All the data suggests that when it comes to how to allocate your mobile marketing funds, SMS marketing needs to remain at the center. The first text message was sent in December of 1992 via computer. By the mid 90’s cellular phones began to be designed with text messaging capability but adoption of the technology was still slow with the average cell phone user sending just .4 texts per billing cycle. In 2017, Americans collectively will send several billions texts each day. Despite the growing popularity of messaging services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, SMS remains the preferred way to send and receive short text messages. So while it’s the original and oldest mobile marketing channel in existence, it’s not slowing down any time soon. SMS marketing spending continues to increase each year and for good reason.
The cost of text messaging
One of the reasons text message marketing remains so popular is because it’s inexpensive. Bulk SMS providers charge just a few pennies per text and the more texts you send the lower that cost per text usually is. In addition to paying per text, you can pay to have a short code (a five or six digit number that customers send a text to in order to opt-in to receive texts) and a registered keyword (the word customers must text to the short code in order to opt in). All told, you can send hundreds or even thousands of texts per month for around $100 or $200 per month depending on the platform used and the number of keywords and other features.
Not only is it inexpensive but it’s extremely effective. Text messages have an open rate of about 98%. In other words, for every 100 recipients of your text message, 98 of them will at least open the text (90% within three minutes of receiving it). That 98% open rate is especially effective when compared to email’s open rate of 20%.
Coupons sent via text are also more effective with a redemption rate of around 10%. Print coupons are only redeemed about .5% of the time and emailed coupons are only redeemed about 3% of the time.
Though texts are limited by the number of characters that can be sent at one time, those characters can be a hyperlink to a website. When links are included in text messages, they’re clicked on approximately one third of the time. That’s ten times more than included links in emails are clicked on by recipients.
The relatively low cost combined with insanely high open and click-through rates make SMS marketing a no-brainer. If your budget is tight and you have to choose between SMS marketing and other mobile channels such as in-app advertising or banner ads for mobile sites, SMS marketing should get the funds every time.
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