What All Does SMS Marketing Include?

Text message marketing is a way of reaching customers through the medium of SMS. Using a web-based program, you can send bulk texts to subscribing customers or consumers who opt in for the same. You can also set up campaigns where coupons are sent automatically over time, engage customers in polls and questionnaires, or even run a sweepstakes contest.

However, you must be wondering what more can be done with a single medium, right? There’s a lot more in store than it seems, continue reading to know. Here are some additional things you can do with SMS Marketing:

  • Coupons: Send your loyal consumers or customers exclusive deals. Uniquely generated coupon codes that you send across to your consumers prevent non-subscribers from taking advantage of your deal.
  • Drip campaigns: Automated messages can be sent depending on how long your customers have subscribed for the same. In the context of coupons, for example, you may send a 10% off coupon right after signing up, a 20% coupon after 3 weeks and a 50% off coupon after 2 months of your consumer’s subscribing. This runs automatically as soon as a customer signs up, so you don’t need to keep sending individual messages.
  • Poll: By texting different keywords your customers can now cast a vote only with the use of SMS. Most services let you run polls where you collect responses over a period time and graph them from your online dashboard. Sounds cool, right?
  • Groups: You can also divide customers into groups depending on which keyword they respond to, how they voted in a poll, based on their area code and more. Segmenting your customers lets you send more targeted promotions and coupons, which is more personal and they will relate to it too.
  • Send Photos and Videos: Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) Marketing is a fairly new development in which you can send photos and videos to customers. This is especially useful if you want to send a flyer or restaurant menu to a customer.
  • Location-based Marketing: Send different messages to clients depending on their location. For example: If a customer is around your restaurant, you can send them a text informing them about the dish of the day or discounts available at your restaurant.

Always remember, Customers should be able to opt out at any time. Fortunately most (if not all) text marketing services are setup this way by default. You will, however, have to remind customers the opt out phrase – i.e. “Reply STOP to opt out of messages”

Why You Need to Choose SMS Marketing In India

Currently, there are over 929.37 million mobile phone subscribers in India. According to a survey conducted by Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights, there are 27 million Smart phone users in Urban India. At present, SMS is a popular medium for delivering Value Added Services (VAS) in India. It is estimated that around 20% urban Indians have used a SMS VAS service. SMS is an effective marketing tool in India, showing conversion rates higher than other conventional mediums.

As mobile phones are gaining recognition among people, small and large-scale companies have started to rely on mobile marketing to promote their products and services. Different types of mobile marketing strategies such as Multimedia Message Service (MMS), Short Message Service (SMS), Pay Per Call mobile, Voice Marketing, Mobile Banner Ads and Mobile applications are used in India for marketing purpose.

However, SMS marketing is gaining recognition among marketers as it is fast, reliable and effective mode of communication. Moreover, Short Message Service (SMS) has become a popular mode of communication among people. It is estimated that an average Indian sends around 29 SMS per month. Since it is cheap than other usual marketing modes, SMS marketing is used often by small-scale companies to market their products.

As SMS technology is booming in India, bulk SMS software is emerging in India to satisfy the unique marketing requirements of companies. Earlier, Indian marketers had to rely on SMS service providers to send multiple messages but now using bulk SMS software they are able to gain complete control over their marketing campaign. As SMS software has customizing options, users are able to customize the delivery time of messages according to their needs.

Another important reason for its growing popularity in India is that SMS marketing campaigns are easy to manage. SMS software has easy to use interface which lets even an inexperienced marketer to make use of it effectively. As it has faster turnaround time, companies are able to determine the progress of their marketing campaign within a few weeks and are able to upgrade their campaign in time.

Nowadays, bulk SMS technique is often practiced in metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad and states like Punjab and Gujarat. Besides, it is also gaining recognition in other small towns and cities. Today, different types of bulk SMS software’s are being laid out in India for the enhancement of communication in India. SMS marketing has acquired tremendous growth in India and still has a lot of untapped potential.

How Text Messaging Started

Text messaging or commonly called texting is the process of sending short messages from a mobile phone. The latest mobile phones are capable of sending as much as 20 pages containing 160 characters. These messages are commonly called SMS, texts or text messages.

Text messaging technology uses an SMS gateway to hook up any mobile SMS service to an existing instant message service, Word Wide Web, PDA devices, personal computers and to any landline phone. Some devices with Bluetooth devices can connect to a mobile phone similar to a modem sending SMS through wireless networks. SMS have been widely used with either GSM or non GSM systems.

Basically, text messaging intends to provide a means of sending message to one person to another no matter where they are as long as there is signal coverage from the mobile providers. This service is also used for automated systems primarily for the purpose of purchasing products and services for mobile phone. Text messaging is also widely used in many contests.

According to some companies, the first ever text message was sent during 1989 by Edward Lantz who is a former NASA employee. The text message was sent through a Motorola beeper. The message was consist of numbers which is read upside down in order to read the message.

On December 3, 1992 in the United Kingdom, the first SMS messaging was used in a commercial sent through a Vodafone GSM network. The SMS message was sent by Neil Papworth with the use of a desktop computer. The SMS contains the word Merry Christmas sent to Richard Jarvis from Vodafone through a handset device model Orbitel 901. For the GSM systems, the first SMS using a Nokia phone was sent by an engineering student, Riku Pihkonen.

At first, text messaging did not gain popularity immediately since it was designed primarily for the hearing impaired. Since 1995 only a few messages were sent through SMS. But during the year 2000, there have been a gradual increase in the use of text messaging.

As the text messaging system developed, more and more people switched to texting as a cheaper form of communication. Based on statistics, Finland, Norway and Sweden have 72% of the total population are using text messaging. In Europe and North America, there are over 85% users of SMS.

Among the Asian countries, the Philippines have the largest population of mobile subscribers who uses text messaging as a means of communication. An average of 20 text messages is being sent daily by a subscriber. Because of this, the Philippines have been considered as the text capital of the world. On 2007 alone, there are 42.70 million people who are subscribers of mobile phones.

According to the Global Messaging Survey conducted by Nokia, text messaging has been proven to be an addictive activity. It was confirmed by a study by the University of Queensland which is based in Australia.

It is interesting to note that text messaging brought about a text lingo. These are abbreviations of words developed to save on character space, and because inputting complete words are more tiresome. Another reason is that most mobile phones do not have QWERTY keyboards of personal computers.