During the late years we have witnessed an enormous development of mobile phones and smartphones. It is estimated that in US only, as of October 2014, 64% of American adults own a smartphone and as of January 2014, 90% of American adults own a cell phone (http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/mobile-technology-fact-sheet/). Smartphone owners — particularly younger adults, minorities and lower-income Americans — depend on their smartphone for internet access and 67% of cell owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating (http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/mobile-technology-fact-sheet/). Especially in health care, mobile campaigns can be very usefull by reaching underserved populations. Minority groups are more likely to send text messages than white population (https://www.mobilecommons.com/blog/2012/11/american-journal-of-public-health-shows-how-mobile-health-campaigns-can-reach-underserved-populations/)
A plethora of organizations are now using smart phone text messaging to promote actions or start campaigns. However, the results are not always as should be: To put a mobile text messaging campaign to work you need to think creatively and avoid pitfalls. The most important things to remember are:
- Don’t send me text messages every other day or week, we are not engaged! Most of us are busy people, who work, have daily activities, family, etc. Everytime that a message arrives I’ll check my phone, and guess what, I’ll be irritated seeing the same message in different versions arrive from your organization! Typing STOP, will be for sure my next action.
- Please give me link to a mobile web site in your text message. I don’t like to open a link constructed for a desktop to my smart phone; this makes me think that the sender is an amateur without respect for me. Again, typing STOP, will be my next action here too.
- Send me a link for donation that is easy to use. I don’t like losing my time trying to figure out how to donate to your organization. Yes I am busy and yes I feel that you don’t value my contribution when you are using labyrinthine links to collect my money. Show respect!
- Keep me inform about your campaign. Don’t send me very short or extremely long text messages. Inform me about your cause, show me in few words why it is important to follow, take action, contribute, make me feel inspired! I love to get a graphic or a quote or a tip. Please, keep it sweet and short!
- I would love to follow your activity in other social media, so please add a link in one of your text messages. I personally adore Twitter, I find it very informational and the real time streaming of data is a fantastic feature. Don’t forget to add your Twitter or Facebook or YouTube link to your text messages, it can really pay off! (Social Media for Social Good, http://www.amazon.com/Social-Media-Good-How-Nonprofits/dp/007177081X)