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The Pros and Cons of Text Marketing

There are two sides of the coin to consider when it comes to text marketing. On one side, some people find texts from businesses annoying, bordering on an invasion of privacy. However, on the flip side, certain marketing surveys indicate that 70 percent of business professionals find it to be the most impactful and immediate kind of marketing there is today.

So, which is it? Well, there’s no easy answer to that question—but from our perspective, we agree that text marketing can offer the highest reach and bring in the biggest return for a business when it’s done right.

Here are some important pros and cons to consider when deciding if launching a text marketing campaign is a good decision for your business.

Pro: Astoundingly High Open Rates

Think about it—would you ever not look at a text that comes in to your phone?

Probably not, because most of the time it’s going to be an important text from a friend, family member or co-worker with information you need right away. That’s why studies show that a whopping 98 percent of business texts are opened by the consumers that receive them.

The average person also checks text messages on their phone much more often than they check their postal mail, social media accounts or e-mail, if only because they take their phones with them wherever they go. That’s why marketing texts have an open rate of 98 percent, while e-mail is only around 22 percent.

Pro: Texts Bring Customers in the Door

Studies show that text messages are much more effective at actually bringing customers in your business’s doors, whereas e-mails tend to drive more consumers online. Both types of sales are good, obviously, but if your goal is to bring more customers in to your physical business more often, text messages are a good option to consider.

Pro: Reaching the Right People

Text marketing is almost exclusively directed at customers who have opted in.

Therefore, you can be confident that the people who are receiving your text messages are customers that really want them. In addition, studies show that consumers are much choosier when it comes to which text campaigns they sign up for, versus e-mail subscriptions or social media likes and follows.

Pro: Anyone with a Phone Can Receive a Text

Smartphone, flip phone, iOS, Android, WiFi-only, 4G-capable—all mobile phones can receive text messages, so your reach is going to be strong.

Pro: Timing Your Texts Perfectly

Think about it—a text is something a user is bound to open immediately. Therefore, you can time your text messages to affect the biggest benefit.

For example, a restaurant can send out a text at 11:30 a.m., just as people are starting to think about what they want for lunch that day. A realtor can send out a text message on a Sunday morning just when people are deciding what to do with their day to let them know about a new listing that just went on the market, or an open house taking place that day. The possibilities are nearly endless.

Con: Limited Formats of Text Messages

It’s easy to make our websites and our e-mails bright, colorful, eye-catching and even animated thanks to HTML and Flash capabilities. Unfortunately, text messages are much more limited in what you can do with them. Much like tweets, you are usually limited to text that is less than 200 characters, and adding photos to text messages is not usually possible, or would likely have a high fail rate even if it was possible.

Con: It’s Harder to Get Customers to Opt In  — But Necessary

It’s often much easier to get an in-person customer to give you their email address by asking as they are checking out at the cash register or while they're on your website. It’s harder to get your hands on those elusive and prized mobile numbers. But if you can, the return on investment is obviously worth it, with the design of an effective text marketing campaign.

Legally speaking, it's critical that your customers actively opt-in to receiving text message alerts from you; you can't just assume that because you have their mobile number that you have permission. From an effectiveness standpoint, there's a huge risk that you'll annoying your customers with your messages unless they've given you permission and indicated an interest in recieving texts from your business. For more guidance on starting an effective text messaging campaign, contact us!