Articles / Text messages as part of your communications strategy

Are you overlooking the potential of the (not so) humble text message?

Given the prominence of technology in my daily lives, it’s very easy to become preoccupied with the latest hardware and software and fail to recognise some fantastic opportunities to utilise existing technologies.

Technologies that many people might consider to be ‘old fashioned’.

One of those technologies is Short Message Service, or SMS, or as it’s more commonly known ‘text messaging’.

Any fears you may have around text messaging being replaced by other short form communications should hopefully be alleviated when you consider that almost 7.5 billion Global SMS messages were sent last year*.

Some advantages of using SMS are:

  • It’s fast and cheap to implement
  • SMS messages are accessible to both ‘basic’ mobile phones as well as ‘smart’ phones, increasing the reach of your message
  • It’s different!

Some typical SMS platforms and suggested uses of text messaging:


A platform such as this can be used to prompt and remind employees/clients of any preparatory work that is required, in a way that it ‘light touch’, mobile friendly and doesn’t adopt the ‘same old, same old’ approach of emails.

Many educational institutes use these tools to inform parents of any last minute changes to schooling arrangements. This could easily be repurposed to allow you to contact employees for business continuity purposes i.e. adverse weather travel warnings, change of event timings, locations etc

Text It

If you’d like to create an interactive, branching style situation but don’t require an over-engineered elearning module then this tool is for you. It allows you to create a series of pathways that end users interact with via SMS. These pathways could be used as:

  • a customer survey
  • a service support offering
  • part of a compliance training package


One of the challenges of ‘stand alone’ activities is that unless the end user gets the opportunity to ‘put it into practice’ – and quickly! – a great deal of information is lost over the following 30 days; research has even shown that it can be as great as a 79% loss over 30 days.**

Tools like Retenda allow you to set up pre-defined triggers based upon the passing of time that can act as ‘spaced reactivation’ of the key learning points. These triggers can be sent the following methods

  • Email
  • Postcards
  • SMS
  • A combination of all three

If you’d like to discuss how you may be able to integrate SMS into your current offerings, please contact us.

This post was written by my guest author Craig Taylor

Posted: 19 October 2013

Tags: Technology Supplier selection