Cell phones are the primary means of communication for most of the world and the number one player in the United States. Text, or SMS, messaging has overtaken the main form of communication for current and future generations, including Gen X, Y, and Z. Phone calls have become a thing of the past and outside of email and social media, text messaging is the way the world communicates in both a casual and formal setting. Text messaging is no longer just for personal use. It has become a major part of business marketing communications across an array of markets. Aside from the prevalence, it holds in overall communication, text message marketing is more engaging than email or social media and receives a higher response rate than all other direct forms of communication.
If you haven’t implemented text message marketing into your business plan for the foreseeable future, it’s time to reconsider.
1. Texting is engaging and interactive.
A majority of text messages are read within 5 minutes of receipt. Consumers jump at the chance to see who sent them a text and can’t wait to read what’s inside. When comparing texting to email marketing, the time from receipt to read is huge. Open rates on email average around 48 hours so the difference in time is quite an eye-opener. Consumers are more apt to reply to a text message versus an email that is deleted without reading up to 85% of the time. It’s also important to note, when comparing text to email, that consumers check their email inboxes a couple of times a day versus hourly (or more) with text messages. Once you include an opt-in feature for the audience you’re targeting, not only do your messages get read quickly, but you engage and excite consumers who are already interested in your product. You may have a short list to send your text to (versus email) but the level of brand interest is sure to be higher.
Adding an interactive element to your text campaign is a fun and easy way to get direct and fast feedback from your current and potential customer base. Consider including questions, surveys or polls to engage your text list. Remember that each text should include a call to action, or CTA, which is interactive in itself. Asking your customer to follow a link, share with others or connect on social media is a way to bridge engagement with interaction.
2. You get a lot of bang for your buck.
Text messaging is one of the most affordable marketing tools available to businesses of all sizes, but especially beneficial to small businesses who are looking to have a high return on investment. Prices vary by company, but the average text message costs cents on the dollar compared to a full-blown marketing campaign that may include print and digital advertising, email marketing and social media campaigns. Another option, available through various cell phone carriers, includes bulk messaging that provides a flat rate for X number of messages. The value is immeasurable for those on a tight budget.
3. The time commitment is minimal.
Another crucial key performance indicator for small businesses is the overall use of time and return on invested time. With text message marketing, the time spent to create campaigns is quite minimal, especially when comparing to email or social media campaigns. In general, text messages are short in length, consisting of one to three sentences with a link. This is beneficial to the company that has to write the campaign (hello short and sweet!) and the consumer who opens the message (thank you for the easy and straightforward read!). Marketing campaigns can take up a lot of time and commitment when composed of various facets across numerous platforms and communications. If you’re looking for a way to reach the consumer directly with minimal backend time, text messaging is the way to go.
Whether you’ve run numerous marketing campaigns across multi channel entities or are just starting out with marketing your business, text message marketing should be a viable option in your overall business plan. Nix the phone calls, keep your texts short and to the point and engage with your target audience via text often. You are sure to see a higher return on investment when you opt into text messaging marketing and create strong brand relationships with your consumers.