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Tap Into the Power of Text Messaging

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A guest post by Henry Cazalet of Text Marketer.

Is your business struggling to kick-start a marketing campaign? Perhaps your message just isn’t getting to the right audience? Text message marketing provides a perfect solution for any business, no matter what budget they have at their disposal.


Remarkably, text message marketing is a relatively untapped platform for businesses. Despite coming into existence more than 10 years ago, text messaging has only seen significant adoption in select Asian and European markets. There is plenty of room for businesses in the UK and USA to take advantage of what is a potentially lucrative and highly effective marketing channel.

Increasingly Popular Form of Marketing


In the UK in particular, recent research reveals that consumers actually prefer this type of marketing in comparison to other forms promotions on their mobile phones. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) revealed that Britons, along with other western European countries, such as France and Germany, favored SMS-based marketing. The poll found that 38% of UK mobile owners preferred text message marketing, while in Germany and France, the figures were higher, with 58% and 60% favouring this mode of communication respectively.

Interestingly, this same research found that 40% UK consumers were interested in being contacted by advertisers via their mobile. When you consider the increasing popularity of mobile devices (especially smartphones, and factor in the openness of users to SMS marketing), this shows how effective it could be for British businesses in future.

What Are the Benefits of SMS Marketing?


Businesses choose bulk text messaging for a variety of reasons, but mainly because it’s extremely affordable. The relatively low cost means that you can potentially expect to enjoy a higher return on investment (ROI), regardless of your budget. Text message marketing offers immediacy and has much higher response rates, with recipients being five times more responsive than direct mail, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau. To get a better idea though, let’s take a look at some of these benefits in more detail.

Cost-Effective and High ROI
One of the biggest concerns that businesses have when it comes to marketing is their budget and the ROI they can expect to achieve. With text message marketing, one thing is for sure, there is no cheaper way of getting your message to a mass audience of targeted consumers. With bulk SMS prices, you can send a text at very little cost. When you also consider the impressive response rate, text messaging has huge potential for any business.

Time-Efficient
Immediacy is one of the key benefits of SMS text marketing. With the advent of the Internet and mobile technology, the world is becoming increasingly fast-paced. As technology has evolved, so have the speeds with which messages can be relayed to consumers en masse. SMS text marketing gives you that immediacy as it’s incredibly time-efficient. Within moments, your target market can receive a text message from you, informing them of the latest promotions or industry news.

High Response Rates
As mentioned above, this form of marketing is incredibly responsive. Mobile phones are with people all day every day; wherever the person goes, their phone goes with them. Consequently, a text message can be read and responded to within seconds, making it an effective way of communicating directly and encouraging a reaction from your audience.

Targeted Audiences
For advertisers and marketers, knowing that your message is reaching the most appropriate audience is key. With numerous third-party suppliers offering authorized contact numbers, businesses can ensure that they only target consumers with an existing interest in the products or services that they offer. This data is hugely valuable, and its accuracy can help to ensure the very best ROI.

Large Reach
It’s not just the targeted nature of text messaging that is beneficial, the way you can reach a vast number of people wherever they are in the world is also immensely valuable. Mobile phones are with us for approximately 80% of the day, so whether someone is at work, at home, at the shops, out running errands, or relaxing with friends and family, they’ll get your message. What’s more is that they don’t need to be near static forms of technology, such as televisions and computers. As long as they have their phone and a signal, the message can be relayed.


Enhanced Brand Loyalty
Sending branded messages exclusively to a customer base can help with loyalty. Imagine receiving the latest offers and promotions exclusively for you to take advantage of. Such communication can make customers feel wanted and selected. When used in appropriate moderation, your business can remain in the forefront of customers’ thoughts, helping to build brand loyalty and encourage repeat customers. Consider personalizing messages to your target audience; this will be far more effective. For example, a personalized birthday message in conjunction with a special offer.

Great for Reminders
There are a whole host of additional ways in which text message marketing can be used. One of the most popular of these is as a reminder for the recipient. This reminder could be for an event or an appointment. It can increase the number of attendees and reduce the likelihood of no shows. The ability to establish whether somebody is attending can help to save time and money, while also eliminating forgetfulness.

Henry Cazalet is a director at Text Marketer, a leading SMS marketing agency.


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Comments

  • by Jason Lombard Wed Feb 15, 2012 via blog

    I disagree. One of the primary reasons is because these types of campaigns force the customer to pay the cost of your marketing. While the adoption of unlimited SMS/MMS plans is increasing, we have not reached a point where EVERYONE has unlimited texting.

    Then there's the violation: In an informal survey that I took from a few of my clients not too long ago, the overwhelming majority felt that a person's cell phone (including text messages) is one of the last bastions of uncluttered privacy in a world that's out of touch with what the word "privacy" actually means.

    The one exception that I can see to this is a tightly-controlled, opt-in scenario like an appointment reminder from a doctor or dentist. Aside from that, phrases like "improved brand loyalty" and "time-efficient" only serve to justify a type of marketing that most of us ourselves do not wish to receive.

  • by Jo Schaper Thu Feb 16, 2012 via blog

    I agree with Jason. I do not have a text plan because I don't need one and I will emphatically NOT do business with any company which charges ME 20 cents to get its message to me on my phone. I have not shut off the service simply because of occasional emergency use between me and my husband. With the advent of email on the phone, texting is passe, anyway: you can send a short message to someone in an email subject line, and it is included with your data plan. The simple truth is: you don't need texting any more, and using it for marketing is egregious, and kills more contact than it creates.

  • by Richard Hawley Fri Feb 17, 2012 via blog

    Hi,

    The points here about paying to receive a text message are valid but of course they only apply to a certain number of networks in the US only (I understand it is around 50% of US phones are affected). In the rest of the world it is free to receive a text message. I would agree though that, unless the information was highly important to the recipient, it wouldn't be a good idea to charge people to receive your marketing messages!

    The SMS world is highly regulated by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and the rules state you cannot send a text message to people unless they have actively opted in to receive them. There are stiff penalties for those who disobey.

    This is one of the reasons SMS is so effective. It is well controlled and people are only receiving information that they want to receive, from companies they want to receive information from. It is also conversely true that is you 'spam' numbers with text messages, you will have an equally powerful negative impact on your brand/company.

    In our business, there are literally hundreds of different uses for text messages; appointment reminders, car service reminders, cinema ticket booking confirmation, courier delivery confirmations, ferry booking confirmations, schools contacting parents for information, restaurants sending out new menus, bars and clubs offering queue jumping texts, etc, etc, etc.

    So, far be it from being being annoyed by these messages, so long as a business has explained what sort of messages they're going to send and the person has agreed (opted in) to receive them, then they are actually very welcome indeed and elicit great response rates.

    There's actually lots and lots of research around that confirms this to be true. So long as people have agreed to receive messages from your company then they are very happy to get them.

    I take the point that there are also lots of instant messaging type apps out there but none of them have the immediacy of a text message and also text messages work on every device, not just those with a specific instant messaging app on them - you'd be surprised how many people still have very basic phones!

    Anyway, 'CARE' and 'CONSENT' are the operative keywords in using text messages in business. So long as the people you're sending to want to receive your messages (and have told you they do) then there is pretty much no other medium that is a powerful, immediate and responsive.

    Regards
    R Hawley
    Text Marketer (UK based company)

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