Should Text Messaging Be A Part of Your Marketing Efforts?

By: First Union


Should Text Messaging Be A Part of Your Marketing Efforts?

The question of whether or not you should include SMS communication in your marketing initiatives is one that many businesses have wondered about. Certainly, there is a cost-effectiveness factor—texting is a cheap way to reach out to consumers. Also, there is the fact that it creates a more personal link to the customer. More and more companies are incorporating some form of text messaging into their overall advertising/marketing scheme, and they are finding that the benefits to this end truly are numerous. That said, if not integrated in the right way using SMS messages could ultimately backfire on you. The key is to understand how to effectively utilize a texting strategy without making it something which annoys and/or disturbs potential clients.

So how do you avoid those texting pitfalls when it comes to marketing for your business…You have to strategize in such a way that you are maximizing what can be done with both SMS and MMS messages so that you are not just randomly integrating a mobile messaging program. There has to be a method in place and an understanding of how exactly texting can work to boost your brand's visibility. Below are some tips and observations regarding using SMS communication as far as your marketing goes.

1. Cell phones are king

People look at their phones now more than ever before. A recent study revealed that over one-third of millennials check their phones every five minutes—and not necessarily because they received any sort of notification. This is a pretty significant statistic. So if you want to reach customers and they are constantly glancing at their device screens, what better way than a text message.

2. As far as what people do on their devices…they text.

Other than talking on the phone itself, users spend more time texting on their devices than engaging in any other type of activity. 97% of cell phone users say that they text their contacts weekly. Again, putting yourself front and center, sending relevant SMS notifications to announce promos or any specials you may be offering, can work to your advantage.

3. Most cell phone users would rather receive a text from a company.

We are no longer a culture that relies on calls. People want fast and easy. Reading SMS messages is much more expedient than having to listen to a voice mail. Customers overall prefer to engage via texting.

4. Users don't need to download a new app.

This is huge. Many companies are integrating marketing/selling strategies that do require users to engage with a new app or learn a new channel. With texting though, this is not the case. It's quick, easy and it's already a default option on their phone.

5. Smartphones are not required.

Some people do like to go "old school," and they are clinging to those simpler phones. Texting still works perfectly for this crowd as well. Any phone can receive an SMS message. They may not be able to get a video or social media updates—but they can read those standard text messages.

6. You can use texts throughout the sales journey.

That is to say, the purchasing process is very much a journey. Engaging with a customer every step of the way ensures that at the end of that journey there are positive results. Texting thus becomes an easy way to keep your brand on a consumer's radar. And again, it is a highly cost-effective means of maintaining visibility in this respect.

7. Texts are interactive.

There is a process involved with receiving a text. It has to be opened, read, and then depending on the content contained therein, responded to. SMS messages do embody a more interactive approach to marketing that helps make the user feel more involved.

8. The customer is in the driver's seat.

A common complaint that many consumers have is that they are bombarded by marketing materials. With texting though, they decide when to engage with a particular message. They are choosing when to open it and can thus do so at their leisure. Consequently, they also choose when and how to interact with the company they are considering doing business with.

9. Customers desire text support.

A recent study shows that consumers would pay more for a product, or are more apt to buy that product if it comes with some sort of text support. Additionally, this same study revealed that people do feel more comfortable dealing with a company that integrates text messaging into its customer service efforts.

10. SMS can help you get ready for chatbots.

Many companies now do have chatbots; if yours doesn't however, this is an area you are going to want to explore. Utilizing mobile messaging can help pave the way for introducing chatbots within your platform.

11. Click through rates are better than with email.

Most depend on email, believing that the click-through rates are probably the best they're going to see. However, on average, such click through rates hover right around six percent. Now looking at SMS messages, we see that in some cases, when done right, click through rates for text messages are near perfect. And generally, such messages are opened within five minutes of being sent.

Again, the key to this type of marketing strategy is to approach it methodically. If you go into it haphazardly and send out text after text with very little rhyme or reason, people are going to feel bothered by the intrusion. Make sure your texts offer information that is relevant and of value to the customer.

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