Cutting Through The Clutter: How Text Messaging Can Help Engage Customers

Adding texting to the marketing mix continues to be an effective way to reach customers wherever they are. Here are four tips to effectively add it to your marketing strategy.

Cutting Through The Clutter: How Text Messaging Can Help Engage Customers

Savvy marketers know that reaching customers with messages is not enough. A truly effective marketing strategy goes beyond getting customers through the door by engaging and turning them into true believers of the brand.

According to Gallup, achieving customer engagement and creating an emotional connection between your customer and the brand can pay dividends, as fully engaged customers represent a 23% premium in purchases and growth opportunity over those that aren’t. But as the average American is exposed to more than 5,000 ads each day, marketers are constantly faced with the challenge of getting their messages noticed.

What Does Text Messaging Have To Do With Customer Engagement?

In order to cut through the clutter of marketing messages, companies increasingly need to meet people where they are.

Nearly 64% of American adults own a smartphone, up from just 35% in 2011. Of those smartphone owners, 97% send or receive text messages, making texting the most popular feature or app used on smartphones, according to the Pew Research Center. Add to that the fact that 98% of text messages are opened—compared to 88% of emails going unopened, 71% of tweets ignored, and 84% of Facebook news feed stories not viewed.

Given the potential of text messaging to engage customers, here are four tips to effectively add texting to your marketing strategy:

1. Make it exclusive: Everyone likes an exclusive deal. In fact, 70% of consumers want to receive special coupons via text from their favorite brands. Whether you are promoting a sale at a brick-and-mortar store or through your e-commerce site, the key to a texting strategy is providing consumers with a coupon they can’t find anywhere else.

2. Don’t overdo it: A word of caution: Just because consumers say they want to receive text messages from brands does not mean they want to be bombarded with messages. Because of regulations, it’s important to stay consistent with the texting frequency you promised to customers. While there isn’t a set standard and cadence varies by industry, retailers typically send special offers on a weekly basis.

3. Enhance the customer experience: Look for ways to use texting beyond providing offers and discounts to help enhance your overall customer experience. Do you have special hours for Black Friday or other special shopping days? Can you provide an exclusive gift to members of your text program who are getting ready for back-to-school shopping? Sixty percent of consumers are swayed by loyalty programs. By providing incentives to the biggest and usually the most vocal ambassadors of your brand with creative programs, you help enhance the customer experience, which ultimately leads to more sales and more word-of-mouth referrals.

4. Use texting for good: Building engagement with your customers doesn’t have to be about promoting your products and providing special offers. Texting is also a great way to build awareness and allow customers to participate in causes that are important to your company.

A great example is NO MORE, a public awareness campaign to end domestic violence and sexual assault. NO MORE recently used a 30-second PSA during the Super Bowl to provide viewers with a way to connect with the cause through text messaging. mGage donated its texting services for the campaign. The PSA illustrated how the signs of domestic violence can be communicated through text messaging and gave viewers a call to action to opt in and receive tips and resources for how to speak up and support those who may be victims of domestic violence.

Customers who are fully engaged—true believers of the brand—will be loyal customers for the long haul. It is important for companies to find the right mix and frequency to keep these customers engaged and coming back for more. Adding texting to the marketing mix continues to be an effective way to reach these customers wherever they are and to build engagement.