To Text Or Not To Text


By: Ceci Dadisman

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?

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!

Ceci Dadisman
Ceci Dadisman
Ceci Dadisman is a marketing professional with more than 15 years of experience creating effective communications campaigns utilizing innovative, forward thinking methods. She is nationally recognized as a leader in digital marketing and specializes in multichannel communications campaigns. A frequent public speaker, Ceci’s recent and upcoming engagements feature national conference appearances at NTEN, Museums and the Web, National Arts Marketing Project, Arts Midwest, American Alliance of Museums, OPERA America, Midwest Museums Association, and Chorus America in addition to many other local and regional events. Known for her easy-going and vernacular style, she creates open learning environments with an emphasis on information sharing and useful takeaways. She is a member of the National Arts Marketing Project Advisory Committee and the West Virginia University College of Creative Arts Visiting Committee, and is a mentor in West Virginia University’s Creative Consultant program. She also teaches the arts marketing course at West Virginia University’s College of Creative Arts and is on the faculty of Chorus America’s Chorus Management Institute. Ceci was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from West Virginia University’s College of Creative Arts. She currently lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
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