Using Personality to Win Over Text Message Haters

textmarks_SMS_personality_blogOver the past few years, countless studies have been released confirming that teens prefer texting to other forms of communication by a growing margin. Of course, you can confirm that yourself with a cursory glance across any mall, park, restaurant, or other public space. At the same time, text messaging among older adults seems to be flattening out or at least lagging behind younger demographics. If your opt-in SMS marketing campaign relies on an older or less text-friendly demographic you might need to try to win them over. It’s a tough challenge, but easier with a little personality.

We’ve all heard the complaints about text messaging: “They’re too impersonal,” “It’s not a real conversation,” “Speaking is easier.” They’re all good points but they need not spell the end for your SMS marketing efforts. When inexperienced companies send messages to their opt-in group, they tend to be aloof and terse in tone. They don’t address any of the recipients’ concerns and are often sent at an annoying rate. In short, these messages prove the point of text-resistant traditionalists.

For your SMS marketing campaign to be successful you need to make sending and receiving text messages more personal. While it is impractical to send texts specifically crafted for each customer, you can start by resolving to only send text messages that are highly relevant to your group.  If this means your messages will be based more on quality than quantity, so be it. But a message sent with purpose will always catch more eyes than a message sent for the sake of sending a message.

Also, make sure your group SMS messages contain a call to action that leaves the recipient doing something more than fumbling with their phone: whether it be visiting a store, calling a phone number, or sharing your information with a friend. Even if a text message comes across as impersonal, a message that leads to something more fun, and that involves human contact, will end up being a worthwhile service.

Finally, consider your language when making text messages more personal. People primarily use text messaging for conversation so use your group SMS campaign to converse with your customers. Spare a few characters to begin messages with “Hi!” (The exclamation mark would be a nice touch). Involve your customers by incorporating the “you-attitude.” Even if you don’t participate in a back-and-forth with customers over SMS, any effort to make your messages more human will make your campaign less impersonal.

Remember to follow up on your text campaign when customers visit you in person. Ask if they are signed up for your service. If so, ask how they like it or if they have suggestions for it. Let customers know the face behind those periodic dings and vibrations. A cell phone can be a cold and unfeeling device—especially when you’re not tied at the hip to it. That’s why it’s even more important to bring warmth to your SMS marketing.

Eric Duncan

Eric Duncan writes about Marketing for TextMarks--The industry leading SMS Marking & Communications platform.

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