Hospital Advertising: Increase Effectiveness of Ads with SMS Call To Action

Mobil Phones - Many Hands and Phones

Consumers are much more likely to respond to an ad using text messaging than visiting a website.

Hospital marketers have learned to add a web-based call to action to their ads. It has become fairly typical. But is there a better way to get results?

Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium advertised its new Fantase aquatic show with television ads on the 4 major networks. The ads featured a contest in which the viewers could register to win a hotel stay and VIP seats for the show’s premiere. The ads directed viewers to a website to register.  The one exception was one ad, which gave viewers the option to enter the contest by sending a text message.

The amazing results according to Mobile were that the call to action using SMS generated 325% more entries than the web based call to action. 52% of entries were via text message even though that option was only given on 25% of the television ads. 

The experiment indicated consumers are much more likely to respond by texting than by visiting a website. The reasons texting is more effective is because:

  • Texting is easier
  • Texting is more immediate-real time
  • A text number is easier to remember than a web address.
  • Texting takes less time
  • Mobile phones are almost always with the consumer.

For ads that have a call to action, hospital marketers should consider if texting could be used. If so, the Shedd Aquarium experience would indicate the response could significantly improve. 90% of all mobile phones in the U.S. are SMS capable and texting started outpacing voice calls as early as 2007. The frequent use of texting demands that marketers explore how to use it to increase the number of responses and get more immediate response.

It’s an opportunity that cannot be ignored. Why expect a consumer to go to a website to respond to an ad when it can be as easy as punching 5 numbers on the cell phone which is sitting nearby?



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