Mobile Marketing: Baby Steps with SMS

@Tim | Development

  • 4.1 Billion SMS sent daily in the US alone
  • 740 Billion SMS sent first half of 2009 in the US alone
  • Over 137 million US data subscribers are active SMSers

Now the question is how does this technology relate to your marketing goals?  There are a million things you can do with SMS, but to start off let’s just focus on introducing it as an interactive marketing platform and get into specifics along the way.

Step 1: Focus on budget and ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment).  A logical starting point is with simple “Shared Short Code” SMS campaigns.  There are a handful of respectable “Shared Short Code” providers out there who’ve built proprietary platforms to help deliver SMS campaigns such as, Voting, Multi Response Q&A, Sweepstakes etc.  Essentially you rent SMS “Keywords” that trigger a specific response based on your campaign (Text MYBRAND to 7777 and get X).  Most of these service providers offer entry-level programs priced on monthly rates depending on volume.

Step 2: Brainstorm. You need to work closely with your marketing/sales/agency teams to see where SMS might make sense: tradeshows, sweepstakes, customer loyalty programs, print campaigns, Q&A hotline etc.  Keep in mind, when using a shared short code provider you are usually limited to the functionality of the platform.  Also, another trade off is you may not be able to secure your preferred “Keywords,” as someone may have already secured generic terms like “WIN” or “ENTER” etc.

Step 3: Play by the rules. Mobile marketing is supposed to be 100% opt in, which means you can’t just go ballistic and bulk SMS your entire CRM database.  Like with any successful marketing initiative, start off small, segment, tweak, and try again.  A great place to start is customer loyalty; for example, if you’re a retail establishment perhaps advertise an SMS sign up for VIP deals only delivered over mobile.

Next week we will explore maintaining you’re own dedicated short code.