Gabriella Juarez gets instructions from Michael Singer, co-owner of Innovative...

Gabriella Juarez gets instructions from Michael Singer, co-owner of Innovative Martial Arts in Commack and Rockstar Kickboxing with locations in Commack and Miller Place. Credit: Howard Simmons

One in three consumers checks their text notifications within one minute of receiving a text, according to a recent survey.

It’s no wonder that 55% of businesses now text their customers, compared to 42% last year, according to a survey of over 1,300 consumers, businesses and digital marketers conducted by SimpleTexting, a Miami Beach, Florida-based text messaging platform.

SMS marketing as it’s known is a faster way to interact with customers, but just like any other point of interaction you have to make sure your text messaging is relevant and on-target, experts say.

“Even though users are spending more and more time on their phones, attention is still a finite resource,” says Adam Coppelman, director of marketing at SimpleTexting. “With more businesses texting in 2022, you have to find ways to stand out beyond just sending clever messages or using flashy GIFs in your texts.”

Brands and organizations should be sending more personalized messages so that they can build trust with their contacts and get better results out of texting, he says.

If you can create a rapport, it’s a faster. more direct way to connect to your audience. Consider that over half of consumers (51%) reply to a text message within 1-2 minutes and 33% reply within 5-10 minutes, the survey found. Conversely, consumers largely reply to an email within a few hours (35%), and for 16% of consumers, it can take a whole day or longer for them to reply, according to SimpleTexting.

Instant attention-grab

Michael Singer, co-owner of Innovative Martial Arts in Commack and Rockstar Kickboxing in Commack and Miller Place, says he likes that it’s a more immediate form of communication than email, which requires the recipient to open the message.

Singer uses the text messaging platform Skipio to communicate with their over 1,000 members between their three locations.

They do use email but more infrequently, Singer says, noting if they send out an email, they make sure it’s a really important email, like perhaps changes to membership or the facility.

They may only use email two to three times a month, but will send or receive 10 to 20 text messages a day, spread out among a base of more than 1,000 recipients. Skipio allows them to segment their messaging based on the specific audience like a prospect vs. an existing member, Singer says.

Singer shows off  the desktop program he uses to text...

Singer shows off  the desktop program he uses to text clients, phone in hand.  Credit: Howard Simmons

“It’s not like an email where I have to pray you saw it,” Singer says. “Most people don’t like to have tons of unread text messages on their phone.”

He said members are open to opting in to receiving text messages.

SMS opt-in is key, says Andrew Catalano, Chief Innovation Officer at Austin Williams, a Hauppauge-based digital marketing agency.

Turn on, turn off

Rules around SMS messaging are very stringent and you can’t just send an unsolicited text without a user agreeing to receive them, he says.

Andrew Catalano, Chief Innovation Officer at Austin Williams, a Hauppauge-based...

Andrew Catalano, Chief Innovation Officer at Austin Williams, a Hauppauge-based digital marketing agency. Credit: Austin Williams

There could be an opt-in box on your website or an intake form where customers have to opt-in to receive messages from the business, Catalano says. For more on this see https://tinyurl.com/3h6uksnm

He’s seeing more businesses asking about how they can use SMS messaging. Platforms commonly utilized include Skipio, SimpleTexting and SlickText, Catalano says.

Nicole Penn, President of EGC Group, a Melville-based marketing and digital services firm, who partners with Podium to offer clients text messaging features, says they’ve seen an uptick in clients using SMS marketing, probably 50% year-over-year.

She said the rollout of Apple’s IOS 15 last Fall pushed that along because the update provided more privacy features around email, including marketers not knowing now when a recipient opens an email, and hiding IP addresses.

Being seen

“With SMS you’re able to see more data than you currently are with email,” says Penn, adding that SMS also has a 97% open rate.

Still you don’t want to abuse the relationship, she says.

Nicole Penn, president of EGC Group.

Nicole Penn, president of EGC Group. Credit: Howard Schnapp

You especially don't want to bombard them with text messages to the point that they are so annoyed they want to opt-out altogether.

Coppelman agrees, noting personalization’s key.

“ If you blast the same message out to all of your customers, the ones who don’t find it relevant will tune you out,” he says. “And the more times they tune you out, the less they’ll pay attention to your future messages.”

Fast Fact:

On average, 27% more businesses text their customers now compared with this time last year, according to SimpleTexting’s survey.

Source: https://simpletexting.com/2022-texting-and-sms-marketing-statistics

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