The Problem with SMS Marketing: Lack of Understanding and Misuse

– The brand is collecting phone numbers during sign up and it is driving a lot of revenue.
– The brand is unsure if the sign up requires double opt-in and does not know the attribution window or the drop off between email and phone number collection.
– The brand has not looked at the unsubscribe percentage and there are concerns about the disingenuous use of SMS marketing.Ensure that the brand understands the underlying processes and metrics of collecting phone numbers during sign up, such as double opt-in, attribution window, drop off rate, and unsubscribe percentage.Brand: We’d like to collect phone numbers during sign-up.
Me: Are you currently doing this?
Brand: Yes. It’s driving a ton of revenue.
Me: Does the sign-up require double opt-in?
Brand: Not sure.
Me: What’s the attribution window?
Brand: I don’t know.
Me: What’s the drop-off between email and phone number collection?
Brand: Not sure.
Me: What’s your unsubscribe percentage?
Brand: Haven’t looked at it.

I’ve had this conversation too many times to count. The problem is that agencies and companies hype up the use of it as a channel without actually understanding the underlying processes behind it, which are the foundations to understanding its impact. The best part about all this is, you need to literally call a rep at most companies to understand the attribution period. I’m not even kidding. A lot of things in this particular industry rub me the wrong way because I feel it’s disingenuous from the start. A person goes to a website, feels forced to subscribe to texts to unlock a discount, or that it’s required. They get a text and have to confirm opting in by responding, or they are taken directly to their texts with a pre-filled out message to send. Either way, they have to confirm being opted in. Because this step requires customer action, this starts the attribution period. The vast majority of sales come within 30 days of someone signing up; the sign-up itself was the intention to unlock an offer in consideration of finishing a purchase. People rarely subscribe for any other reasons. But it gets better… My favorite part, though, hands down, is that the vast majority of SMS providers use generic coupon codes in their opt-ins. We faced an issue with multiple providers that don’t allow our use of custom fields in the opt-in series. In fact, if you go to any e-commerce website, you’re likely to get a discount if you type “TEXT10” or any other variation of “10” into the coupon field. I don’t hate it as a channel, I think it’s great when knowingly and willingly opted into for real value. I just don’t see people using it that way. #marketing #ecommerce #strategy

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