This year and in 2021, “Read more” ranked as the #3 New Year’s resolution cited on social, rocketing up the list after not even ranking in the top ten for 2019 and 2020. We already know that 2021 was a record year for reading and book sales, and more people than ever are looking to either build a reading habit or find a way to sustain a habit they began during the pandemic. And last year, when we posted a graphic of a phone with texts from “my books” saying “psst . . . put your phone down!,” we were flooded with messages asking if these were real texts that people could sign up for.
This background gave us the spark for Read Receipts, which launched May 16. Read Receipts is a thirteen-week text message program featuring inspirational audio clips from some of our amazing authors, science-backed habit-building tips (pulled primarily from our two habit bibles, The Power of Habit and Atomic Habits), and weekend challenges that are customized to how many books users aspire to read this year. This is not only a helpful tool for readers but PRH’s very first foray into SMS marketing, one of the most effective marketing channels out there (95 percent of text messages in the United States are opened within five minutes).
A great lineup of authors have recorded audio messages for the program: Matthew McConaughey, Padma Lakshmi, Will Smith, Gloria Steinem, Desus Nice, Glennon Doyle, Judd Apatow, Rachel Lindsay, Emily Henry, Rick Martínez, Helen Hoang, Luvvie Ajayi Jones, and Emma Straub! We are supporting the program with a robust marketing campaign driving readers (and aspiring readers) to our beautiful sign-up page, including advertising on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and Google Search; an influencer campaign; and ongoing social, site, and email promotion.
We hope that this program will not only help aspiring readers build a strong reading habit but will open the floodgates for SMS (text) marketing at PRH. Sign up at prh.com/readreceipts if you want to take the course for a spin. And as always, we would love any feedback on the program.