SPAM is NOT Marketing: Using SMS in the right way, Part I


Are you spending your money on mobile marketing or investing it? Are you sending thousands of unsolicited SMS’ and then wondering why you don’t get a decent ROI? Perhaps you are thinking that SMS marketing sucks and that is not the way to go? Here’s a wake up call: SPAM is not mobile marketing.

In this post we are going to see why SPAM won’t get you the results you expect, and why investing your time in planning, designing, and working on your marketing campaigns will really pay off in the long run. In the second part of this post we dive directly into the best practices needed to be successful when running your SMS marketing campaigns.

SPAM is not Marketing

There is a huge difference between sending thousands of unsolicited messages and conducting mobile marketing campaigns.

Sending unsolicited messages is like shooting thousands of arrows in the sky: they are all the same, and you hope that at least one of them will hit a passing target, by volume and by pure chance.

Good marketing campaigns, on the other hand, consist in forging each arrow with the right shape, and then pointing it to the right target before shooting it. This will maximize your chances of reaching your targets, and will put you in the right track to get a better Return On Investment.

SPAM looks like the easy way out, but it’s a closed street in the end

SPAM is easy to do. Just get a few thousand telephone numbers and start shooting arrows (or messages..) at them. This is a great way to spend your money instead of investing it. SPAM might work for your one time, but will definitely not work forever.

Good marketing campaigns are designed to attract people to your business. SPAM creates the exact opposite result: you turn people away by annoying them with messages that they didn’t request.

People complain about SPAM. They will report your activities to the police and/or carriers. They will never engage with your company or get hooked on your products and services. SPAM is a great way to drive customers away.

SPAM is illegal and annoying

SPAM is illegal in the USA and other countries.

In the USA, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act 47 U.S.C. § 227 protects consumers from unsolicited telephone calls, emails, and text messages.

There is a nice Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) summary by the Direct Marketing Association that discuss these issues. You can get into serious problems if you get identified and caught!

A SPAM class suite is EXPENSIVE!

Would you risk your whole business because of doing SPAM? Make no mistakes: lawyers are eager to discover companies that send unsolicited messages to people.

Take a look at these Lawsuits for Spam Texts, Unwanted SMS Messages and also these Spam Text Messages from There’s also a great article titled “TCPA: The Next Wave of Class Action Lawsuits Asserts Consumer’s Right to Withdraw Consent to Receive Text Messages” that discusses this in great detail and it’s really recommended.

The minimum penalty is at $500 (US dollars) per message. If you send (let’s say) 2000 unsolicited messages and get caught, you risk yourself at being sued by $1,000,000.

This amount of money would be much better used in creating a good marketing strategy that is also legit, don’t you think?

Carriers will block your messages: don’t waste your money

We already discussed this topic in “SMS Spam Filters: Why Carriers are blocking your bulk messages“. Not only there are lawyers waiting to caught you sending SPAM, but carriers are also on the lookout for violators of the TCPA.

Carriers have people and systems that work 24/7 trying to spot and block illegal content and activities, by either filtering messages and/or blocking the senders.

This also means that you might be throwing money doing SPAM, thinking that your messages are getting through when they are actually not reaching anyone.

When doing SPAM you have to resort to techniques like the ones discussed in “Rotating individual SMS deliveries between multiple long codes” and “Using multiple Long Codes (aka DIDs) to send your SMS Campaigns“.

These techniques won’t assure any kind of success, and the truth is that you will never know for sure if all your messages are being sent, received, and read by their targets.

Coming up

In our next post we are going to see what mobile marketing is, some of its best practices, and what you need in order to conduct real mobile marketing campaigns. See you then! 🙂

— The PortaText Team.