The same way the telephone replaced the telegraph and the Internet surpassed snail mail, email is running out of gas when comes to communicating with Gen Y.
Texting is increasingly associated with convenience, immediate gratification, instant results, friends, and fun. Email is associated with responsibility, work, relentless spam, and long-winded missives from boomer parents.
So I’m going to make a leap: If your business model falls into the convenience, immediate gratification, instant results, or fun categories (or all four of them), and you haven’t yet added texting to your marketing mix, it’s time.
Let’s look at some hard numbers to bring it home.
Papa John’s earned $400 million in online sales in 2007, and in November of last year rolled out a text-ordering service. Today, more than 20% of all sales come from online and text messaging, and profit from those channels is projected to grow by 50% a year.
WJBQ (Portland, Maine) just had its second annual WJBQ “Q Baby Idol” contest. According to a recent Mobile Insider article by Steve Smith, the contest drew 400,000 emails and 231,000 text votes last year. This year it saw almost a million texts and just 250,000 emails.
Mainstream marketers are also forging ahead with texting services as a primary way to connect with their customers.
Hearst Magazines has provided a texting option for its Gen Y CosmoGirl! readers for over two years, but recently teamed up again with ShopText.com to roll out text-based coupons, free samples, and contest entries to their Good Housekeeping, O,The Oprah Magazine, Redbook, and Seventeen readers as well.
Amazon recently launched its TextBuyIt service, which allows customers to enter UPCs and product names in their phones, compare prices, and buy immediately if they like the Amazon offer best.
Email obviously isn’t in danger of extinction any time soon, but a recent study by The Yankee Group is projecting 1.7 billion global active messaging users by 2009. Why not start communicating with your future customers now via the channel they respond to best?
As Paul Golding said so eloquently: “Email is like placing a letter in someone’s in-tray, whereas texting is like tapping them on the shoulder and saying look at this. . . .”
And if you need a translation of this entry’s title, check out the links below, courtesy of lingo2word.com: