Business SMS Messaging
by Jo Shaer, on October 19, 2011
Researching for this article about business sms or text marketing, I discovered the answer to a question that has long been bugging me - what does sms actually stand for?
Well short message service, to be precise.
Why use Business SMS?
According to an Enders study under half of mobile phones are smart phones but by 2014 that number will rise to 71%, with the trend for using the features of such phones productively rising.
And in an infographic by Tatango, over half of those aged 25-35 will have opted in to some form of business sms or text message advertising, whether by design or through ignorance.
Myself, I have one that comes regularly from a clothing company, telling me about their latest offers. I can't remember how I signed up to it and I never read more than the headline but I just haven't got around to unsubscribing, just in case...
What makes business SMS advertising unique is that you can specify both the time and the date a message is sent to ensure that you can place your product in the right place at the right time to match a customer's buying requirement.
O2 have already mentioned at the recent Google Local event that they will be able to monitor people's movements and activities through social media to ensure ads for a product reach a targeted customer who is clearly ready to buy and is close to that particular store.
And, according to an mBlox Survey conducted by OnePoll as cited by eMarketer, 71% of of UK mobile phone users would be interested in receiving mobile coupons while shopping in store.
Restaurants are already getting in on the action with mobile coupons for free puddings or glasses of wine being sent out to customers just before mid-week dinner times or other periods where business is slower. The offer gets made at a crucial decision making time and almost subliminally pushes the receiver towards that venue.
Hairdressers and other service providers can fill empty appointments with discounted offers if clients can drop everything and be there within an hour.
Both industries make use of reward programmes for loyal customers, as well as introducing new products or services... but they also ensure that the place to which those text messages direct customers is a mobile website design.
It's already happening in the UK with Honda timing a text message to coincide with a television ad resulting in a 12% click through rate in Honda users aged 34-54 years.
Opting in for Business SMS
However, with text message opening stats at around 91%, it won't be long before the email spammers start trying to cash in on what is clearly a very lucrative market - even if it is only 160 characters long.
It should be remembered that the same opt-in rules and regulations apply to texting - you do need to give permission by texting a keyword to a special phone number called a shortcode before a company can send you regular business sms updates.