Text message marketing mistakes are not cheap, and unless you have an extra $47 million lying around to pay for such mistakes, it is a good idea that you always obtain permission to send text marketing messages before you do. Jiffy Lube recently learned this lesson the hard way with that $47 million dollar lawsuit. The lawsuit claimed that Jiffy Lube violated the Telephone consumer protection Act spam policy.
The Jiffy Lube Case
Jiffy Lube sent messages out to a number of consumers for a 45% off an oil-change coupon. Advertised as a one-time only offer, there was a catch: to get the coupon, opting in for future messages was mandatory. So, Jiffy Lube violated two of the major rules of text message marketing: they didn’t ask for permission not send the messages, and they were essentially spamming people since the opt-in was required.
Instead Jiffy Lune used numbers that they had been given on invoice and other sales materials. They uploaded all of those numbers into their marketing database and took off. They knew that none of these customers had consented to receiving the messages, and they were not happy about getting them.
If you’re new to text marketing, we’ve given you the first very important lesson in many when it comes to mobile marketing. You never, ever, ever send a message unless you have permission to do so, no matter what other type of offer the customer has asked to receive. text marketing is permission based first and foremost.
Without the required consent to send the messages you are in violation of the TCPA act. Not only does this result in huge fines it can also give your company a bad name really quickly. If a consumer decides they want to take action and contacts the TCPA, awards of $500 – $1500 per violation can be awarded.
5 Rules of Growing your Mobile Marketing list
Be a Loyal Company
The consumer is spending money with you, so why would you want to aggravate them? Plain and simple this is what you’re doing by sending out a text message when they do not want to hear from you. Not every cup of tea is right for every individual, so give them the choice they are allowed to make.
Ask them to Opt-In
Asking your customers to opt-in is simple and easy, and chances are if they like you, they’ll sign up. Add a call-to-action to your efforts and you are on the way to a great marketing list with no troubles behind it.
Your call to action can be placed on your business website, beside the cash register, on the customer’s recipe and through direct mailings and correspondence that you send to your customers. Making it visible will ensure they can see it.
Play by the Rules
Playing by the rules of text message marketing is a must. Even when a consumer is aware that they are opting in to receive messages from you it is imperative that you are including the necessary information in the messages that you send out. What needs to be included?
The phrase ‘Data and messaging rates may apply’ must be included above or below the call to action.
How often will a consumer receive messages from you should they decide to opt-in? this is another piece of information that must be clearly displayed in the message.
How to opt-out of the program.
Is this a subscription? If so you need to make sure the above information is also included in your auto-reply confirmation.
Include a link to the rules if you are promoting a contest or a sweepstakes.
These are all musts in your message.
Offer Something to the Consumer
By offering them a valuable offer, you can exchange goods with the consumer and are far more likely to get people who want to sign-up to hear from you.
Your message must always be clear and concise and of course to the point. Provide an engaging call to action but make sure that it is also clear and easy to understand.
Do not make the mistake that Jiffy Lube, and many others have made and allow it to cost your business so greatly. Do not assume that you ever know all there is to know about text message marketing, and be sure that you stay up to date with all of the information.