Even with text messaging’s impressive penetration number, you are only able to send a text message to a consumer who has specifically requested such communication. So how do you go about transforming those hypothetical usage numbers to power your own mobile marketing efforts? Here are five specific ideas for actions that make sense to consider right now:
1. Grab Your Own Short Code: Short codes — those five- and six—digit numbers that enable consumers to easily send a text message — are becoming ubiquitous. Having a short code is the key to letting consumers send a text message to you. And that’s the best way to get consumers to opt in engage with your brand via mobile. You can even get a “vanity code” that spells out a word that’s meaningful to your brand, so it’s easy for consumers to remember.
It’s comparable to reserving a URL for your brand’s Website. It’s not quite as easy or cheap, though: It will cost a few thousand dollars to start plus some ongoing monthly fees, and you’ll need to work through a mobile agency or aggregator. Still, the cost of entry is far smaller than, say, building a great Website or buying airtime, and it is undoubtedly worth the investment. In fact, it is the one fundamental action that you simply must take now if you want to engage in any sort of text-message marketing.
2. Start Collecting Numbers on your Website: If you’re like most marketers, you’re already collecting valuable opt-ins and user information on your Website. It’s simple to add a mobile phone field to your form. Even if you’re not quite sure what you’re going to do with these numbers yet, you’ll have a start in with a built-in audience for your mobile efforts.
4. Watch the Marketplace: There’s enough mobile marketing going on right now that it’s likely another company in your competitive set is already testing mobile. Watch what they’re doing. Just because another company is doing something doesn’t mean it’s working, but it’s likely that some thought has gone into it. Of course, do not plagiarize anyone else’s marketing plan. But you can use this data to brainstorm your own ideas and pivot off of trends in the marketplace.
5. Start Talking About Mobile Internally: When our agency works with clients, the number-one barrier to getting started is a lack of internal consensus about the value of mobile. Even if your company is not quite ready to take the plunge, it is essential that someone take a leadership position and become the internal expert on mobile. Perhaps that person is you. The marketplace data in favor of text message marketing is compelling, and now is the perfect time to start the conversation.