By Scott Newton Smith
SMS (short message service) marketing, or text marketing, is quickly becoming one of the most sought after forms of business marketing today.
Churches should leverage this technology as well.
Text message marketing gained initial popularity in 2008, when President Obama’s public relations committee used it to announce the vice-presidential candidate. Since then, everything from sports teams to grocery stores have opted to jump on the SMS bandwagon.
Why all of this interest in text messaging? Here are five good reasons why text messaging is more powerful than other forms of getting word out to your community:
- Text marketing is fast. The time it takes to implement the phases of a text message marketing campaign is dramatically lower than other marketing methods. Churches can conceive, design, plan and launch a mass text message in less than one day, enabling the conveyance of real-time information when it is necessary. This gives churches who use text –based outreach an edge when competing against so much noise in the culture’s daily experience. Also, it’s not unusual to see response within an hour of sending a text marketing message.
- Prospects opt in to receive your texts. That means you are only marketing to people who have expressed an interest in seeing what you have to offer. Subscribers to your texts either already like your church or event, or want to know more about it. So when you invest in a text message marketing campaign, you are only paying to market to people who are most likely to attend your church services or event and spread the word.
- Text outreach is accessible. You do not have to hire a marketing guru or a computer programmer to get your church’s text marketing campaign up and running. Creating and launching a text campaign is relatively inexpensive and fairly simple to do. Just choose a mobile marketing company that specializes in providing software to businesses that are interested in using text marketing, pay a small monthly fee to use their service, and manage your text marketing campaign from the software’s user-friendly interface.
- The statistics work in your favor. Studies show that 97% of all text messages are opened. 83% percent of those messages are read within one hour. As a result, text message marketing incites a higher response rate than any other marketing method available today. Powerful.
- Using text message marketing to promote your church puts you at the forefront of modernity. It says “we get it.” Not that it’s ever a governing criteria, but you gotta admit, there is a “cool factor” here that plays well. If you want your church to thrive, you must keep up. The best way to reach people in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven culture is through their technological devices.
When it comes to convenience, cost-effectiveness, ease of use, rate of return and reputation, nothing beats text message marketing.
But also, bear the following in mind: There are 4 Billion cellphones in the world of 7 billion humans! And 3.05 Billion have SMS (text message capability).
Ignore this opportunity to get more people to your church services or event to your own detriment.