6 Text Messaging Best Practices for Building Trust with Your Audience

August 18, 2021 Elyse Cress

 

 

Today’s consumers have an elevated sense of security and privacy, particularly with their personal data and devices. Mobile engagement is a personal relationship between the brand and consumer, and trusted content is an important component of building and retaining brand loyalty. 

 

Reports reveal a person sends or receives an average of 41 texts per day. How does a brand stand out as one in 41 of the consumer’s notifications? By following six best practices to become a trusted name popping up on the consumer’s lock screen.

 

 

Always Get Consent  

No one appreciates a text from an unknown number, especially your consumersConsumers should never receive an unexpected or unprompted message without having asked to join the program. This can also result in hefty fines and possible litigation. To ensure trust is built right away, brands can acquire customers through keyword acquisition or web and in-store opt-ins. All these tactics are consumer-generated, making mobile one of the most engaged and trustworthy channels as consumers state they are interested in hearing from you. Read 7 tactics for acquisition here.   

 

 

 

Be On a First Name Basis  

Marketers should always include brand or program name in any outbound SMS or MMS messaging. Not only is this a requirement from the CTIA, but it’s a fantastic way to build relationships and trust. Consumers do not wish to memorize your brand’s numeric short code so a program name helps consumers remember who the message is coming from. Sending a message from a number without a name is a quick way to get consumers to opt-out of a program because of confusion and there have been increases in spam reports when brands forget to include brand name in messages. 

 

 

 

Become a Formal Contact  

In addition to including brand name in each message, ask consumers to save your brand’s short code as a contact in their phone. That way they always know who the message is from, and marketers can reduce opt-outs caused by confusion. Vibes can help set up a contact card URL with logo and contact information to make it easy for consumers to tap & save to their phone.  

 

 

Link Right  

Consumers are becoming savvier to spam and phishing attempts and are increasingly suspicious of links. Having a branded shortened URL with a naming convention associated with your brand ensures consumers can trust the link coming through the message.  

 

 

 

Consistency is Key  

Send messages at a regular cadence to maintain engagement and prevent churn. Brands can follow all the above guidelines but if messages are sent months apart, consumers may forget they joined a program and why. The value is lost. Keep your brand top-of-mind for the consumers who want to hear from you by opting into SMS and MMS messaging. Standard practice is to send a message once a week.  

 

 

Stay Compliant  

Don’t forget monthly compliance disclaimers including “text HELP for help, STOP to cancel.” These disclaimers are required to be sent at least once per month per subscriber, but does not need to be in every message or the same message. It’s recommended to send the disclaimer with opt-out instructions in a message with strong engaging content to retain the consumer, such as a monthly promotion or new product announcement relevant to their preferences. Vibes platform offers embedded compliance controls to ensure your brand stays compliant.  

 

 

Mobile subscribers want to hear from brand programs they opt into. While acquisition is important, a focus on improving the consumer experience and boosting engagement is key to retaining consumers who join the mobile program. Following these six best practices will ensure your brand stays top-of-mind and won’t be left on read – or worse, responded to with a STOP.  

About the Author

Elyse Cress

Elyse Cress serves as the Director of Mobile Engagement Services at Vibes. She has over six years of experience in the mobile industry and is recognized as a strategic thought leader for optimizing mobile programs. She is dedicated to ensuring her customer programs run smoothly and efficiently to deliver on business outcomes.

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