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VOL. 38 | NO. 48 | Friday, November 28, 2014

Mobile dependency opens opportunities

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The average consumer typically has at least one mobile device within arms reach at any given time throughout the day.

Our growing dependency on these devices has increased the opportunity for marketers to reach targeted consumers with greater immediacy than ever before via text marketing.

And when you consider that text marketing generally carries a 95 percent open rate with 90 percent of texts read within five minutes of receipt, it’s no wonder why 38 percent of businesses reported leveraging text marketing in a 2013 StrongMail study.

If you think that your target market isn’t young enough for text marketing, think again. Consumers ages 45-54 send and receive an average of 33 texts per day, with those 55+ averaging of 16 texts per day according to Experian’s 2013 Digital Marketer Report.

What’s more, baby boomers are the largest growing demographic of mobile users.

While text marketing isn’t for every business category, it can be extraordinarily effective in business-to-consumer (B2C) based businesses such as restaurants/bars, hotels, entertainment/tourism and other retail establishments among others.

When executing a text marketing campaign, be sure to only message those who have knowingly opted in, offer an easy opt-out feature, avoid sending promotional texts outside of business hours, and don’t send more than one text per week.

Most importantly, be sure to deliver timely, valuable and preferably exclusive content to your mobile subscribers as an incentive for them to remain on your list.

Some of the most effective text-marketing strategies are the most straightforward, such as asking consumers to text a special keyword to a short code (generally a five- or six-digit number) to have their name appear on a digital sign at a special event, big game, or nightclub or even for participation in a group poll.

Or consider using a short code as a way to allow consumers to gain an extra entry into a Facebook drawing.

If you operate a grocery store, encourage shoppers to subscribe to your text list for a recipe or same-day coupon. If you run a veterinary office, doctor’s office or dental office, leverage text marketing for reminders about annual shots, exams or cleanings that are overdue.

Restaurateurs can offer mobile-exclusive specials to drive last-minute reservations during slow periods. For those in retail, consider offering early-bird access to sales rooms for mobile subscribers.

If you are considering testing the text marketing waters, be sure to align yourself with a professional firm that can ensure your execution doesn’t expose you to regulatory risks or worse, the alienation of your customers.

Lori Turner-Wilson is an award-winning columnist and managing partner of RedRover Sales & Marketing, www.redrovercompany.com, with offices in Memphis and Nashville. You can follow RedRover on Twitter (@redrovercompany and @loriturner) and Facebook (facebook.com/redrovercompany).

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