With so many of your customers reaching for their smartphones to look up their favorite businesses and discover brands like yours, text marketing is a powerful tool for your small business, putting your brand name at their fingertips.
Text marketing also means your customers are putting their trust in you, and having faith that you won’t mishandle their information.
So what makes for good text marketing ethics and what are some of the pitfalls to avoid?
Rules of Text Marketing
Text marketing privacy hit the headlines back in 2011 when the Federal Trade Commission filed a federal lawsuit against Phillip A. Flora, who was responsible for sending spam messages to consumers at an alarming rate, alongside using a fake government web address. The case is the very opposite of what your business needs to do, building trust and paying close attention to the rules of text marketing.
As the article “Text Marketing And The Protection of Privacy” points out, the Federal Communications Commission has strict rules about text marketing and what you as a business can and cannot do.
- Give a clear description of what your customers are opting in to;
- Explain clearly how to opt out;
- Let your customers know how often you will text them;
- Advise your customers of any additional carrier costs they’ll incur.
To help your business thrive, learn from Flora’s mistakes, and make the text marketing rules your bible when it comes to text marketing.
So just why do the text marketing rules matter so much for your business?
Good Text Marketing Practices Build Trust and Profits
Good text marketing practices mean your customers can trust you to only send them messages that they’ve asked for and that are relevant to them.
Don’t follow the example of Papa John’s: The famous pizza chain faced a $250 million lawsuit after its customers were woken at all hours of the night by unsolicited text messages, sometimes as many as 15 in a row. None of the customers had given their permission.
As well as breaking the law, such text messages will break your customers’ trust, and once a customer loses trust in your business it’s hard, some would even say impossible, to rebuild it.
By only sending your customers messages that they want to receive, you are letting them know that you value their time and trust.
Go the extra mile to make sure those messages offer value such as useful information or engaging offers, and you’ll be on your way to using text marketing to build trust and boost your profits.
Honesty Is the Only Policy for Text Marketing
The text marketing rules make it clear that honesty is the only policy when it comes to text marketing.
Your customers need to know what they will receive from you, how often, and if they will need to pay a fee.
Globe Telecom subscribers were irritated to receive unwarranted text messages from health insurance companies. Globe responded by filing a complaint with the National Telecommunications Commission, who ruled in their favor and barred the companies from further contact with Globe customers.
Globe’s actions let their customers know that they take their privacy seriously.
When it comes to text message marketing, go one better and make sure your customers know their details will never end up in the hands of any other companies, and that you’ll only send them the updates they have asked for.
Be as honest and helpful as you can, and your customers will trust your business and welcome your messages.
Text marketing is a powerful took for your small business.
By protecting your customer’s privacy and valuing their time, you can let them know how trustworthy you and your messages are.
Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including social media, SEO, text marketing and customer privacy.
Published: October 15, 2014