There's no denying that text messaging has become a mainstream form of communication in the United States. A recent DMA report shows that out of 800 U.S. mobile phone users surveyed, 70 percent responded to a marketing text message, while just 41 percent responded to a survey and 30 percent to email offers. Whether because of the novelty factor or the proximity of mobile devices to users, businesses have a big opportunity to market to a highly
captive, opt-in audience by using SMS.
Tatango provides a capable and cost-effective way to reach out to the texting generation. With Tatango, you set up an account and a group - this is the title of the text message your contacts will see - start inviting members to your group, and start collecting phone numbers. An unlimited amount of text messages can be sent with both the free and pro versions, but the free version does contain limited advertising. With the pro version (starting at $4.95 per month) you can eliminate the advertising and Tatango branding and offer a couple of interesting ways to get users to sign up.
- Keywords - offer users the option to text a keyword to your account and they will be automatically enrolled in your group.
- Widgets - create a widget and customize it to match the look of your site. You can then embed that widget in your website, blog or any number of social networks. See the example below, from a celebrity gossip blog.
Using keywords, adding additional groups and ad-free messaging are upgrades to the pro version and range in cost from $15 to $29.95 per month. Once your account is set up, you're ready to start marketing via SMS. Log in to your account, write your message and select individuals from your group to text. Click a button and almost instantly, your subscribers
The possibilities are wide open. Send alerts to a new blog post, coupon codes for a new product, acknowledge information requests or orders, provide a cilckable phone number and send links to your website. If it can be done with about 100 characters, you can text it.
It's important to keep in mind that the mobile device is a very personal item. Therefore, it's a good idea to include an opt-out in your messages. Tell your subscribers to send a return text of "stop" and Tatango will automatically remove them from your list. Even if your subscribers send a text in plain language such as "stop texting me," Tatango will find that message and remove them from your list.
Currently, Tatango is in private beta. But as an exclusive to Website Magazine readers, if you email firstname.lastname@example.org with "Website Magazine" in the subject, you can get one of 50 available invites and start exploring the opportunities.