MobileDigital discusses the importance of text message marketing. 

If growth in text message marketing in the USA in the last 24 months is any indication Australian consumers are about to see a significant increase in the text messaging from retailers.

In the last four years the number of US companies using text message marketing (TMM) has grown from 4% to 50%.

Surveys by Attentive one of the largest text marketing companies in the USA conducted in conjunction with Forrester, indicate that companies were receiving $71 for every dollar spent on TMM and that TMM now attributed to over 18% of their online revenues.

In Australia, we all know text as SMS, 160-character messages delivered to our phone text inboxes.

Historically SMS messages have served the purpose of government warnings, reminding us about appointments, updating us on delivery status of ordered goods or delivering us a code to authenticate an online transaction.

Get ready for a surge in text messages as retailers now seek to integrate text messages into their sales and marketing efforts.

Already, some retailers are now including text messaging to remind you that you have left items in your shopping cart - and going forward it is highly likely that the text messaging channel will become very useful to retailers seeking a closer and more engaged relationship with their mobile client.

Text message marketing includes the use of SMS (Short Message Service) as well as the inclusion of MMS (multimedia messaging service).

MMS technology enables organisations to deliver personalised branded images, .gif moving images as well as tailored video messaging direct to customers mobile handset - known as putting your brand in your customers hand.

Text message marketing is a win win for retailers and consumers. Data from multiple surveys now indicates that over 90% of the population would prefer to deal with an organisation using text in preference to email or a phone call.

Retailers stand to benefit as SMS and MMS messages are the ultimate channel to their clients.

Using text messaging software personalised branded visuals and messages can be delivered instantly to an always on audience, with 98% of messages are seen and over 90% are opened within three minutes.

Users are not required to download an APP, and messaging can instantly direct a receiver to a friction free call to action or offer the opportunity to commence a 2WAY chat exchange using conversational commerce or concierge tools.

Australian retailers using text message marketing are seeing results that are superior to prior investments in SEO, social campaigns or email.

Vendors implementing TMM campaigns have reported 19.8% conversion from a list of people who had registered interest but never purchased.

Another reported over 16% reactivation of clients inactive for over 6 months and earlier in 2021 a large Australian apparel chain reported a revenue lift 21x their promotional investment compared to their email segment comparison.

There is no doubt with these results that retailers should make space in their marketing budget for TMM.

It is important that retailers need to be aware that whilst TMM is the ultimate channel to the consumer a number of key considerations need to be taken on by marketers before employing TMM in your organisation.

A US study by Forrester commissioned by Attentive in January 2021 reported that 64% of companies don’t understand TMM, 51% are concerned by regulatory issues, 36% were not sure it would resonate with their clients and 30% said they had no budget.

Text message marketing is a new channel that done well delivers incredible results. However, many marketers have come to think of email as free – and TMM is ROI business decision as both SMS and MMS messages cost per message sent.

The upside of TMM is great conversion, better engagement and strong brand enforcement and memory.

Marketers will need to experiment with TMM to see what works for their clients, and not all initial campaigns will work as learnings will develop through trials.

TMM is an exciting new channel with great upside for retailers.

We recommend marketers start with onboarding campaigns, loyalty and reward messaging as well as specific targeted sales campaigns to clearly defined segments - if you like to discuss more in detail please reach out to

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