In my last blog I shared how getting my movie tickets delivered to me via SMS made going to the cinema with my family easier than it’s ever been. But something else happened when I got those tickets delivered via text message. I signed up to the company’s SMS marketing list too.
I wanted to share the process with you because it was so easy, so seamless for me as a consumer, that it makes a great example for others to follow.
It all started off by offering me the chance to get my tickets via SMS. Once I clicked that option, the “fine print” showed up just above the submit button. I unfortunately didn’t take a screenshot, but it basically said that by selecting SMS delivery I was agreeing to receive electronic communications. Though it made me pause to read it, it was worded in such a way that it wasn’t scary. It was the same type of notice you get when you enter your email address when you make an order online.
It was only a second or two before I received my tickets via text message. But about five minutes later I got another text from the company. This one was sent via a different shortcode than the tickets, but started clearly with the company’s name all in caps. I knew exactly who the text was from before I even opened it to read it (I saw it on my notifications).
Once I did read it, I found they had sent me a note letting me know I was “almost” signed up for text alerts. In order to completely sign up I needed to reply with a simple “Y”. They also let me know I’d receive a maximum of 5 messages per month and told me to reply “HELP” if I had questions.
In hindsight, I’m curious what would have happened if I replied “HELP”. My guess is it would have provided a phone number I could call for assistance, or perhaps offer to have someone call me. Either way would provide great customer service.
Instead I replied with the requested “Y” and received another messages confirming I was now signed up. The second message reminded me again what I signed up for (special offers) and they repeated their promise not to send more than 5 per month. Then at the end, the message said to reply “STOP” to cancel my subscription.
From beginning to end the process was clear, simple, and instilled confidence. Here’s a summary of what they did to achieve that result:
- Asked for a double opt-in
- Clearly identified themselves
- Made the reply needed to sign up as short as possible: Y
- Offered other options if someone needed help (reply “HELP”)
- Sent a confirmation message letting me know I was successful and reminding me of the details
- Provided a simple way to opt out
One other thing they did, that isn’t necessary but I think helps them manage their marketing better is the use of two different shortcodes. One for sending the tickets, and another for their marketing. It wouldn’t have made any difference to me if they used the same number, as long as the messages identified the company clearly (which they both did). But when they manage their lists for marketing, it could become confusing if someone opted to get tickets sent via text message, but then opted out of the marketing list.
If that person returned later on to get tickets via SMS again, they might not receive them because they would be blacklisted against that shortcode (because they hadn’t confirmed, or maybe even opted out of the marketing list).
So if you’re putting something like this process into place, think carefully about how you use the lists and how customers might use the SMS services you offer. Multiple shortcodes may be a bit out of reach for many companies, but you could use a combination of a shortcode and virtual mobile numbers to do the same thing. Just be sure the processes work the way you intend them. You don’t want to make it too hard for your customers to buy from you, and you don’t want to send messages to those who have opted out.
So there you have it. One great example of an opt in campaign.