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In today’s digital world, marketers are taking a multichannel approach to targeting consumers. The most coveted channel now is SMS (Short Message Service), better known as SMS.
There are challenges and rules that marketers should be aware of when using different channels. For example, the removal of third-party cookies has left marketers unable to track their company’s website activity, hampering their ability to tailor their online communications to specific customer interests.
Likewise, SMS can practically guarantee that the customer will at least see the message, because it has a whopping 98% opening ratemarketers must obtain permission before using this channel to reach customers.
The current state of SMS marketing
While there’s no denying how relevant SMS marketing is to targeting customers, it needs to be done in a fully compliant manner. More importantly, SMS should be used wisely and judiciously so that the customer can receive the value they expect and at the desired cadence. Otherwise they unsubscribe.
Unfortunately, many marketers today are texting consumers without permission, which is illegal under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). As the law states, all businesses, regardless of industry, must obtain express, written consent from consumers using mobile devices before sending marketing text messages. If found in violation of the TCPAfines between $500 and $1,500 can be imposed by text message.
For example at the case from 2013 from Ferencz vs. International Clinic Consultants LLC, the clinic consulting firm was found guilty of violating the TCPA by sending millions of unsolicited promotional messages to consumers each month. International Clinic Consultants LLC never obtained written consent or the option to opt out of receiving the text messages, so the company was fined $3.5 million.
To avoid this hazard and fully comply with the TCPA, companies must make it clear to the customer that they will receive recurring, automated SMS marketing communications and explain how they plan to use the customer’s preferences in future communications or campaigns. Gathering consent and preference data through a robust, no-parties data program can help with these issues.
Improving SMS campaigns using zero-party data
Organizations have always wanted data that provides insight into their customers, and there’s no better place to get customer insights than from customers themselves. To do this, a company must gain the trust of customers. This starts with collecting their consent and continues over time to collect their preferences, such as the type of products or services they are interested in. Then the company must honor those preferences by providing relevant content.
Whether sending a personalized message through one of a number of channels (e.g. email, SMS, website) with a link to a survey, or simply asking the customer to leave feedback on a specific product or a specific service, these types of zero-party data strategies allow marketers to better tailor their messaging to each customer. This leads to more trust and long lasting relationships.
If the goal of the organization is to ask its subscribed customers what services they are interested in or how they feel about a particular service, a text message will most likely generate that response faster than social media or email marketing. However, they must use this channel wisely so as not to wear out their welcome.
Planning for marketing success in 2023
For effective marketing campaigns in 2023, engaging customers with SMS to collect zero-party data is the way to get the most personalized information. However, to maximize customer consent and preferences, SMS marketing should be done in such a way that the customer gets exactly what they want.
SMS is a channel that retailers should make good use of; otherwise it could have serious consequences for the company as a whole. Organizations should use zero-party data strategies such as surveys and general feedback to make text messages conversational and ensure better customer retention.
Using zero-party SMS data marketing strategies will definitely put you and your business ahead of the competition in 2023.
Scott Frey is the founder of Possibly NOW.
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