I’m reevaluating my thinking on text messages (SMS) for cause marketing. Previously, SMS only meant text-to-give for me. And unless you used SMS after some horrific disaster, or at a concert displayed it on a jumbotron at some major sporting event it wasn’t very useful for cause marketing.
However, the more I learn about text and the more I sober up to the reality of adoption rates on things like smartphone apps, location-based services, QR codes and other mobile gadgetry in general, the more I appreciate the simple text message.
Nevertheless, we should be careful not to oversell SMS. Hipcricket Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Hasen, a SMS campaign veteran, puts it nicely: use SMS for reach and something else for a “richer media experience” (e.g. landing page, QR code, mobile app). He also says that for the companies he works with SMS is best for special offers or time sensitive deals.
So while SMS is the knock that just about every consumer will answer, they’re particular on what they will let in.
Which brings us to how text messages can be used for cause marketing (beyond text-to-give). For this, I turned to Douglas Pank who founded MobileCause, a company focused on providing mobile solutions to nonprofits and companies.
Doug agreed that nonprofits generally think of just text-to-give when it comes to SMS. But it could be used for a lot of things.
There are a lot of good ways to use SMS, and nonprofits should encourage their donors and supporters to opt-in for text messages.
But to make this a cause marketing effort, nonprofits should partner with companies that boast a long list of SMS subscribers. The company could tap its list to help a nonprofit with communication, outreach, information gathering, activism and even fundraising.
There’s a lot of potential with SMS. Nonprofits should build their own SMS subscriber base. But another option is to explore the potential of SMS with current business partners and make a point to target new partners that are known for their SMS savvy.
I believe in the future of location-based services, QR codes and smartphone apps. Over 100 years ago, the early inventors and makers of the automobile believed in its future too. But good, strong horses were needed until the age of the automobile arrived. The same is true of SMS. It’s the best thing we have right now and it can do more than we think.
SMS is a good, sturdy workhorse. We shouldn’t look this gift horse in the mouth.
This post originally appeared on http://www.selfishgiving.com and is reposted her with persmission.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.