Text Marketing

By Tom Dougherty
Text marketing: It’s still about beliefs

​Text marketing: It’s still about beliefs

At Stealing Share, we continually track consumer behavior, including the effects of COVID-19 on decision making. Lately, we’ve found that text marketing is becoming a better avenue for brands to reach consumers than email, phone calls (ugh) and snail-mail.

Why is that?

It’s simple, really. We’ve gotten smarter.

Think about this. In the landline days, most of us would simply answer the phone when it rang. That situation was relatively common as recently as 10 years ago. Yet it seems like something out of The Andy Griffith Show.

Then we starting getting smarter. Caller ID hit our landlines, and we used the answering machine as a blocker. Once the iPhone hit the market in 2007, marketers scrambled to buy cell phone numbers.

We could get our email on it. The spam calls came fast and furious. Then came spam filters for our email. And we only answer calls if we recognize the number or an address book name appears. We instinctively blocked what we didn’t want or need.

Enter text marketing. Text feels weirdly personal. So much so that most of us prefer our friends and family to text us rather than call us. “Text me” is the common refrain rather than “call me.”

Studies show that text marketing creates 25 cents per dollar in revenue compared to 5 cents per email. We’re about to hit the text saturation age.”

Why text marketing feels intimate

Why is THAT? Because years of spam calls and emails about erectile dysfunction have taught us to be wary. Texts give us a pause to respond. And adopt a kind of avatar.

But, more importantly, it doesn’t feel like spam. Text marketing feels like the message is only for us.

text marketingThat’s not true, of course. Brands send texts in bulk. Unless it’s a doctor’s appointment reminder or something like that. But we’re at the point right now where it feels personal. Like it’s only directed at you. And that feels seductive.

And, as smart brand strategists know, anything can be powerful if it’s believed. No matter whether it’s true or not.

Studies show that text marketing creates 25 cents per dollar in revenue compared to 5 cents per email. That’s five times better. We’re about to hit the text saturation age.

And, as in all things, it comes down to belief. We believe text is intimate when it’s really not even close. It doesn’t end up in a junk mail folder. It doesn’t go to voice mail. No, it goes right to your phone’s home screen. The screen we look at the most during the day.

Text marketing hasn’t hit its ceiling yet. But it will. So what will marketers figure out next?

More importantly, how will consumers adapt that forces marketers to approach audiences differently?

Look to the beliefs. And you will find the answer. We’ll be watching.

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