If you want to be able to reach just about everyone, SMS is still the way to go for mass group communication. However, not everyone wants to wrestle with the hassle or expense of SMS based promotions.
With a service called TextMarks, you have an inexpensive option for putting text messaging (SMS) to work as a marketing promotion tool. TextMarks revolves around a keyword – your TextMark – that is your group identifier. It also acts as a password of sorts for group communications. A member simply texts your TextMark keyword to 41411; in this example, let’s say my TextMark is “feedgrowth”. Anyone who texts “feedgrowth” to that number will receive my TextMark update, which can be a message or a text selection from a website. The latter I identify by giving the TextMarks system a URL and clipped text.
TextMarks mimics the functionality of an email chain, so group members can reply to my TextMark message with a single text, but forward to the entire group. And like an RSS feed, a member can subscribe to my TextMark and receive notifications automatically. The service is free, however, you will have to contend with an ad in the footer of your message. If you want TextMarks to be your workhouse communication vehicle, you can also sign up for a Pro account. The basic option costs $9.95/month, and you receive 100 ad-free outgoing messages a month and 5 TextMark keywords. Prices and message capacity increase by package.
So, if you want to use text messaging to track responses or reactions to everything from print ads to billboards, here’s a simple and inexpensive way to do it. Just sign up for a TextMark and include it the your creative. Then, when the ad runs, instead of wondering if your offline communications are working, you can just use TextMarks to generate and track your customer response.