As most of you know, I often blog about the latest and greatest advancements in the mobile marketing space. As a self-proclaimed mobilephile, I freely admit that over the years I have been glamoured by this space. How could I not be? With the break-neck speed at which this space advances and the ever-sophisticated devices and technologies that hit the market in a steady stream, you tell me—what’s not to like?
Today I want to take a step back from the latest developments and instead talk about SMS. While this unsung hero may not be as glamorous as its flashy app brethren, the opportunity that it holds for marketers can be just as powerful, and therefore it deserves to be brought out into the spotlight for the first time in…well…quite some time.
While many mobile marketers cut their teeth on SMS with straight forward push and text-to-win campaigns, this tool is really deserving of a permanent place in the mobile marketing toolbox. It may not require the latest smartphone or be encompassed in a sophisticated app, but I’d argue that as its strong suit. Keep in mind that smartphone adoption, while continuing to grow, is still limited to a relatively small portion of the overall mobile market. SMS on the other hand is a technology that is on nearly every mobile handset available and is something that most mobile phone users understand how to use.
So what role can SMS play in your mobile marketing? Well, SMS is an extremely convenient way of alerting users to a new product release, an upcoming sale or an incentive offer. It’s a great way to confirm order status and it also allows you to send customers delivery status updates. Basically any type of alert or time sensitive message that you need to get to your user base is ideally suited to SMS. In my mind, granted I have an unlimited text plan, SMS could really replace (or at least accompany) email for much of this type of communication.
Once you turn your attention to SMS, there are really a host of reasons to include it in your mobile marketing mix. The widespread adoption of SMS technology means that you have the largest possible mobile audience. SMS supports a range of interactions—it’d even be well suited for two-way brand interactions. It pushes your message directly in front of the user—unlike an app or a mobile site which rely on pro-active user engagement. And perhaps best of all, it’s simple, straight-forward and cost effective.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that you should ignore the latest mobile developments. Much to the contrary, I wholeheartedly advocate both embracing these technologies and pursuing creative ways to put them to work for your marketing campaigns. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t lose sight of the potential that SMS holds as part of your tool set for facilitating interactions between users and your brand.