OpenMarket’s recent research into mobile preferences is one of those studies that only confirms what we already knew: millennials overwhelmingly prefer text messages to voice calls when communicating via mobile phones.
According to the study, 75% of millennials would rather text than talk. This is important information for mobile marketers, for whom millennials are such a key demographic. It’s also, undoubtedly, very good news. After all, based solely on the binary choice between making a phone call and sending a text, young people plump for SMS most of the time. It seems fair to assume that, when engaging with brands, millennials will be even more likely to opt for texting rather than answering a call. For mobile marketing campaign managers holding the purse strings, an SMS messaging strategy is a much more attractive option than a call blast. It’s considerably cheaper and far more effective.
And yet, many businesses are dragging their feet when it comes to adopting SMS-focused mobile marketing tactics. Not only is a voice call campaign going to yield poorer results, it will have diminishing returns over the coming years - the mobile revolution is not going to be reversed any time soon.
If you don’t understand why millennials are so attracted to texting, let’s break it down. Consider these 5 reasons for millennials’ preference for SMS, and you’ll begin to see why text marketing makes so much sense:
1) It’s Less Distracting
A phone call requires full attention - to the exclusion of everything else - for the duration. In today’s fast-paced world, multi-tasking is the new normal; SMS allows recipients to respond when it’s most convenient for them.
2) It’s Less Time Consuming
With the best will in the world, real-time communications tend to overrun. Running a mobile marketing campaign with text messaging at the forefront allows you to boil the message down to its essentials. By doing away with the greetings, pleasantries, small talk and - lets’ face it - unnecessary waffle involved in phone calls, both the sender and the recipient can optimize the time spent on doing the business they’re engaged in. Over time, the savings made by businesses can amount to a huge percentage of those precious marketing dollars.
3) It’s Less Presumptuous
A phone call comes with the presumption that whoever answers can and should drop everything they’re doing to focus on the conversation. For most consumers, this approach will not endear you to them - especially when they know that passive forms of communication like text messaging and email are available to you. By opting for a mobile marketing strategy and consigning the phone call to the 20th Century, you avoid making unreasonable demands of millennials - or more likely, a phone that simply rings out.
4) It’s More Effective
With 90% of all text messages opened and read within minutes of receipt, no B2C approach has a greater hit rate than a mobile marketing campaign. That’s goes for every demographic, not just millennials.
5) It’s More Focused
The limitations imposed on your brand message by SMS is a positive thing. If you can’t condense your message into 160 characters, it’s too complicated to be effective. Millennials have grown up with concise soundbites. Use the strictures of a mobile marketing campaign to your advantage by honing your message.