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Are You Tuned in to SMS Marketing?

By: Andrew Lisa

 

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Although the first text message was sent 22 years ago—before the mainstreaming of email and the Internet—nothing in the technological landslide that has occurred in the last two decades has come along to surpass the popularity and efficiency of short message service (SMS). But as the following article shows, with sophisticated new mediums like apps, you can help answer the question of “What’s so great about SMS marketing?

Texting by the Numbers

There are 234 million mobile device users in the United States—that’s more than the amount of people who use Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest combined. Seventy-four percent of Americans—or 174 million of us—text daily. Every day, Americans send 6.4 billion texts.

But that’s just raw data. What does this sheer volume of texts mean for mobile marketers?

Well, if people do text, what don’t they do? Eighty-eight percent of emails are never opened. 84 percent of posts in Facebook feeds are never read and 71 percent of Tweets go unseen. But an astounding 98 percent of texts are opened and read within a few minutes.

SMS: Marketing Gold

Statistics aside, there are countless reasons that small business marketers simply can’t ignore SMS. First and foremost, speed. It is quicker, easier and requires fewer resources to create a text message than virtually any other form of marketing.

The second benefit is, of course, cost. Texts are not only effective and easy to create, but the low price of SMS marketing puts it within reach of most businesses.

Also, SMS campaigns—by the nature of their association with direct phone numbers—are easy to track and analyze for effectiveness.

Business is Personal

There is one benefit of SMS marketing, however, that stands out above all others as being irreplaceable—even after 22 years and an avalanche of new marketing technologies: intimacy. The more and more dependent we become on our phones, the more ingrained texting becomes in our daily existence. Since they are directly associated with our unlisted cell phone numbers—unlike Facebook inboxes, direct messages or emails—text messages are one of the last bastions of truly personal communication.

The old, simple, original text is still the undisputed king of mobile marketing—especially if you do business overseas, where texting is even more prevalent. When measured by virtually any yardstick—intimacy, efficiency, cost and speed—the ubiquitous text message is still the most direct route between your small business and a potential sale.

Author: Andrew Lisa is a freelance marketing writer. He covers mobile marketing and social media.

Published: September 19, 2014
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