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Kim Dushinski

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What a Load of BS, this is NOT Mobile Spam

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If you know me at all you know how firm my stance is against mobile spam. I have been known to tell students in my courses and attendees at my speaking events, “Do not send mobile spam. If you do and I find out I will come kick you in the shins.” Yes, I have said those exact words and I mean them.

I have had heated, but friendly, dialogues with colleagues about how adamant I am that even being able to upload a list of cell phones which have (supposedly) been properly opted-in at another company is wrong. It is that “supposedly” part that gets me. What if they aren’t and consumers are being placed on a text message list without permission? That would be so wrong and it would be mobile spam in its purest form.

It is flat out safe to say that I am a huge opponent to any form of mobile spam.

Today’s article in Mobile Marketer reporting about a class action lawsuit against Twitter for violating SMS regulations has me fuming for an entirely different reason.

Two gentlemen, who I am assuming are the type of people who would sue a coffee place for serving too hot coffee or a knife company for selling sharp knives upon which they cut themselves due to their own negligence, have filed a class action lawsuit against Twitter.

The point of their complaint is the single message that Twitter sends when someone has successfully opted out of receiving SMS. The message simply confirms that the person has opted out and will receive no further messages from the Twitter account they had been following. Furthermore it gives information on how to opt out of all remaining SMS messages sent through Twitter.

In reality this confirmation message is helpful to the person who has opted out because now they know they will stop receiving messages from the individual account and if they want to take it a step further and unsubscribe from Twitter SMS all together they now know how. And can do it easily at that exact moment.

In this scenario Twitter did not send any message without permission. Twitter automatically and immediately opted people out of SMS messages upon request and even goes a step further to tell people how to opt-out all together.

THIS IS NOT MOBILE SPAM!

Here’s why this bothers me so much. We have bigger issues to fight. Real mobile spam. The kind that is truly, horrible and wrong. Like the $9.99 my husband was charged for My Mobile Love Alerts. He did nothing but reply STOP to a message that came into him out of the blue. (And yes, I know it came in out of the blue because I happened to be sitting right next to him when it did.)

By the time we noticed the $9.99 was billed to his account Sprint had already paid the slimy excuse of a company (My Mobile Love, Short Code 34095, Phone 877-382-4750, Powered by Open Market) that did this and refused to take it off his bill.

Now, THAT is mobile spam. It is wrong and it must be stopped.

If we, thanks to the plaintiffs in this frivolous lawsuit, spend our energy fighting off opt-out confirmation messages sent to consumers who granted permission in the first place we are missing out on fighting the true spammers – like My Mobile Love, which should have been shut down by the carriers and Open Market long ago.

Hello, Open Market…reading this? Or maybe the opportunistic plaintiffs rallying against Twitter will take up this real case of mobile spam.

In order to use Twitter as a powerful mobile marketing tool you need to build a following on Twitter and then get your followers to turn on their device notifications for that Twitter account. Then each tweet you make is sent via SMS to your group of followers.

Just think how powerful it is to have your Twitter messages being delivered instantly to the mobile devices of your followers, not just waiting in the Twitterstream to possibly be noticed. You now know with almost certainty that your messages are being read.

When using Twitter as a mobile marketing tool you need to change your posting strategy just a bit knowing that each time you send a message everyone on the receiving end of the message is looking at their cell phone. No posting about what you ate for breakfast. Instead you need to keep your posts to only important items and ones that truly add value to your followers’ lives. It certainly can be done.

Without a doubt Twitter can be an excellent mobile marketing tool.

The only downfall of this strategy is that if anything ever happened to Twitter (beyond the fail whale) you would lose your list of followers. After all, without Twitter as a platform, you have no way to reach this group of people ever again.

So, if you like the idea of having a group of people you can send SMS messages to on a regular basis I suggest that you start your own text message list. In essence you would be creating your own Twitter stream direct to your groups’ cell phones. I suggest starting right away before everyone else is doing it.

To find out how to do this, you can sign up for my How to Build a Text Message List teleseminar here.