TextID, a mobile-marketing firm based in Phoenix, Arizona, is now making it’s presence felt in the greater Los Angeles area. Based upon SMS text messaging, TextID has been able to grow exponentially over the past year, alongside the growth of text messaging across all demographics. Since being officially launched in August of 2008, the number of SMS sent has tripled from the previous year. The number of TextID users is following a similar trend.
Conceived by a long-time Phoenix printer, Mike Halvorson of Desert Litho, TextID was the result of thinking towards the future. As more and more companies were moving towards being “green,” and thus using less paper, Halvorson knew it was inevitable that a business like his would eventually become obsolete. So Halvorson acquired the short-code 555411, and had it licensed in both the United States and Canada.
The original concept was to have people pay to “lease” a keyword on that short-code, and thus control the content that gets sent back to whomever texts that keyword to 555411. For example, an apartment complex in Tucson, AZ named Edgewood, owns the keyword “edgewood” for $9.95/month. Now, whenever anyone texts “edgewood” to 555411, they will get a text message back including contact information for that property, pricing, the number of units currently available, etc. In addition, for those who are texting from a web-enabled Smart Phone (i.e. iPhone or Blackberry), a link in the response will take them to what TextID calls a Thumbsite, where the recipient can view pictures, thousands of characters of text, and links to other websites.
Although there are similar services out there, TextID is able to set itself apart from competitors through it’s ease of use, low cost, broad carrier coverage, and added-value features such as the aforementioned Thumbsites, message scheduling, and multiple user-access. Most important, TextID has the most memorable shortcode - 555411.
Originally geared towards small business owners who wanted to eliminate the cost of printing business cards and brochures, TextID has been applied to virtually every type of industry out there, large or small, from a custom steel fabrication firm, to real estate agents, to clothing stores and restaurants. “Virtually every business out there has a webpage, a phone number, and an email address, and we believe that due to the explosion of text messaging as a central form of daily communication, there is no reason why every business shouldn’t have a TextID,” said Grant Petrowski, TextID Director of Business Development. “It’s just another way for people to stay connected. And there is no faster way to get the information you want, than through a text message on our shortcode.”
In the past several months, TextID has developed a strong presence in the newspaper industry, as papers these days are looking towards new technologies to help them stay afloat. Several Phoenix-based weekly publications use TextID to essentially make their advertisements “textable.” That is, in addition to the information you see in the print ad, when you text that business’s keyword to 555411, you can get more information, store hours, maps, menus, special coupons, discounts, promotions, etc. TextID has been especially applicable to classifieds sections, as readers often would love to have pictures or more information to go along with the short “blurb” they see in the paper. With TextID, now they can.
Over the past week, TextID (textid.com) has taken the first step towards duplicating the success it has had with Phoenix publications in the Los Angeles market. TextID has formed strategic partnerships with both the Wave Publications Group, which controls nine newspapers with a total readership of over 1 million, and the Palisadian Post, the well-known local publication for the Pacific Palisades area that just celebrated it’s 80th anniversary this past year.
“Being used as an added-value by these publications is a great way to get our feet wet in a new market. It allows us to be associated with a mass quantity of local businesses who may have first been introduced to our service through their advertising with a particular publication, but are now promoting their TextID in all facets of their marketing scheme,” said Petrowski. “And as soon as others see TextID being used by an industry leader, that’s when they follow.”