5 Myths Debunked: Cold Texting

We text all the time. My previous gym instructor often said, “I try to run into people who text and walk at the same time. On purpose. It’s really fun!”

Enough said. If so many people text, then why is it still new in a business context?

On a daily basis, I speak with many amazing marketing and sales leaders. While some are eager to directly reach their target audience via text, some rightfully feel that people don’t like to get cold texts from businesses.


What is the cause of this perception?

You’re likely have gotten texts from various businesses — and I bet they sounded robotic or spammy at best. If you replied, you probably did not hear back. Or if you did hear back, maybe it was some automatic reply that did not make sense at all.

Over time, this created a false perception that people did not like to get texts from businesses, unless they signed up for it. That is simply not true. People don’t like getting robotic-sounding texts. We all want to be treated like human beings.

Technologically, texting hadn’t been innovated enough to facilitate genuine two-way conversations at scale — well, until now. Here’s why cold texting works.

1. People are curious

Contrary to common perception, people who know your brand welcome outreach via text. As Selene Cruz, CEO of Archer Brighton says,

“When I get a text from my favorite retailers, I don’t think about if I signed up for their texts or not. Instead, the incoming message sound makes me look instantly and my curiosity leads me to always click. It’s a short, quick welcoming distraction.”

Hmm.. Is that right?

2. Only 3% will opt-out

Yes. We have seen many cold texting campaigns, and people who did not want to get texts anymore were only 3% of the recipients. This opt-out rate is comparable to email marketing opt-out rate.

How could this be?

3. 6% of the people will reply or clickthrough

Statistically, we have found that you will get approximately 6% clickthrough rate when you cold text. This is significantly higher than social media, email marketing, or Google ads. Why? Texting is not crowded yet, so you can get undivided attention of the audience.

So how can you engage people in a meaningful way without sounding spammy or robotic?

4. People like entertainment

Why did Pokémon Go become an overnight sensation? It’s continuously interactive. Instead of watching Pokémons videos or collecting cards, people can now live in a Pokémon world!

It is an interaction based on a story line — one that cleverly integrates into people’s actual lives.

In a world that is flooded with all types of advertisements, the standard for engagement has risen to a new level. It is now the act of combining virtual and physical realities that truly engage people.

Now apply this to text marketing. Texting has to follow a story line. Imagine being able to have a two-way conversation with Pikachu, Stephen Curry, Darth Vader… That’s the work my company is doing with movie studios, but most businesses are not movie studios.

What does this mean for most businesses? Let’s take a solid sales text example.

Try comparing this

“GEICO: Summer special deals on home insurance. Current auto insurance holders ONLY. Reply QUOTE to find more.”

to this

“Hi, this is Brian from Geico. How are you doing?”
“Fine thanks.”
“How are you finding things with your auto insurance?”
“It’s been good, thank you”
“We are offering a special deal on home insurance for our tier 1 customers, would you like me to tell you more?”
“Sure yes”

See the difference?

5. Cold texting can be legal

This may be the biggest myth that exists in the text marketing world.

Mobile opt-in is only required for automatic dialing system. As long as you are not using a tool that qualifies under the legal definition of an automatic dialing system, you do not need opt-ins.

However, you do want to be extremely selective in your targeting to make sure you are reaching out to the right people at the right time.


There you go.

Never considered cold texting as part of your sales and marketing strategy? Now is the time to join the trend, before every business starts texting. We’re happy to offer advice for your texting program.

Jessica Lee