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Mobile Advertising: Text Message Marketing

Instructor: Savannah Samoszuk

Savannah has over eight years of hotel management experience and has a master's degree in leadership.

Companies have aggressively moved into mobile advertising, which includes text message marketing. This lesson will explain what text message marketing is, strategies for using this type of marketing, and examine the benefits and drawbacks of this type of marketing.

What is Text Message Marketing?

There are many different types of marketing that companies use. You, as a consumer, see commercials, get pop-up advertisements when you are surfing the internet, and now you may even receive text messages with advertising. Text message marketing is a new way that companies have found to reach their consumers by sending them marketing material directly to their mobile device.

For example, Michael recently took his wife out for frozen yogurt. At the cashier stand, they asked if he wants to receive coupons via text messaging. Michael gave his phone number, and now, he receives specials and coupons through text messages from the frozen yogurt company. We will take a look at strategies for implementing text message marketing: the benefits and the drawbacks of using this marketing type.

Strategies for Text Message Marketing

Any size company can use text message marketing. Here are a few strategies for getting started. First, the company needs to decide if they want to hire someone to start the campaign or if they want to do it themselves in-house. Depending on the size of the company, it will help make this decision. There are marketing companies that can be hired to do the text message marketing or there is software that your company can use to do it themselves.

Next, you need to determine a way to collect the phone numbers for your marketing campaign. The example of Michael providing his at checkout is a great way for companies to collect numbers from their current customers.

Then you want to offer the customer something for joining the text message list. The first text message should entice the customer to want to continue to receive the text messages. For example, the first message could say that you will receive a free frozen yogurt with your next purchase if you join the text message list. If you don't offer the customer something for joining, they will be more likely to opt-out.

After you have developed your list and started sending text messages, one thing to keep in mind is to keep it simple. Customers do not want to receive a long text message. In order to keep your list growing and engage your customers, you want to make sure that your messages are short and to the point. Remember that they are viewing them on their phone.

Lastly, you want to make sure that your customers have the option to opt-out at any time. While you don't want to lose them from your list, all marketing materials legally need to have the opt-out option or the company is subject to penalties up to $16,000 according to the CAN-SPAM act.

Benefits

There are many benefits to implementing a text message marketing campaign. First, this type of marketing is personal. You are sending messages to a customer just like they receive from a friend. It is much more personal than receiving a coupon in the mail. Next, text message marketing is faster than other types of marketing. When you send a text message, it is received instantly. Other types of marketing, such as mailers or commercials, do not reach the customer as fast. Lastly, it is a marketing approach that is cost effective. It does not a take a lot of money to start and maintain a text message campaign. If you do it in-house, you will just have to purchase the software. These are just a few of the main benefits companies have found with this type of marketing.

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