Text Message

Text Messaging as a Tool for Behavior Change in Disease Prevention and Management

Posted by on May 18, 2010
Text Messaging as a Tool for Behavior Change in Disease Prevention and Management data sheet 3582 Views
Heather Cole-Lewis and Trace Kershaw
Publication Date: 
Mar 2010
Publication Type: 
Journal article

Mobile phone text messaging is a potentially powerful tool for behavior change because it is widely available, inexpensive, and instant.

This systematic review provides an overview of behavior change interventions for disease management and prevention delivered through text messaging. Evidence on behavior change and clinical outcomes was compiled from randomized or quasi-experimental controlled trials of text message interventions published in peer-reviewed journals by June 2009. Only those interventions using text message as the primary mode of communication were included. Study quality was assessed by using a standardized measure. Seventeen articles representing 12 studies (5 disease prevention and 7 disease management) were included. Intervention length ranged from 3 months to 12 months, none had long-term follow-up, and message frequency varied.

Of 9 sufficiently powered studies, 8 found evidence to support text messaging as a tool for behavior change. Effects exist across age, minority status, and nationality. Nine countries are represented in this review, but it is problematic that only one is a developing country, given potential benefits of such a widely accessible, relatively inexpensive tool for health behavior change.

Methodological issues and gaps in the literature are highlighted, and recommendations for future studies are provided. 


How to Write Great Copy in 160 Characters

Posted by admin on May 01, 2009
How to Write Great Copy in 160 Characters data sheet 8981 Views
A quick guide on writing effective text messages in persuasion and advocacy campaigns.

Be clear about your goals

In order to write effective copy for your text message campaign, keep two goals in mind that all social marketing messaging should achieve to be successful:

  • It should generate more new supporters or constituents in new areas or
  • It should generate more activities (actions, donations, etc) from existing supporters

Messages are determined by the goal that you want to achieve. For example, you'd communicate differently if you want to generate new supporters than if you'd want to stimulate a specific activity, such as making a phone call or a donation.

Trying to accomplish both goals in your message is hard and may make the point blur.

So, it's important that you articulate the goal of the mobile campaign clearly before writing any messages.

Strategic Considerations

Before designing a mobile social marketing campaign using SMS, consider:

Google India's Free SMS Channel

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Nov 16, 2008

Google Labs in India recenty launched SMS Channels, a new, free SMS messaging service for India only that may prove to be incredibly useful for citizen groups and NGOs.  The service allows anyone to set up a group of mobile subscribers to message to, or for a group to message each other many-to-many. A user can receive news alerts and blog updates via SMS, for example; or a group can group-text message to each other.

There are many commercial group messaging solutions in India where the primary means of mobile communiations is SMS. However, unlike GupShup, Zook, and MyToday, Google’s SMS channel is two-way allowing for SMS discussions and also enabling subscribers to publish to the channel.

The Obama Campaign Vice Presidential Pick: Mass Texts And Why It Did Not Quite Work

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Aug 24, 2008

The idea was clever:  Promise political supporters first dibs  of hard-hitting news delivered via SMS. Presidential candidate Barack Obama's much-anticipated vice-presidential pick was supposed to be sent to his supporters via text message and email first - notifying people who had signed up with the campaign before the media, before anyone else.  The buzz was on, and even though numbers are not released by the campaign, it is estimated that the campaign has now a list of about 1 million mobiles numbers when more and more people signed up to be the first to know who the campaign had picked as VP. 

SMS smoking cessation program to Launch in LGBT Las Vegas community

Posted by JSHolly on Dec 12, 2007

A first of its kind program for LGBTs in Las Vegas will begin this month. SMS and website support will be provided to individuals who opt in to the program. There is a 70% smoking prevalence among gays and lesbians in Las Vegas and So Crush SMS will attempt to lower that rate by providing indivuals with quitting tips and links to resources via text message on a weekly basis. "We're very excited about this program. One element that separates our program from others is that we will be individually responding to each incoming message. Canned responses will only be used to identify the group new opt ins are place in. Once in a group, the message correspondence becomes individualized." Jonathan Holly, Program Developer