In a world where people are constantly on the go, mobile technology is gaining more and more importance, both to businesses and to individuals trying to simplify their lives. The more reliant people become on mobile technologies, the more necessary it is for businesses to alter their marketing strategies to accommodate these changes. Cell phone spending has surpassetd landline spending, and other mobile devices such as smartphones (including Blackberry phones, iPhones and Android phones) are as much a part of the mobile lexicon as laptop and desktop computers were a few years ago.
Now all phones, even feature phones, have texting capabilities, and businesses of all sizes can take advantage of the Short Message Service to connect with clients, customers or people within the community via SMS marketing. Instead of spending money on television, newspaper or radio advertising or using the postal system to send out bulk advertisements, businesses that embrace mobile marketing technology will see a far greater return on their investment.
The Mobile Advantage
Text marketing messages have a 90 percent read rate, over four times the 20 percent read rate of marketing emails, and this can be an effective way for businesses to get consumers to redeem mobile coupons or participate in offers. Combining instant deliverability, flexibility and high conversion and open rates, text message marketing is a clear winner when it comes to efficiency and ROI.
Text messaging allows businesses to recruit customers by encouraging them to opt-in to receive notices of sales, coupons, special offers and much more. Instead of wasting money on advertising that people ignore, businesses that embrace text message technology are able to communicate with people who indicate that they want to be notified of special sales, discounts and other news. The opt-in feature ensures that the people who receive the text messages don’t perceive the messages as spam.
In 2010, Sara Lee’s State Fair Corn Dogs began a multi-pronged marketing campaign designed to increase purchase frequency among busy moms between the ages of 25 and 44 who had two or more children. The campaign was centered on a giveaway involving 10,000 prizes, and consumers could text STATEFAIR to a short code to opt-in to gain more information on the various items they could win.
Of the users who opted in to the mobile campaign, 80 percent stuck around and the contest’s WAP site saw an average of 4.5 page views per visitor, which is especially impressive when you consider that the site consisted of only 5 pages.
In January 2009, Big City Burrito, a small Mexican fast food chain in Colorado, gained 300 new customers in response to a one-month mobile marketing campaign. Having primarily used direct mail marketing in the past, the company added a new aspect, a mobile coupon program, to the company mailer. Within two days, Big City Burrito saw 105 opt-ins from a local high school. Now, those who opted in receive weekly coupon offers.
From November 2009 to January 2010, the music act Owl City ran a text marketing campaign, attempting to grow the artist’s mobile fan base. Users who texted the keyword to the short code were given a Christmas-themed wallpaper, a holiday message from Adam Young and the ability to leave the band a message. Over the course of the campaign, Owl City saw a 52 percent increase in its mobile fan base. The response has prompted Universal Motown Republic Group, Owl City’s label, to plan further mobile promotions for the act.
In a time when there are more mobile phone subscriptions than toothbrushes, the utility of text marketing can’t be overstated. The most successful marketing campaigns mix SMS marketing with other tactics, but the benefits are plain to see. With response and retention rates that will make any marketing maven swoon, there’s no reason to ignore the SMS world.