Text Message Advertising: Is It Right for You?

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Mobile marketing is certainly the wave of the future, but is it the wave of your future? Here are a few facts and statistics to help you make that decision.

The Advantages:

  • Text messages are more likely to be opened. According to a study by Forrester Research, almost 100% of text messages get opened by the recipient, compared to one out of five emails. This means that your email campaigns will be at most 20% effective, while text marketing for your e-commerce website can be much more effective and reach a wider audience.
  • It is easier to use coupons sent by text. Email coupons are easy to lose. Customers have to keep changing between windows in order to use them on an e-commerce website; if they decide to print them out, they must pay for ink and paper, and also find a place to store the resulting clutter. A text message can stay on their phone until they need it, and it is easier to access as well because there is no signing into an email account and finding the correct coupon.

The Drawbacks:

  • Text marketing lists are just as difficult to build as email marketing lists. One drawback to using text marketing is that you have probably already put a lot of effort into building your email marketing list, while you will be starting from scratch with this new marketing form. In addition, while people are used to giving out their email addresses, they may have reservations about sharing their phone number.
  • Text subscribers are more likely to unsubscribe. It is much easier to quit a text marketing program than an email one. In fact, it usually is as simple as replying to a text with the word “stop”. Compare this to quitting an email list—you have to visit a website, select the unsubscribe button, confirm it via email and even then you may still receive messages for some reason.
  • Text messages can be annoying. In a world inundated with text messages both personal and commercial, many people are annoyed by commercial texts. This raises the bar for an e-commerce website. Your texts need to be informative and valuable, enough so for a person to interrupt their daily life to read them.
  • Text marketing is not yet “tried and true.” One of the benefits of email marketing is that we know it works and we know how well it works. There is ample data and you probably have personal experience with the media as well. You know exactly how to set up an effective email campaign; if not, this blog (and many others) have multiple tutorials and how-to’s dealing with the issue.

While text marketing is sure to be an integral part of your marketing campaigns, it should not be the only part. You can begin to experiment with text without abandoning other methods. Ecommerce website owners need to examine their customer base and know how comfortable they are with their smartphones, then proceed accordingly.