Text Messages


Brands use text messaging—also known as SMS marketing—as a modern form of telemarketing aimed at giving consumers another way to receive information via their mobile phones. Text marketing is growing in popularity. Salesforce, for example, reports marketers’ usage of SMS tactics grew by 111 percent from 2015 to 2016.

Text message marketing benefits companies for many reasons, including the following:

  • Because it is a permission-based form of marketing, audiences are more apt to be receptive to messages. If a consumer receives a text message from a brand, the law holds that the consumer must have given the brand express permission to do so.
  • It allows for personalization. Because text marketing is permissions-based as noted above, recipients of SMS messages are receiving them intentionally. Brands can make inferences about those consumers’ preferences based on those prior interactions, leading to the potential for personalization and segmentation.
  • It reaches customers wherever they are, in the buyer’s journey and in the world. SMS messages feature open rates far higher than email, coming to nearly 98 percent. That reach is also timely, as 90 percent of recipients reportedly open their SMS messages in three seconds or less. With nearly every consumer carrying a mobile phone at all times, this reach is unparalleled. Brands successful at SMS marketing use targeting to segment consumers, sending them content relevant to their stage in the buyer’s journey.

While there are many SMS marketing benefits, there are also challenges associated with the tactic. For example, according to a 2012 update of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the same “express written consent” traditional telemarketers must gain extends to SMS communications as well. For this reason, companies must make sure to include clear opt-in and opt-out language around their SMS communication strategies. Brands must also condense messaging sent via text, as 160 characters are the maximum one message will hold before it gets broken into multiple parts.

IMA has assembled a list of text messaging solutions on Martec Showcase

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