Brands bet on texts to pique customers’ interest amidst digital marketing upheaval

Digiday 07 Apr 2021 04:01
9 of swords
April 7, 2021 by Anna Hensel

The messages app is starting to become the most sought-after piece of digital real estate among brands and retailers.

Marketers at e-commerce startups say they’re increasingly using text messages to promote new sales or product launches. That’s because they are finding it more difficult to get customers to pay attention to emails, as some customers have now signed up for email updates from dozens of brands after a decade-plus of online shopping. Additionally, the upcoming iOS14 update threatens marketers’ ability to use targeted ads on sites like Facebook. As part of the iOS14 update, iPhone users now must opt in for apps to track their browsing histories. If customers don’t, marketers will no longer be able to use their browsing history on past sites, like e-commerce sites, to serve them targeted ads.

Put together, companies are coming for people’s most intimate form of communication, amidst a slew of digital marketing changes. Because people still use it to primarily communicate with friends and family, text messaging is one of the last methods of digital communication that hasn’t been completely overrun by brands. But since it’s still not primarily used as a marketing channel, marketers are still trying to figure out just how many texts from a brand customers will tolerate. Bombard customers with too many text messages, and companies risk alienating with them altogether.

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