What texts from Snoop Dogg and mum taught me about SMS marketing | DMA

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What texts from Snoop Dogg and mum taught me about SMS marketing

Clever, devious or downright rude? Just how intrusive are branded text messages? “It can be quite invasive getting a sales SMS”, came the response of an audience member at a talk, when a senior figure of the Telephonica team suggested that SMS had a rightful place in marketing strategy.

Backed with statistics to the hilt he proved that SMS gets a higher open rate than any other type of messaging. Which is true. SMS gets on average a 98-99% open rate while email gets a mere 20%.

What I would have loved to have seen, but which wasn’t presented, is the percentage of people who felt that sales SMSs are an invasion of their privacy. A number which reflected who felt alienated or annoyed after receiving a sales SMS.

I recently bought tickets to a music festival (bear with me) and in the process of buying my tickets, I unknowingly either opted in or didn’t opt out of being contacted via SMS. I was unaware until I got a text message from Snoop Dogg, the main headline act.


Except it wasn’t Snoop Dogg, it was a ploy.

Feasting on my love for the money supermarket front man, Parklife had got me to read their sales text and not be annoyed. Furthermore I managed to print screen it and send it off into the Twittersphere, advertising the festival and its headline act for free. An SMS that worked.

Fast-forward a month and my mum texts me. Being the good son that I am I instantly read the text with love and enthusiasm. Mum was reminding me to book my tickets to an after-party the night after the festival.

Wait it’s not mum, it’s Parklife again. Pretty clever I thought. I even bought a ticket to an after party, £20 a go.

I was so impressed about the originality of the text I showed a few colleagues, until one with more sense and emotional capability pointed out – what if getting a text from your mum was a sensitive issue?

A very good point. A quick Google later and a BBC news article appeared – Parklife sorry for ‘mum’ text.

Was it in bad taste? Perhaps, just a bit careless. Regardless it generated headlines, social noise and, most importantly for the festival, it generated attention and money. It was effective – I bought what it was selling. How many £20 tickets do you have to sell to a crowd of 90,000 to get a profit I wonder?

Perhaps done right SMS can be useful…

By DMA guest blogger Ben Peachell, Marketing Executive, Indicia

This is an edited version of a blog that first appeared on the Indicia website

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