Used alongside a mobile web experience like an application, SMS is a great complimentary tool that can really help drive up sales made by a mobile device.
Ninety percent of consumers have said that they like interacting with business in multiple channels. At the top of the list of preferred communication channels is SMS texting. Retailers who want to ensure their customers are engaged with their mobile web sites should add a SMS competent. SMS Texting helps by encouraging people to visit your mobile web site, and it can also help people make a buying decision after receiving a mobile coupon.
It is important to establish a clear link between your mobile URL and text message campaign. To do this, you should insert the URL into a text message being sent out, and recommend that people to add it to their Favorites. Sears, the large department store retailer, has done this with great success. Consider sending out some offers that are only good for purchases made online, directing customers to your mobile site instantly. Also, send out a text notifying your opted in database of users that you have new stock; yet another way to draw them to your site.
Studies have also found that if a user abandons a shopping cart while on a mobile web site, sending a simple SMS message follow up will likely get your customer back on the web page.
SMS is a great tool to use in combination with all marketing mediums, but especially mobile web, as the tools are accessed in the same way and consumers are constantly checking their mobile devices.
An interesting new study done by the University of Pennsylvania shows how consumers value their favorite communication mediums, including email, texting, cell phone calls, and Facebook.
The study divided students into groups and out of the 4 communication mediums listed above, asked them which of those tools they would go without for a week. Once the student chose, he or she were banned from using it for a week. Next, the study participant was asked how much, in monetary value, he or she would like to be compensated for the ban.
“The survey of 84 students ages 18 to 22 found that they thought $44 would be “fair compensation” for going without Facebook for a week — compared with $99 for email, $85 for texting and $73 for cellphone calls. One tool — instant messaging — was identified as less valuable, coming in at $27 for a week.” (Wall Street Journal, How Long Could You Go Without Facebook?)
The reason for this was that students said that they only communicated with acquaintances on Facebook, while texting and email was used for connecting with closer friends and family. For students, email is clearly most important as they work on papers and projects in groups and they need to be able to send large files. However, as a communication tool, it’s clear that texting still reigns, shown here by its compensation value of $85.
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.
Reuters recently released an article entitled “Cellphone calls alter brain activity: study”, discussing a study where 47 people were given brain scans while a cellphone was turned on next to their ear for 50 minutes. A control group with a cellphone next to their ear that was turned off was also scanned. The study was designed to investigate how the brain reacts to electromagnetic fields caused by wireless phone signals. The study found that “glucose metabolism (a sign of brain activity) increases in the brain in people who were exposed to a cellphone in the area closest to the antenna,” according to Dr. Nora Volkow of the National Institute of Health, whose study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. (Reuters)
Scientists that have analyzed these findings say that the study is inconclusive in proving in any way that the cellphone and wireless phone signals directly cause brain cancer, but that they do believe that they indicate that further studies should be done to better understand the brain’s reaction to wireless phone signals. A calming fact is that a person’s brain metabolic rate can normally fluctuate to even higher levels than found in study naturally, such as when a person is thinking.
The World Health Organization, the Federal Communications Commission, and the CTIA-The Wireless Phone Association, have all publicly stated since this article was published that the cell phone does not cause a public health risk. Funny enough, the scientist that conducted the study, Dr. Nora Volkow, has said that she isn’t taking any chances and now uses an ear phone to avoid having her ear directly next to her cell phone. At Opt It, we’re following the lead of the scientist, and we are sticking to texting whenever possible; now for more reasons than ever!
These days, there are numerous studies being conducted regarding our population’s technological usage. The vast number of studies regarding this topic is an indication in of itself of the popularity of technology in today’s world for communication.
The most recent study by Pew Research Center entitled “Generations and Their Gadgets” offers new, ever- growing insight into the gadgets that people use. Now 85 percent of American adults own cell phones, while 90 percent of them live in households where someone owns a mobile phone. In general, cell phone usage amounts depend on a person’s age. Ninety-two percent of 18-34 year olds own cell phones, and this number goes steadily down until you look at the 75+ age group, where 48 percent own cell phones. This number is astonishing- almost half of all grandmothers and grandfathers have cell phones. Five years ago this would have been a joke, but today it’s a reality; one that keeps evolving.
In terms of cell phone functionality, the younger generation uses its phones for a variety of functions that go far beyond just calling and texting. However, across the board, calling and texting are the two functions for which all age groups said they used their phones.
Comparing the cell phone to other gadgets, the technological tool that came closest to the 85 percent ownership of the cell phone was the MP3 device, which 74 percent of the American public own. At 70 percent, the laptop computer is in third place as a chosen tool for the general population.
The cell phone is the single most used and widespread device in the hands of the American public. It’s definitely worth a shot to deliver your important marketing message to it.