobile Marketing White Paper: UK Spam Study” looked into the unwritten rules of engagement in the mobile channel and found that nearly 70 per cent of consumers are happy to receive marketing messages, while more than half welcome SMS from trusted brands sending promotions and offers. But there is a lack of clarity around controls over receipt and two-thirds would like to choose the time of day when they receive mobile marketing messages.

Mark Brill, chair of the DMA Mobile Marketing Council, says: “Trust and clarity is key to developing an effective mobile marketing strategy. It’s therefore important to be explicit about opting in. Customers who have opted in should be quickly contacted with confirmation of their choices and information on how to opt out. Brands may find that their reputation is quickly damaged if mobile marketing messages are too frequent, sent at the wrong time of day, irrelevant or unclear to the user.”

Dealing with unwanted or unpermissioned messages is not an obvious process, since 34 per cent would complain to their mobile operator compared to 51 per cent who would complain directly to the advertiser. One third of consumers believe that receiving mobile spam results in a charge on their bill and a similar number believe they are charge if they open a spam message.

Brill adds: “Understanding the attitudes of consumers towards SMS marketing is key to creating a successful mobile marketing campaign. Unlike emails, mobile phones are routinely regarded as a private means of communication reserved exclusively for family, friends and colleagues. This study shows that consumers regard crossing this threshold and contacting them via unsolicited SMSs as being a near unforgivable violation of privacy. Brands guilty of such transgressions face dire consequences at the hands of the aggrieved consumer.”

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