Permission Based Mobile Marketing – The What, the How, and the Benefits


A Few Words About Spam

Nobody likes spam, and it is illegal in the United States to send any unsolicited messages. Sadly, however, nearly 9 billion unsolicited text messages are sent per year in the United States. For this reason, the Mobile Marketing Association has recently released a document titled An Introduction to Permission Based Mobile Marketing. According to this document, the average mobile user in the U.S. “receives no fewer than 40 unwanted messages per year.” These are startling numbers, yet it still only makes up 0.5% of text messages sent in the United States per year. The MMA wants this number to stay low and keep it from increasing. Regulations are put in place specifically to prevent unsolicited messaging from occurring, but obviously it will continue to happen no matter what regulations are in place. However, the MMA and companies such as ourselves try to reduce spam as much as we possibly can.

Permission based mobile marketing is the answer to preventing spam from happening. This article will focus on what the MMA has to say about permission based mobile marketing, particularly 3 questions:

  • What is it?
  • How does it work?
  • What are the benefits?

The majority of the information is pulled from the document provided by the MMA and a link to the document will be provided at the bottom of this article.

What is it?

The MMA defines permission based marketing as:

The practice of gaining consent from consumers in advance of a continuing marketing dialogue taking place on mobile devices and in return for some kind of value exchange.

Translation: Permission based mobile marketing is getting consent from consumers BEFORE you ever send text messages to them. They exchange their consent to receive text marketing messages for something of value such as a product, service, discounts, updates, promotions, etc. Permission based marketing, in general, has been around since the early 1990s with the birth of email marketing and advertising.

The document emphasizes the word explicit when gaining such consent from a consumer. When getting consent, a consumer must be explicitly told what it is they will be receiving. They must understand that they will receive text messages as well as what value they can expect to come from giving their consent (a discount coupon for example). Text message marketing is expected to be a form of communication, not an interruption which is what spam tends to do. Violations can result in hefty fines for you, the business owner. Learn more in our follow-up article: Permission Based Mobile Marketing Pt. 2

How does it work?

As expressed above, consumers exchange their consent to have messages sent to them in exchange for a produce, service, or any other offer they find interesting or of worth to them. In text message marketing, this consent is given when a subscriber opts-in through their mobile phone, or when they give permission to have messages sent to them. Once they have made this exchange of consent for something of value, it now becomes the responsibility of the company to maintain the consent of the subscriber. Opt-out information is provided to subscribers when the opt-in, and on every message sent from a campaign, giving them the option of revoking their consent and withdrawing from receiving the messages.

In order to maintain the interest and consent of the subscriber, a company must continually communicate the value the subscriber is obtaining from this service. Remind them why they opted-in! Also, make sure to understand the consumers interests and try to target the messages to your consumers interests. Marketing is a constant effort to keep the consumers happy and interested in your product or service. The third, and perhaps most important thing, is to respect your consumers privacy. Don’t sell their information to other people. By opting-in to receive messages, they are trusting you to keep their data private. A good practice is to continually explain how you value their privacy and that you are keeping their data private.

What are the Benefits?

Great benefits come from permission based mobile marketing, both to the subscriber/consumer and the business itself. A trust factor is established with permission based mobile marketing and can quickly lead to a loyal customer, if done properly.

Benefits to the Business

When this is executed correctly, permission based mobile marketing will provide you with a much higher response rate and great returns on your investment. The higher response rating comes from the fact that you are targeting only those who are interested in your service or product. This effectively reduces the waste of advertisement because of the specific targeting. Your greater returns on investments will come from a higher percentage of your subscribers responding to your marketing because of their interest. Statistics show the response and conversion rates are much much higher with business who practice the principles of permission based mobile marketing. Everyone is happy, both the consumer who benefits from the value exchange and the business who is cashing in on the response from the consumer.

Benefits to the Consumer

Since consumers have the freedom of choosing the campaigns they receive messaging from, obviously the experience becomes more personal and targeted to them because it is based all around their preferences. Permission based mobile marketing eliminates the interruption that comes to a consumer from unsolicited messaging. A statistic from the MMA shows:

Out of 2,223 youth mobile users in 11 different countries:

  • 63% would be more likely to purchase a product or service from a business practicing the principles of permission based mobile marketing.
  • 81% of users consider it EXTREMELY important to acquire their consent before sending advertising text messages to them.

You can obviously see the benefits that will come to both a business and a subscriber when permission based mobile marketing is practiced. Hopefully, this article has cleared up any questions you have about why we at TXT180 do everything within our power to adhere to permission based mobile marketing and stop unsolicited messaging from occurring. Certainly permission based mobile marketing doesn’t solve every problem for mobile marketers, but it does certainly eliminate many of them. Without all the hassle of unsolicited messaging, a business can focus on key elements of mobile marketing such as: what’s the best message frequency? How should I word my campaigns to increase customer engagement? What is the most effective time of day to send my messages? Which creative marketing strategy will deliver the best responses from my consumers? With all these things in place, and permission based mobile marketing driving your campaign, you can begin to see your response and conversions bring the business a company desires.

URL for the MMA document titled: “An Introduction to Permission Based Mobile Marketing.”

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