Attention Internet Retailers: Are You Taking Advantage of Text Message Marketing?


  • 83% of American adults own cell phones*
  • 73% of those adults send and receive text messages*
  • Cell phone owners between ages 18 and 24 exchange an average of 109.5 text messages per day (that’s over 3,200 texts per month!)*
  • On average, the adult population sends or receives an average of 41.5 text messages per day*

These statistics leave zero doubt about whether or not texting is a common form of communication. But what they don’t directly show is that texting has the potential to be much more. Specifically, it has the potential to become a hugely successful marketing vehicle.

A few forward-thinking companies are already using texting to enhance their E-commerce stores, promote their products and services, offer coupons and promotions, encourage customers to participate in contests, and get people involved with loyalty programs. The potential for success is there, and below are a few reasons why.

Some of the major benefits of text message marketing include:

  • Allow retailers to have two-way communication with customers, something that isn’t possible with traditional print and television advertising (and even some online ads). It allows for the sending and receiving of personal information between retailers and customers, an incredibly valuable tool for successful marketing.
  • Doing targeted customer outreach by requiring people to text a certain phrase/number to a designated number to opt in for future texts. This is often done in the form of a promotion or giveaway.
  • Can smoothly integrate with other promotional efforts and effectively enhance them. For instance, you can promote texting campaigns through email, on an E-commerce website, in a store and on banners. Or, you can use a texting campaign to drive people to your site, your store or your email newsletter. Basically, once you have a customer opted in through one channel, you can use it to promote all the other ways they can interact with your brand. Essentially, you are creating one seamless marketing message.
  • Use customers’ responses to promotional texts to tailor future text messages to appeal specifically to each person. For example, if you know a customer bought a certain product last fall, you can send them a text informing them when it’s back in stores the following year.

Once retailers get someone to opt in to their marketing campaign by providing a phone number, they can can use text message marketing to:

  • Send mobile coupon codes
  • Inform customers when their favorite products are in stock
  • Re-engage with customers a few weeks after they make a purchase
  • Launch a contest
  • Give a new product traction by offering it in a giveaway
  • Send customers to the store’s mobile site and/or E-commerce store
  • Enroll customers in a loyalty program
  • Quickly, easily and directly answer customers’ questions
  • Increase personalized communication

As you can see, there are all kinds of things that can be done with text message marketing. This incredibly accessible platform has the potential to bring highly qualified leads directly to a retailer’s doorstep (so to speak). It takes time to build a subscriber list, but by fostering each of these leads individually, there is greater opportunity to make them last.



*Statistics gathered from the Pew Internet and American Life Project’s Report on Americans and Text Messaging

*Image provided by cletch on Flickr

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