Texting Wins the Race


Consumers say speed counts when they wish to get an answer or resolve an issue, and 58% polled recently by software firm Winzip said texting and not is the quickest way to reach them. In spite of this revelation, 58% of the marketers surveyed said they have a difficult time getting a hold of customers. 78% even admitted to playing phone tag with customers.

The 58% reported almost seems like a contradiction to other results from the survey including the 70% of businesses who reported using text messages to reach not only their customers, but also their employees. According to Winzip, that number is up 3% from the year before. Another 77% said they expect to continue texting in the new normal.

Part of the seeming contradiction in texting popularity may be attributed to differences in where they were used.

Appointment reminder texts were the most popular in 2020 among 64% of consumers. Second were shipping updates cited by 48% followed by product or service discounts at 29%.

According to winzip, phone apps remain the favored for texts. 63% rated it their favorite. Facebook messenger was second at 15% and trailed by WhatsApp (8%), other (6%), and SnapChat (5%)

Here’s an opportunity for brands to further satisfy consumer wishes and retain their target audience.

Nearly half of those polled by winzip said they’d like the option to pay by text if It could be done safely and securely. Only 29% of companies polled would even consider this according to winzip. Yet 64% said they currently spend more time on their cell phones daily. 26% are on more than four hours each day. Another 35% said three to four hours..

Now would be an excellent time for brands to seriously consider pay by text. Pioneering this, if it can be done securely, could well give early adopters a good jump on the market

An opportunity for brands lies in encouraging consumers to text them anytime something’s on their minds. This can be promoted on websites, social media platforms, and other communications. 34% of consumers told winzip they texted a business in 2020 without having received a text from the company.

What a great way for brands to be available 24 x 7. Having Ai to handle the easy, frequently asked questions and assuring others who can’t be immediately helped that someone would be in touch as soon as the office opened will instill confidence.

Astute brands should increase their texting presence and capabilities. However, they also need to ensure that they’re in compliance with TCPA, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. More than a quarter of the businesses polled by winzip admitted sending texts to consumers who hadn’t opted in. TCPA violations can lead to hefty fines and any ensuing publicity about such a violation can seriously damage a brand’s reputation and trustworthiness.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

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