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The Next Frontier: Texting to Bolster Consumer Engagement & Retention

October 25, 2017 Fernando Borghese

Top brands have moved past narrow, channel-focused consumer engagement and retention strategies. They’re attracting and nurturing leads by executing holistic, relevant and connected messages across channels to create end-to-end customer journeys. But, even among the most sophisticated marketers, we’ve seen texting capability and experience limitations hamper reach and performance. As a result, engagement strategies lack depth and campaigns fall short of their true potential.

Texting Can Get the Right Message, to the Right Place at the Right Time

Holistic messaging strategies should be designed to reach consumers with relevant messaging at the moment they have the greatest propensity to take action. With Americans spending five hours of each day on their mobile devices, the right place for this message is often mobile phones. 
Almost like another form of “email,” texting lets us reach consumers at volume on a one-to-one basis. Messaging on behalf of consumer-focused brands, DMS texting campaigns have resulted in strong engagement rates not always achieved via other channels. We’ve seen this to be especially true for re-engagement and nurturing efforts within the jobs, mortgage and education markets.

But Texting is Complicated

Although most consumers text in their personal lives, the complexities of texting between companies and consumers are foreign to most. Texting has been around for years, but it’s still a new frontier for most marketers. And, often, there’s uncertainty of how to best get started.
If you’re looking to get into the texting, but you’re not sure how to do it effectively, here are six tips to help.

1. Define your messaging objective.

Text messaging should only be deployed if it can help you achieve your objectives. Although it’s a strong match for many purposes, texting is especially effective at driving inbound calls, confirming intent and strengthening engagement.

2. Catalog your data.

Consumer engagement isn’t about blasting the masses. To deliver valuable one-to-one communications, you need to really know your audience and what makes them take action. Not everyone in your target has the same motivations. Dive into your files to identify usable data points that point to behavioral patterns. Segment your audience to strengthen the who, what, when and where of your messaging and delivery strategy.

3. Don’t rely on texting alone.

Although texting is a newer tool in the arsenal, the old rules of marketing apply. Texting should not be deployed in a silo. Instead, texting should be one channel within an orchestrated, cross-channel campaign that achieves a memorable and actionable reach and frequency. Because they’re both delivered on mobile devices, texting and email marketing especially complement each other.

4. Make plans for measurement.

Like email, with texting you can know exactly who you’ve reached and with what message. This data can and should be used to continually optimize and evaluate campaign performance. Before a campaign is launched, identify the KPIs that best align with your objectives and define your target performance.

5. Learn everything you can about texting policies and regulations. 

In the words of CTIA, which represents the wireless communications industry and its broader ecosystem, “America’s consumers deserve and depend on a wireless experience that is safe and secure. Protecting against identity theft, online fraud and data breaches requires constant vigilance by everyone in the mobile ecosystem ― carriers, device manufacturers, app developers and consumers.” The voluntary guidelines published by CTIA are a great place to start your education on texting policies and regulations.

6. Find a partner with strong experience and a track record of success.

With texting’s complexities, you’re most likely to achieve your objectives and stay in compliance if you rely on a partner with a long history of success. When you’re interviewing texting providers, don’t be afraid to ask a long list of probing questions related to CTIA membership, business intelligence, cross-channel messaging capabilities and texting regulations, including TCPA.

The Future of Texting Is Being Written Now

Brands and businesses are just beginning to understand the role text messaging will play in customer acquisition, service and retention efforts. As marketers continue to deploy, analyze and scale marketing programs that include texting, we believe the adoption and usage of the channel will rise. Likewise, new innovations – such as voice recognition and chat bots – will broaden the usage of texting on the consumer side, turning it into one of the channels of choice for one-to-one communications.
The team at DMS designs holistic messaging strategies that incorporate mobile solutions, like email and texting, to augment personalized engagement. Our proprietary technology is ingesting CRM, behavioral and marketing data to develop one-to-one messaging and campaigns that drive consumer actions. Despite our vast success, we’re only at the tip of the iceberg. Moving forward, we see texting as a critical channel for all brands seeking to create connections with their target audiences.

Do you want to add a texting component to your performance marketing campaigns?

Email to start getting your campaign mapped out.
DMS is a member of CTIA. CTIA represents the U.S. wireless communications industry and the companies throughout the mobile ecosystem. Click here to learn more about CTIA. 

About the Author

Fernando Borghese

Fernando Borghese is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest growing independent agency focused on performance marketing. In this role, Fernando is responsible the day to day leadership and management of the company, encompassing all lines of business. He has a successful track record of building high-performing teams that that deliver measurable impact for Digital Media Solutions and its award-winning vertical-specific brands within highly complex and competitive industries. Under his leadership, DMS has achieved incredible year-over-year growth, which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

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