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Back in 2016, and again in early 2017, I pulled out my crystal ball.
I polished it up. Then asked a very serious question…
What does the future of Text Marketing hold?
In 2016 I saw a number of things:
- The consolidation of the marketing industry
- Email performance falling
- Growing competition for customers
- Offline Marketing getting new attention
- Text Marketing use skyrocketing
- MMS message growth, and
- Nonprofits using texting
Then in 2017 I once again consulted my crystal ball and this is what I saw…
- Text message use growing
- Text messages getting creative
- Text message response rates falling (GASP!)
I could go line by line about where I was right… and wrong. But that would be BORING.
Let’s just say I got more right than wrong. 😉
Now at the end of 2020 – where things happened that NOBODY could predict (thanks COVID-19) – I felt the urge to once again look to the future.
2021 is looking very exciting and threatening at the same time…
These Marketing Changes Will Impact Your Business!
Nobody could have predicted the insanity of 2020… from the COVID-19 lock downs, to the divisive U.S. Presidential election, to the Black Lives Matter protests, to massive business failures, and the stock market roller-coaster. I’m not sure what’s next.
But, I know this for sure…
Prediction #1: Business struggles will continue and competition will skyrocket.
As I write this, it’s estimated 30% of small businesses in the US will close down due to the COVID-19 restrictions, and economic changes.
It’s scary to imagine 3 of 10 businesses gone. POOF!
Business owners will be on the hook for massive amounts of debt.
What nobody talks about is the struggles of the 70% of small businesses who do survive. Many are becoming zombie companies. Zombie companies are like the living dead. They don’t thrive… they don’t grow.
Worst of all, owners and employees are stuck in this zombie state.
They can’t sell the business. And many can’t, or won’t, shut the business down (either because of massive debt, long term lease obligations, or out of loyalty to their employees).
The small business simply struggles on.
Another threat, many don’t think about, is the businesses that closed. Those owners are on the hunt for new opportunities.
It’s the entrepreneurial spirit.
Sure, some owners will kneel down and return to sole-crushing corporate jobs… but many will search out new business ventures. That means one thing…
If you’re running a profitable / successful business, get ready for LOTS more competition.
And of course this competition will show up when it’s getting ever more difficult to run your digital marketing.
That leads me to…
Prediction #2: Digital marketing will get even more frustrating.
I don’t know about you, but my frustration levels with digital marketing are skyrocketing!
Some days I just want to pick up my computer and throw it through the window, while screaming “SCREW-IT!”
Take for example the simple frustrations of running ads on Facebook.
The Facebook ad system has become excessively complex, and just setting up an ad has gone from minutes to hours.
Compound the complexity with the fear you feel every morning wondering when your account will get shut down. My ad accounts were shut down ONLY 3 times in the last 12 months… I calculated those shutdowns cost me over $30,000.
Google isn’t better.
You need a PHD to set up and run Google Ads. The variables alone will make your head spin.
Forget Twitter, that’s a waste of money…
And Social Media… Just kill me now. If you want to connect with your followers, Facebook posts get less than a 5% distribution rate. Tweets on Twitter, less than 1%. And, unless you’ve got a well trafficked website – forget SEO.
Despite the frustrations, we’ll soldier on. But mark my words, frustrations will mount.
Of course looking for other marketing options isn’t a sure thing…
Prediction #3: Email Marketing will fail more and more.
When I started in email marketing, it was all about your list.
How many email addresses did you capture, and can you communicate with these followers.
I remember spending hours agonizing over the perfect subject line and writing and rewriting my email copy. Maybe you’re doing the same!
I remember sending emails to lists of hundreds of thousands and getting 30% and 40% open rates… and click rates that would make today’s email marketers jaws drop.
People used to look forward to getting an email…
Now email is a wasteland where you sift through thousands of unopened and unread messages to find the 2 or 3 you care about.
Here’s what scares me.
Most email users don’t realize many of their messages are never even being delivered. Our email overlords (Like Google and Yahoo) are deciding what messages we see.
If you really dig into your email analytics you’ll suddenly discover many of your messages never even get into the SPAM folder – let alone the inbox.
Use the wrong word, have a domain they don’t like, or god forbid, send from an IP address others use, and your emails are just vaper. They don’t even get delivered!
More than ever, businesses are leaning on email for communication… I wonder how many business owners understand email delivery?
This means one thing…
Prediction #4: Connecting with customers will become more personal.
Forget the days of mass blast email messages and billboards to promote your business. You’re being pressured out of the premium advertising spots by big ad buyers.
Just find a small business running ads this year. Now ask them, what happened to their advertising costs during election season.
Dollars-to-Donuts, every single one will say costs went up… and delivery went down.
You can’t outspend the BIG advertisers.
So, connecting with customers and prospects becomes even more important. It’s the personal connection. The live customer support, the weekday help on Chat. The real connections you can make helping and connecting with your prospects and customers.
So how do you do that?
That’s where my final prediction comes in…
Prediction #5: Text Marketing will be the channel of choice for Digital Marketers.
Nothing is better for 1 to 1 communication than texting.
Look, you’re not going to stop running online advertising. You’re not going to give up on your social media outreach. You’re not going to suddenly stop emailing people.
But what you’ll find is more and more important communication will end up on texting platforms.
You’ll need to be able to connect to groups, segments, and individuals via text.
Right now, text messages are not overwhelming like e-mail (I’m sure that will change one day).
Text messages are still read and responded to. (Read rates are around 90% according to some studies) Better still, the phone carriers are not blocking messages in-mass like email providers are!
Text messages are still welcome… and for fast answers to questions, nothing’s better than a text.
If you want to get eyeballs on an offer, nothing is better than texting.
What Do You See In The Future?
When I wrote my predictions for 2017, there were 6 billion messages sent every day.
Now it’s estimated that in 2020 – more than 26 BILLION text messages are sent daily.
Text marketing is seeing staggering growth, and as a business owner, you need this marketing arrow in your quiver. You need to know how text marketing works and actively use it for your business.
I’m curious, as a business owner, what changes do you see in the digital marketing future?
Am I on track, or way off base?
Either way, text marketing is a channel many marketers don’t use… and that’s a huge opportunity for early adopters!
Using Text Messaging For Your Business
If you’re looking for more info on texting for your business… take a look at Betwext.com for your needs. I think texting is the best way to market your business, hand’s down.
The Ultimate Guide to Text Message Marketing