That is the question. Whether ’tis more effective to send SMS messages to your patrons, or to take a stance against it and by opposing, miss out.
With 97% of Americans owning a mobile phone, texting is a way to reach a large portion of our audiences. Also, our inboxes overwhelmed with work and personal emails which can make texting a better way to get a message out to a targeted audience. So, what are some of the benefits of using texting as a communications channel?
- More than half of people respond to a text message within 5 minutes.
- 98% of text messages are opened.
- There is an 80% average click through rate.
Many businesses are using SMS to notify the people in our audiences about sales, send appointment reminders, and share when a new product launches. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that you got a text from a brand in the past few days.
So, how can arts organizations utilize SMS as a channel in a holistic multi-channel communications campaign? Here are some ideas on when sending a text can be effective:
- When single tickets go on sale
- Alerting patrons that a subscription or membership renewal has arrived in their mailbox
- A reminder about an event happening that day for which they have tickets
- A notice about an unexpected traffic or parking situation that may effect travel time to an event
- Sending a post-performance survey (that is mobile-optimized, of course) while they’re driving home
- Providing program notes in advance that can be easily read on a phone
- While patrons are at your location, reminding them to post on social media using your hashtag
Just like any other channel, I don’t advise sending out blanket text messages. Rather, using them for very purposeful and timely communications can be very effective.
There are quite a few providers out there that are reasonably priced and have nonprofit discounts. My favorite for getting started is SimpleTexting. (It also integrates with MailChimp and Zapier which is a bonus.)
If you’ve not yet tried texting, you may want to give it a go in 2022. If your organization already uses it, I’d love to know how it’s going — share your thoughts in the comments below!