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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : December 18, 2008

Calling lapsed mobile subscribers could be 'grave' mistake

It's not just email and postal marketing lists than need to be kept up to date, mobile lists also need to be maintained otherwise your calls could be falling on deaf, if not dead, ears.

by Helen Leggatt

Cemeteries across the globe could become somewhat noisier if a current trend continues. Imagine quietly pondering life among the tombstones when a ring tone cuts through the silence, even though there's no-one about. How could this be? Because, according to a couple of recent reports, people are increasingly being interred with their mobile devices - anything from mobiles phones to iPods. This trend is taking the desire of users to have mobile phones with them "at all times" to the extreme.

"It really started happening within the last five or six years," said Frank Perman, owner and funeral director of Frank R. Perman Funeral Home, Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pa. "But I expect it to grow exponentially, especially with the price of technology getting so low. It's not that big of a deal to bury somebody's cell phone."

Marion Seltzer buried her criminal defense attorney husband with his phone and a fully charged battery and continues to pay the monthly phone bill. She regularly calls him and leaves a message on his voice mail. She even had his mobile phone number carved into his headstone so others can call him, too.

The phenomena of being buried with a mobile device could even ring the tills of some ring tone sellers. According to Ed Defort, publisher and editorial director for American Funeral Director magazine, they have become a sort of 21st century funeral tribute. "Some people will call the deceased just as they're lowering the coffin into the ground," he said. "It'll be prearranged and you'll hear a faint ring. It's like the new version of 'Taps' for people who are identified as being on the phone all the time."

So, unless you want your mobile marketing campaigns to fall on extremely deaf ears, or scare someone witless in a cemetery, make sure you regularly analyze data and, if necessary, implement a re-engagement program to lapsed subscribers.

Tags: cemetery, iPod, lapsed, marketing list, mobile device, mobile marketing, mobile phone, re-engagement program

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