With the advent of 2021, SMS marketing is regaining popularity and taking the world of digital marketing by storm. By providing valuable content and using this form of digital marketing consistently, you can improve your brand’s reach, attract more customers, and drive more sales in no time. Among other forms of digital marketing, SMS marketing is often questioned for the level of security and privacy it offers. However, with proper rules in place, this form of marketing can help you attract new customers and retain your existing clients, all without compromising their privacy.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was implemented on the 25th of May, 2018, ensures maximum data privacy and acknowledges the customers’ right to consent to the kind of messages and notifications they receive. While the GDPR was initially introduced to maximize data privacy in the European market, companies and marketers all over the globe must understand the principles of this regulation to secure their customers’ trust. Before we go over the steps that ensure data privacy through SMS Marketing, let’s explain what this form of marketing is and how it works.
What Is SMS Marketing? How Do Digital Marketers Use It?
As the name suggests, SMS Marketing uses text messages to attract customers to buy a brand’s products and engage with their campaigns. This form of marketing was once a popular promotional tactic among marketers; however, with time, it is regaining popularity. Also known as Short Message Service Marketing, SMS Marketing is used to spread promotional messages to existing and potential customers after getting their permission. Most brands use this form of digital marketing to promote their new products, give offers and discounts, and spread new campaigns.
Customers are required to opt into a text messaging system by adding a code that usually comprises 5 digits. The brand’s SMS marketing software then feeds the customer’s number followed by an automated confirmation response. This kind of consent is not only necessary to begin sending promotional text messages to your customers but also to ensure that your audience is actually reading and following the messages. With SMS Marketing, you can increase customer engagement, improve your brand’s reach, and build valuable connections with effective text messaging strategies. Since SMS Marketing was considered disruptive to date, the new set of rules regarding data privacy has turned this form of marketing into a reliable strategy to connect with customers.
Tips to Ensure Data Privacy
Follow these steps to ensure maximum data privacy with SMS marketing and build your brand’s credibility.
Request Data in a Professional Manner
When your customers are providing you with their personal data, you must collect and retrieve it in a professional manner as it affects your company’s credibility. Failing to do so will drive your existing customers away and weaken the trust between you and your potential customers, which will eventually affect your brand’s performance. Train your employees to retrieve data using relevant software programs and treat valuable information with utmost care. When requesting new data, take necessary measures to collect the information with security. This can be done by using a reliable opt-in and opt-out management system that makes the entire process transparent.
Regardless of the way you have received your customer’s data, you must keep it secure and manage it professionally. Sending surveys to collect customer data is an inefficient way to know more about your audience as most consumers are extra careful and aware of the dangers of data breaches. Furthermore, your customers must also be provided with the option to opt-out, access, amend, transfer, and delete personal data as they prefer. As soon as a customer requests their data to be deleted from the system, you must comply with their request and take immediate action.
Get a Reliable Data Security System
A reliable security system will ensure that every customer's data is protected, preventing issues like data breaches and unauthorized access to phone numbers and email addresses. Such systems comply with recommended cybersecurity standards and keep unauthorized users from sending spam messages to your customers. Not only will this affect your customers’ privacy, but it will also impact your brand’s reputation. The digital marketers at messente.com recommend employing a data security system that uses different effective measures, such as two-factor authentication, secure HTTPS API connections, and secure messaging. Certain data protection and automation software programs also offer additional services, such as live chatbots, dynamic page content, email marketing, and push notifications.
Two-factor authentication provides an extra layer of protection to secure your users’ data. Even if a hacker manages to retrieve any client’s username and password, the extra layer of protection secures confidential data. To access this feature, every user is sent a code through a text message that must be added when accessing their account. When choosing a data security system to protect your clients’ personal information, consider factors such as encryption layers, ease of use, and budget. Take recommendations from experts and do thorough research to make an informed choice. Since every data security system is different, you must take time before picking a software program for your brand.
Ensure Adequate Opt-in and Opt-out Services
As mentioned, your brand must ensure opt-in and opt-out services when presenting the registration form on your brand’s official website or landing page. Typically, these registration forms offer a wide range of services and marketing strategies that your users can opt-in or out of, which include SMS marketing, email marketing, and post. In the past, such services were sent out as a bundle, which some users were unaware of. Today, it is necessary for all brands to take their customers’ consent by offering different checkboxes across every channel. If your customer is interested in just one channel of communication, they have the right to opt-out of others.
This has also become mandatory with the advent of the GDPR. However, this can be used as a golden opportunity to use SMS Marketing and exclusively promote your brand through text messages. You can now include a checkbox across SMS marketing and compel your users to opt-in for this service. At the same time, you must also provide a clear and concise way for your users to opt-out of SMS marketing by unchecking the box and explaining the procedure in simple words. If they are unsatisfied, customers can opt-out by clicking on a link that is directed to the relevant service or by sending a text message to a given number.
Keep Your Customers Informed
When it comes to SMS Marketing in 2021, you must ask your customers’ permission and keep them informed at every fragile step of your marketing campaign. For instance, if you are planning to float a campaign that directly affects your brand’s sales, ask your existing and potential customers if they prefer to join the SMS chain concerning new promotions and exclusive offers. If they agree, you must provide clear information on how their data will be used in the future. Certain systems and websites that verify GDPR and ensure your brand’s compliance can be used to import new contact information and lists on your server along with a timestamp to crosscheck the time of upload. Information related to your customers’ consent will also be stored in such systems.
SSL or a Secure Sockets Layer is a form of encryption that protects information and secures the connection between your customers’ and your web browser. It is displayed in the form of a small green padlock that is visible on every browser tab that shows the URL. It not only promotes seamless connection but also protects data from third parties, thereby avoiding data breach, message forgery, and eavesdropping. Since protecting your customers’ phone numbers is of utmost importance, make sure that SSL is enabled on every page. It will also cement your customers’ trust, which is necessary to build brand credibility. Contact a reliable SMS marketing provider to get a standard SSL certificate to ensure maximum protection. Not every brand takes SSL certification seriously; however, by making this investment, you can show your customers that you are serious about data protection, which will further strengthen their trust in your brand.
By following these steps, you can ensure maximum data privacy and build trust with your current and potential customers through SMS marketing. If you haven’t implemented this form of marketing in your campaign yet, it is time to take advantage of the power and convenience of text messages so you can attract more customers.
The rules and steps mentioned above will also help you build your brand’s credibility. While some marketers consider the new regulation a nuisance, it can actually provide a golden opportunity to engage your audience, generate more quality leads, and drive more sales. Most importantly, changing your marketing strategies to ensure your existing and new customers’ data protection and privacy can also help redefine your brand’s values. In return, this will help you build trust and establish credibility with your customers, consequently ensuring their loyalty and improving your retention rates.