Advertising can both increase your sales and profits, and conversely, if done badly its effects can be counterproductive. This means that it’s important to approach the planning of an advertising campaign with special care.

Let’s take a closer look at what consequences a badly conceived SMS mail-out campaign can lead to.

Loss of reputation. It’s important for your brand to have your clients’ trust. And trust directly depends on your reputation. If someone finds your SMS mail-outs misleading or offensive, you may very quickly lose a positive reputation gained over the years.

Carefully study the traditions and values of people in the region which you are targeting with your SMS advertising campaign. Topics that may seem inoffensive and neutral to some may be considered in bad taste or controversial to others.

This happened to the Swedish company H&M. The brand was invited to launch a new line of jungle-themed kidswear, using photographs of different children. What could seem more inoffensive? However, in the USA, the advertisement provoked an angry reaction. The company was accused of racism, because in one of the photos there was a black boy in a hoodie with the words ‘Coolest monkey in the Jungle’. The fact that the jungle was just the theme of the new collection, and that other photos showed white-skinned children with similar messages on their clothes, didn’t make any difference. The company was accused of racism, and a number of celebrities who had previously worked with the company sought to dissociate themselves from their brand.

Decreasing sales. If your text messages or promotions are not clear to customers, they won’t pay attention to them. Instead of boosting sales as you anticipate, they may do more harm than good. Don’t over-complicate your offer, keep it as simple and straightforward as possible.

In the 1980s, the fast food chain A&W attempted to compete with McDonald’s. The standard Big Mac beef patty is the quarter-pounder (113.4 grams). A&W figured they could afford to make a third of a pound (151 grams) patty without too much extra cost, producing a burger with more meat at the same price as the Big Mac.

A huge advertising campaign completely failed. Nobody bought the A&W burgers, and the management couldn’t understand why. It turned out that the average consumer had difficulty with fractions. The quarter-pounder burger seemed a better deal because “well, 4 is more than 3, right?”.

Loss of potential customers. SMS mail-outs should also attract potential clients. With text messages, you can boost your sales, find new customers, and even convert them to permanent clients.

One of the best tools for this are message chains or so-called ‘drip marketing’, in which you reveal the essence of your promotion in a few messages. For example, in the first, you plant the seed, in the second you stir up interest, and in the third you reveal the whole point. There may be two such messages, or maybe five.

However, if you haven’t fully thought out your campaign, then you may scare potential clients away so that they no longer want to do business with you. This happened to Fiat.

Fiat sent love letters on pink paper to women in Spain to get their attention. This campaign led to rows with jealous partners. Some women decided that a stalker was writing to them. The letters contained phrases like “I noticed how you were looking at me”, “I want to be with you for a few minutes”, “Let’s go on a journey together”.

The identity of the sender was revealed in the next letter, which came 4-6 days later, but by that time the women were already frightened, trying not to leave the house unaccompanied by men, and some had even turned to the police. Numerous complaints led Fiat to stop the campaign.

It’s really very important to approach the topic and text of your advertising text messages carefully, in order to interest subscribers, and not alienate them and lose your income. If you’ve already thought about your SMS campaign, then it’s time to launch it. To do this, you can use the tools of the Intis Telecom platform.