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The Number 1 Rule in SMS Marketing: Include Opt Outs


The engagement stats from SMS marketing are actually insane.


One of my clients has an SMS marketing platform and I’ve been writing some blogs for them. I had no idea that text marketing can be so effective:

With numbers like that, I totally get why businesses are getting in on text marketing.


SMS marketing can also be invasive

And, at the same time, SMS marketing can be awful to receive. I have personal experience with this: since moving to Brazil a few years ago, my exposure to text marketing has been wild.


Sometimes I receive as many as 10 messages a day.


Some of it might be that companies don’t follow the same digital etiquette around opt-ins and opt-outs. It also might be that Brazil doesn’t have the same spam laws.


(Important idea: thank you, spam laws).


Whatever the reason is, the number of marketing texts I get has become intolerable. Last week, I had over 50 texts from companies calling me to do some action. It’s frustrating and it makes me really angry at the brand that's sending them.


SMS marketing done badly can damage your brand

There's an important lesson there: without opt-outs, you could be jeopardizing your brand. Customers won't just not buy your product. They may become an active detractor for you.


Lessons for SMS marketers

If you do SMS marketing, here’s the lesson that’ll help preserve your brand:

  1. Don’t send texts to someone unless that person has specifically opted in. Opting in isn’t the same as signing up for your app or having previously bought your product. Opting in is explicitly checking a box or submitting a form that says something like, “I want SMS marketing texts.”

  2. Always include an opt-out. Always. It’s not hard: just include something at the end of the text that says, “Text STOP to stop receiving these texts.”

This second one is really the important one.

For one thing, it's good digital etiquette. For another thing, it's required by spam laws in many regions. But for a third reason, it can save you from accidentally damaging your brand to your potential customers.

Always include a clear opt-out in your text marketing campaigns.

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