Why You Need a Blacklist and What It Can Teach You
One of the major metrics in SMS marketing is how many people opt in to receive your messages. But there’s a flip side to that metric: how many people opt out. In the ideal world, no one would ever leave your list and instead continue to make purchases or support your organisation for as long as you decide to message them. But that is not realistic and so you need a blacklist.
But in reality there are always some people who, for whatever reason, no longer want to get text messages from you. And when they do you need to remove their number from your marketing list. This usually means placing their number on the “blacklist”, or list of numbers you never want to contact again. I put the emphasis on the never because if you contact someone after they’ve opted out there are potential legal issues and fines you could have to pay. If someone wants out, let them out and do everything you can to make sure you don’t contact them again.
In our web based SMS service, you can set it up so that anyone who replies with your opt out keyword is automatically added to the blacklist. Then every campaign you send from then on can be cleaned against the blacklist to ensure those numbers aren’t accidentally contacted again. It provides a peace of mind when sending marketing messages that also saves you a ton of time trying to clean your list manually.
But the value of your blacklist goes beyond just saving you from fines. In fact, you can learn a lot from your blacklist.
While it’s a broad brush across all industries, average opt out percentages are usually less than 5%. So hopefully your analytics show that to be true. If your rate is much higher than that though, you’re doing something wrong.
Take a look at the campaign you sent that generated those opt outs. Then ask yourself the following questions:
Did you send too many messages? No one likes to be nagged. If you promised not to send more than four messages a month, make sure you didn’t send more than four. Or perhaps you sent a message every day letting them know about the sale and offering a coupon code. If people opted out in an exodus after that, you know now that your demographic has a low tolerance for daily messages. So if you’d increased your message frequency just before the larger number of opt outs, rethink your messaging strategy.
Did you send at the wrong time of day or week? If your messages are arriving during off hours they could easily annoy people enough to have them opt out. Double check when the campaign’s messages were sent and received then adjust future messages to be at more appropriate times. Another point to keep in mind is a study that showed messages received on weekends are 5 times more likely to result in an opt out than one received during the week. The study was across all types of marketing and industries so there will be exceptions, but it’s worth considering whether your messages could wait to be sent on a weekday.
Are your offers relevant? Look at the offer you sent with a fresh eye. Did you offer something different than you usually do? Perhaps your customers aren’t interested in the type of offering you sent in that campaign. Or it may have been the final message in a string of irrelevant offers that finally pushed people to opt out. You’ll never know unless you can take a step back and see what the data is telling you.
Ah the glorious blacklist! It’s more than housekeeping, and more than a metric to show how “badly” your campaign went. It’s a true source of valuable information, if you only take the time to look at it. You can also learn more from our free Mobile Marketing Guide.
SMS marketing is very different to most other more traditional marketing tools, specifically because of its short-form, text only nature. This certainly shouldn't put you off though. We have put together our guide to both the best things about SMS marketing and some of the potential problems, and how to work around them.
Yet another company (Quigley and Carter Limited) have been fined by the ICO for not having permission to send SMS messages. In this case, they had outsourced their marketing to a third party who then sent messages on their behalf. So is staying compliant with the regulations regarding SMS messaging so difficult? It doesn’t have to be.
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.
Companies use contests and giveaways all the time. It turns out that doing them over SMS messaging works really well, and offers some advantages over other channels. Read our blog to see the types of results various companies achieved when using SMS giveaways.
ICO, the Information Commissioner's Office, has recently imposed a huge fine on direct marketing company Help Direct UK for sending illegal SMS messages.
In many of our previous posts, we have discussed the whys and hows of SMS marketing, listing the benefits, and the impacts on lead generation. There’s no doubt that by employing a marketing strategy that uses business SMS as a medium that your processes will become more efficient and your leads will become more targeted, meaning a better ROI. Here we will look at the best practices for SMS marketing to ensure your campaigns are offering the best for you and your users.
Executed properly, SMS direct marketing is a hugely effective and successful means of building customer loyalty and improving sales. But even genuine and honest marketing companies can suffer huge damage to reputation or even break the law through simply lacking knowledge or not double-checking before releasing campaigns. Read this article to learn more about the definitions of spamming and harassment, current UK law and how to avoid simple but costly mistakes.
One of the major metrics in SMS marketing is how many people opt in to receive your messages. But there’s a flip side to that metric: how many people opt out. In the ideal world, no one would ever leave your list and instead continue to make purchases or support your organisation for as long as you decide to message them.