For example, let’s say I’m running a campaign asking customers to text KNOTICE to my shortcode to receive a special offer. As I’m setting up the campaign, I will consider what mistakes could easily be made with my keyword that might prevent a customer from participating in my SMS message flow. So, I would likely configure my system to also accept the keyword NOTICE, KNOTISE and NOTISE. That way, customers who wish to participate in the program, but who make a simple and common mistake with the keyword, won’t experience any frustration or delay.
Once my program is live, however, I will monitor the inbound message logs to look for patterns of mistakes that are preventing customers from getting my special offer. From monitoring the logs I can see that 10 percent of my failed attempts are people texting KN0TICE, with a zero (“0”) instead of the letter O. So, I can add that version of the keyword to my system as an acceptable alternative version of the original keyword.
Another important touchpoint to monitor is your helpline. If you choose to include a telephone number that can be called for support, make sure that the people responsible for answering the calls are able to provide the help that customers need. Educate your call center about the campaign and the kinds of issues or questions consumers may have. For example, motivate the call center to ask customers if they have a signature on their SMS messages that might be throwing off the message flow. Or perhaps they have disabled their numeric keys and are entering “,.!” instead of “abc.”
Customer feedback and keyword errors can also be a valuable resource for evaluating the success of your call to action creative. If the instructions for participating in the SMS program are unclear or incomplete, the market will tell you. You can look at the kinds of mistakes being made and the questions being asked and use that to improve your creative approach on the next call to action.
As a marketer, it is my responsibility to design an SMS campaign that is easy to use and is successful according to the client’s goals. But I still can’t anticipate everything. However, by examining failed attempts to interact with a program I can spot the mistakes I didn’t anticipate and prevent my customers from experiencing frustration and delay. After all, to err is human, but to adapt your SMS campaigns on the fly is just smart marketing.