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Keeping It Simple

A guide to understanding what works well with text messaging.

Never overcomplicate

We get requests all the time for text messaging programs that are complex. Programs that require the consumer to go back and forth, almost like a fake conversation. For example, a specific brand may want to collect a name, email, and zip code for their campaign. The consumer would text in and receive an auto-response that asks for their name, then another auto-response that asks for their email. So on and so forth.

In our experience, the best option is to keep the texting program as simple as possible. Unless you're going to assign someone to respond back and forth, don't overcomplicate it. Consumers are used to texting that is conversational but with open-ended responses. When you try to complicate that, it starts to break down.

In our studies, we’ve found programs that go back and forth lose a whopping 50% of responses at every step. That means for a three-step program, with 1,000 people texting in, the client will only yield 125 people that complete the flow.

What works well

With the percentage of smartphone penetration being higher than ever, consider using a link and a landing page. This works because it allows you to send one complete auto-response message and a link that contains everything else. For example, it could be a landing page with a form that collects your name, email, and zip code. For the consumer, it’s a lot easier and much faster than going back and forth.

Our studies found click-through rates from a text message averaged 48%, with form completion being 90%. That means, with the same group of 1,000 people texting in, the client will yield 432 people that complete the flow — almost 3.5 times more data.

If you have to keep it all via text — it’s best to consider a more open-ended response approach with a live person responding. Something like: Tell us about your experience, text keyword, and your comments to XXX-XXX-XXXX or text keyword and your email to XXX-XXX-XXXX. This would put the response right in your Mozeo inbox along with the keyword so you can sort the data.

Consider your surroundings

Where and how you’re running your campaigns matters too. For example, you can have a static billboard at the Super Bowl asking people to text in and win a trip without audio backup, and you’ll get a mediocre text-in rate — a few hundred at best. You pair that same billboard with audio, and now you’re capturing tens of thousands.

Let’s say you’re at a social event, which is vocal and present, not over a phone — you’re going to get low text rates. If that same audience were sitting in a theater listening to a keynote, the text rates would be much higher.

Think. Plan. Think again. Execute.