Mobile phone use has become extremely widespread, which means you can’t afford to ignore mobile marketing, according to an article on by Julie Knudson. In fact, 35% of adults in the U.S. owned a cell phone in 2011, and today that number is up to 64%, according to Pew Research. And, 90% of all American adults own a cell phone of some sort.  

With so many people regularly using mobile devices, there’s a big opportunity for dealerships to use text messaging to connect with customers. Knudson says, unlike many other forms of communication, text messages don’t go unread for very long. According to one consumer study, 76% of respondents reported a text message was likely to be read sooner than an email.

“It’s a very powerful means of marketing,” Nick Fruscello, president and co-founder of mobile-marketing service provider Mozeo told Knudson. “For the first time, it lets small businesses communicate directly to the hands of their consumers.”

How to Use Text Marketing

One way to use text marketing is as a follow up to stay in touch with customers, Chris Gentry, CEO of GenHart Software, told Knudson. “You could set up a message for three months out to ask, ‘How did you like your service?’” he says.

Another example Gentry provided was for a customer who was looking for different ways to communicate with customers about his warranty program. “Text messaging is an easy way for him to tell his clients ‘It’s time to renew your warranty,’ or ‘Do you need any other service? Use this text message for 10% off,’” He says.

Fruscello adds that sending coupon offers is a good use of text marketing and says that it’s a good way to grow your marketing list.

Think, Then Text

Before you start a text marketing program, be sure to identify exactly what your end goal is, Gentry says in the article. He suggests looking at what areas of your dealership need improving — customer satisfaction, growing your repeat business, etc. Doing this first will help determine the direction of your text message to be the most effective.

Knudson says in the article that you can’t use text messaging as a “marketing free-for-all.” Fruscello tells her it’s best to have customers opt-in and provide a way for customers to opt-out. This will ensure you are in compliance with spam regulations and that you have a targeted audience.