Within the past day I have seen two examples of consumer text messaging campaigns. The first is Bath & Body Works. According to the email I received, a customer who registers will receive “member only” exclusive mobile offers and expert pampering advice. Personally, I say “no thanks”. How many more exclusive offers can I get besides the offers I’m already receiving by email and direct mail?
The second – Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Diabetexting campaign – was brought to my attention by a co-worker. The campaign is mostly a political affairs push to get diabetes advocates contacting their congressman when there is a bill that will benefit diabetes research coming across his or her desk. To become a diabetes advocate you simply text the word A-C-T-I-O-N to 56333, you’ll receive a return text and you reply with your e–mail address. After registering as an advocate, you’ll receive emails or texts asking you to contact your congressman. To make the process simple, JDRF will already have a template letter with a space to share a personal story and your legislator’s contact information.
In both cases, what these two very different texting campaigns are doing correct is consumers or advocates are opting-in. The last thing I want Bath & Body Works doing (or any company for that matter) is sending me random text messages I don’t want nor asked for.
Unlike most marketing strategies, receiving text messages may create a cost for a consumer on the receiving end. This is precisely why there is a debate in the industry about the use of the medium and why opt-in campaigns are necessary.
Personally, I think what JDRF is doing is an excellent public affairs strategy and you know exactly what types of messages you will receive and when. With the Bath & Body texting campaign, it does a poor job of explaining what types of offers you will receive, what types of pampering advice and how often the frequency will be.
As “Jen the consumer” I plan to stay away from texting campaigns in general. I’m not convinced that I will receive any “member only” information that I’m not already getting through newspaper ads, newsletters, direct mail, emails, billboards, television advertising, radio advertising, online advertising, Facebook pages, Twitter, search engine searches and on and on.
The bottom line is companies using texting campaigns need to make them unique, compelling and very targeted; otherwise, they will simply get lost in the noise.