Web-based e-mail users will soon be sending text messages to mobile phones. Yahoo! has already announced the feature for Yahoo! Mail users, reports eMarketer. An Associated Press-AOL study conducted with Knowledge Networks in late 2006 confirmed that instant messaging trumped e-mail for most teens. The e-mail to text link is important for marketers who target teens.
Teens preferred e-mail 3-to-1 over texting for exchanging information, according to a Harris Interactive survey conducted in December 2006. Now, e-mail will be connected to text, making texts a PC-to-mobile activity as well as mobile-to-mobile. Despite a preference for e-mail over texting, teens use a variety of tools to communicate. Making it easy to send texts through e-mail from any Internet connection increases the chances of getting through to them. Typing on a keyboard is easier than on a mobile keypad, so the change may also convert some former texting holdouts. Moreover, viral text campaigns may now be spread through the Web. Since mobile phones are personal, it is very easy to annoy users with unwanted or irrelevant offers. A text forwarded from a friend, perhaps straight from an e-mail account, stands a better chance of getting opened.