Mobile messaging marketing platform Mogreet has released its 2013 Guide to Text Messaging Regulations and Best Practices, a reference it says is for mobile marketers navigating rules established by entities like the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission and CTIA - The Wireless Association.
The guide also includes what a rep calls common sense dos and don'ts for a successful text marketing campaign.
According to the rep, Mogreet created the guide to protect brands from legal consequences and consumers from unwanted spam. In addition, with financial penalties reaching into the millions for those who implement non-compliant programming, the stakes are high, Mogreet says.
Text messages have become an important marketing tool because they are accessible by 98% of U.S. cell phone owners and have a 95% open rate, Mogreet says. What's more, the permission-based nature gives brands a captive audience.
"They gave you the OK to reach them on their most personal and most accessed channel of communication -- their mobile phone," says Mogreet CEO James Citron. "With such a high number of open rates for text messages vs. email, you can expect to almost entirely reach your database within a few minutes of sending the message."
Also worth noting: more consumers own SMS/MMS mobile phones than computers, Mogreet says.
"You don't need a smartphone to receive text messages so instead of having only half of the mobile subscriber market available, you have approximately 97% of U.S. mobile subscribers that can opt in to your program," Citron says.
Citron says Mogreet created this document based on feedback from its own customers that found keeping up with the rules created by the various governing bodies to be difficult. Mogreet works with brands like Paramount Pictures, Charlotte Russe, Fox Television, Gymboree, Bloomingdale's, Turner Broadcasting, Cox Media Group and Jack in the Box.
Mogreet's tips include: build a mailing list with legally acquired, permission-based subscribers; clearly communicate the content and frequency of texts; document and save opt-ins and messaging permissions; and avoid text distribution too early in the morning, too late in the evening or during rush hour.
"Businesses should provide consumers with a text message program that adds value to their lives," Citron adds. "It should have incentives or exclusive mobile offers that can't just be given to anyone -- this gives the consumer a reason to opt in and maintain a mobile dialogue."
According to Citron, by keeping the channel free of spam, customers are more likely to opt in and provide continued growth for the mobile messaging marketing industry.
However, Citron says the real power of text messaging can be found in MMS messaging.
"Instead of sending 160 characters of plain text, you can send video, images and audio through the same text message channel as SMS without requiring any data usage for the customer," Citron says. "This all-in-one delivery, shared on an intent-driven device that is in the hands of consumers all day long allows brands to create much more engaging programming, driving higher opt-ins, etc."
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
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