This guest post is courtesy of Julia Gifford
“On average people look at their phones 150 times per day”
Anyone in the realm of entrepreneurship will recognize the industry buzzwords; social media marketing, content is king, digital marketing. Ask a modern marketer where SMS (text message) marketing falls on their priority list, and chances are – it’s pretty close to the bottom. This is a fascinating phenomenon, considering the one device you’re practically always connected to is – that’s right – your phone. I’m here to tell you what you’re missing out on, because as mobile is a definitive trend of 2013, text messaging is undoubtedly a big player.
Though broad speculation foresees the death of text messaging due to the rise of free person-to-person messaging apps like What'sApp and Kik, text messaging is only now getting the light of day from businesses as a useful tool, according to Pamela Clark-Dickson, in a BBC interview. James Citron, CEO of Mogreet says that despite living in a mobile-first society, “many marketers have yet to embrace this new reality.”
Reasons text messaging is your best bet:
This year nearly 10 trillion SMS messages will be sent. 90% of those will be read within three minutes.
95 out of 100 of your customers who have opted into your text messaging program OPEN and READ your mobile messages within 3 mins.”
234 million people in the USA have mobile phones (out of 313 million)
174 million Americans text daily, whereas only 91 million use Facebook
On average people look at their phones 150 times per day, whereas only 57% of people check email 4x a day
What you’re missing out on:
If you’re not already taking advantage of SMS marketing, here are some things you might be surprised to be missing out on.
1. A practically guaranteed open rate, and read rate
Text Messages have a 98 percent read rate, and are typically read within 15 minutes of being received. A successfully sent text message can’t be ignored. Be honest, when was the last time you didn’t open a text? James from Mogreet says:
“95 out of 100 of your customers who have opted into your text messaging program OPEN and READ your mobile messages within 3 mins.”
Now think, what other form of marketing gets you a guaranteed read? You might be able to optimize your emails really well to boost the open rate, but nothing guarantees that your actual text will see the light of day.
2. Skip the noise – avoid getting lost
In the loud world of the internet, the chances of your content being read is slim, let alone read by the right people. You're competing with Facebook edge ranks, your twitter news is essentially lost in the twitter verse after a minute of posting, and a blog post is visible only to people who are actually looking for it. For a small to medium sized business, it's pretty hopeless. With a text message, you get direct access to your recipient. I'd say this is an unrivaled method of media to get your message across. The New York Times agrees:
“Mobile text messaging, the same 160-character dispatches first popularized by nimble-fingered teenagers, may be the closest thing in the information-overloaded digital marketing world to a guaranteed read.”
3. Engage directly with your narrow audience (narrowcasting, compared to broadcasting)
Have you heard of narrowcasting, the latest trend in marketing? It's the opposite of broadcasting (making your message available to as broad an audience as possible), it's taking your message, and directing it to an incredibly narrow, precise audience. The benefit? You know exactly who you're talking to, so it's easier to engage them – you know what they're interested in. To get a better idea about narrowcasting, check out the infographic on Mashable.
4. Create a personal connection with your client
Phone communication remains a highly spam-free method of communication – sacred, and direct. Don't fudge it up. Here’s your chance to get direct access to your client’s everyday life, and most importantly, to enrich it. You can send helpful reminders – sales with the specific code in the text message, remind them about their dentists appointment, or send them a birthday greeting.
5. Instantly clear your warehouse
Companies are using text-messages as a last-resort, golden solution, that's kept as a trump card for rough times and slow months. So says Janis Lindermanis, CEO of self-service SMS marketing group, Text2Reach, in a recent conversation. He tells me that it takes just one text message to get old clients in the door to clear the warehouse.
On the flip side, if you abuse this fantastic power of having direct access to your clients, you can very quickly lose their respect and loyalty. This is why it’s a good idea to only contact clients who have opted in, and follow some respectable text messaging guidelines, like these ones. Whether or not you’re currently using text message marketing, you can’t deny the impact of the mobile world in our daily lives. Which sounds like reason enough to take it into consideration in marketing strategies for companies everywhere.