3 Reasons to Start an SMS Marketing Campaign in 2011

New Year's Eve Ball, 1978. (Photo credit: The New York Times)

While most marketers are well aware of what mobile apps can do they tend to overlook the fact that text messaging still reigns as the most popular mobile activity (and in most age groups the most popular form of communication, period).  SMS, unlike the ability to run apps, is available on nearly every active mobile phone in the US, from the most basic to the most advanced.

Aside from the ability to reach 90 percent of the US population via text message marketing, marketers need to know why an SMS marketing campaign can be vital to their efforts in 2011:

1.  Text message marketing’s redemption rates beat everything else.

There isn’t anything special about a text message that creates a higher redemption rate, it’s the simple fact that the text message is actually being READ.  While email marketing open rates average 20 percent or less, text messages are opened and read by over 95 percent recipients.  Obviously when the message is read it has a much higher chance of causing the reader to take action.

If you commonly need to drive your audience to do something you will almost always get a better response from sending them a text message versus an email.

2.  SMS messages are fast and personal.

Not only are text messages read, they are being read within 15 minutes of sending them.  The mobile phone is considered, aside from medical devices, the most personal piece of technology used by consumers today.  It’s with them all the time and therefore messages sent to their phone are read much faster than those sent to email, where the messages may sit for hours or even days before being opened.

This ability to reach an audience immediately is especially useful for creating instant offers or same-day action items like “come out tonight for…” or “call now this afternoon to get…”

3.  SMS marketing is extremely cost-effective compared to any other medium.

While some new forms of marketing, like Twitter and Facebook, may seem “free” the actually cost of committing time and generating content to be effective with these channels is significant.  The costs to launch an SMS marketing campaign are usually very low and the database developed from the campaign can provide a return on investment each time an announcement is sent to the mobile list.  Starting with just a few hundred dollars organizations can begin using this new technology to grow a valuable database from a call-to-action in any traditional media or on-site signage.

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