This is the second post in a new series, The History Of SMS Marketing. Read all entries here.
As we mentioned in our last post, a few critics are predicting that SMS marketing is dying. However, many believe that this form of communication is here to stay because it provides users with immediate gratification and it’s a great alternative to more expensive forms of marketing.
Molly McHugh of Digital Trends is among the naysayers. "It’s been a long time coming, but cheaper alternatives might be putting the final nails in the traditional text message’s coffin," she reportedly says.
However, Josh Malin of Ez Texting says, "SMS is still a dominate channel over marketing on phones; it is short and to the point and can be accepted by all carriers." (If you recall, our last post indicated that MMS marketing was limited across multiple carriers and therefore struggled for success).
Malin parallels SMS texting to email marketing. Noting cynics already have made similar accusations about the death of email marketing, Malin believes each strategy has significant staying power. While it may seem that e-mail marketing and SMS marketing blew up quickly then fizzled out, that is actually not the case. To the trained eye, it is clear that e-mail marketing and SMS marketing were so popular that their users grew exponentially – in turn, leaving little room for growth. They quickly reached a point of no return and, as a result, have remained popular and in demand by their current users.
It also may seem that the advent of smartphones is hurting SMS marketing, especially with the popularity of QR codes. But looks can be deceiving. Smartphone adoption is growing -- out of cell-users.
"Only 40 percent have a smartphone (and that's being generous)," Malin says. Furthermore, those who do have smartphones do not necessarily use the phone technological capabilities. The year 2008 marked the first time text messages outnumbered mobile calls. And as smart phone users are 7 times more likely to receive text alerts compared to a call, experts feel the technology will be widely used for many years to come, according to Mashable Business.
Here are 3 reasons why businesses should employ the use of SMS marketing:
- Wide consumer base. SMS marketing can open your marketing campaign and customer service capabilities to a much wider audience.
- Widely accepted. According to the 2011 Mobile Marketing Association Forum, 96 percent of all SMS messages are read and 90 percent of them are read within 3 minutes. Consumers want to receive these messages. Once you have received patrons’ numbers, send them invitations to special events, coupons and various offers.
- Quick and to the point. While 160 characters may seem like a limitation, it actually ensures that businesses maintain concise information in each text. Consumers are able to capitalize on the information provided in their quickly received message.
SMS texting provides marketers the concise, instant gratification plug consumers are looking for. Marketers understand that the need to be in a hurry has enveloped consumers to the extent that they demand the availability of SMS marketing. Businesses also understand that cell phones are the first piece of technology that users continuously have in their possession, making SMS marketing the quickest way to contact a consumer. Realizing this and running with it, companies such as Ez Texting have made SMS marketing available to companies, so they too, can appeal to the large, instant satisfaction hungry, crowd.