Why Text Marketing Is Meeting Its Moment
The Wall Street Journal recently published an article titled “Texting Customers Is No Longer Taboo When Everyone Is Stuck at Home,” and perhaps to no one’s surprise, it piqued my interest.
While the WSJ article offers a great overview of how a handful of retail businesses have adopted text marketing in response to quarantine protocols, it’s yet another in a trend of glowing stories from media outlets highlighting the undeniable rise of business texting.
Business Insider, Forbes, and Inc. have all recently published articles spotlighting the power of text. It’s a big year for politics, and AdExchanger’s political columnist didn’t bury the lead in his article, “Text Messaging Captures the Spotlight This Year.” We here at EZ Texting have known it’s only a matter of time before the businesses of all sizes catch up to the hundreds of thousands of small and medium businesses and organizations we’ve served.
Here are my top three reasons why we can expect SMS marketing adoption rates to continue to soar from this year on.
1. “A billion pockets, y’all. A billion pockets.”
One obvious reason text marketing is able to have a moment at all, and is as effective as it is, is because mobile phone penetration makes it simple for users to click from a text message to an e-commerce site or social media app. The Pew Research Center shows mobile phone adoption by U.S. adults at 96% and counting. As Oprah Winfrey famously said about iPhone adoption during Apple’s TV+ launch event last March, “They're in a billion pockets, y'all. A billion pockets.” Adoption doesn’t get much wider, and despite the introduction of branded messaging products, like Facebook Messenger, native texting apps remain the most popular way to text. In fact, we found that consumers use their phone’s native app to chat 3X more than Facebook Messenger and 6X more than WhatsApp.
2. We crave intimacy and connection.
There is no doubt that the international crises we are currently experiencing leaves many of us not only concerned but incredibly isolated. As the Information Age has given over to the “Conversation Age”, we’ve already seen marketing and sales styles become more personal, customized, and conversational. Mass texting apps allow for direct connection and interaction and are ripe for increased adoption.
Similarly, as the Great Depression was beginning to grip the nation in the 1930s, radio was a nascent media with roughly 50% adoption in urban centers and far less in rural America. Quickly recognizing the power of radio to speak directly and intimately to the American people at a time of great uncertainty, Franklin Roosevelt was on the airwaves with his first “fireside chat” just 8 days after he took office in 1933.
Roosevelt innovatively leveraged a new platform that allowed him to disseminate his vision directly to the American people without sacrificing the feeling of an intimate connection to his constituency. The message is strikingly similar for text marketing now as it was for radio then: It's what you use when your message needs to be seen — which is why so many schools, government offices, and municipalities — like Gilbert, Arizona — are turning to texting in these unprecedented times. As a Tampa Bay Times recent headline read, “Texting is the new handshake,” and now, more than ever, your audience wants the authenticity of a handshake.
3. Because it works.
When Fashionista recently published its article, “Why Are All the Brands Texting Me? An Investigation,” writer Mekita Rivas didn’t get far before realizing, “I had no idea the strategy was so widespread.” Her conclusion: Because it works.
Think of business texting as a perfect engagement machine, whether you’re broadcasting your message with a mass text or chatting 1-to-1 with a customer using your text-enabled phone line. But really, I like to let the numbers speak for themselves.
- Nearly 100% of all text messages are opened and read.
- 90% of all messages are read within 30 minutes.
- The majority of people respond to new texts within three minutes. Nearly 90% respond within 30 minutes.
At EZ Texting, we’ve seen firsthand how small- and medium-sized businesses and organizations have utilized our mass texting app to not just grow their audiences and revenues, but also organize their workforces, streamline their operations, and reach more people in less time with urgent information. Ultimately, I believe in our product because I see the results every day.
As I find myself at the nexus of these moments, in this industry, it’s powerful to know that making mass communication simple and affordable is helping businesses survive in difficult times. In fact, in mid-March, we saw outgoing messages increase 67% year over year, and on March 16, 27% of all messages were COVID-19 related. When immediacy matters, more people are turning to SMS marketing.
Recognizing this, we’re giving back to the community by donating free text messaging services to government offices and schools during the pandemic. And we’re constantly evolving our solutions for industries as diverse as logistics management and influencer marketing with easy-to-use tools with robust features, like:
- Self-Service Text-to-Landline Capability
- Contacts Segmentation & Message Personalization
- Text-to-Vote Polls & Surveys
- Scheduling & Marketing Automation
- In-Depth Tracking & Reporting
- Integrations with Zapier, MailChimp, Constant Contact, Zendesk, and More.
What has your experience with text marketing been like? What would you like to see from EZ Texting? What are your concerns about texting your audience? Share your thoughts with a comment on this LinkedIn post.
“Together we cannot fail,” Roosevelt said in his first fireside chat. Stay safe.