The power of SMS in an age of Twitter

I use SMS more and more these days. Why? Because texting is personal, direct, and virtually guaranteed to reach the intended recipient. It's also somewhat secure, since most people can't (or don't know how to) forward SMS messages.

Over the past six months, I've discovered a great way to interact with my customers. It has been around for a long time, but it has only been recently that I've put it to good use. In fact, several of Alfresco's biggest deals have been closed using this technology.

Which technology? The lowly text message.

SMS doesn't have the buzz of Twitter nor, at only 160 characters per text, the length of an email. But SMS/text messaging has become my preferred tool to interact with prospects and customers (when not talking to them on the phone, of course).

Why?

Because texting is personal, direct, and virtually guaranteed to reach the intended recipient. It's also somewhat secure, since most people can't (or don't know how to) forward SMS messages.

For these same reasons, I use SMS sparingly but strategically. SMS is effective because everyone carries their mobile phones with them, and text messages push their way into the receipient's awareness. I don't want to overload anyone with my inquiries.

But an occasional, "Matt Asay here. We still on track to complete the contract by May 31?" or "Everyone going well with your Alfresco deployment? Call if not" goes a long way.

SMS messages found key decision-makers at critical junctures in the process of closing deals in my past two quarters. It found them and got their attention when email had failed. They didn't have to subscribe to my "Twit feed" or blog to hear from me. I just needed to know their mobile number and have something worthwhile and pithy to say.

SMS: have you tried it?

Tags:
Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Show Comments Hide Comments