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 San Francisco This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) brings together the industry's leading practitioners and marketing strategists to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, this year's comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. 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

Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

WEBINARS

    Information currently unavailable

Jobs

    • Internet Marketing Campaign Manager
      Internet Marketing Campaign Manager (Straight North, LLC) - Fort MillWe are looking for a talented Internet Marketing Campaign Manager to join the...
    • Online Marketing Coordinator
      Online Marketing Coordinator (NewMarket Health) - BaltimoreWant to learn marketing from the best minds in the business? NewMarket Health, a subsidiary...
    • Call Center Manager
      Call Center Manager (Common Sense Publishing) - Delray BeachWanted: Dynamic Call Center Manager with a Proven Track Record of Improving Response...