August 19, 2016, by Sophorn Chhay – A successful recruiting strategy has to cut through the noise; the military’s intended demographic is besieged by messaging from other job sources and from commercial advertisers of all shapes and sizes, each entity hoping to capture its audience’s attention. To reach farther and work better, these campaigns need to be smarter, and to many recruiters, this means incorporating SMS messaging. A whopping 70% of smartphone owners consider SMS a good attention grabber. Here’s why texting is changing the way our military attracts our very best and bravest:
There’s Comfort in Texting
It can feel odd to think about military recruiting as a form of marketing, but the truth is that recruiters face the same problems as businesses that are trying to sell a company culture or drum up excitement for a new product launch.
All of those messages are better received when the sender and the recipient have some kind of rapport, and that requires reaching out to people in whatever manner they’re most comfortable with. For the millennial generation and beyond, that method is texting.
While speaking to ArmyTimes.com, Colorado Springs-based recruiter Staff Sgt. Julius Williams puts the efficiency of SMS in very simple terms, saying, “I have called all day, and they won’t answer. As soon as you send a text they’ll answer back.”
Texts Messages Actually Get Opened
Companies with the best email open rates may only get to just over 30 percent and snail mail is practically antiquated, but texts have a staggeringly impressive open rate of 99 percent. Most texts are also opened in under 3 minutes – if you’re a recruiter, the idea that your follow-up query to potential enlistees is more likely to be seen is pretty enticing. This level of success is possibly due to the fact that text is what the people demand; of the 73 percent of Americans over the age of 18 who send and receive text messages on their cell phones, 31 percent said they’d rather get a text than actually talk on the phone.
Continuity of Communication
While some recruits may enlist on the spot, many need time to mull over their options or talk over a potential commitment to the military with their friends and loved ones. Following up via text builds on the relationship a recruiter first establishes in the initial interview, and it opens up a line of communication that can make the applicant feel more at ease asking questions.
Delivering Reminders and Notices
It’s amazing how quickly life can delay or derail any job application. Text messaging recruits a reminder about an upcoming appointment or application due date can help boost the likelihood that recruits will follow through with the proper paperwork. Automated SMS messaging software can be put to good use here by sending out text confirmations when emails or uploads are received and keeping recruits up-to-date with everything from military news to new enlistment opportunities.
It’s Part of a Larger Technologically Advanced Campaign
SMS messaging can be a powerful tool in of itself, but working in tandem with social media posts and an increased online presence makes texts even more effective. Why does the military need to widen its reach? A decade ago, 40 percent of young people had never spoken to a recruiter; today, that number has risen to 60 percent. In order to find those people best suited to life in the military, recruiters need a large pool of potential applicants, and these days those people are frequently – and far more easily – found online. From Facebook to Pinterest to telling the visual story of military life on Instagram, the military as a whole is getting better at understanding how to harness the power of the internet to better frame its image and convey the right message to the demographic it most hopes is ready to receive it.
With 53 percent of American adults surveyed saying they still prefer an actual phone call over a text message, SMS is certainly not a one-size-fits-all solution to the question of increasingly effective military recruitment, but statistics and real-world application prove that text is a valuable tool for anyone in a recruitment position, not the least of which include those in charge of building the team that will continue to defend our country.
Learn more about military recruitment and the requirements for enlisting here.
Author Biography: Sophorn Chhay is the marketing guy at Trumpia, the most complete SMS software with mass sms messaging, smart targeting and automation. Jumpstart your business by grabbing your free copy of his powerful Mobile Marketing Success Kit. Watch Trumpia’s 5-Minute Demo on how to execute an effective mobile marketing strategy.