How smartwatches will impact SMS marketing

A new technology platform is here: wearables. The launch of the Pebble and Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatches in 2013 launched a whole new way for people to interact with others. Adoption was slow at first, but with Google officially entering the field last year with Android Wear and Apple launching the Apple Watch this past April, more and more people are  jumping onto the platform. In fact, a Fortune survey of analysts estimated that almost 23 million Apple watches will be sold in 2015 alone. With numbers like that, mobile marketers cannot afford to ignore this platform.

In broad terms, smartwatches all perform similar functions. Most require a smartphone in order to work. Users pair their watch to their phone using Bluetooth and once paired, the watch acts as a second display for the phone, which, in addition to telling the time, will display notifications on the watch.

Each watch has specific features — the Apple Watch has a heart rate monitor, which none of the others have — and they may evolve to work differently over time, but right now the main use of the watches are a quick way to view and manage notifications without using a phone.

The key to optimizing a text message marketing campaign for wearables is understanding how people want to use their new technology. These devices are all about "glanceable" information. People who use smartwatches want easy and quick access to their notifications. Rather than digging their phone out of their pocket to read a new text message, a quick flick of the wrist gives them everything they need to know.

With limited time and screen real estate to make an impact, SMS marketing messages have to be front loaded and make an impact, quick. Marketers need to use the first few words to make the users pull out their phone and engage with the message. Using strongly worded, personalized text messages will ensure engagement rates continue to climb.