Thought Leader Series: How to Appeal to Your Demographic via Text Messaging


Graham Jones is a Thought Leader on Internet Psychology and has extensive experience in helping businesses understand the behaviour of their customers. To learn more about Graham visit his website at www.grahamjones.co.uk.

There’s no denying the popularity of text messaging. Billions of messages are sent every year. But is text messaging more or less popular among certain groups of people? Research suggests that there are significant differences in demographic use of text messaging. Young people, for instance, tend to use texts to communicate with friends more so than family. Men prefer shorter messages, whereas women like longer ones. Older people use text messaging mainly for family contact. And all of this is important – and depends on your demographic.

Appeal to Your Target Demographic

A Psychoinformatics study found that the majority of text messages are sent by people who are extroverts. If your audience is younger, using words like “friend” will get you more attention, whereas using words like “family” will be more appealing to an older demographic. These, among other important findings regarding different demographics’ SMS usage, can help businesses run more efficient text marketing campaigns.

Understand Your Audience

Understanding your target audience is essential if you are to gain the most from your SMS campaigns. A study focused on using text messaging to provide motivation to people on a diet showed that short text reminders helped users be more successful in their weight loss. This study is an indication that SMS messages can have an impact, providing they closely match the desires of the recipients.

For businesses, this means understanding your target audience in greater depth so you can know their wants, needs, and hopes. Armed with that information, you can easily craft messages appealing to something in those three categories.

Are You Using the Right Language?

Language is incredibly important when it comes to text messaging. Some people don’t mind “text speak,” whereas others find it difficult to penetrate. There are those who believe that people who use text speak are less conscientious than those who write things out in full. On the other hand, younger people tend to prefer messages with “text speak,” as discovered in research investigating the use of SMS marketing amongst game players. Discovering what type of language your target audience prefers will greatly aid you in sending more appealing SMS messages.

Demographic-Specific Campaigns

Utilizing demographic-specific campaigns is a great way to increase responses to your message. For example, you could divide up your SMS list according to gender, and then send the males a shorter message than the females, even though the content would be very similar. The more succinct message would appeal more to men, and the longer SMS would be better suited for women. Doing this gender split would help increase engagement.

However, to achieve this, you will need to use a text messaging system to create groups so you can send mass SMS messages to particular subsets of your list.

The above studies are just a few out of the many confirming that SMS marketing works – but only if you produce messages that appeal to your particular demographic. So the better you understand your target audience, the more efficient and lucrative your messaging campaigns will be.

Want to learn more about understanding your target audience? Check out “4 Strategies for Getting to Know Your Customers with Mobile.”

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