Many people think of mobile marketing or internal communication when they think of business text messaging. But, SMS text messaging is a great research study tool as well. This article details why it’s an essential communication channel for delivering information to both study participants and research team members.
#1 SMS Text Messaging is a Ubiquitous Communication Tool
In order for a research study communication tool to be effective for participants and research team members, they need to have and be able to use the tool. This is where SMS text messaging really shines because everyone already has and uses it. According to the Pew Research Center, although not everyone has a smartphone, 97% of American adults have at least a basic mobile phone, which is all you need to send and receive SMS text messages. There is no need to download or learn a new app, and no need for a data plan.
#2 People Read and are Engaged by Text Messages
Research study communications need to be delivered, read, and acted upon. This is another area where SMS text messaging is superior to other communication channels. Text messages are received and read almost immediately, and there is no risk of text messages getting trapped in spam filters. On top of this, people of all ages prefer text to other communication tools, and many engage by responding — even when they aren’t required to, as this 6 month study in Australia found.
#3 SMS Text Messaging is Versatile
SMS text messaging is a versatile communication channel that can serve many purposes. For instance:
- Text messaging can be used to drive people to online surveys or reporting forms.
- Text messages can be used to push instructions, notifications, and reminders
- Groups of participants or researchers can be easily segmented in order to receive targeted information.
- Text message platforms often have APIs that support integration with other systems.
For more information, read Studies Show Text Message Reminders Support Healthy Habits for some examples of how text messaging has been used in research studies