Texting 4 Success
During the last decade, marketers have begun using text message as a powerful tool for helping businesses communicate with their target audiences. The biggest strength of text marketing is its ability to reach people quickly. Marketers can target key audiences wherever they are and at any time, as messages are delivered instantly. This makes it an ideal solution for distributing information, like coupons, for time-sensitive campaigns. For example, by texting the keyword “BLIZZARD” to 55532, customers agree to receive promotional texts from the local Dairy Queen. The mobile channel provides a depth of targeted information that is simply not possible through other mediums.
Yes, the immediacy of text is great; however the fact that it is interactive is the real key to the success of this communication channel. Most businesses use email marketing campaigns. Open rates on email marketing fell to 17% in 2010, down 9 percentage points from 26% in 2009 (Harte-Hanks). Text marketing campaigns are producing as much as 90%+ open rate and 25%+ reply rate.
Much like email marketing, time-sensitive messages can be sent at the appropriate time and tracked to enable active customer potential to be counted and recorded. Text is also delivered directly to a specific mobile phone, delivering very selective advertising messages to specific target groups. Marketers can have peace of mind that the message was received by the intended recipient.
This year, 88% of marketers plan to utilize mobile marketing as part of their overall strategy (Association of National Advertisers and the MMA). Mobile advertising spend is projected to exceed $1 billion by the end of 2011 (Forrester Research).
Some businesses have tried text marketing and mentioned to me that it “didn’t work”. Many times it’s because they didn’t incorporate text marketing as part of an overall marketing strategy -print, online, radio, TV. Before investing money in mobile marketing campaigns, marketers have to choose the right channels and a reliable partner that will provide the highest return on investment (ROI).
Step 1: Develop a database list of customer’s mobile phone numbers. It is essential that this is formed of customers who have specifically opted in to receive text information from your business. Use meetings, conferences, monthly publications, newsletters and other events to gather this data. Don’t wait! Start developing this list today, even if you don’t plan on investing in a text strategy until next year. Step 1 is crucial to the success or failure of your text campaign.
Step 2: Choose the right partner. This is extremely important. Sending large volumes of messages requires specialized messaging infrastructure and an experienced messaging provider to ensure successful delivery. If delivery cannot be guaranteed, marketers have no way of knowing their messages were received. Your service provider should be able to deliver you with real-time confirmation.
Step 3: Decide how often to send messages to customers. As discussed, text is a timely channel, but in some cases constant and repetitive messages do more harm than good. The frequent messages turn into spam and annoy people. Text is still considered a spam-free channel.
Text is a highly useful channel for marketers; however the level of success achieved will depend on successfully collecting data and working with the right partner on your strategy– one who can deliver the reach, reliability and back office functionalities to ensure the messages reach the right people at the right time.