Text messaging is a ubiquitous facet of personal communications. According to Pew Research, smartphone ownership jumped from 35% in 2011 to 77% in 2018. And 97% of smartphone users text “regularly.” That includes any type of text messaging, whether professional or personal. If you manage registration for classes and training offerings, you may wonder if text messaging should become a regular part of communicating with registrants before and after a class.
To answer that, start with these questions:
- Do you ever have last minute changes like cancellations or postponements due to weather or other issues? Registrants may not see an email until it’s too late.
- Do your registrants sign up with their work email addresses? If a last-minute message needs to be sent the night before a class begins, attendees may not receive it in time.
- Do you have a significant number of no shows even though you send email reminders? Some registrants may be less likely to ignore the same reminders sent via text.
- Have you asked attendees via surveys if they would like to receive communications via text? You may find many would prefer the option of receiving text rather than emails.
Higher Read Rates
Research into text messaging for marketing purposes indicates as much as 99% of texts are opened. That compares to about 50% for emails. Messaging via text is still a fresh means of business communications. Therefore, recipients are much more likely to at least skim a text message than an email. There isn’t enough data yet on text open rates for instances like training reminders, but we can expect text messaging to be more effective than emails for some program updates.
Persons who are not at their desks, and who use their work email addresses to sign up for a training, may go hours or longer without checking their email messages. Conversely, they usually have their phones with them.
Text Messaging High Among Most Age Groups
Smartphone use, and therefore direct messaging, may seem like it would be heavily weighted toward younger demographics. But text messaging is a common form of communication for most age groups. Pew Research reports about three-quarters of persons aged 50 to 64 have smartphones, and therefore have easy access to texting.
If you already survey your attendees following a class, consider adding another question that asks them how they prefer to be notified after signing up for an event. Not everyone will prefer to receive texts. If you add text messaging to registration forms as an option for reminders, however, each registrant can make his or her own choice.
Contact us if you would like to know about adding text messaging as an option for registrant communications.