Thursday, May 24, 2007

60% of Americans Do Not Want To Get A Text From Your Company, Why?

DestinationCRM carries a report on SMS alerting in the USA. The report, "SMS Customer Service Alerts: The Next Frontier for Mobile Marketing," from Jupiter Research makes some pretty useful points about the context of the alert. Over 60% of the people they interviewed, felt annoyed by SMS alerts.
Consumers are most interested in receiving customer service alerts notifying them when bills are due or when their bank balances have hit a certain level (26 percent) and appointment reminders (24 percent). "These SMS cues let the consumer know where he stands with finances or important personal appointments, and can trigger some form of action--a perfect place for marketers to insert a message like, 'New low rates available on auto loans. Click here,' or, 'Your next haircut qualifies for a 50 percent discount,'" the report states. SMS messages regarding the weather (17 percent) and safety alerts for the consumer's location (another 17 percent) tied for the third most welcome form of notifications, trailed by activity alerts (12 percent), order status (11 percent), and personalized travel alerts (11 percent). Fifty-nine percent, however, noted that they are not interested in alerts. (These findings are based on an April 2007 Jupiter/Ipsos-Insight consumer survey of 1,815 cell phone owners in the U.S.)
You HAVE to let customers Opt-In for such services, and give them as much control as you can as to the who where and when they get such alerts. At VoiceSage, we know this, and that's why our new products in development address these issues. If you look at the examples or where customers want the message, its where the message has genuine two way value. If alerting helps the customer interact more effectively with your organisation, then they will value it.

Technorati technorati tags: , , , , ,


Greg Harris said...

I read this yesterday as well. The point of mobile marketing via sms is to provide a value to the subscriber.

I can totally understand why 60% of consumers would not want companies to send them text messages with no value.

In fact, I would think that number would be more like 99%.

If I am a patron of your restaurant, and I opt-in, then I want your alerts and specials. If I don't then I don't opt-in.

What I don't get about this study is what alerts they are annoyed at? Are they receiving unsolicited alerts, or are they being asked what they would think if they got an unsolicited alert?

Another pointless report. Find me 1000 people who have opt-in for alerts, and ask them how many are annoyed to receive those alerts.

Paul Sweeney said...

Greg, thanks for taking the time to comment. I have to agree with you. But there must be a way to get better filtering on these recommendations, offers, etc. If you were registered on something like or as going to be in Dublin in two weeks time, then you might be interested in "hotels, Dublin, three star", and if a friend had recommended a Dublin hotel on something like or TripAdvisor, THEN you might want to get an offer. I think its all about HyperContext, HyperPersonalisation, what do you think?

Pieter de Villiers said...

One would expect that reporter's would be more responsible in getting the 'message' across. Just in reading the article it is clear that there are many holes in the report and its data interpretation or the way the question may have been asked. How many people in the US actually get SMS alerts from their bank, insurer, local government, child's school, package delivery company, sport’s club, etc? It is few and far between and the US SMS market seems to be cluttered with media campaigns some of which is spam.

In other markets we see 65%+ of the population actually subscribing and in many cases paying for the alert message. Gerg makes a great point in that if the respondents requested or subscribed for the message why would there be an annoyance factor.

Another poorly constructed report and public opinion questionnaire it seems. Value based alert messaging DOES NOT = unsolicited SMS spam.

Paul Sweeney said...

Pieter, again I have to agree. But for some companies it takes a re-orientation. Its now what you want to tell your customers, its what they want to know from you. One of the problems with subscription right now, or opt-in, is that it can be treated fairly generally. For instance, I don't want to know "all the new wines" my off license has, but I would value hearing about specific wines, that I am very likely to value. It does help, that today, I won a bottle of wine via SMS from my local wine supplier, Coopers! (hat tip coopers!)

However, your point is well taken Pieter, these comments on sms acceptance rates from the customer point of view should be cross-tabbed with other data. I think I might go and "mash up" some data and see what I can come up with.

Paul Sweeney said...

correction: line "its now what you want to tell your customers, its what they want to know from you", should read "its not what your want to tell your customers, its what they want to know from you".

Pieter de Villiers said...

To your point, I believe technology allows us to offer far more sophisticated- and specific alerts. Unfortunately we seem to be fixated by mobile marketing examples. Even the report headline "SMS Customer Service Alerts: The Next Frontier for Mobile Marketing," talks about marketing, but then they go on and talk about people feeling annoyed by SMS alerts. In our world an Alert and mobile marketing messages are not the same. That said I do not know anyone that will be upset if they lived in Louisiana or went to school at Virginia tech and got an ‘Emergency Alert’ message aimed at getting them out of harms way.

I hope some day we can segment messaging in a more sophisticated way. The fact of the matter is we typically find unsolicited SMS, e-mail spam and junk mail annoying, but same can not be said for subscribed for alert services, e-mail from your customer or a letter from a friend. To make a vague statement such as ‘60% of Americans Do Not Want To Get A Text From Your Company, Why?’ is meaningless in a market where value based messaging is continually misrepresented.

Paul Sweeney said...

Pieter, don't get me wrong, I very very much agree that we must all take a value based approach to messaging. The headline in the article is largely taken from the Reported quoted, with the Why? added by myself, i.e, is this true? As comments on the post have pointed out, mass spam sms will obviously distort the true messaging potential.

Get your twitter mosaic here.