Text Messaging Can Be More Than Cool

  |  July 24, 2012   |  Comments

Does your audience understand and value text messaging as a communication vehicle? And are you taking advantage of that?

Call me an optimist - I believe that direct marketing enriches our lives when executed properly. When done right, direct marketing brings brand information directly to me at just the right time. Email marketing has become such a successful way to reach me and when complemented with an appropriate direct mail piece I appreciate the continuity across channels. I also like brands that give me a choice on the way to reach me: email, mail…or text message.

The focus today is on my phone and text messaging. As marketers we know the great (and nearly unbelievable) text messaging statistic: 98 percent of all text messages are opened. I think you'll be hard-pressed to find another channel with that kind of open rate. Add that to the fact that there are 234 million mobile devices in use in the United States today.

However, we also know that text messaging is interruptive, limited to 160 characters, and doesn't offer the rich branding experience of other channels. Most importantly, only 14 percent of Americans prefer to receive promotions through text messages. But if you think about it, 14 percent of 234 million is still plenty large to implement a text messaging strategy. If that 14 percent stat still scares you, how about using SMS to provide valued alerts or reminders. You may not drive revenue, but you can go a long way to building brand affinity and loyalty.

When contemplating your text messaging approach, you need to consider your audience. Does your audience "get" text messaging? I don't mean do they have the device to receive it. I mean do they understand it and value it as a communication vehicle? Your demographic may provide a clue. Under 40, it's highly likely. Over 40, maybe less so. But if you don't know, you can always ask them in a standalone survey or as part of another communication. In addition to knowing if they get text messaging, you also need to understand the "mobility" of your customers. How do they consume information on mobile devices? What activities are they willing to engage in via their mobile device?

Once you've figured out how your customers interact with their mobile devices, you can then determine whether you have relevant information that can be shared via SMS to enhance your relationships with your customers. And you should think beyond simple "Text CHEAP to 123456 to receive crazy discounts" promotions. Try adding some value as well. Can you remind someone about an upcoming birthday of a friend or family member (which you can tie to an offer)? Can you alert someone to the start of an event or the expiration of a service?

Also, look at your programs holistically. When is it important to use text messaging in conjunction with email - whether promoting an email program via SMS or an SMS program via email? More to the point, is there an opportunity to use SMS to sign up subscribers to your email list?

Ultimately, a successful SMS program comes down to whether you're able to offer real value to your participants. By respecting your customers and engaging them in a two-way dialogue, you will have a new, successful channel for interacting with your best customers.

Tags:

ClickZ Live New York What's New for 2015?
You spoke, we listened! ClickZ Live New York (Mar 30-Apr 1) is back with a brand new streamlined agenda. Don't miss the latest digital marketing tips, tricks and tools that will make you re-think your strategy and revolutionize your marketing campaigns. Super Saver Rates are available now. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tal Nathan

An industry veteran, Tal Nathan has been helping organizations deliver valued and effective email marketing services for more than 10 years. In his role of vice president of client services, Nathan manages all client services for StrongMail to ensure that their respective clients receive the highest level of professional service available in today’s competitive marketplace. Previously, Nathan served as vice president and general manager of client services for Epsilon, where he led online strategy for the company’s top-tier clients, with a focus on the retail, travel and financial verticals. Prior to Epsilon, he was the vice president of client engineering at infoGroup, where he led and managed integration services for its Yesmail division. No stranger to technology, Nathan began his career at BDO Seldman, where he provided a range of business management and technology services to Fortune 500 companies. Nathan holds a BS in mechanical engineering from UCLA.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Email newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

UPCOMING TRAINING

Featured White Papers

Google My Business Listings Demystified

Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.

WEBINARS

    Information currently unavailable

Jobs

    • Lead Generation Specialist
      Lead Generation Specialist (The Oxford Club) - BaltimoreThe Oxford Club is seeking a talented writer/marketer to join our growing email lead-generation...
    • Health Marketing Editor
      Health Marketing Editor (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreCome flex your intellectual muscle as part of Agora, Inc’s (http://agora-inc.com/) legal team...
    • Technical Business Analyst
      Technical Business Analyst (OmniVista Health) - BaltimoreOmniVista Health is looking to add a Technical Business Analyst to our expanding team...