Posted September 19, 2011 2:24 pm by with 3 comments

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The next time you’re in a busy public place, stand still and watch the people who walk by. A large majority of them will either have their eyes down on a cell phone or they’ll appear to be talking to themselves (earbuds!).

It’s gotten so we can’t leave the house without our mobile phone charged and ready. And I know several teenagers who carry theirs from room to room so they never miss a text. Yes, a text, not a call. For the 18-29 set, texting is the ultimate form of communication.

New numbers from the Pew Internet and American Life Project show that 95% of young adults use the texting feature on their phones. On average, they send and receive 87.7 texts a day and the median user hits 40 a day. The median for all cell phone users is 10 a day.

The younger you get, the higher the number climbs with one in ten saying they exchange more than 200 messages a day. Seriously? When do they have time to do anything else, like go to school, work, sleep?

Pew also found a rather obvious balance between texting and preferred method of contact. Those who text less, chose voice calls as their preferred method while heavy texters said they’d just as soon skip the call.

In the grand scheme, calls are still listed as the preferred form of contact but texting is on the rise.

It’s safe to say that the people who answered this question weren’t thinking about marketing messages. Calling someone’s cell to pitch your product is very bad form and I’m not sure that an opt-in option would go over very well. Text messaging, however, is a whole different animal. It’s still more intrusive than an email, but nowhere near as intrusive as a call. Here, it’s frequency that can make or break you.

I’ve opted to receive text messages from a couple of my favorite TV shows. One sends messages only on show night. First a reminder to watch, then a trivia question during the run. I’m good with that. Another started sending almost daily text messages pushing me to watch, buy the DVD, visit the website. I quickly replied STOP and that was the end of that.

In certain circumstances, a well-timed text message can be the perfect marketing tool. A $5 coupon off a lunch entree, sent just before noon could result in a nice bump in business. Do you use text message marketing for your business? I’d like to hear about your experience.

  • Rod D.

    Getting an unsolicited text offering a deal on a home loan is the worst marketing tactic I have ever seen. It really made me wonder how this company got my name and reminded me why I hate spam… and I do marketing for a living. It felt like someone slipped a note under a public restroom stall hoping they would catch me in the mood to shop interest rates on a loan. It just feels creepy.

    BTW, great post! I’m looking forward to reading other comments.

  • You are right, I think the key has to be soliciting text offerings to only to those who opt-in to receive offers. Unsolicited offers are waste of time for both parties involved and if anything it might give negative feelings toward your business for being “sleazy”.

  • I think you hit it the nail on the head when you said “It’s still more intrusive than an email, but nowhere near as intrusive as a call.” Sometimes you get bombarded with emails that you assume anything from companies are spam. Texts, however, is shorter and more simple than emails.