Building a mobile marketing

Building lists?

Building a mobile marketing list should be done with care and good intention. As mobile numbers and SMS are very personal ways to communicate, people don’t want to receive messages from you that waste their time and are not relevant. By opting for people incorrectly and only sending them relevant and useful messages will they stay on your list.

Technically there are 3 ways to add numbers to your list.


  1. By a website for with an SMS opt-in check box
  2. With an SMS to a dedicated response number or short-code
  3. Manually


Incentivizing people to join your list?

To get people to join a marketing list there are different ways to incentivize them. Some examples are:


  1. Run a competition with a prize
  2. Run a survey and share the results
  3. Offer future sale and discount information
  4. Promise and deliver useful, relevant, and valuable information



As text messages are personal you should follow these rules.


  1. Personalize the message, add the person’s name.
  2. Identify yourself prominently in the message.
  3. Mention how they came to receive the message.
  4. If you are promoting a location, only deliver to that location.


The idea here is to collect a name and a postcode when you collect your data. By collecting this information you will give your recipient a much better experience and they will be less likely to opt-out of your list.

Allowing users to opt-out

By law, a commercial text message must contain an opt-out method. This can be a phone number to call but it is now industry standard to allow people to reply STOP to a message. This method requires delivery from a response number that can receive and process SMS commands. Some SMS software such as Burst SMS includes this for free in their accounts.

Engagement mechanisms


  1. Sending a promotional message is one thing but engaging your recipient is another. There are several techniques for engaging your recipient
  2. Add a mobile URL to your message that shows them more information and a form for interaction
  3. Include a response keyword that allows people to reply and get other automated responses back. These can be set up in sequence.
  4. Receive orders and books directly via response. Confirm via automated message.


Different types of SMS delivery

There are two main types of online SMS delivery. The direct connection where the SMS gateway is plugged directly into the telco’s in your country, and International routing. International routes are operated by SMS aggregators which a gateway can utilize to deliver more cost-effective SMS marketing than a direct connection. Some international routes can be very unreliable and some providers will offer extremely cheap prices however you may end up paying the same as a more reliable connection as you still pay for messages not delivered.

The best bulk SMS service will have a combination of good quality international routing and cheap SMS prices. If you have a service that requires guaranteed delivery such as an emergency or alert service then you should use a direct local connection, even though this is still not 100% guaranteed to deliver it will give you the highest percentage of success. It will generally cost double though. These are just the very basics but building on these basics you can develop sophisticated mobile marketing campaigns that can quickly build great lists of loyal customers. As long as you keep your lists clean and respect your recipient’s wishes to stop receiving text messages from you then you will have great success.


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