Opting in to Mobile Marketing Services – Why are Some Consumers Nervous?

The IAB and the DMA recently published some excellent research that explored some of  the reasons why consumers often feel reluctant to opt in to receiving mobile marketing messages from companies and brands.

They identified 5 barriers that were responsible for repressing the take-up of opt-in SMS services.

The full research article is available on the IAB website and is well worth a read.

The 5 barriers to consumer opt-in

1. Awareness. 32% of consumers did not know about this type of service or the benefits associated. The IAB and DMA recommend promoting the mobile marketing service using existing relationships and touchpoints, and welcoming consumers with an initial message once you have their details.

2. Perceived cost. This remains one of the most significant barriers to getting consumers to opt-in, with many believing that it will cost them money to receive messages from brands – 71% of respondents were wary of any costs that may be associated. It is essential that SMS services are exceptionally clear in their communications with consumers of the costs associated with mobile messaging, which are often zero and should consider making responses also free.

3. Relevance. If consumers are to accept brand messages on their mobile devices, they remain adamant that these offers should be relevant and targeted – 71% saw unwanted SMS messages from brands as a real barrier to opting-in. Brands have a real responsibility to let consumers know what kinds of messages they will be receiving, with a clear activation and retention programme.

4. Control. As always, consumers are keen to retain control over the mobile messages they receive from brands – 70% of respondents were concerned about having no control over what was sent to their phone, whilst 61% were worried about not be able to opt-out once having opted-in. Whilst reassuring consumers about the frequency of mobile messages is important, brands are required to adhere to the ‘Universal Stop’ policy, which makes unsubscribing easy.

5. Privacy. In line with digital communications in general, consumers are very conscious of sharing personal information – 64% of those surveyed did not want to opt-in to SMS or MMS because they thought they may have to share personal details. From the outset, brands need a clear communication to give consumers confidence that their privacy will be protected, and ask permission before sharing details with any third parties.

Jon Mew, head of mobile for theIAB said: “The research shows that once the mobile audience is opted-in to your communications, they can be one of the most receptive and engaged groups for brands, with many seeing mobile messaging as the best way to keep informed of relevant offers and services. The challenge now is for marketers to work out the best way to get these people on board – respect them, reassure them, and make sure they know there are no costs associated with this type of marketing to maximise your customer acquisition and retention strategy.”