Text-Message Marketing: Worth a Try?

A new study shows that customers may be more open to it than you think—and even frustrated by not being able to reach out to your dance store or studio this way.

Text-messaging offers a dance business the opportunity for direct, personalized communication with its customers. Getty Images

You most likely promote your dance store or studio via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and through e-mail blasts to your customers. But what about text-message marketing? A recent study shows that not only is texting the way people like to communicate with each other, but “increasingly it is the way consumers would prefer to interact with businesses.” The 2019 Text Communication Report from EZTexting found that more than half of consumers would like to receive promotions via text messages, yet only 11 percent of businesses send them this way. What’s more, 69 percent of consumers want to be able to text a business, and more than half are frustrated that they cannot do so. 

Reasons to Think About Text-Message Marketing

Consider these findings as you’re deciding whether text-message marketing is right for your dance business. 

Some businesses (maybe your competitors) are already texting their customers. 

Eighty-six percent of respondents indicated they’d received an appointment reminder via text, 67 percent a coupon or discount and 55 percent some kind of service notification.

We’re all text-obsessed. 

On average, people check their mobile devices five or more times an hour. Younger generations push that to seven times an hour, but even older customers are checking at least three times an hour. What are people doing on their phones? Mostly texting: Native text-messaging is used three times more often than Facebook Messenger and 11 times more than Instagram, the study found.

Text messages have a 98 percent open rate. 

Compare that to the average 17 percent open rate for e-mails. Half of consumers respond to texts in less than three minutes, the study found, and more than three quarters reply in 10 minutes or less. 

Small businesses that use text messaging get high engagement.

Despite the advantages of text, most small businesses continue to market mostly via e-mail. Those that don’t use text-messaging believe that consumers won’t like it or that it won’t be effective. But this study’s research contradicts that. Texts are more than twice as likely to be read than e-mails, the study found, and “businesses are more likely to receive a response to a text message than any other platform used.” Eighty-six percent of small-business owners who use text messaging “find that it offers a higher rate of engagement than e-mail marketing.” 

The Bottom Line

As your studio or store looks for ways to engage in genuine two-way conversations with your customers, it’s worth exploring how text-marketing fits into your plans. People are accustomed to increasing volumes of text messages, and texting is the thing they do most on their phones. “[They] want to be able to connect to friends, family and businesses efficiently by keeping their communications direct and to the point,” says the report. “Despite this opportunity to build direct, personalized connections with their customers, many businesses are unaware of the channel’s importance and have yet to adopt texting as a communication medium.” This means that, for now, any business trying out text-message marketing with its customers will stand out and be likely to have its message heard. “As authenticity and personalized conversations continue to set high-performing businesses apart,” the study concludes, “two-way texting will be a crucial tool for organizations looking to define themselves as customer-centric.”