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Texting Consumers is Smart Business Strategy

28 July 2020

by Rebecca Love, MSN, FIEL, Vice President, OptimizeRx 

 

Sending text-based messages to consumers used be taboo, a line that companies were hesitant to cross to reach potential customers.  At least that is the way it was before COVID; like much else in the world that has changed, the way we conduct business and communication is evolving, and new trends have emerged as to how consumers want to and are willing to engage with content.  Take for example this article in the Wall Street Journal: “Texting Customers is no longer taboo when everyone is stuck at home”1The article highlights various companies, specifically retailers, that are jumping into the world of text-message communications to reach consumers  in light of the fact that texting offers open rates of nearly 100%, blowing away all other forms of communication. Life science companies have known the power of texting for years, but perhaps underutilized it due to concerns over privacy and compliance.

Compared with the average email open rate of 17.80%3; this direct comparison is reason enough for any company to consider texting as part of their brand marketing strategy.  But especially for organizations whose products/services can offer value to consumers in the areas of health, wellness, disease management or patient engagement programs.  In this new era of “virtual reality” where COVID has moved traditional business and interaction to mobile devices, consumers are rapidly changing their behaviors and are looking towards health and wellness as a major focus in their lives.2

"In this new era of “virtual reality” where COVID has moved traditional business and interaction to mobile devices, consumers are rapidly changing their behaviors and are looking towards health and wellness as a major focus in their lives."

Now, we aren’t telling you to go out and start direct messaging all of your contact list – there is as much art as there is science regarding text messaging and programs, including when, what and how a company should decide to use texting programs.  For example, OptimizeRx made the decision to use our text-based patient engagement platform to create a free text messaging program to provide COVID-19 updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the general public. Anyone can enroll in the program by texting VIRUS* to 55150 on their mobile devices. You can read more about this program here. The text-based program, which is ongoing, allows for consumers to receive relevant, short and factual information directly to their phones via text.

This program was designed utilizing a decade of experience by our patient engagement team to create and drive successful patient engagement programs in multiple healthcare verticals and initiatives, from medication adherence programs to immunization campaigns. The bottom line is that texting is a key form of communication to drive consumer engagement. It allows for a more personable connection with the consumer, than email.1 If you haven’t yet explored how your company can use text messaging to drive consumer engagement, reach out to our team here at OptimizeRx and we will be happy to spend an hour discussing and demonstrating how we can support a text-based consumer engagement program for your own business.

*At no additional cost if you have an unlimited texting plan. Otherwise, msg and data rates may apply. Msg frequency varies. Text HELP to 55150 for help. Text STOP to 55150 to cancel. Click here for terms of use.

  1. Texting Customers Is No Longer Taboo When Everyone Is Stuck at Home (n.d.). Retrieved July 16, 2020, from https://www.wsj.com/articles/texting-customers-is-no-longer-taboo-when-everyone-is-stuck-at-home-11588021778
  2. COVID-19: Fast-changing Consumer Behavior | Accenture. (n.d.). Retrieved July 16, 2020, from https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/consumer-goods-services/coronavirus-consumer-behavior-research
  3. Ultimate Email Marketing Benchmarks for 2020: By Day, Industry. (n.d.). Retrieved July 16, 2020, from https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/guides/email-marketing-benchmarks/
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