7 biggest mobile marketing mistakes

7 biggest mobile marketing mistakes

May 15, 2014

Here’s a rundown of the 7 biggest mobile marketing mistakes and some simple ideas to avoid them.

  1. Bad Timing!
  2. What do I do now?
  3. Unsuitable Tone
  4. Message Length
  5. Who is this?
  6. No Opt-Out Information
  7. Underwhelming Offers

7 biggest mobile marketing mistakes and how to avoid them

1. Bad Timing

One of the big advantages of text message marketing is that your customers will have their mobile phones with them at all times of the day. Unlike email, most text messages are read immediately but that doesn’t mean there aren’t bad times to send your marketing message.

Before you hit the send button, think about when your customers are most likely to act on your message. If you want customers to pop into your cafe for a lunchtime special then maybe a mid- morning marketing message will work. If you want them to call and make a booking then send your message when you think your customers will have time to call you.

Forward planning is key. If you are advertising a future event like a special Valentines dinner menu, a good rule of thumb is to send an early message so your organised customers can book in advance. Then you can cater for the badly-prepped boyfriends and send a last minute reminder to fill up your remaining tables.

TIP: Even if your marketing message is very exciting, your customers won’t appreciate being woken up to read it. Remember to send your marketing message between 9am and 10pm.  Learn more about timing your marketing messages

2. What Do I Do Now?

One of the biggest mobile marketing mistakes companies make is forgetting to include a call to action at the end of their text marketing message. Make it easy for your customers and tell them exactly what they need to do next.

If you want them to visit your website, pick up the phone or simply call in to your store – don’t forget to include all the relevant information!

  • Book online at www.bla.com
  • Pop in to Cookees on Main St to pick up your free pastry with any regular coffee
  • Call us on 012345678 today to book your deluxe facial

TIP: Remember, if you ask your customers to phone be sure to send your message at a time you will be answering your phone!

3. Unsuitable Tone

You might think that if any medium could warrant a more casual approach it would be texting. You may be a master of txt spk and know your LOLs, L8Rs, TTYLs and GR8s from your ROFLs (and if you don’t you can get a translation here) but your customers might not respond well to the language, depending on your business. Try to tailor your tone to your business. TXT SPK might be fine in casual circumstances, but if you want your customers to take your business seriously, you should try to use appropriate tone in your messages to them.

  • Hi There, Get a free bottle of wine this Wednesday with every two main courses in Freddie’s Bistro. Call to book now on 01 600 XXXX. Opt-out? Text STOP to 51772.

It may not always be the case that you want to sound professional – it depends on what type of business you have and who your audience is. For example, if you run student nights for a pub, your customers might respond better to younger, friendlier language:

  • YOYOYO! Student BYOB Electro Nite in the Bunker tomoz and every Tues! €20 Entry & DJ Till Late. C U There! Opt-out? Text STOP to 51772.

You will have a fair idea what writing style might appeal to your audience, but try to put yourself in their shoes and imagine how they would respond to your text message.

4. Message Length – Too Short or Too Long?

Text messages aren’t limited to only 160 characters – most phones will support messages up to 459 characters. This isn’t an invitation to write an essay though. Let’s assume your customers are all busy people – they’ll appreciate you getting to the point without the waffle but make sure not to be curt or abrupt.

A good ingredients check list for marketing messages is Greeting + Offer/News + Call to Action. Embellish the language and tone as you think necessary for your target market.

5. Who is this?

A perfectly written marketing message can often fail for one simple reason. You forget to tell your customers who you are!

There are a couple of ways to identify yourself but one of the simplest is to change the From Label on your message. This label is displayed at the top of the message on your customers phone – in place of a phone number.

You are limited to 11 characters when choosing your From Label but make sure it’s something your customers will recognise. E.g. If your business is called ‘Dees Salon’, then set your ‘From’ label to ‘Dees Salon’ or if you have a longer company name that exceeds the 11 character limit such as Greener Space, you could choose an abbreviation for your ‘From’ label e.g. ‘GREENER’ or ‘GSPACE’.

If you can’t set your From Label then be sure to sign off with your company name at the end of the message, before your opt-out wording.

6. No Opt-out Information

One unforgivable mobile marketing mistake is to omit your opt-out information from your message. You might be sad to see them go, but it is legally required by data-protection law to include a way for your customers to unsubscribe from your database. The easiest way to do this is to include instructions to opt out by text message e.g. Opt-Out? Text STOP to 51772.

7. Underwhelming Offers

At the end of the day, perfect timing and tone is not going to work if your customers don’t feel you are offering value. Don’t waste time and money sending marketing messages that won’t surprise and delight your customers.

In addition to your product or service, you may wish to try some of these text marketing ideas to improve your customers’ response to your offer:

  1. Loyalty Discounts: Schedule your next 3 sessions with us today and get the third half price.
  2. Bonus e.g. Buy any regular coffee and get a free pastry!
  3. Time Sensitive e.g. Book today to avail of this great offer!
  4. Action-based rewards e.g. Book online and get 20% off.
  5. Audience incentives e.g. Great family offer, kids go free…!
  6. Complimentary Upgrades: Book a something and we’ll make it a deluxe on us!

TIP: If you want to motivate your customer to take action consider time limited offers that will encourage them to act sooner.


These may be the biggest mobile  marketing mistakes but they are easy to avoid and with a little thought and planning you can increase the return on your marketing and create text message marketing campaigns that really work.