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How to Create a User Flow Diagram for Mobile Marketing

The best way to plan your text-messaging communication marketing campaign flow is to use a user-flow diagram — an image that outlines the user flow and details all the interactions that may occur between a mobile subscriber and your mobile marketing program.

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Create your text-messaging user-flow diagram with any software application such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Visio. Some people use standard flow-charting techniques; others use images of phones to map the user flow. The method you choose depends on which one is more useful for documenting all the possible interactions that a mobile subscriber may have with your program.

Your application provider or connection aggregator typically has the most common user flows already designed — as well as the not-so-common ones. Rather than start with a blank piece of paper, ask the provider to give you a few examples. Then you can tailor an existing user-flow diagram to your individual needs.

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Step 1: Paint a positive picture

Start by imagining what you want to have happen when everything works flawlessly. Picture what you want the perfect consumer experience to be. How do you want the opt-in flow to work, for example? What will the content-download experience look like?

Step 2: Map your opt-in flow

List the steps that a mobile subscriber must take to opt in to your program. Single opt-in is appropriate for programs that don’t charge the consumer for participation or programs in which you’re picking up the user’s share of the text-messaging costs. These programs typically are called free to the end user (FTEU) or standard-rate, text-messaging programs.

If you’re going to have ongoing interactions with mobile subscribers, however, or plan to charge them a premium for participation, the industry’s consumer best practices and regulations require you to get a double opt-in from all subscribers, so you need to include that requirement in your user flow.

Step 3: Map your opt-out flow

List the steps a mobile subscriber must take to opt out of your program. At any time, a subscriber should be able to send stop, end, quit, or any related reserved keyword to your program to opt out of it. Reserved keywords are keywords reserved by industry best practices, meaning that they’re designated to perform a specific function.

After you receive an opt-out request from a mobile subscriber, you must cease all interactions with the mobile subscriber with regard to the specific program. If you don’t, you run the risk of being fined by the wireless carrier (at best) or being fined and having your programs shut down.

Step 4: Map your help user flow

How will participants in your program get help if they have a question? According to the Mobile Marketing Association’s Consumer Best Practices Guidelines, if a user needs help and sends the text help to your program, your program must respond accordingly. You should also refer to the CTIA playbook, which contains the rules that WMC Global relies on to audit programs on behalf of the carriers and the CTIA.

If your program’s keyword is win and its Short Code is 12345, for example, anyone who’s interested in getting help with your program should be able to text win help or help win to 12345. Your mobile marketing application must respond by returning a text message that includes information about the campaign’s terms and conditions, along with details on how to get help.

You might want to include in this message a link to a website where the user can get detailed program terms and conditions, as well as a phone number that the user can call to talk to someone or interact with your automated customer-care system.

Step 5: Map your error response

How will your mobile marketing application respond if the mobile subscriber does something wrong, and what instructions will the application provide automatically to help the subscriber? If the program requires the subscriber to submit a redemption code along with the program keyword, and the mobile subscriber text-messages only win to the Short Code, the mobile marketing application should reply automatically with a help message.

Step 6: Map your final message

When the mobile subscriber is done interacting with your program, what will you say in the final message? Common final messages include “Thank you” (or “Thx”) and an invitation to participate and opt in to other programs. You could send a final message like this one: “Thx. The survey is complete. To join our messaging alert service, pls reply join to 12345.”

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