It’s Not Too Late to Add Text Messaging to Your Marketing Strategy
Worldwide, 560 billion text messages are sent each month. The average person sends and receives five times as many texts compared with the number of phone calls each day, according to mobile intelligence firm Informate. And on average, Americans spend 26 minutes per day texting compared to 21 minutes per day calling.
For many people, texting’s immediacy and the ubiquity of cell phones make it an essential ingredient of daily life.
That thought shouldn’t be lost on marketers, either, because companies today find themselves under constant pressure not only to get products out to market in a timely fashion, but also to get the word out quickly about those products. For that reason, text messaging is fast becoming an essential ingredient for business success as well.
So where does text marketing fit in a corporate marketing strategy? Are there certain industries or products where texting is more effective and other industries where it is less so?
“Text messaging fits when the marketer wants instant engagement and activity with the customer,” says Matt Reid, chief marketing officer at EZTexting, which provides text messaging services for marketers. “The key is, how do you put text marketing as a strategy into the mix of your other marketing outreach? You want your instant text marketing message to generate an instantaneous response from your customer. At the same time, your text messages need to complement what you’re already doing in other aspects of your marketing campaigns.”
Reid says text messaging provides much more timely outreach than the traditional email blasts that marketing departments send out to customers, because with texting, customers see the messages coming in directly and immediately on their cell phones. In fact, a huge 90 percent of text messages are read within the first three minutes of receiving them. And customers who receive text messages from businesses have a 40 percent higher conversion rate than those who do not.
Emails also generate less customer engagement with companies because they aren’t as personal as text messages.
“There are several modes of deployment that are being used for text messaging,” Reid says. “One way that text messages are being used is for the communication of product promotions. Text messages are also being used as notifications or alerts that can come from sales, shipping, or customer service. In still another deployment strategy, companies are starting to use text messages as part of their customer support.”
Regardless of the deployment method that you choose, your overall objective is to create a continuous “presence” between your company and your customers. This is the best way that you can leverage texting in your marketing strategy.
“Text messaging is growing, and it is being used across a wide variety of industries, but how you use text messaging depends upon the industry you are in,” Reid advises.
For example, retailers’ text messaging strategy in marketing is likely to be heavily weighted toward the promotion of products and services. For a real estate broker, on the other hand, texting might serve as a means of identifying qualified leads for properties that you want to sell. For a logistics operation or a retail shipping department, texting might be used to communicate order status or expected delivery dates to customers. For a nonprofit, the primary use of text messaging is often just getting the word out about a particular event or fundraising drive.
But for all that texting can do, many corporate marketing departments still lack formal strategies for text messaging and are still figuring out how texting fits in with their other marketing efforts, such as promotional campaigns, tradeshows, retail and e-commerce merchandising, and traditional telephone and email outreach.