The Red Cross and Fast Food Chains Find New Use For Texting

Posted by on January 20, 2010 in Business News [ 0 Comments ]

Texting has integrated itself into a prime way people communicate today.  As a result, marketers are finding ways to utilize this means of communication to reach their target audience.  The most recent example of this new marketing tactic is the Red Cross, which has raised $24 million via  text for the Haitian relief.

The way you can donate via text is fairly simple, and the best part is no one has to send their credit card information through their text message–instead you are billed through your cell phone company.  In the Red Cross campaign a charge of $10 will be billed to anyone who is willing to donate (send this message HAITI to 90999) to help the victims of the earthquake.

If your company isn’t a non-profit there are other ways you can use text messaging to gain more exposure for your business.  Fast food companies such as Wendy’s, Burger King, Papa John’s and Dairy Queen are sending mobile coupons via text to consumers. People who receive these coupons simply show a cashier the coupon on their phone when ordering.

With more people using cell phones and smart phones becoming even more popular, web designers are going to have to come up with new ways to design for mobile browsers and for these coupons.  Because of factors such as smaller screens and less memory than a standard computer, designers will need to find simpler and more effective ways to design.

So what other advantages do texting campaigns have for a company? One is exposure to the younger generation.  If your company has been around for a while (like the Red Cross) it is crucial you reach out to newer generations.

Auntie Ann’s, the world’s largest hand-rolled soft pretzel franchise, implemented a texting coupon campaign during the past holiday season. Their director of marketing April Hoelscher states that, ‘Text messaging allows us to connect with our customers when they are fully engaged with our brand,–by encouraging holiday shoppers to send a quick text message to join Pretzel Perks, we eliminate the need for someone to remember to log on to our Website and subscribe to our email program when they get home.’

With non-profits and restaurants taking the first leap into text message marketing, it is still unknown how this new tactic will fair for other markets.  Graphic designers might be seeing new trends for their industry as well if this new medium really takes off soon.  So keep an eye out for coupons via text, it could get you a free soda or fries at your favorite fast food restaurant.

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