Making the Mobile Connection:
SMS / Text Message
For most small businesses, marketing via text messages is the most practical, effective, and affordable mobile solution.
Text messaging is a relatively old and simple mobile technology, and works on almost all phones, new and old, regardless of operating system. It doesn’t require a smartphone or a data plan, a lot of personal data to be surrendered, extra software to be installed, or even a particularly savvy user – unlike an “app” install.
Better yet, it’s a familiar and comfortable technology… almost 90% of cell phone owners use text regularly.
In other words, it’s an effective way to connect with everyone.
There are other compelling benefits as well:
• It’s easily managed and accessible to even the smallest businesses.
• Affordable (less than $40/month to start)
• Texts are not yet perceived as advertising.
• Feels “conversational” and familiar.
• Dramatically outperforms traditional advertising.
• Have a “magnetic” pull on your prospect (between 95-99% of text messages are opened and read, most within a few minutes).
• You own your customer’s data (critical to controlling the destiny of your business).
Of course, there are draw-backs with text messaging…
• Limited characters per message (136 in Canada, 160 in U.S. although most services will allow you to string multiple messages together, thus increasing your ability to communicate).
• Minimal ability to offer customized messages and offerings.
• No geo-targeting.
• Much like promoting an “app”, you have to devote energy to promote the service, and “sell” people on the value of subscribing.
Don’t let these downsides deter you – they are less worrisome than they appear.
Consider the “issue” of limited characters, for instance.
Text message marketing is not supposed to replace longer communications.
Don’t make the critical mistake of thinking that because texts are short, they are valueless, or that you’re going to replace your email newsletter with text messages.
This is not the case at all.
In a fast paced world where “I don’t have time” is everyone’s favorite fall-back excuse (and the reason why your email newsletters and Facebook posts are totally ignored) brevity serves you well.
It’s an asset.
In short, text marketing does three things really well…