Meg Scales is chief marketing officer of SlickText, which helps businesses market through short message service (SMS), aka text messages. In this Q&A, she speaks to the effectiveness of text messaging incorporated into events, virtual or live.
Q: What do you think corporate events are missing, now that they’re online?
Event organizers are doing an excellent job of trying to recreate interactive sessions, networking cocktail hours and dinners. But, we’re really missing the simple intimacy of one-on-one interactions that happen at in-person events.
Q: Why is texting effective for events?
Texting is effective for events because of the conduit for the communication: a cell phone. Everyone has one and messages are delivered to the palm of your hand. It’s also the way we communicate with the most important people in our lives – significant others, friends and family. Inviting a business into that space creates a more personal experience. Here are two tips for creating personal connections through SMS.
Automatic welcome messages: As soon as a registrant opts-in, you can immediately welcome them to the event, letting them know you’re excited to have them.
Ask questions to segment your audience: It’s likely you already have basic information about your audience, like they’re job title, location and company size. Think beyond this to provide value through other segments. For example, what is an attendee hoping to learn from the event?
Q: How can texting influence conversations during virtual events?
Q&A sessions during events are incredibly important whether they take place before or after a presentation. Attendees can ask the presenters more pointed questions directly relating to their own careers or business situations. These sessions are enhanced by using texting as a way to engage users in the conversations in the following ways.
Get attendees thinking by having them submit questions for the Q&A in advance via text.
Depending on how specific the question is, have the event moderator respond to texts privately, or share them more widely with the group for a larger discussion.
Use the information garnered from attendees texts to score them as leads.
Q: What kind of reminders/information is most useful for an organization to share in advance of, during and after a live event?
It’s vital for companies to make it as easy as possible for people to attend their virtual events. Sending information about how to join the webinar or where to find a session recording eliminates the hassle of digging through a likely overflowing email inbox. SMS can be used for nearly any kind of reminder leading up to the event (the who, what, where and why). For reminders during the event pointing to resources and even tech support. And, after the event informing attendees about replay information and how to sign up for future events.
Though these reminders are usually sent via email, sending them via text instead helps your attendees locate the information more easily than sifting through their inboxes.
Q: Any other use cases for texting during virtual events you’d like to share?
A final use case for texting during virtual events is gathering feedback. Incorporating constructive comments from attendees is critical to creating more great events in the future. And because post event surveys can get lost in the shuffle, texting is an easy way to reach attendees where they are.
The key to using texting in marketing is creativity. I love getting to see the countless ways people are using our technology.