Last week our guest speaker, Philippe Poutonnet from HipCricket, highlighted several key considerations for executing a successful SMS campaign. The best practices included:
- Send a courtesy reply text to consumer following their campaign registration.
- Limit the number of SMS offers to 2-3 month to avoid inundating the participant.
- Leverage location-specific messaging by requesting zip codes.
- Consider both the time of the day and day of the week that would be most relevant for sending the SMS blast, especially if it’s food related.
- Maximize exposure by leveraging all marketing materials (direct mail, email blast, website and POS) to promote the SMS campaign.
In specific, Poutonnet discussed a campaign that HipCricket is executing for Ford Direct (Ford’s marketing division) that is still in it’s infancy. The campaign objective is to garner 50 qualified leads on a monthly basis. The campaign leverages their TV buys, by prompting viewers to text a key word to a shortcode. The end goal is to get you to answer enough questions that they can qualify where you are at in the buying process and get you in touch with a sales associate.
After hearing about the campaign, I decided to test it out to see if it followed the best practices that Poutonnet had laid out for us in the beginning of his presentation. Here was my transaction:
FORD: Thx 4 texting Ford. Reply with your favorite Ford Model to get more information Details www.fdevent.com. Msg+Data rates may apply. Stop=Outout.
Ford: Reply w/your ZIP CODE 2 get ur local offer. Details: www.fdevent.com. U will receive future offers from Ford. Msg+Data Rates may apply. STOP=Optout HELP=help
Ford: $1K Rtl Cstmr Cash + $1K Promo Rtl Bonus Cstmr Cash www.fdevent.com Want offer from ur local dealer? Reply w/ur full name 2b contacted
Meg: Meg Brown
Ford: Your local dealer will contact you shortly, in the meantime you can continue your research at www.compareford.com
I was called by ford the next morning.
I actually think this campaign was executed really well. Not only did it meet the MMA guidelines, but it also followed HipCricket’s best practices. They maximized their other medium to drive participation, acknowledged receipt of my text, asked me a few questions to qualify my buying interest, found out my location, provided timely discount offer and then had a sales associate follow up at an appropriate time of day.
The one suggestion I would make would be to that they could probably eliminate one step in the texting process by having customer segmentation start at the time of the initial interaction. For example, instead of using FORD as a shortcode, why not use FOCUS or ESCAPE (etc)? I also like that they include URL’s to drive traffic back to their site. This is a nice example of integrating SMS into the larger campaign.