Do Your Customers Trust You?
Mobile marketing is personal. SMS marketing in particular is even more so. In many ways, it’s like a real relationship. Say the wrong thing, or at the wrong time, and your customer will unsubscribe. And you may never get them back.
It also turns out that whether or not your customers trust you depends on more than what your SMS marketing messages say. Last week at the Mobile World Conference (MWC) a panel discussed mobile marketing, trust and engagement. During that conference they discussed the fact that people trust their mobile and content providers less than they did three years ago. That’s certainly not a trend in the right direction.
What's going on?
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. In fact, many of us probably didn’t imagine our information was that vulnerable, or that so many global agencies would be cooperating to gather and examine it.
Whether you support what he did or not, his actions and the resulting publicity made everyone much more aware of the fact our personal data is available online. That, combined with many companies pushing “Big Data” and how it can be used, probably made even more people nervous. Privacy became an even bigger issue on the main agenda for many governments, corporations and individuals than ever before.
How has it affected mobile marketing?
According to a study discussed in that MWC panel, 89% of people have “some concern when sharing data with brands and mobile operators”. People are suspicious of you from the start! Only 40% will share basic personal information if it will make their mobile experience better. Even fewer, less than 20%, will agree to providing more detailed data such as location and browsing data.
The main issues people have with sharing their information is security, transparency, and control. They want to know that the companies that have their information will protect it (security) and not provide it to third parties (control). About 21% of people “worry about how their data may be used in the future” (transparency).
Brands and mobile operators collect data as part of interacting with customers whether it’s browsing, using an app, or acting on SMS marketing. That’s just how it all works. But people expect that these organisations are supposed to take care of their data. The study showed 55% hold brands responsible, and 30% hold mobile operators responsible for their personal data on mobile.
What can you do?
SMS marketing has the potential to provide great value to both your customer and to your profits, but not if they don’t trust you. Since it seems people are a bit wary even before you begin, it would be best to start off being very upfront about what they are signing up for on your list.
If you market your list by offering discounts and coupons, make sure all your offers are discounts or coupons. Stick to those when sending offers to that list. You might think they’re interested in that special promotion or contest too, but you run the risk of losing their trust by sending them content they didn’t sign up for initially.
There’s usually “fine print” on promotions, even SMS marketing. It usually details how you’ll use the information you gather. If you don’t sell the information to third parties or “partners”, maybe you want to bring that out of the fine print and make sure everyone knows. Or if you use that information to ensure they get the best personal offers, you can let them know that too.
They know you’re using their data, if you make an effort to let them know it is being used to improve their experience or offers they’ll feel better about it. And better about you as a brand. But if you say that’s how you’ll use it, then you don’t, you’ll be violating their trust in you. That, is something very hard to get back.
SMS marketing customers are already one of your best assets. They’ve taken a step to trust you by signing up. Do everything you can to keep them trusting you and you’ll both live happily ever after. At least as far as your marketing goes.
Mobile Marketer is holding the mCommerce Summit: State of Mobile Commerce 2016 today in New York City. And you'll get to find out what happens when I get back and write about it next week. But today, I'm going to give you a sneak peak at what I'm seeing in New York at this moment. Before I do though, be sure to check our fastsms Twitter feed throughout the day. I'll be sharing the best tidbits as they come up in each session as they happen.
In my last blog I looked at five reasons you want to use SMS messaging in your business. In this blog we're looking at the same topic, just from the consumer's point of view. For example, how do you really know your customers want you to send them messages via SMS? Isn't email or a phone call good enough? Is it worth your time to learn how to use SMS messaging in your business?
You might not have run an SMS marketing campaign yourself, but you are likely to have received some form of SMS communication from a business. Whether that's a commercial brand running a competition or a healthcare provider, such as your GP or dental practice, sending you an appointment reminder. If you have run an SMS marketing campaign before, you're likely to already be aware of the effectiveness of the platform for communicating with customers, but might need help justifying your use of SMS messaging to other people or departments in your business. Here, we've listed out the key reasons SMS marketing is so effective.
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.
The drive to earn and retain consumer loyalty is big business in the UK. Increasingly, companies are grasping the important role SMS text messaging can play in this. Customers’ mobile phone numbers are gold dust. The most forward-looking companies are developing systems to encourage customers to opt-in. Then, they are structuring SMS campaigns to build loyalty and reap maximum commercial advantage from it.
Setting New Year's resolutions for your business can be risky since it feels like you're only really setting yourself up to fail. It's much better instead to try and focus on one achievable goal and do everything to succeed and improve in that area. With its meteoric rise to popularity and outstanding success in 2016, businesses should be using 2017's welcome reprise to integrate SMS marketing into their business development strategy.
It’s said over and over that SMS is one of the most personal forms of communications today. That’s mainly because people guard their mobile numbers and only give them out to those they think worthy of them. So anyone who has opted into your SMS messaging has indeed invited you into their personal world.
Are you looking to grow your business? Get more customers? Have larger profits? Of course you are. Isn't every business looking to improve, grow and generate more sales? More and more businesses are realising how SMS messaging can help them do all those things. But it's nice to have some facts to back up what most people seem to assume is true.
One of the great advantages of SMS: it's completely trackable so you know exactly how your campaigns are engaging your opted in customers and clients. And if you’re a small business, operating in a specific geographical location, then that local knowledge can be invaluable in targeting your campaigns to a local audience.