How to Use Text Messaging for Data Driven Marketing - dummies

How to Use Text Messaging for Data Driven Marketing

By David Semmelroth

Though not quite as inexpensive as e-mail, text messaging for data driven marketing shares the timing and quick turnaround advantages of e-mail. But the biggest advantage is that text messages tend to get read. Most people are closely attached to their cell phones. This means that text messages also get read very soon after they are sent.

The disadvantage compared to other methods of communication is that these messages need to be very short. Text messages are generally no more than a few sentences or a small graphic. They’re limited by what can reasonably be presented on a smart phone screen. This disadvantage is shrinking, however, as mobile devices evolve.

One way text messages are commonly used is to give customers real-time updates. For example, many people rely heavily on text messages from the airlines to keep them informed of flight arrivals and departure times as well as any delays.

These updates are not in themselves generating business for the airlines. They are, however, serving two other purposes: They give a reason to share contact information with the airlines, which they might later use to contact customers with offers, and they get them in the habit of viewing the airline as helpful. In other words, they’re the beginning of a relationship that customers feel good about.

Text messages can also be used to communicate very short-term offers. Cancelled reservations are a constant problem for restaurants, golf courses, and any business with limited capacity. Texting customers on a waiting list can effectively and quickly fill the opening created by a cancellation.

Think about text messaging like this: If your message is short and time sensitive, then consider sending a text. But make sure you’re following the regulations regarding the use of text and mobile messaging.

Cellphone use is widespread among teenagers and even among younger children. Just as widespread are sensitivity and concern among parents and legislators about what messages children are getting as well as what information is being collected about children.

Tread particularly carefully when it comes to text messages. This channel is more tightly regulated than any other. Unlike most other marketing regulations, this channel falls under the purview of the Federal Communication Commission rather the Federal Trade Commission. Essentially, you’re required to get a consumer’s permission before you send them marketing messages via text. And the FCC does enforce these regulations.