Should You Consider Text-Based Marketing?
With the ubiquity of mobile phones and the ease of SMS messaging, text-based marketing holds plenty of potential for supply chain marketers.
- Many of marketers’ hesitations about text-based marketing are based on misconceptions.
- Research shows that text outperforms email in open and click-through rates.
- Currently, there’s a competition vacuum as business have been slow to adopt this channel.
Text-based marketing presents something of a quandary for supply chain businesses. Many marketers are understandably reluctant to make use of this communication channel, fearing the possibility that it will be perceived as intrusive and cause leads to turn away.
But, in fact, many of the fears about text-based marketing are actually misperceptions. As Ardath Albee, CEO of Marketing Interactions, Inc. puts it, “When done strategically, respectfully, and in a contextually relevant way, the profitable benefits of SMS marketing easily supersede the most common pitfalls of this unique channel.”
Here are some common misconceptions about text-based marketing.
4 popular misconceptions about text-based marketing
1) SMS marketing means sending out unsolicited text messages.
Most of us have gotten them: the text from a random number — perhaps advertising health insurance, warning of a compromised bank account, or congratulating you on winning a gift card. This kind of spam is what many marketers think of when they hear “text-based marketing.” No legitimate business wants to be associated with this sort of tactic.
You may be surprised to learn that legitimate text-based marketing doesn’t work this way at all. According to Justin Mastrangelo, founder of JA.TXT text message marketing software platform, “Not only is sending unauthorized text messages terribly ineffective, it’s illegal and could lead to lawsuits and penalties.” Instead, your contacts will need to opt in to receive text messages, so they will be expecting them.
2) I need my own shortcode.
Many small and mid-sized businesses shy away from text-based marketing based on the hassle and expense of obtaining their own shortcode. While it’s true that for large brands, obtaining their own shortcodes can be worthwhile, most moderately sized businesses don’t actually need a shortcode of their own.
Most SMS marketing providers furnish their clients with their shared shortcodes, meaning that your business would likely not need to spend the time or money to obtain and set up a shortcode.
3) Text-based marketing doesn’t engage leads.
When many of us think of text-based marketing, we imagine it to be a one-way street, with businesses seeking to grow a massive list of numbers and blasting them with texts. Because we all have experience with SMS spam, we naturally assume that texts from businesses will be ignored.
But the reality is that since prospects need to opt in to receive texts from your business, they are quite likely to engage with them, as texts are immediate and easy to react to. Businesses “often overlook the two-way capabilities of SMS,” says Mastrangelo. “Many organizations have captured email addresses, ZIP codes, survey responses, product numbers, and more through text message.”
4) My audience doesn’t want texts from my business.
Because text-based marketing inherently feels more intimate and immediate than other forms of digital marketing, marketers are often leery of taking the leap, believing that prospects will just be annoyed to receive texts.
But, as it turns out, text-based marketing is not unlike other forms of digital marketing: your audience absolutely wants to receive it, on one condition – you need to be providing value.
7 reasons to consider text-based marketing
Now that we’ve cleared up some of the most widespread misperceptions about text-based marketing, here are six reasons why we think you should consider it.
1) Your audience prefers it.
You’ll probably be surprised to learn that recent research shows that 85% of mobile device users prefer a text from businesses over phone calls or emails.
2) Texting is what people do most on their phones.
While email and social media marketing generally capture most of the buzz, users actually spend more time texting than doing anything else on their mobile devices.
3) Get ahead of the competition.
Since B2B businesses have generally been hesitant to integrate text-based marketing, there’s currently a competition vacuum.
4) It works throughout the buyer’s journey.
As with email marketing, text-based marketing can be effective at every stage of the buyer’s journey, and the highly personal nature of the medium fosters better relationships and customer experience.
5) SMS marketing is interactive.
Text-based marketing is actually an excellent way to promote engagement, since users opt in to initiate it, and responding to and interacting with texts is extremely easy.
6) It’s an ideal precursor to chatbots.
We’ve written a lot about chatbots, and how they can be a great tool for the supply chain. Text-based marketing is the perfect testing ground to see how your content will fare with chatbot marketing.
7) Text-based marketing outperforms email.
You read that right. By two of the most important metrics, open and click-through rates, text-based marketing actually outperforms email. While email has an average open rate of 22% and a click-through rate of 6%, texts have a whopping 97% open rate and a 36% click-through rate.
The bottom line: give text-based marketing a try
Digital marketing is a many-headed hydra, with new channels opening up all the time, like text-based marketing. This channel holds tremendous untapped potential for businesses, thanks to the immediacy of the medium, the ubiquity of mobile devices, and the high engagement rate. Savvy marketers will jump on text-based marketing now and get ahead of the competition.
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