According to statistics, the number of smartphone users has grown by 36 percent from last year. This is in part due to Instant Messaging technology and innovations like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Kik. With messages that can easily be sent through social media in a matter of seconds, more users are transitioning to what is more convenient for them. It’s a simple case of out with the old and in with the new.
So what does this mean for traditional SMS and in particularly where it stands in the mobile marketing mix? While this may lead to reasonable conclusions that SMS is quickly fading into obscurity, the opposite is actually true.
Cons of SMS Marketing
Yes, there are some downsides of sticking to SMS marketing, which are often what people cite when championing more contemporary forms of mobile marketing and outreach. Some of the common drawbacks of SMS typically include the two points.
- High Cost – Each text message sent can run anywhere between one to five cents. This can quickly add up if you are targeting a large demographic and with high frequency.
- Little Room for Creativity – How creative can you really get when your message is limited to 160 characters? There is also no room for incorporating images and visual assets.
Pros of SMS Marketing
The following are proof that SMS marketing is far from dead and continues to propel businesses in the right direction by generating consumer awareness and sales leads.
- It is estimated that over 234 million people in the U.S. alone have access to a mobile device, and every single one of them are capable of receiving messages via text.
- The potential for customer engagement is huge especially when considering that 98 percent of all text messages are opened. In contrast, only 12 percent of marketing emails are opened, only 29 percent of tweets are read and only a paltry 16 percent of Facebook messages are viewed.
- According to a survey, 70 percent of mobile phone owners have stated that they would like to receive offers and deals through their device with 41 percent stating that they would prefer to have the message delivered through text.
Why SMS Marketing is Still Relevant
SMS continues to be the primary mode of communication when sending time-sensitive data. Phone and banking companies, for example, use text messaging to send alerts and notifications to their customers regarding billing, payments and account balances. Likewise, airlines may send text alerts to notify travelers of flight delays.
Other businesses use SMS messaging to deliver product news, announce launches, special offers and discount deals and sales. Furthermore, SMS can also be leveraged to grow a fan and subscriber base. Companies may also use it to execute purchases or garner donations through carrier billing. Some retailers and malls are even luring shoppers to their stores with offers sent through geo-fenced text messaging.
SMS Marketing is NOT Dead
Sure, SMS marketing may have experienced a decline as of late due to the growing popularity of social networks and Instant Messaging. However, there is little debate that text messaging still has a valid place in the mobile marketing mix. With SMS, your message is virtually guaranteed to be read though for maximum results, you must employ the right strategy in order to maximize the effectiveness to cost ratio. This means knowing who your targeted audience is and not sending a message every five minutes. Bottom line, SMS marketing may have taken a slight dive but it is by no means dead. It remains every bit as effective for targeting a mass audience in the shortest time possible.
Ashley is a freelance writer and an occasional guest-blogger interested in business, marketing, SEO and startup companies. When she is not working she likes to travel and read as much as she can.