Why use SMS Marketing

13 February 2012

Mobile marketing is increasing rapidly; it is predicted that by 2015 the UK mobile advertising market will be valued at £992m (FirstPartner), up from £83m in 2010 (IAB).

There is a lot you can do with mobile marketing aside from bulk text advertising, including using the mobile web for search and banner ads, or placing adverts within the design of apps and games. You can use QR barcodes which can be scanned by Smartphone’s for deals or information, or there’s location based marketing which uses GPS or other software packages to target mobile users with ads within certain areas, with Bluetooth proximity marketing used in a similar way. Also, there’s MMS-based messaging where video, audio or pictures are sent to mobiles and there’s pay per call ads, where a number can be placed on an online mobile ad and you pay per phone call, much like pay per click ads.

So why use SMS-based advertising?

58% of mobile operators believe that use of SMS and MMS will be in the top 3 marketing tools by 2015 as currently, SMS is top dog in the mobile world; it is the most popular use for mobile phones almost everywhere in the world (Econsultancy.com).

Standard SMS is still more popular than Mobile Instant Messaging (mobithinking.com) as it is compatible with every mobile, and many mobile networks offer free SMS in their contracts or top-up deals, making it an incredibly accessible form of communication for mobile users. SMS advertising is more cost effective both for the marketer and the end user; MMS is more costly than SMS as is going online with mobiles, as not many mobile users have a high or unlimited data allowance.

It’s hard to resist reading a text message, so the read-rates of SMS campaigns are incredibly high and usually get between a 5% and 25% response rate (Econsultancy.com). Opt-in SMS campaigns get the best results of all mobile marketing techniques in both the UK and France, where the most popular use for phones are sending a text and playing games (mobithinking.com).

There’s more to SMS than you might think

While coupons are a very effective use of SMS advertising, there’s much more that you can do. Two-way communication is easy with SMS marketing and interacting with your audience, or using the techniques described in our Measurable SMS Marketing Guide, to help to build consumer relationships and loyalty. Using short codes, you can ask people to take part in a survey or select a category which they would like you to send more information on, rather than sending out everything or something they’re not interested in which may annoy them. You can put links to your mobile website in the text message so your customers can find more information about you or a new product launch for example, or you can invite people to send in ideas by providing an email address. These are just a few of the alternatives to coupon sending which you can offer by sending bulk texts.

Bulk SMS marketing is a cost effective way to advertise and interact with your consumers which is set to grow over the next few years. It is a very personal way to connect as people usually keep their mobiles with them at all times and they are hard to live without, managed well, SMS campaigns can get marketers great results and build lasting relationships with consumers.

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