ChamberofCommerce.com, a site dedicated to helping companies grow their business on the Web, has entered into an online partnership with Clickatell, which will provide small to midsize businesses (SMBs) the Web-based tools to connect with consumers through targeted and personal text messages sent directly to their mobile devices.
The agreement offers SMBs another mechanism to navigate the digital space and market straight to customers through targeted yet personal messages.
“Today we have tools at our disposal, like the Internet, social networks, and smartphones, that have become a part of our day-to-day lives and are designed specifically to bring people together,” said David Bayer, CEO of ChamberofCommerce.com, in a statement. “For example, people are on the go now more than ever and rely heavily on their mobile phones. Clickatell has found ways to bypass traditional marketing and make marketing individual and personal by delivering SMS messages straight into a customer's inbox.”
Patricia Seybold, of the Patricia Seybold Group, believes SMS marketing is the next logical step for already tech-savvy SMB owners who are navigating the social media landscape. “A text message tends to be less formal; it often uses abbreviations, like the letter “U” instead of “you,” she says. “Because of that informality, and because people may be surprised to get an SMS message from a retailer, I think it makes it both surprising and interesting and engaging, so you feel like someone is speaking directly to you.
Seybold discredits the notion that SMBs are slow to adopt new technology, noting that many have already begun to combine messaging tools with location-based services on cell phones, attracting customers traveling in specific areas—another way to make SMS marketing personal and deliver a higher conversion rate.
“Whether your business is located in Orlando, Florida, or Orlando, South Africa, the need to attract, retain, and serve customers is universal; doing it via the now nearly ubiquitous mobile phone is more compelling and cost-effective than traditional channels,” said Pieter de Villiers, co-founder and CEO of Clickatell, in a statement. “We are very excited about the partnership with ChamberofCommerce.com in helping to be where their customers are through the delivery of targeted, time-sensitive, mobile text messages.”
But SMS messages are probably not for everyone. “The demographics are expanding, but generally speaking, it’s going to be more useful if you’re targeting a younger clientele,” Seybold states. She points out that consumers who use messaging the most tend to be younger than 35 years old.