Common shortcodes gain traction, as texting best engages customers

Millennials are embracing SMS texting to buy products, making it the go-to channel to engage with brands.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

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Creating marketing campaigns with effective text messages can increase traffic in stores and convert customer leads into sales.

Millennials are a prime target for marketers, as they love their smartphones. A study from OpenMarket showed that 75 percent of millennials would choose a text only phone over a voice-only phone.

According to SWNS digital, by the age of 14, the average child will have sent more than 35,000 texts, 30,000 WhatsApp messages, and racked up more than three solid weeks of video chat.

They spend on average 135 minutes per day staring at their screens, making them a perfect opportunity for marketers to offer discount coupons by text.

Asynchronous texts are less disruptive than a voice call, and 63 percent of millennials prefer to receive texts than voice calls. They are very receptive to product offers and coupons, with 62 percent receiving offers in this way. They feel it is less invasive and more personal.

According to Salesforce, brands that use the SMS channel to market get an open rate of 98 percent and a conversion rate of 45 percent. This is significantly higher than using other forms of marketing. SMS texting also gives a quicker open rate: Nine out of 10 text messages are opened within three minutes of being received.

It is a powerful form of marketing, which is being capitalised upon by brands such as 7-Eleven Hawaii, and Katch.

7-Eleven Hawaii created a shortcode and a keyword -- promos -- and invited customers to sign up for offers by text. It increased sign-ups by over 3,700 and rolled out the program across 62 locations.

Shortcodes are rented out by SMS providers. Marketers can rent the exclusive use of the shortcode for a time, or get their own permanent shortcode for long-term use, like Facebook uses for Alerts

Read also: Publishers say affiliates generate more revenue than other types of marketing

They can then add campaign keywords to the code to enable the SMS provider to re-route the message accordingly.

Software company Katch managed messaging for an insurance provider. It used texting to manually send messages such as enrollment deadline reminders, insurance quotes, and agent information, generating a 15-percent conversion rate from its leads.

Companies have a great opportunity to market to consumers through text messaging. This form of messaging allows brands to communicate in exactly the way that they like to communicate.

Consumers want to engage with companies through mobile messaging like SMS and MMS -- there are many options that brands can choose.

Increased footfall in stores and converting customer leads into sales is a hard journey. SMS can give brands the edge.

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