The popularity of the SMS application has made text messaging one of the more effective forms of marketing. Businesses are turning to the method to reach specific demographics and send out effective messages with a high potential for readership. However, some believe that text message marketing has its pitfalls, and these will need to be overcome to fulfill a truly successful text messaging campaign.
The online publication Adotas lists two cons associated with SMS text marketing. Kristi Carter, the author of the article, lists caution and shortened messages as two factors that may limit the success of text marketing.
Caution is a factor in every marketing campaign. Users tend to be skeptical of unknown sources. Spam and viruses are major concerns and, as a result, recipients may stray away from these messages, even if it means that they are missing out on valuable information.
"Although 99 percent of text messages are opened, people are leery of receiving them from unknown sources," Carter writes. "This is because hackers often send viruses through SMS messages."
All outbound marketing professionals encounter this hurdle. Part of every marketing strategy involves getting around the roadblock of unfamiliarity while still engaging new prospects and selling them on valuable ideas, products and services. Taking a personal approach with text messaging can increase a prospect's comfortability. A comfortable recipient should be more willing to open messages.
However, this must be done with messaging that is short and concise. Modern smartphone technology has eliminated the truncation of messages, but that doesn't mean that recipients want to read elongated paragraphs in one text message.
Carter lists this as another con of text message marketing, writing: "Although there aren't any real character limitations, it's still a good idea the create shorter text. This way, they'll be more likely to read and understand."
This can be a challenge with text message marketing. Typically, users won't want to receive a slew of consecutive messages, but they cannot be too long or recipients could be turned off and ignore some or all of the content. But, incorporating all of the content into one concise message can also be difficult, as marketers may need to flesh out their message to ensure that users understand what they are reading.
Finding a solution to overcome both of these challenges requires a tremendous amount of skill. Marketers need to develop simple and effective messages that come off as personal while displaying the advantages of a product or service containing a strong call to action.
The best way to incorporate all of these needs into one message is by sending special promotional text messages or incorporating SMS couponing into the messaging strategy. For example, a business with the phone number of a regular customer can send a coupon to let the recipient know that their business is valued. This is a nice personal touch that can entice recipients to open subsequent messages from the same company. It has a positive effect on businesses because that recipient will more than likely respond to new messages and may buy new products and services. They may also share such messages with their friends, which can help a company acquire new customers.
Additionally, the value of promotional texts can be expressed in a limited number of characters so recipients will receive important information without having to sift through excessive content. Users may also be more apt to read longer messages in the future if initial messaging offers a positive experience.