AT&T is shutting down its location-based Alerts service at the end of the month and says it will launch a new and improved service later this year.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s Alert service, launched in December 2012, was the carrier's attempt at location-based text-message marketing that targets users based on where they are and what they are interested in. The carrier wrote in an email to participants, "the Alerts BETA was successful and we gained valuable learnings. Based on this information, we're planning to launch a new and improved offer service later this year." (See AT&T Launches 'Meaningful' Mobile Offer Alerts.)
A successful mobile text campaign must send messages frequently enough that you remember you signed up and it's not spam, but not so frequently that it feels like spam. And, most importantly, it must be targeted -- but not so targeted it's creepy -- as well as relevant, and valuable.
I've participated in past AT&T Alerts trials and got fed up pretty quickly when I only got offers to Sports Authority or baby stores when I wasn't that close and the offer wasn't that good (not to mention the fact that I don't have a baby or any athletic ability…). That's the kind of service a customer will quickly opt out of.
I'm sure these are the kind of things that AT&T learned from its Beta, so I'll be interested to see what it comes back with later this year. Its brand participation will also be important. In the first round, it says it signed up Gap, Staples, Zales, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Duracell, Motorola, Discover, among others.
Round two of AT&T Alerts sounds like a great opportunity to put big-data analytics to work to really understand the customer they are targeting and craft relevant, compelling offers. But, of course, only if they opt in. (See MWC14: Analytics Holds the Key and Euronews: Make Big Data Less Scary, Says Kroes.)
Anyone a participant in the AT&T Alerts Beta? What are you hoping for in the new version?
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading