Traditional marketing communications alternatives such as leaflets, posters and direct mail can be costly and time consuming, and in this digital age may not be reaching much of the intended market. In contrast, mobile texting campaigns or SMS is an alternative that’s not only inexpensive, but truly scalable at little if any increase in cost.
A mobile communications strategy works because text messages a very high percentage of text messages are opened within seconds of being received – a reported study from the U.K. saw a 97.5% open rate within 5 seconds of receipt. Where mobile devices are available to and used by most of today’s adult population, and SMS functionality is available on all phones currently sold, this scenario presents an opportunity to use a new channel for marketing communications.
SMS marketing is in essence instantaneous. When you send a message to your opted-in list of text recipients there may be a delay of seconds, or in the worst case minutes during high messaging traffic times such as on a Friday afternoon. Similarly the response will be within the same time period. This is a far cry from sending a direct mail piece for which you have to wait for delivery, reading and finally response. The ability to time a message also opens up the ability to send time-sensitive or actionable information, such as an offer to clear today’s inventory.
The costs of a text messaging campaign commonly include elements of setup, maintenance and per message fees – but when broken down per individual contacted are usually in the area of cents per message. When response rates are taken into account, these numbers have been even more cost effective than traditional media.
Text based mobile marketing does have its inherent limitations. Message lengths are limited to 160 characters in most markets, not including required words & phrases, which is room for about 40 words. In a positive sense, message length restrictions is one of the reasons why recipients open and find well written messages with clear calls to action easy to read and act upon. The limitations can also be overcome in the versatility offered by text messages that can contain a Click-To-Call feature or link to a mobile website for more information.
SMS marketing allows you to engage with more consumers quickly, at very inexpensive cost. Message recipients regard text messages are more personal, interactive and usable. Mobile phones have become an invaluable communications medium for businesses that want widespread reach. Marketing communication by text is therefore an up to date means of interacting with consumers using a technology consumers know and now use on a daily basis.
Tee Marek is an Account Manager for RadioTrafix.com, a mobile interactive agency specializing in traffic uplift through extending traditional marketing to new digital media including iPhone Apps, Messaging and Augmented Reality applications.