“Old is gold,” states a wise old adage. This certainly seems to be turning true in the field of communications & technology. Despite modern advancements like email, live chats, media messages, zoom calls, and state of the art videoconferencing facilities, companies are going back to conventional text messages in order to communicate time-sensitive information to their target audience. In fact, this strategy is being willingly embraced, both for communications and for promotions, in the highly competitive corporate world.
So, what is this emerging trend all about, and what care needs to be taken to make this a long-term success? This blog explores 10 tips to get it right.
1. Bulk text messages have maximum reach
Recent studies estimate that there are at least 6 billion people across the globe, with access to a mobile phone capable of receiving simple text messages. When you compare this to the total number of internet users with access to email – a little over 4 billion with 2.5 billion logged in at any point in time, it becomes clear which technology has the higher reach. It is this fact that has compelled companies to embrace “mass texting” or “bulk texting” as a critical part of their marketing strategy.
2. Mass texting is legal across the globe
This may come as a surprise to many, as people often associate receiving promotional texts with receiving pesky promotional emails. However, not all countries show equivalent legal empathy to “spammy” emails. On the other hand, a company is allowed to send bulk texts to unknown numbers, provided the number is registered, and the target number has not consciously subscribed to a do-not-disturb (DND) service.
3. Bulk texting can be programmed through user-friendly, digital applications
There are several nifty applications that have recently landed on the market, with the sole aim of making mass texting a programmable and manageable affair. With this, sharing critical information to a large number of people through simple text messages is no longer a time-consuming chore. In fact, companies count on these digital apps to ensure that their communications and promotions are both scalable and personalized across all target groups.
4. Texting applications come loaded with communication-friendly features
Texting applications have evolved significantly to accommodate mass texting needs. As a corporate, you may be especially keen to know that bulk-texting applications today can help you with the following:
- Import existing contacts so you do not lose old/ loyal customers.
- Create various “groups” among your target audience, so you can send customized messages for each target group.
- Maintain separate threads with your mobile audience, so you provide individualized responses for their incoming queries.
- Stay in line with the legal rules and regulations of the digital and communications industry in your home country.
- Schedule bulk text messages in advance, in line with your communications and promotions strategy.
- Reduce errors due to manual intervention and “missing out” of critical information/ contacts.
5. Addresses technology fatigue
If you work in HR, you understand the challenges associated with ensuring that your fellow-employees receive and act on critical company communication. While emails may have seemed like Godsend when they first came about, they have quickly morphed into a communication monster, with even junior employees complaining of way too many (unread) emails.
With the rapid pace at which modern technology develops, HR personnel also have to deal with “technology fatigue” – resistance of employees to embracing newer versions of technology, downloading updates for chat/ messaging applications, confusion with management of multiple applications, etc.
Here, the sheer simplicity and speed of conventional text messages ensure that employees get critical information on time and with minimal fuss.
6. Versatility and Flexibility of texting applications ideal for both time-sensitive external communications, and confidential internal communications
Bulk text messages are especially great for follow-ups, reminders, surveys, promotions, and many more. Also, the same mass texting application can be used, with minor modifications, to address both external and internal company communications in a timely yet secure manner. This makes them popular with corporates for both employee communications and customer outreach.
7. Cost-effective digital strategy
It is a myth that the internet is “free” as a communication channel. Behind every free Wi-Fi availability we enjoy – in coffee bars, in restaurants, in malls, and other public places – there is often a company footing a reasonably large internet bill which is harder to do when taxes and costs are increasing because of new laws. Also, these are the same companies that are most likely to have a large target audience they will want to reach, frequently and in a cost-effective manner. Mass texting in its current application-driven form, easily facilitates this need.
8. Enhance company productivity
Ever been in a scenario where you send out a mail containing critical information to employees, and then find yourself sending multiple emails to ensure employees have read and acted upon the original email? This can be frustrating and affects overall company productivity. The simple yet timely nature of bulk messaging addresses this issue in a streamlined manner. In most cases, you can quickly close on a pending issue with a yes/no follow-up text.
9. Effectiveness of push versus pull communications
Most modern communication methods – including emails and fancy media messages – work on a pull communication model. The target audience pulls the information as and when she/ he is ready to receive it. There is also the possibility of the audience choosing to ignore the communication altogether.
On the other hand, text messages work on a push model, where the company has information to send out. Due to the nature of mobile technology, we’re also less cavalier about dealing with (unread) text messages in our inbox, than we are with unread emails that may require our urgent attention.
10. Elemental rules for success and sustainability
There are several reasons outlined in this blog to embrace mess texting. Here are 5 golden rules to keep it fuss-free, professional, and consistently legal.
- Embrace simplicity and brevity with all your messages.
- Get consent for bulk texts, especially if you know the audience (like an employee or an existing client).
- For employees, limit your texts to working hours. For your promotions, schedule your texts outside working hours.
- Include a hassle-free call to action to increase engagement.
Finally, don’t forget to review your company’s goals & objectives at periodic intervals, so you have the feedback required to tweak your mass texting policy for long-term success. Like any communication strategy, bulk texting is an evolving affair.