When one thinks of newer marketing strategies in the 21st century, Facebook and Twitter instantly come to mind, alongside podcasts, webinars, blogs and infographics. Yet among an ever-widening landscape full of marketing tools and techniques, there currently remains a content marketing strategy filled to the brim with untapped potential. What is this secret marketing tool that has been so subtly stashed away? Short Message Service (SMS), or text messaging.
There are currently 4.3 billion texters worldwide, a figure that boils down to three out of every five humans on Earth. This is five times the number of Facebook members and four times the number of monthly Google users. As the No. 1 data service in the world, SMS seems destined to be a powerful marketing tool; however, this is a relationship that demands caution and a show of trust and commitment.
Less than one percent of SMS messages are spam and, therefore, your customers and prospects are less likely to ignore these messages than, say, phone calls or e-mails. Additionally, 90 percent of SMS users open texts as soon as they are delivered while 95 percent of SMS users see a text in the first 15 minutes. SMS subscribers are 18 to 30 times more likely to use a new service or switch to a service than non-SMS subscribers.
Let’s compare SMS to Twitter. Most marketers seem to prioritize the latter, but statistics continue to show that SMS should be intensely looked at; –90 percent of the world offers 2G coverage and only 30 percent of the world’s population has access to the Internet. As stated before, there are 4.2 billion SMS enabled mobile devices, but Twitter only has 100 million active accounts. SMS allows for one-on-one communication and for the marketer to deliver relevant and extremely personalized information directly to a specific audience. Twitter, on the other hand, showcases a one-to-many communication system and marketers can make announcements to a broad audience. It is not a matter of one being more effective than the other; rather, Twitter is still a new innovation in the history of marketing and should work in tandem with the better positioned and older SMS marketing technique.
The open rate of text promotions and offers is 98 percent. A great way to increase marketing success is multi-channel communication stream. When email, Twitter, SMS and other forms of media are used as a team, marketers can reach their audience and see success. SMS can drive Twitter—direct messaging through SMS can get strong supporters information which then encourages word of mouth through Twitter to a broader audience. Vice versa, Twitter can drive SMS—public postings on Twitter allow millions of users potential to see updates which can push new audiences to an alert list.
The lone text message has been stigmatized as an ineffective marketing tactic—and rightly so. Marketers today should avoid looking at SMS marketing in this way and instead make a plan of action that incorporates text messaging and other forms of social media. It’s time for the tech savvy 21st century to tap into this potential.