I am still surprised when I meet with large companies that do not have a strategy to build an opt-in mobile database.
It reminds me of the early days of email marketing when companies didn’t quite know what to do with the email addresses once they had them.
Slowly smart marketers are starting to understand that both Text and email have a place. Here are a few reasons why a mobile number, or opt-in SMS user, is worth more than an email address.
1. You can literally get in bed with your consumer
I read an interesting study by the Pew Research centre a few weeks ago about the millennial generation. (Born after 1980) I was actually not surprised to read that 83 per cent of 18- to 29-year-olds sleep with their cell phones within reach. When a consumer lets you into their most personal device, they want a relationship — not just a date.
2. A mobile number rarely changes
Email addresses can change with the seasons. Consumers weary of spam change their email addresses like they change a pair of shoes. Last I checked my LinkedIn stats, 23% of my network changed jobs in the last year. It isn’t easy to keep your email database up to date. Mobile numbers on the other hand are like having your consumer’s IP address. They aren’t going anywhere.
3. Location, location, location
Yes, there is a lot of hype about location based services these days. But you know what? More and more people are opting to let marketers know their location in exchange for valuable content – local offers, discounts or timely information. An email address just can’t help you there.
4. Above board opt-in
Have you ever wondered how you got onto an email list? Did you mistakenly forget to uncheck a box while you were buying something online? I can honestly tell you that I know the source of every text message I receive. The reason – a clear, direct opt in. Once you sign up for text alert, you typically receive a welcome message with easy opt-out instructions. When you sign up to receive mobile messages, there is absolutely zero room for misunderstanding. You WANT to hear from this company. You have raised your hand for a conversation.
5. Circle of trust
Marketers hoping to build a mobile database have to build trust by delivering valuable, timely content on a regular basis. Once a brand has earned that trust, it is almost certain that your text message will be opened within minutes, if not seconds – open rates for SMS average 99%, compared to just 20% for email according to Forrester.
The fastest route to an opt-out is over-messaging or worse yet, sending spam. I’m not saying email isn’t an important part of the mix. It is. I do, however, believe that marketers need to start thinking about how mobile should be added in the right way.
Building your mobile database should be a priority this year — focus less on quantity (how big is YOUR list?) and more on quality of the interaction (conversion/ROI).
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