U.S. Pizza chain, Papa John’s is in trouble– we’re talking serious marinara sauce. Today, trouble is a $250 million class-action lawsuit for sending 500,000 unwanted text messages to their customers through a mass text messaging service. Yikes!
What could Papa John’s have done to prevent this?
- Express written consent before sending a message to customers. Just because your company collected a cell phone number, doesn’t mean it’s cool to start blasting them with marketing messages. The customer must know that you intend to send them messages when collecting their information. Your customers are your lifeblood– remember to respect them.
- Use text-to-join. Create a simple keyword, like ‘pizza’, that customers can text to opt-into marketing messages and deals. Maybe even offer them some discount credit for opting in. Nothing says “done with your service” like 15 unwanted text message in the middle of the night.
- Have a simple way to unsubscribe. Similarly, nothing says unsubscribe like “Stop”. A user should be able to unsubscribe via a simple text message. If you let your customers know that they are in control, they will be much more likely to listen to what you have to say.
After a lawsuit this large, it’s unlikely that companies like Papa John’s will ever haphazardly spam their users with sms messages again. 250 million pepperonis is no small price even for a company that size. However, if they decide in the future that they want to tastefully message (or pepper!) their users, well, lets just say we’ll be waiting for their text. ;-)