You may be beginning to see signs in stores and restaurants, billboards and TV advertisements that tell you text “hot deal” to some random number. While I might remember the phrase “hot deal” there’s no way I’ll remember the random number I’m supposed to text to get the special.
Case in point, last night while watching the Diamondbacks baseball game (yes they’re painful to watch but I still do), a commercial came on for Quaker State motor oil. It said text “Quaker State” to 67153 (made up) for a 15% savings on your next purchase. The problem was I remembered Quaker State but I have no idea what I’m supposed to text to. It was on the screen for a total of 5 seconds, not nearly enough time for me to grab my phone, open up my text message section, and type it in.
While the concept is absolutely brilliant, giving Quaker State the permission to not only send me a coupon but also market to me in the future, in practicality it didn’t work. Maybe they’re counting on me watching the game tonight, this time with my cell phone in hand, armed and ready to text.
Imagine seeing that on a billboard. Many states now have outlawed texting while driving (gee, I can’t imagine why). So the key to successful text marketing is having a short code, the number you text to, that everyone recognizes and remembers. Then people only have to remember what to text and not what they have to text that to.
Some companies are resorting to using a five letter word, for example Chase Bank uses the word “chase” or 24273. While that’s better, many cell phone keypads don’t have the standard telephone letter system. I know my older Blackberry didn’t. And let’s face it, we’re lazy. To try to figure out how we translate those letters and numbers just takes too much effort. But it’s better than nothing.
Innovative new companies are building their text messaging capabilities around a memorable number. One company has actually captured the short code 90210. After extensive research, they found that 90210 was by far the most recognizable five digit number on the planet. As a result they have developed a text messaging solution ideal for small businesses all the way up to large corporations.
So if you want to take advantage of the hot deals and discounts, either make sure you write them down or suggests to the business owner they look into getting a code that’s easier to remember.
Gary Wagnon and his company, 800biz.com, specializes in online marketing solutions designed to help small and medium-size businesses compete in today’s economy. The newest service offered by 800 biz is a mobile text messaging platform centered around the short code 90210.