Using SMS Messaging to Help People Quit Smoking
In 1948 smoking was the norm. 82% of men in Great Britain smoked cigarettes or cigars. About 41% of women smoked cigarettes that year too, according to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). Those percentages have dropped significantly down to an average of 19% of the entire population. Some age groups are higher than others, and women still smoke less than men. But it’s still nearly 12 million people.
And there’s no shortage of organisations trying to help those remaining practitioners quit smoking. These include groups that use text messaging as a means of supporting smokers while they try to quit. There’s quite a lot of evidence that text messaging can help people break bad habits, or make positive improvements in their lives. Here’s one example from George Washington University.
The programme, called Text2Quit, consisted of “automated, personalised, and interactive” text messages. The messages contained advice, support and reminders about different ways people could avoid smoking. The study found that 11.1% of participants were able to successfully stop smoking. That may not seem like much. But when compared to the 5% of people who succeeded in the control group (who didn’t receive the messages), the text messages more than doubled the amount of people who quit.
Britain’s Smokefree.com offers something similar in their Quit Kit. Smokers who sign up have the option of getting support via text message. The government has set goals for reducing smoking among the population (via programmes like Smokefree). By the end of 2015 they want to see 18.5% or fewer adult Britain’s smoking. And they’ve nearly reached that goal already according to ASH. (Here is a link to Smokefree’s comprehensive Resource Centre)
This is all great news for smokers who want to quit, but it’s also good news for any organisation looking for better ways to support their members. Whether you’re trying to help people lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, or stay in school you might want to think about using SMS messaging. So Health Clubs are closely linked to this topic and you may therefore wish to take a look at our Health Club SMS Guide.
Marketing for gyms and leisure centres is unlike marketing within many other industries. It's not enough to simply gain a customer and expect to keep them indefinitely. It's important to make every attempt to keep that customer dedicated and interested in achieving their fitness goals to avoid lapsed memberships and cancellations. It's in every gym's best interest to have a loyal customer base that feels supported and encouraged to attend the gym regularly. Failure to do so can result in members who feel it is a waste of money to pay for a membership that they don't use often enough. That's where SMS marketing can make a big difference.
In a report released last week by Nielsen, it turns out people want more than just to see a lower number on the scale. In their study, 75% of people worldwide plan to lose weight by changing their diet. And another 72% plan to exercise – that’s where your health club and SMS comes in.
A lot of the time, personal training can be one of the most rewarding jobs you could possibly pursue. Yet at other times, it can be dispiriting. Naturally, this is all part and parcel of the industry, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t changes you can make to your everyday work habits that will boost the benefits and mitigate the downsides. And top of the list of those changes are SMS marketing strategies.
Before the winter cold and flu season hits I decided to do what I can to get healthy and stay healthy. Last week I began a 21 day cleanse that involves eating lots of fruits and vegetables as well as taking supplements. A lot of supplements. So many that I really have trouble keeping track. But luckily the company that makes the cleanse I'm using offers support via SMS reminders.
Christmas is coming and with it plenty of opportunities to increase your retail sales or market your services. If you're a hairdresser or beautician, you'll know how busy you get during the festive party season. It's still not too late to create an SMS campaign for Christmas and the New Year.
False Hope Syndrome happens to nearly 90 % of the people who make New Year’s resolutions. People set grand, hopeful, but unreasonable goals for themselves. But if you can get yourself to focus on something specific you want to improve, SMS messaging can help you achieve it.
Statistics show that a huge 98% of text messages are opened within the first fifteen minutes of being received, so it's little wonder that sports organisations and fitness centres have been looking to take advantage of a potentially lucrative market.
No-shows are a serious issue in dental offices. Some surveys estimate they account for as much as 10% of appointments, resulting in thousands of pounds lost each year. Many practices send reminders via post or email, but simple appointment reminders aren't always that effective. Not only is there a loss of revenue, but other negative side effects as well.