Thursday, October 25, 2012
Text messaging has near universal reach. With text message open rates nearing 97 percent, text marketing is a great medium to break through the clutter of marketing messages vying for acustomer’s attention. 
With the near universal reach of the communications channel, the National Cancer Institute decided to utilize SMS text messaging for a far reaching smoking cessation program targeting teens and young adults. The SmokefreeTxt SMS smoking cessation campaign delivers messages containing targeted advice and encouragement designed to help young people. Teens can easily enroll in the National Cancer Institute program by texting QUIT to 47848 or through the SmokefreeTxt web site.
In order to drive sign-ups for the campaign, the National Cancer Institute is utilizing both a social media and organic search strategy. Consumers who opt-in to the program receive messages leading up to their target quit date as wells as for up to six weeks following their target. The pacing of messages is based on an individual’s quit date and the messages will run in both English and Spanish.
In connecting with young smokers on their mobile device, the National Cancer Institute hopes to more effectively connect with teens. According to data from Nielsen, teens exchange on average nearly 3500 text messages a month and is therefore the ideal medium to communicate with the cohort.
With the ubiquity of mobile devices and the high text message open rate, mobile messaging can be a highly effective messaging tool for health organizations of all sizes connect with patients and individuals from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds.
To date, the medium has already proven to be an effective way to reach individuals with critical healthcare advice and instructions. The New York City Department of Health, for example, used Mobile Commons to create a citywide smoking cessation program. Heavy smokers who received the text messages were twice as likely to quit smoking as those who did not. The results of the program showed the efficacy of utilizing mobile messaging to deliver healthcare advice.
The use of mobile in healthcare messaging will continue to grow. This includes establishing complex drug and behavior regimens among HIV patient and reaching the most underserved populations. Health organizations of all sizes can continue to use the medium to makes sure patients and individuals are following through with their healthcare regimen.
CallFire, a SMS gateway provider and cloud telephony pioneer, works with organizations and health agencies of all sizes to execute healthcare focused text messaging campaigns. To learn more about how your organization can use short codes and long codes to do a SMS marketing campaign, please feel free to contact our support team at 877-897-FIRE or