I have taken a head first leap into the world of text marketing and have come away with an astonishing realization…. It works! It’s easy to buy-in to the statistics and the pundits that spew the numbers that tell us it works. But its another thing to speak to the people who are actually using it and deploying it and hearing their excitement and their actual results.

But before we go there, let’s look at some of the statistics. First, think about how many promotional EMAIL lists you have opted into over the last few weeks/months. The problem with this medium is the average user receives 100’s of SPAM emails each week, which means the emails you opted into are more than likely lost or become part of the “noise” within your inbox. Even with that being stated, email marketing to an opted-in subscriber list usually hovers around a 25-28% open rate. Meanwhile text marketing to an opt-in list is shown to experience up to a 98% open rate! That’s astonishing. But it makes sense. Considering researches at IDC and Facebook recently stated in a study that eight out of ten, 18 to 44-year-old humans have their phone with them 22 hours out of 24 each day.

Something else to consider, according to Mobile Marketing Watch, there are currently almost seven billion active mobile subscriptions across the globe. Compare that to just 2.5 billion email users, and SMS or MMS marketing suddenly becomes the obvious choice over more traditional method of email marketing.

In addition to gaining an incredible reach, engaging consumers by text is also more likely to generate leads. As mentioned above, approximately 98 percent of texts are opened, and 90 percent are read within three minutes. It’s not hard to see why.

So maybe you are even more old school and enjoy creating pony express mailers and coupons? Text marketing comes out on top of that as well. According to researchers at eMarketer, would-be consumers are ten times more likely to redeem a brand offer made via mobile versus a traditional print coupon. The number of mobile coupon users has more than tripled in recent years, with roughly 54 million consumers responding to SMS or MMS offers every year.

Are you convinced yet?

Here is a little more for you to chew on. As the ‘secret’ gets out, more and more mobile phones will be buzzing and ringing with coupons and offers from multiple retail locations. The key for your marketing effort is to find a provider that helps you stand out from the crowd. How do you do that you may ask? Remedial text marketing 101 goes like this…. SMS text is a service that allows you to text a simple text message with a total character limit of roughly 160 characters. This can be very limiting. And whether it comes from you or your competitor the message looks very similar. Where it gets fun is with MMS text. MMS text allows you to upload images and .gif files and separates you from the those using SMS. Your color logo, your smiling face perhaps and your offers on your coupon to entice your opt-in subscribers to come see you today.

The key is to find a provider that provides MMS text and not the limiting SMS only. The price is slightly more for MMS vs. SMS, but my bet is you will see your increased redemptions will more than make up for the cost difference.

Visit www.sprout.online to see a service that not only lets you choose between SMS and MMS messages, but also helps you create mobile coupons, surveys and landing pages to wow your customers. Also, you can create custom ‘keywords’ to solicit new folks to opt-in to your mobile text club for additional promotions and discounts. Simply tell them to text ‘[ENTER YOUR KEYWORD]’ to 411669 and POW! you have a new opt-in customer.

Sprout’s sister company SimpliSmarter, www.simplismarter.com offers the same solution. So, depending on what vertical your retail location focuses on, will determine which service you should try.

If you are not text marketing yet, you are missing out on the next best thing, and as you know, as soon as your grandmother starts talking about it, it will be too late. FYI….. As far as I know Grandma is still out in the cold, so act fast before she hears the whispers!

Good luck!