Texting Is Intimate, It’s the Opposite of Broadcasting

Photo Credit: Steven Guzzardi

Photo Credit: Steven Guzzardi

Texting is an intimate activity. Successful marketers need to recognize how text messaging is different from broadcasting and respond accordingly.

One of the reasons texting has such high open and response rates is because people are engaging in conversations they care about. They keep their phones with them 24/7 and check them reflexively. They’re texting their friends and loved ones. People stop what they’re doing to answer text messages because it’s usually important.

OK, so not every goofy back and forth conversation is of dire consequence, but the people in those conversations are important to each other, and that’s why they respond so quickly.

Any marketer hoping to use texting needs to realize that they’re dealing with such an intimate form of communication. TVs blast messages to a global, indistinguishable audience. But a text message buzzes in someone’s pocket. They only give certain people permission to do that. The tolerance for wasting people’s time is very low.

It may be easy to ignore a spam email. But a spam text message (or one that feels like spam, even if it technically isn’t) is a bothersome interruption. And the marketer guilty of sending one is likely to get dropped quick.

Marketers need to keep this mind when they’re crafting text campaigns. Messages are reaching into an intimate space—if they’re going to be effective, they need to be very different from broadcast commercials.

Here are three ways to keep your text messages intimate:

  1. Necessary & Useful: Make sure every message you send is necessary and useful. If you don’t have anything helpful to say, you’re better off being quiet. This is not a medium where excess fluff is welcome.
  2. Highly Targeted: People most often welcome texts when they’re highly relevant. A text confirming an appointment for an oil change is obviously targeted and helpful. A reminder to stop in for new wiper blades on a rainy day is extremely relevant. Text coupons can be highly targeted as well when people opt-in and say they want you to send them coupons. For example, if you run a car wash, people may want to opt in to receive coupons since they tend to wash their car frequently. Sending texts too often, however, is going to feel like noise.
  3. Personal: If you’re making someone’s pocket buzz, they better know who you are. You need to have permission and the person you’re texting should remember giving that permission. That means making sure your campaign starts as soon as possible after adding someone to your list. You want to be a recognized and welcomed contact—not an interrupting stranger.

Texting is an intimate trust. Marketers must be careful not to violate that trust.



Photo: Texting by Steven Guzzardi, CC BY-ND 2.0

Interested in learning more about SMS Marketing? Contact TextMarks at 800-696-1393 or email tmsales@textmarks.com.






Kevin D. Hendricks

Kevin D. Hendricks is an avid reader, a former yo-yo man and a freelance writer living in St. Paul, Minn.

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