It’s not hard to talk glowingly about texting since it has become one of the most acceptable ways of interaction these days.
Whether it’s sending a text to someone else or a group of people, texting takes little time and few words to create and send, and it’s likely to be viewed quickly, almost instantly by most recipients.
Texting has definite advantages over email, especially how people are more likely to check their texts as soon as they arrive, since everyone keeps their phones handy. And it has even more advantages over voice mail: who uses their smartphones for talking anymore anyway?
It’s also becoming a favorite tool for marketers, since it can be downright simple to compose one text and send it to all or certain of your customers nearly instantly, compared to several batches for mass emailing. People are also likely to act on an offer contained in a text quickly, such as a special deal or link.
Texting services also can help companies keep track of replies and collate all responses, instead of you and your team having to answer all of them all one by one.
But as effective as texting can be, it shouldn’t be your sole outreach tool for marketing campaigns. Not everyone wants or likes texting, and some wireless packages even allow users to block all texts.
A more effective marketing effort should include texting plus other services. This can help connect with a larger audience and potentially more customers.
The proper balance of text to non-text outreach will have to be determined by you based on feedback on your promotions, but you can enjoy experimenting.
Try these strategies to blend texting with other traditional methods:
· Email. Though it may take hours, even days, for people to read an email, email can still be an effective way to share information. You can have unlimited space, rather than the limited number of characters allowed per text. You also can include a variety of graphics especially with automated mail templates for ad campaigns. People are also more willing to join an email list rather than sign up for texting. It’s much less invasive and intrusive than texting and most users are more familiar with emails, simply because email has been around longer. With the extra space, you have more opportunity to “sell” people on the merits of your product or service, rather than pushing them to make a quick decision with a “click here for a super deal” message.
· Social media. Though some mass text programs allow you to automatically put your name or the recipient’s name in a text, this personalization isn’t the same as a full conversation. With social media sites you have more opportunity to get dialogue going and showing off what you’re doing, such as fun photos. You also can offer regular links to your blog or site in your posts. It’s all absolutely free, unless you’re paying to boost or sponsor posts.
· Other methods. Direct mail and traditional mass media advertising can be useful for reaching larger general groups of potential customers. You also don’t need specific consent or opt-ins from your recipients either, which are legally required for texting.
· A global approach. Integrating all of these methods can be a smart way to reach a much larger audience than text alone, especially if you plan your message over several weeks or even months. You can use the concept of a ‘drip campaign’ to make sure your recipients receive your message in at least one form, preferably more. The idea is to plan a sequence of communications to reach people, with different messages but the same call to action.
For instance, a general campaign can start with mass advertisements, and the response from this can help narrow the size of your audiences for future contacts and also get them familiar with what you’re offering. By the time people start to receive your texts they hopefully have seen your message in other forms, so the texts can seem like a personal invitation to make a purchase or visit your site.
Overall, while texting is a valuable outreach tool, other platforms used in conjunction can help provide a larger reach and improve the effectiveness of a marketing campaign.