Why Text Message Marketing Will Replace Email & How to Prepare
I attended a technology conference recently, and one presentation really caught my attention. Amy Africa, the CEO of Eight by Eight, a web usability and design improvement research company, spoke on upcoming mobile trends. She told the conference attendees that SMS text messaging will replace email in three years time as the main marketing channel.
I asked myself, could this be true? Could text take over that quickly? And if so, is our business prepared for this? I recommend you ask yourself the last question as well, because the texting data trends don’t lie—and email may become the next marketing automation dinosaur. Here are a few stats that show how texting is taking over:
- On average, people respond to texts 60 times faster than emails
- Texts have 6-8 times the response rates of emails
- 98% of texts are read compared to 22% of emails
- 90% of all text messages are opened within 3 minutes. Emails are read within 2 and a half days
These are just a few of many statistics that tell a story: the consumer’s marketing channel of choice is SMS text messaging. It’s time we meet our prospects and customers where they are—here’s how to prepare:
1. Start collecting mobile numbers.
Even if you never think your business will send a text, start collecting mobile numbers on website forms. Mobile is a new territory for many businesses, so make sure you follow proper protocol when you collect these numbers. For example, not everyone has unlimited calls and text messaging, so you do need to notify people of how you’ll be using their mobile number.
If you find that people aren’t giving you their phone numbers, review the content offer hiding behind your form. Make sure it’s valuable enough to warrant them giving up their mobile number. Buyers will give you any amount of information if you have the right offer.
2. Start testing mobile blasts and workflows.
Because text messaging as a marketing channel is relatively new to most businesses, you’ll need to start testing your messages once you have a solid contact base with mobile numbers.
Set up text workflows that trigger a text send whenever a contact completes a certain action. This may look similar to email workflows you’ve created.
You should also send mobile blasts. Mobile blasts are different than workflows because you’re sending the same message to an audience segment or segments at one time. This send doesn’t necessarily have to be based on what the contact does.
Implement both of these options, and test one element at a time. You might try:
- Sending a shorter text message versus a longer one
- Sending a text with a reply email versus a phone number
- Sending texts at different times or on different days
Note: Similar to social media automation, be sure to look into text message marketing automation services.
Text message marketing is still new to a lot of businesses; in fact, for many companies, it’s not even on their radar. This is a huge differentiation opportunity for you. Don’t wait until everyone else is doing it—start thinking about your SMS text message marketing strategy now to stand out.
Do you currently have a mobile strategy? Share your tips in the comments below!