[editorial] As we mark another technology issue, the improvements in communication become more breathtaking each year. For operators and industry suppliers, one area becoming critical to running a business efficiently is text messaging. We no longer can look at this as just a “teen thing,” or something young adults use to amuse themselves.
AOL recently published a survey showing that instant messaging use via cell phone (text messaging) is up 19% from 2005 and is considered “mail stream” as the fastest growing form of communication worldwide today.
E-mail has been one of the most commonly used forms of communication, but it’s gradually losing ground to the instant communication technology of short-messaging service.
The 160-text character messages are becoming a daily habit to stay in touch with friends and family, and spreading news about happenings around town or fresh gossip.
According to Forrester Research, 35% of cell phone users send or receive text messages, with 76% of 18- to 24-year-olds using it. The popularity of text messaging in the U.S. resulted in more than 158 billion messages sent in 2006. That’s a 95% increase compared to 2005, according to a survey by CTIA.
But increasingly, texting happens among adults and businesses. Airlines, brand marketers, retailers, and financial institutions already are using text messaging for business communications and in mobile marketing campaigns.
Text messaging also is referred to as SMS, or short message service. Cell phones equipped to handle text messaging and instant messenger clients for computers can receive brief messages that contain information from friends, clients, and even businesses marketing their products.
Text messaging is becoming more popular as an advertising medium because it is relatively inexpensive and allows businesses to reach out to highly targeted consumers. Millions of people worldwide have the ability to receive text messages. Although the U.S. is somewhat behind in this trend, text messaging is quickly gaining ground nationwide.
You can send instant coupons, promotional messages, and much more via text messages. When you write your copy for your text-message advertisement, you will need to keep it as brief as possible and get directly to your point.
Having the ability to instantly contact potential customers all over the world is one of the best benefits of this marketing strategy. In addition, text messaging is a personal way to reach out to potential customers, especially those who travel for business and/or leisure, and need instant information about limousine and chauffeured services.
With an increasing number of spam filters, this is a new and uncluttered way to promote your services and stay connected to customers. But you still need to think like a billboard marketer. You have about 10 seconds of someone’s attention and not much room to ramble. Keep your messages short and to the point — and never get obnoxious.
You’ll need to add text-message marketing to your advertising efforts. It’s the new way to communicate and will only become more prevalent.