In 2019, we spent more time online worldwide than ever: the number of internet users went from ‘only’ 3 billion in 2014 to 4.3 billion in 2019. We sent 188 million emails and 18.1 million online text messages every minute. On average, people look at their phones 96 times a day. If you want to reach people, quite literally, where they are, it is best to send your message to their phone. But online, the competition for your attention is high: there are so many factors that demand attention, many organizations have started to communicate with their customers partly via other digital marketing channels, such as SMS marketing. Not a bad idea, if even Baby Boomers are now seven times more likely to text than they are to talk in-person. So why not also use text messaging for your internal communications?
Especially in times of crisis, using text messages for your internal communication can be handy. A text message causes your employees’ mobile devices to ring or vibrate and to show a message on the home screen, making this an ideal technology for organizations that want to get an important message across quickly. The send-and-receive is almost instantaneous; ninety percent of text messages are read within three minutes, according to TechJury. Therefore, SMS is an excellent medium to send out important information that needs to reach your employees immediately. However, like many communication channels, just because you have the option to send a text message, does not always mean you should.
Intrusive communication channel
One of the major advantages of text messages is that they feel a lot more intrusive than, for example, an email. It is not the umpteenth email in one day (118 million per minute, remember?!), but a fundamentally different medium. That is why a text message stands out. On top of that, an important email quickly disappears among all the other emails in your inbox. Employees may soon forget an email, while a text message will still show on the home screen.
However, these advantages can also lead to an overuse of these kinds of alerts. And as a result, the positive effect they have will disappear. If you send text messages too often, they can quickly become an annoyance and contribute to information overload. Not what you had in mind, is it? That is why you will want to treat SMS messages as ‘special occasions’ – messages with important information that need more attention than other messages. Use text messages to communicate things like an upcoming company event, a reminder before a deadline, and important announcements from management or policy changes.
Open rates through the roof
When you use your text messages sparingly, you will see that open rates are high. According to Gartner, text message open rates are 98 percent, compared to about 20 percent for email. So, for a good reason, organizations like Deliveroo, H&M, or Uber use text messages to keep their customers informed. If you send a text message, you can be almost one hundred percent sure that your employees will open it as well, and your important message indeed reaches your colleagues. And while you have their attention, you can use a clear call to action to direct them to more information that you couldn’t include in the 160 characters of your text message.
Text messaging for your internal communication reaches every one
The beauty of an old school medium like SMS, which is typically seen as a more traditional channel, is that it reaches everyone without people having to do anything themselves. Almost every phone, from the oldest Nokia to the newest iPhone, is equipped to receive messages. It enables you to reach employees with or without a smartphone, employees with or without laptops and email addresses, and employees with or without a dedicated workplace. You genuinely reach your entire organization. Therefore, when it comes to communication, text messaging has been playing a successful part of the larger whole for years at Netpresenter.
We bet that, if you choose to use SMS (wisely and sparingly), your colleagues will be thankful. In any case, they no longer have to make an effort to find important information, because they will automatically receive your text message directly on their phone. And in turn, you will never again receive complaints from colleagues who did not receive important information on time. Win-win!