While we’ve been involved with text message marketing since 2005, we learned a few things in 2010 we thought were worth sharing:
1. Support, support, support is crucial (for the SMS campaign). Campaigns that were supported by media and signage delivered big results. Traditional media and text messaging were a great combination. SMS marketing efforts that were not well supported resulted in smaller databases.
2. If you don’t give people a good reason for texting…sometimes they will anyway (but not always). There’s definitely a curiosity factor with text messaging. Some campaigns worked because the instructions were purposely vague and clever. However, most campaigns succeeded because there was a clear value presented to the user; sweepstakes, coupon, exclusive information, etc.
3. You can capture more than a mobile number with an SMS campaign. We worked with several organizations that were able to successfully ask their audience for email addresses, zip codes, and even full names for digital petition signatures. They used this information to conduct surveys, target their message, and lobby government.
4. Text messaging is all about immediate action. Whether a user is texting in after seeing media, or they’re receiving an outgoing message at a designated time, the more immediate the incentive and call-to-action the better the results. We repeated the phrase “give them a reason to do it now” several times last year.
5. A vast majority of organizations are still not aware of the benefits SMS can deliver. We talked to quite a few businesses and non-profits in 2010 and very few had tried any type of marketing with text messaging. Our goal is to help more organizations understand how text messaging can help them achieve their marketing goals in 2011.