RSS feed Get our RSS feed

News by Topic

BizReport : Mobile Marketing : October 06, 2020

How to engage consumers through mobile

Around the world there are billions of text messages sent each day, many silly or fun texts between friends, but a growing number are text alerts and other messaging from brands. Since the beginning of the pandemic many marketers have turned to mobile campaigns to reach their customer base. Here's what brands need to know to engage.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Since the pandemic began people have dramatically increased the time they spend on mobile devices. What impact is this having on marketers?

JulieAnn McKellogg, Director of Audience Growth, Subtext: [Mobile] o naturally lends itself to a two-way relationship with customers given its direct, immediate and private nature. The platform has an open rate of around 90%. Customers can ask questions and offer feedback without trolls or algorithms getting in the way. And as a brand, marketers can finally have quick and honest conversations with their customers. In addition, while time on phones may be up, marketers should take this opportunity to recognize that SMS gives them access to a market they likely haven't been reaching. A 2019 study from Pew Research Center shows that over 33 million adults have no immediate access to the internet, breaching a marketer's ability to reach them. As texting emerges as the next frontier in digital communication, marketers should embrace the new, yet old medium, respect the access it grants them, and proceed with caution in order to not oversaturate the channel like has been done on social and with email. 

Kristina: There is data out from GSMA that shows a significant difference in engagement levels between texts and email, specifically that texts are responded to within 90 seconds while emails can take 90 minutes. What does this mean for marketers? 

JulieAnn: Email is an oversaturated marketing channel and, before we can even talk about the response rate, we must address the open rate. As stated, SMS has about a 90% open rate, while the open rate for marketing emails is about 17%. So, your pool of potential responders is much lower, and then the response rate is much slower at 90 minutes versus 90 seconds on text. That said, even on a responsive channel like text, the highest levels of engagement come from a "call to action." If a marketer is willing to invest the time in the relationship - asking for, acknowledging and using customer feedback - user loyalty will begin to build. The trust a brand can build through this channel can still lead to introducing new products to users, but the intention needs to be clear to them. It's not just a transaction. You value your customer's needs and wants, and the long-term relationship you hope to have with them. 

Kristina: How does SMS strategy differ from email?

JulieAnn: SMS remains a sacred channel used to communicate with mostly friends and family, meaning marketers need to be savvy about how they are approaching communications with their audiences. The barrier to entry is higher on SMS, but once the threshold is crossed, the value of an SMS subscriber versus email can be far more advantageous. To sign up subscribers, start with a very clear value proposition. Leave your standard marketing language to your social and email channels, and have a clear goal established with subscribers when they sign up. Think more content strategy and less about selling them on something. What will you offer this audience in return for their attention? Don't surprise them with irregular messages from random numbers. Ensure you're using an SMS platform that allows you to send them a contact card, so they can save you in their phone and just as easily reach out to you with their questions, concerns and feedback. After all, the point of the medium is to have a true two-way relationship. Text frequently to keep the relationship alive, but ensure each text has a clear purpose. Check in with the audience to understand whether they are happy with the content and the cadence of your texts.   

Kristina: What are the benefits?

JulieAnn: Consumers are inundated with messages online, therefore important information is often prevented from reaching its target audience. Sharing select content in a streamlined and less cluttered manner is becoming more favored among consumers when it's something they deem valuable. While capturing your audience via SMS may have a higher barrier to entry, there are several benefits to both the marketer and consumer once you have established that relationship.

Simplicity: SMS is simple. It doesn't require complicated formatting, creative and extensive messaging and visuals found in email or social. This is a space where "more is less" truly applies. 

Reach: With the right platform to power your SMS strategy, your team can reach an unlimited number of subscribers at once, while simultaneously engaging in many 1:1 conversations with your subscribers. There are no algorithms deciding whether your audience will see your content or not. With your SMS subscriber list, you have a true number of how many people will see your content. 

Immediacy: When someone signs up, they can instantly start receiving messages from you. Text lists don't take time to warm up like email lists to avoid spam filters. Of course, SMS faces spam filters, but some simple best practices can keep you in good standing.

Symbiosis: Mutually beneficial is the ease with which a user can respond providing you immediate feedback. It's a private channel, so they can offer you their genuine thoughts, without the filter used on social media to avoid trolls. And trolls, of course, rarely act out on text, because the act of trolling is performative in nature. There are no social handles to hide behind.

Tags: mobile marketing, mobile marketing tips, mobile marketing trends, SMS campaigns, sms marketing, Subtext

Subscribe to BizReport



Copyright © 1999- BizReport. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of BizReport content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
BizReport shall not be liable for any errors in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.