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Text as a Response Mechanism Has Arrived

16 May, 2017 By: Alan Rudnick

The idea of adding a texting option to a direct response advertisement’s call-to-action has been met with swift and enthusiastic acceptance from the marketing community. Is it any wonder? The ability for consumers to virtually and instantly raise their hands by engaging with a marketer using text is a modern and ubiquitous form of communication that is easier than typing in a URL or dialing a toll-free telephone number. In a world of harried and distracted consumers, it provides a convenient and efficient path that gives advertisers many powerful advantages:

  • Texting Is Instinctive: Examine your own behavior. How often do you use text to get information you want quickly and efficiently? Why? Because, in many cases, text has become the most expedient way of getting what you want in the moment. That explains why 97 percent of Americans use it at least once a day according to the PewResearchCenter. In simple terms, texting is arguably the most powerful means of hunting and gathering ever created; a practice that is an essential impulse and part of human DNA.
  • Texting Knifes Through Clutter: The Information Age has created a world where we are inundated by information; therefore, we resort to shortcuts that enable us to sift through the sea of data and uncover what is meaningful to us. Text allows prospects to bypass search and opens a direct line to advertisers with whom they wish to engage. This inoculates marketers from having their leads hijacked by competitors via search and is alignment with consumer preferences.
  • Texting Allows Marketers to Occupy Rarified Space: Again, think about how often and how quickly you respond to an incoming text message. An advertiser who occupies this space increases their chances of reciprocal action because the text screen is less cluttered and possesses a quality of urgency that an app does not necessarily have.
  • Texting Enables Marketers to Strike When Interest Is Most Heightened: Texting may very well change brainwave patterns. According to a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, researchers detected a never-before-seen “texting rhythm” among 20 percent of the participants. Some have suggested that his may explain why we feel a sense of urgency or excitement when we are sending or receiving a text. According to SlickText, texts are read in an average of less than five seconds. For marketers, this moment of compulsion may be akin to one where a consumer is ready to pull the trigger on a home shopping purchase or participate in an eBay auction. It could very well explain why, in some cases, text is returning media efficiency ratios in the double digits.

As Aziz Ansari, humorist and author of “Modern Love,” has observed, “We have two selves: a real-world self and a phone self…” As anyone who has ever had a significant other shout at them while they are glued to their smartphone screen knows, often times that “phone self” is engaged in something that is more compelling than the world in which they are physically present.

Perhaps it is because the internet and its ability to perpetuate instant gratification has a narcotic, even aphrodisiac, effect. So, while the ability to conduct online research about products and services has arguably ushered in an era where every purchase is a considered purchase, text is proving to be a powerful accelerator of the process.

Nonetheless, text cannot be approached casually. Success in text requires an easy-to-recall short code and a compelling offer in order to deliver optimal results. So, for example stirring an audience to text the word INFO to 2-4-6-8-10 is easy to recall and simple to do. Therefore, if you agree that text as a response mechanism is a concept whose day has come, then, with all due respect and a nod and a wink, that is exactly what your author suggests you do.

Alan Rudnick’s role as president of STIKI is a natural evolution of during two decades of direct marketing experience focused on topline growth using the latest customer contact technology. Rudnick has helped bring products to market via direct marketing and, in the process, has touched every aspect of the supply chain. He can be reached at (201) 888-2121 or via email at

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