A recent Ball State University study found that 97 percent of college students send and receive text messages, and that texting is the #1 form of communication for this studious crowd. Only about a quarter of college students say that they still use instant messaging or email, making texting the natural communication method parents, professors, school mates, and businesses should use to reach them.
Text marketing, or just text communication, makes a lot of sense on a college campus. Many universities have already integrated text into their grading systems, and allow students to text in a keyword to see their grades. A professor might have a text list for a particular class, and can send out a last minute cancelation message if they get sick, saving many students a long commute to a canceled class. Students can enroll for class news and updates, keeping them informed of new materials assigned and allowing professors to send out a prescheduled assignment reminder, keeping everyone on their toes and on track for the course. Professors are able to run practice exams via text, that include students texting in responses to questions, and the teacher texting back the percentage of students that were correct.
For university sports fans, a text list can be created to send out quarterly highlights and score results. This list could add a commercial aspect by sending out a half time mobile coupon or list of specials going on at the concession stand. Or, this list could be used as a tool to engage the crowd, asking fans to text in their pick for MVP of a game, or to win a free concession.
A text list might also be used as the official voting tool for class president; offering a quick, easy, and cheap way of gathering and tallying results, which would likely increase the amount of people that vote.
With 97 percent of university populations’ texting, there is a clear need to embrace text marketing tools and use them creatively to engage and communicate more frequently with students. If students are texting, the entire university should be texting.
First, it was the shiny Motorola Razor cell phone. Do you remember how cool that was? Then it was the Blackberry, what a commotion that little scrolling ball created in the mobile world! Next, the IPhone made headlines for its amazing picture quality and touch screen capabilities. Now, the talk of the town has shifted away from the look of cell phones and on to their resources. Interests have migrated from the alarm clock function to the ability to text message and use applications. With all these changes occurring within such a short period of time, it’s sometimes difficult for marketers to know where to concentrate their mobile marketing efforts.
The best place to look for your answer is within the facts and statistics that are currently available. Only 35 percent of U.S. adults have mobile devices with the capability of utilizing an application, and of those, only 24 percent actually use the app programs available, according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Eleven percent of adults don’t even understand the concept of an “app” and are not sure if their phone is equipped with the capability.
The New York Times recently published an article with new statistics regarding adult text messaging usage. Everyone knows that teenagers text, yet the fact that adult usage is continually increasingly is often overlooked and under reported.
Last year, 65 percent of American adults were sending and receiving text messages. That percentage has grown to almost three quarters of all Americans according to the most recent surveys. In his article, Frederic Lardinois of the New York Times reports that “about 50 percent of all adults who use text messaging send between 1 and 10 messages, 25 percent send between 11 and 50 messages a day, 10 send between 50 and 200 messages.”
A recent Infographic done by Shane Snow for Mashable sparked our interest due to its comical yet clear representation of the reality of text messaging.
The cost advantages of text messaging versus a broadband plan have drawn the attention of the entire world, and the arrival of unlimited messaging plans a couple of years ago opened the doors for mass communication in the palm of your hand. No wonder text messaging has surpassed phone, email, and face-to-face conversations as the number one communication method for teenagers!
Faith-based organizations are the latest industry to wholeheartedly embrace text messaging as the most convenient and instantaneous communication medium available. Churches, mosques, and synagogues alike have been signing up for Opt It Mobile 3.0 because they realize that their audience depends on cell phones, especially the younger generation, and that there’s no better way for them to reach their members. Being able to communicate on a large scale, as well as a one-on-one basis, has definitely caught their attention.
These organizations have also noticed an increased use of text messaging as the primary form of communication among their members. Opt It customers send prayer reminders, Bible and Qur’an quotes, donation requests, enhanced outreach efforts, community updates, and religious event notifications via text and have witnessed a great deal of acceptance within their religious communities.