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Text messages and audiences: 7 best practices

Texting your audience is emerging as a very effective way to reach, at the moment, your most avid readers.

Are you subscribed to brands through text messages? Maybe Old Navy is sending you their latest promotions, or Uber Eats is letting you know you can have free delivery today.

But not many brands are using text messaging to bring value, content, to its audience.

In the past years, especially in 2020, many media companies have started building a text line that they used to send out timely, relevant-in-the-moment messages.

For example, the Texas Tribune rolled out their text line when winter storms rolled into the state. The text messages sent out information about fresh water supplies, weather advisories, public announcements, etc. In their case, this channel allowed them to reach people who might be in the middle of the problems caused by the storms: lack of electricity, internet outages, needing to preserve cellphone battery life, etc.

In Canada, Glacier Media is also experimenting with a text line since June 2020.

When they started, they sent 5 texts a week to inform their audiences about COVID-19 related information. They’ve since gone down to 2 texts a week, always with the goal to send out relevant, high-value content with each message.

Through these experiences, best practices have started emerging, which are detailed in a Michelle Ailport article posted on the Online News Association website. Here they are in a short list, but you can read more in the article:

  1. Identify a platform
  2. Consider capacity
  3. Consider your audience
  4. Be intentional
  5. Be transparent
  6. Consider promotion
  7. Develop a style

Each of these 7 best practices is detailed in Ailport’s article, which allows brand managers, media or not, to start thinking about how their brand could use text messaging for brand engagement.

Is your brand using text messaging? Is there some potential in using this owned-media platform? What could your brand text about that could be relevant to your audience? Our experts are available to discuss this with you whenever you are ready.