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The enduring power of TXT

and how businesses are using TXT to their advantage

On 3rd December 1992, Vodafone made the first ever contact via TXT. Software engineer Neil Papworth sent a message from a PC – TXT-enabled phones hadn’t been developed at that point – to Richard Jarvis, a Vodafone director. Now, either Mr Papworth was feeling very festive at the time, or he anticipated that the message would take 22 days to deliver, as its contents simply read “Merry Christmas”.

Over the past 25 years TXT – or text messaging – has managed to survive in a world addicted to novelty.

Fast-forward to 2018, and some might argue that TXT has lost a lot of ground in the popularity race to more advanced messaging services such as Apple’s iMessage and WhatsApp.

Which makes us ask the question: why is the value of the global TXT market expected to grow to US$70 billion by 2020?

Personalised interactions

Text messaging may have fallen out of favour among some consumers, but it still remains available for use. TXT is the only app that’s on every mobile phone in the world, working across all operating systems and networks – that’s a service in the hands of 5 billion people today. With far more people worldwide able to receive a text message than use an internet connection, TXT is now applied as one of the most effective methods for businesses to talk to their customers.

Today, A2P TXT (application to person TXT), is a form of B2C communication that is seen as a vital touchpoint with customers. People are often unresponsive to emails, and annoyed by disruptive phone calls, but check their phones frequently throughout the day. A TXT message immediately grabs the attention of the recipient, and this is proven by the channel’s high open-rate – 95% of text messages are opened and read within three minutes of delivery.

Confined to 160 characters, a text message is naturally concise, containing much less opportunity for extra content than your average marketing email. This forces TXT to be better targeted and more customer-friendly, which is positively reflected in customer perception – 91% of consumers deem TXT a useful messaging channel. With time-stricken customers valuing communications that are both efficient and informative, TXT is a key component of customer relationship management.

A truly global service

Businesses understand why TXT is an effective communication channel, and they ensure that it is still valued by consumers by guaranteeing that all messages are both direct and succinct. By making TXT synonymous with a clear call-to-action (e.g. “reply Y for Yes”, “N for No”, “STOP to opt-out”), businesses have enabled the simplest form of two-way interaction, with which customers are happy to engage.

From a marketing perspective, we see the TXT channel used by organisations for time-sensitive campaigns that need to be communicated to large groups of people very quickly. However, we also see a broader use of A2P TXT to deliver various messages, typically falling into one of the following categories:

  • Special offers, deals and personalised marketing messages
  • Identity verifications and the resetting of passwords
  • Customer service updates and urgent service announcements
  • Internal staff updates.

Gain your customers’ attention

TXT is a powerful way to instantly reach your target audience, regardless of geographic location, and is a cost-effective form of targeted communication. Vodafone Ready Messenger is an A2P TXT solution that uses Vodafone’s secure global infrastructure to help businesses realise this by removing all barriers to the full potential of TXT.

With Ready Messenger, communication is immediate and efficient. Businesses can schedule, personalise and track messages across a wide-ranging, or targeted, group. This includes using the power of TXT to remind customers of appointments (helping reduce revenue loss from no-shows), get customer feedback, and let customers know about promotions and deals they have running.

The text message has stood the test of time. Hardened by years of multi-channelled brand interaction, consumers often welcome the transparency and simplicity of a humble text message. And businesses are working to uncover more uses of a channel that's proving to be a simple route to gaining their customers’ attention.

Want to know more about how TXT can help your business achieve enhanced customer communications?

Discover Vodafone’s Ready Messenger solution.

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