SMS abbreviated from Short Message Service is a service that enables short messages of generally no more than 140-160 characters in length to be sent and transmitted from a mobile or web. Text messaging enables information to be sent to groups of people quickly and conveniently. In the case of printed media and other types of marketing such as television or radio, the consumers must, for instance, listen to the radio or watch the television for the ad to reach them. Whereas for bulk SMS advertising the mobile handset are normally always switched on to receive a message. The users receive their messages as soon as the phone is in the wireless network. There are three possible ways mobile communication can happen: mobile to mobile, mobile to web, and web 2 mobile.
Some of the advantages of SMS marketing are:
o The personal nature of mobile phones makes SMS marketing a very powerful tool.
o Mobile users mostly keep mobile on them all the time – meaning they can be effective for time-sensitive messages.
o Users are inclined to read virtually every SMS they get – unlike email and other means of advertising.
o Bulk SMS marketing is very economical and one can send thousands of text messages to consumers at wholesale prices.
o Bulk SMS also saves time – instead of writing a message and then sending it to each mobile subscriber, one message is created and then sent to a whole group of subscribers.
o Tracking SMS delivery and responses is very easy.
o Delivery of the text messages is almost instant.
The major areas where SMS marketing is used are banks, drink firms, entertainment, and leisure venues. SMS are even used for registration, bank transactions, e-commerce or mobile payment and for customer feedback. As a marketing tool, SMS text messages are used in many other ways also. A marketer can also build a brand name by sending the SMS to a wider audience by using a company name as sender id/name. Also, the product keyword as a sender name can be more effective if your company intends to sell something directly.
Shortcode SMS service which is usually a five-digit number can be used to record the customer response or gauge the popularity of the product. It can also be used as a money-making service just like pay per click- PPC in the case of internet marketing. Also, some SMS marketing website offers free SMS service in which 80 characters are used by the site visitor and 80 characters by the advertisers. This is useful for both members as site visitors get the SMS for free whereas advertisers can reach the SMS receiving end effortlessly.
Although SMS services have its own disadvantages like SMS is limited by 160 characters and does not disturb the registry under the law, it is undisputedly the most economical and effective media of marketing and has the potential to reach millions in minutes. We will see more and more companies opting for SMS marketing in near future. Although SMS marketing it’s just a starting, mobiles will offer lot more in near future.