Oops! What to do When You Send the Wrong Message
Sending a text message to the wrong person can be embarrassing. I’ve done it many times. Thankfully though, they were just simple messages like “be home soon” or “I’ll tell you later”. Innocuous, harmless and easily explained away.
A high profile example of a text message gone wrong is Graeme Smith, the former South African cricket batsman and captain. According to reports, his wife discovered he wanted a divorce because he sent her a text message intended for his attorney. That’s something not easily explained away.
But what if a business sends a message in error? Can they take it back, or will there be damage done? Chances are a wrong message will cause some sort of damage to reputation or lost revenue. So what do you do if your business makes a mistake? Let’s look at three different possibilities:
Message sent to the wrong list – So you sent an offer to a list of people. Then you discovered it was the wrong list of people. Some people will notice, maybe complain, or try to redeem the offer when they aren’t eligible. For example, you sent a special VIP discount code to your standard member list. Should you honour the deal for non-VIP members? Could you send a note saying it was an error? Should you send an alternate offer in order to make things right? Your response will depend on your business and the details of the mistake. But one thing you shouldn’t do is ignore the error.
Wrong content in the message – In your eagerness to send out your SMS campaign, someone mistyped the keyword or the coupon code in the message. As soon as you discover the error, send out a corrected version. But don’t leave it at that. In the corrected text message, acknowledge the error. If you don’t, people may be confused by the multiple, similar messages.
Message was sent at the wrong time – Did your message get sent too late, or even too early? In this case, what you do really depends on the details. Did the message announce a sale before it was actually supposed to start? Or did the message get sent the day after the event it was promoting occurred? Whatever it was, let your list know what happened, and do what you can to fix any problems that arise.
So you’ll see a common theme here: if you make a mistake, make amends. Don’t ignore it, but let your list know what happened and do what you can to make up for it. Doing so will help your reputation, reduce your unsubscriptions due to the error, and might even help your bottom line.
I think for much of the last decade, people used the Internet and then mobile devices, without giving too much thought about what they were doing. Or more accurately, what other people were doing with their information. But then came Edward Snowden in 2013 who revealed governments were collecting and using our personal data in ways we hadn’t imagined.
The focus for advertising campaigns today is often mobile, web, or digital. It’s certainly true that more and more people are using technology for just about everything. But with all that technology, it’s easy to overlook another, more traditional form: Print!
Marketing messages, whether in print or electronic have many parts to them. In the beginning there’s the hook that entices someone to continue reading, and near the end is the call to action. That’s where you make it clear what you want someone to do after reading the message. There are many parts in between these two, but these are, arguably, the two most important.
SMS messaging offers some of the highest click through rates in mobile marketing. But did you know it could be even better? See how one retailer improved their click rates by offering their customers different options in their messages. Then see how you can do the same.
In a world where your competition can be found in just a few seconds, instilling brand loyalty in customers is a greater challenge than ever. One way to proactively reach out to customers is via SMS. The personal nature of SMS messages, combined with high read rates, gives you the opportunity to develop relationships with each customer.
Businesses with limited staff or budgets might ask themselves whether they should use email or SMS marketing. Both are relatively low cost. Both offer the ability to reach many people at the same time, yet provide personal interaction. Both have a long history of being used for marketing.
The first thing to remember is that legally, you must give the customer the chance to both opt-in and opt-out of your SMS campaign - but the good news is people are happy to opt-in - 49% of them according to a 2014 survey. So all you need to do is stay compliant and follow some basic guidelines to grow your list.
One key to successful marketing is to know when you’re doing it right. And when you’re doing it wrong. The great thing about SMS marketing is you can get that information pretty quickly. But to understand how your messages are performing, you need to do a little maths. Thankfully, it’s all rather simple once you see it.