The avenues for audience engagement continue to grow and change. Now, there are so many ways to meet customers where they are, and one of the most engaging channels is via SMS or text message. You can use text messaging to communicate important, fast-breaking news, something that’s been especially valuable during the pandemic. SMS is one of the most powerful ways to reach listeners quickly. Consumers are more likely to open text messages than any other digital communication. It’s been a lifeline for many of our radio partners that used our mobile messaging capabilities to stay in touch with listeners.
Text Messaging Is a Direct Channel
In communicating with listeners, you don’t always have direct channels. The broadcast itself isn’t a direct channel because you have no true gauge of engagement with messages. Email is a direct channel, but it doesn’t have the same effectiveness. Consider these impressive stats:
- Mobile messages have a 98% open rate— nearly five times that of email.
- On average, people respond to text messages within 90 seconds.
- When SMS is part of a marketing campaign, SMS coupons are redeemed 10 times more often than traditional coupons.
- When polled about whether they were OK with receiving an SMS text message from a brand, 75% of opt-in respondents said yes.
How SMS Is a Lifeline in a Crisis
Few tools are more effective than text messaging for sharing critical, accurate information. Texts are especially effective when time is of the essence, since most people read texts right away. Most of the population has a device capable of sending and receiving texts. According to Pew Research, 81% of Americans have a smartphone. Most of them are regular texters, as it doesn’t require being tech-savvy. Further, there is no app to download or other barriers to entry.
In a crisis, such as the pandemic, misinformation is rampant. SMS helps prevent the spread of inaccurate information by offering an authoritative voice for accurate updates straight from the source. Plus, SMS enables two-way communications that allow stations to converse directly with subscribers and to provide more targeted and relevant information.
Helping Stations Support Their Communities
The COVID-19 pandemic made the benefits of SMS even more apparent, as we witnessed from Marketron radio customers. Operation Restaurant Rescue is a great example from the Federated Media Group of radio stations in Indiana. The restaurant industry was hit especially hard by quarantine mandates. This program gave listeners a chance to help by texting the word “RESCUE” to a designated SMS address. They then received a list of local restaurants that offer carryout or delivery options.
Text Messaging Opportunities
SMS has been critical in communicating during the pandemic. As the environment improves for all, you’ll find that mobile messaging can be an excellent engagement tool for plans you have in 2021. Learn more about our SMS campaign options today.