To Text, Or Not To Text?

Posted February 10th in General, Marketing Strategy

I was lying in bed last night, just about to drift off into a nice deep sleep when all of a sudden my phone vibrates. That annoying “voot-voot” on my nightstand is so hard to ignore, but I tried my best.  I turned over and tried to put it out of my mind.  But I couldn’t.  The little green LED was blinking, and someone was trying to get in touch with me, even though it was late.  “It might be important, I should check it,” I thought.  Angry with myself over letting the phone run my life once again, I turn back and check my phone.

No matter how hard I fought it; the fact there was a message on my phone was enough for me to interrupt my sleep.  What’s the lesson?  It’s simple, really.  Text messages get read.  Even at midnight.

Are you using this valuable marketing tool to reach your ground troops?  According to a November 2011 report from the e-tailing group, text messaging is largely ignored in marketing plans, with only 7% of respondents saying they use text messaging to push a marketing message.  The reason given is that more consumers are using smart phones and rely on mobile websites and apps to gather their information, and for marketers to push their advertising messages.

While this may look like bad news for texting’s viability, I think it’s actually an opportunity in disguise.  Remember, even if consumers prefer to use smart phones, they still use those same phones to send and receive text messages.  You have an avenue to send your marketing message directly to your best customers’ pockets, usually at a low cost that works across platforms and cell phone service companies.  That’s not the case with apps!  If  most companies are ignoring this valuable tool, if you embrace it, your company will instantly have a cool factor.  Your company is now playing in a suddenly less crowded playing field.  Large retailers have embraced this tool because they know it works. It can work for you too.

Sending occasional messages to your text club is a fast and reliable way to get your message out to your best, most dedicated customers.  What about finding new customers?  Texting helps there too.  Creating a special contest where people enter by sending a text is a cheap and easy way to engage prospects.  My favorite example is from a few years ago.  Jameson’s Irish Whiskey ran a text contest where a few lucky people who texted “Jameson” to a shortcode number would win a t-shirt.  Entrants then had to reply with their birth date to ensure they were of legal drinking age, and then they were in the contest.  Of the people who entered for a chance to win a t-shirt, 71% opted-in to the club to receive hourly text toasts on St. Patrick’s Day 2009.  They even offered a special text to their subscribers that could be sent to friends.  Over 9,000 texts were sent that night, all of them containing Jameson’s marketing message.

It’s not tough to get started with a text message component for your marketing plan.  Just schedule a free brainstorm with NextMedia 360, and we can help you create a great contest or promotion to get your message into your customers’ pockets.


About the Author

During my 12 years in the industry I’ve learned that creativity is always rewarded, and a valuable idea always beats a low price.