Mobile Text Marketing: Advantages and Disadvantages of Mobile Text Messaging

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Mobile text marketing to smartphoneDespite the fact that 90% of Americans have a cellphone and 50% have a smartphone, to the dismay of many forecasters, mobile text marketing has not reached the level that many thought it would up to this point.

Local businesses, especially brick and mortar businesses, are constantly told that this is a marketing strategy that could change their business. Yet, there seems to be hesitancy among many businesses to venture into mobile text messaging.

Like any other marketing, there are advantages and disadvantages to mobile text marketing. Let’s explore some of those:

Advantages of Mobile Text Messaging

Location-Based Marketing

You can reach your customers when they’re on the go, which is exactly what you want. You can create location-based apps which they install on their phone. These apps send them the coupon or promotions right at the point of sale. For example, if you’re offering coupons for a coffee shop, you can use GPS to send your message when they’re walking on the same block as the shop.

Understandably, not everyone is anxious to have their movements tracked to that level. In fact, research done by Salesforce in 2014 found that 63% of those who opted out did not like the idea of sharing their location. On the other hand, by giving full-disclosure and allowing your customers to make the decision and choice, this could prove to be a very effective promotional strategy.

Direct to the Phone

The most obvious advantage of mobile text marketing is that your messages go straight to people’s phones, which they have with them 24/7. You can offer them deals in real-time that they can use instantly. It gives your messages a much more personal, customized feel.

You can take this a step further and create lists with specific categories, so that if you have a boutique and you’re having a flash sale, you could target previous buyers in those categories and your message would go only to the phones of that targeted group.

Potential for Greater Interaction

Mobile users love to interact with their favorite brands on their phones. You can take advantage of this and create mobile apps that get your customers engaged with your brand. This builds better brand loyalty and customer retention rates.

Disadvantages of Mobile Text Messaging

Optins must be secured

In the true sense of the word, this is not a disadvantage. Like email messaging, it’s important to make sure that you have the subscriber’s permission before you start to send text messages. There are many federal regulations against bulk text messaging which can be strictly enforced.

People will more readily view messages on their phone as SPAM so it may be more challenging to get them to sign up to receive messages. Even after they do you should avoid sending too many.

Delivery Failure

Although there are lots of quality smart phone and cell phone providers, some of your messages will not go through for one reason or another, so there’s no guarantee that all of the people to whom these messages are sent will see them.

Like any other marketing campaign, it’s important to know your target market. According to 2014 Salesforce Mobile Behavior Report, “Whether it’s push notifications, text messaging, emails, or something else, brands must provide overt explanations of forthcoming value, respect time and frequency of consumers’ communication preferences, and ultimately be honest about what consumers will receive in return for messaging privileges. Once the opt-in is garnered, consumers will warm up quickly if the benefits are tangible.

Are you using mobile text messaging in your business?  If so what has worked for you to date?  If not, what’s holding you back? Please share.

Photo credit: Tristan Nitot on Flickr

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