Mobile Marketing,

You remember SMS marketing, right? The Short Message Service (aka text messaging).

We discussed essential do’s and don’ts in a previous post, and revealed how one SMS promotion drove double-digit coupon redemptions for the IHOP restaurant chain.

Thanks to increased awareness of SMS marketing, and the near-universal adoption of smartphones and mobile technology, test-based promotions have become a popular and effective tactic for integrated marketers in all kinds of businesses.

Yet, retailers, restaurants, service companies and others that could benefit from it are still overlooking SMS marketing, perhaps preoccupied with more visible digital channels, such as email, social media and online ads.

Encouraging businesses to better leverage this “often forgotten goldmine,” Marketingland offers five prudent and timely reminders about why SMS can be great for small-business marketing:

  • SMS is permission-based: Before receiving your texts, users must first consent to being on your list. Giving permission indicates that they trust you. Keep that trust by respecting their interests, preferences and intelligence.
  • SMS is familiar and intuitive: Unlike with mobile apps, there’s no learning curve with SMS, and little potential for platform or usability issues. Texting was built for mobile, so smartphone users intuitively ‘get it.’
  • Consumers respond to the right incentives: In one recent study, 14 percent of people (curiously?) agreed to receive texts from a business that contained no promotional incentives. When offered a discount, however, the number of willing recipients quadrupled to 57 percent.
  • Read- and open-rates are high: Mobile Marketing Watch reports that text messages have a 98% open rate, compared with 20% for email. What’s more, confirms Connect Mogul, 90 percent of all text messages are read in less than 3 minutes.
  • Texting is here to stay: Never mind SMS being a twenty-year old technology, or brutal competition from other chat and messaging platforms. The appeal of SMS appears to be getting stronger. Today, seventy-five percent of people want to receive text-based offers, according to Digital Marketing Magazine, and 44 percent of consumers prefer getting product and marketing information via text than any other channel.

Incentives are the Key

Getting people to subscribe to your list isn’t automatic. Obtaining (and keeping) the coveted permission-based opt-in requires you to be creative with incentives to make them relevant, enticing and irresistible. To grow your list, we recommend working with a knowledgeable creative-services provider to brainstorm offers, promotions, games, contests and other enticements. Good providers will also have ideas on promoting subscriptions via
posters, POS materials or other in-store signage.


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MarketingTango is the leading online resource for integrated marketing. The blog covers a wide range of marketing tactics and their place in an integrated marketing strategy. Regular postings will include articles, ideas, tips, and real-world solutions to help companies of all sizes achieve their business objectives.