Canadian Musician - July-August 2022 | Page 10




By Michael Raine

What form of marketing has an open / impression rate over 90 %, sits right in the palm of the viewer ’ s hand , isn ’ t competing with a thousand other things scrolling by on the app , and yet is widely underutilized ? The answer ( as is obvious from the title of this article ) is text message marketing . But precisely because the recipient is almost guaranteed to see the message , text message marketing must be done judiciously .

“ We ’ re really ramping up our presence in the entertainment side now , because there ’ s a big need in a lot of niche areas for digital promotion and connecting with fans , and that was why text messaging has become such a passion for me , because I feel like it ’ s a very underutilized form of digital communication in terms of a mass level . The apps and technology that are available now are phenomenal , where you can talk to your fans and customers and it actually feels like a oneon-one conversation , not just a blanket text ,” begins Sean Lewis , a former artist manager who is now the founder of Oklahoma-based Tier Level Enterprises , which includes a digital marketing agency , merchandise company , screen-printing business , and more .
There ’ s no shortage of app-based services you can use for text message marketing , including EZ Texting , Podium , Simple Text , TextMagic , and many others . The one that Lewis favours is called Community . “ It ’ s got great analytics , so you can see the open rate . I was always baffled because you look at traditional digital marketing and the open rate on emails is very , very small unless you have something really exciting . It can be less than 1 % in many cases , but I ’ ve definitely seen artists who get higher open rates . But the ability of a consumer or a fan to actually get that text message that pops up in their push notifications and catches their attention , there ’ s nothing like it because we are living in a very text-heavy society now . We all do it , and , I mean , we ’ d rather text somebody than make a phone call in most cases ,” he says .
At the same time , it ’ s commonly known that the impression rate ( how many people see a post ) has dwindled drastically over the last five or so years on all the popular social media sites , and that ’ s for both organic and paid posts .
“ These companies are getting richer and richer , and the more money you spend , you ’ re getting significantly less reach . It ’ s so frustrating because an agency like mine that spends anywhere from $ 50,000 to $ 100,000 a month in paid advertising , looking at the results from four or five years ago , it ’ s a day and night difference . The same goes with organic , too . Back in the day with Facebook and Instagram , you could build an organic following and you ’ d have millions of followers if you played the game right ,” Lewis points out . “ That ’ s why I love new platforms . Like when TikTok came out , you could get a lot of organic reach within a specific industry if you were the first to that market . I think TikTok still has some value , and LinkedIn was a great avenue . A lot of people discredit LinkedIn , TikTok , text messaging , and some of these things — what you could call ‘ uncomfortable platforms ’ in that they ’ re not used for marketing with them — but the ones with the best reach are not always going to be the easiest . So , my rule of thumb is , the easier and more accessible a platform becomes to everyone from a posting and content-sharing perspective , the less organic reach you ’ re getting .”
One of the most important things to remember and respect about text message marketing is that the things that makes it effective — that texts get read more often and feel more personal — are also why you need