By Alyssa Gregory

Is Text Messaging Marketing the New Advertising Fad?

By Alyssa Gregory

It may not be a fad, but it’s certainly an untapped market, according to a recent study conducted by Opus Research. The study showed that text messaging volume has grown to 3.5 billion per day (and more than mobile Internet access).

Plus, because SMS marketing requires consumer opt-in, marketing through text messaging not only hits those who are most interested, but the study shows that 97% of all SMS marketing messages are opened, 83% within an hour. Amazing; there’s no argument that these statistics blow away those of Internet ads and other online advertising methods.

But wait…it’s not all good news. In fact, there is still a large amount of resistance to using SMS marketing on the part of both marketers and text messagers.  The article “Don’t Forget About SMS,” by Mark Walsh, highlights the findings of the Opus Research study and states:


Still, neither marketers or mobile users seem to care for SMS marketing, despite reports of double-digit response rates. For marketers, the reluctance arises at least partly from the prospect of government regulation. This spring, U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced legislation to curb unsolicited text messages by providing additional consumer protections via the m-SPAM Act of 2009.

The article went on to say that:

Marketers also don’t want to risk alienating mobile users with unwanted messages. To avoid that problem, Forrester Research recently advised advertisers in a separate report not to send an SMS message if it can’t be well-targeted.

Sticking to a targeted message is obviously great advice, and not just for SMS marketing. But can it overcome the simple fact that mobile users don’t like getting promotional messages on their phones? These results from a study conducted by Forrester Research in the UK make it fairly clear:

SMS Marketing in UK

What do you think? Will you consider SMS marketing for your business? Would it annoy you to be the recipient of SMS marketing campaigns?

  • Andrea Cannavina (LegalTypist)

    I warned of push technology being used by marketers when BlackBerry devices first hit the market.
    The last thing I need is one more thing that I have to do in order to rid my connecting devices of unwanted messages.
    Whether that be spam in my e-mail inbox or an unwanted SMS – there should be no reason I have no control over who uses my devices and for what purposes.

  • I really like your blog and i respect your work. I’ll be a frequent visitor.

  • randywehrs

    I think that there should be legislation to make it illegal to advertise to mobile devices unless the opt-in is a voluntary step made by the user. I don’t think anyone really wants to be solicited through their cellphone, unless they intentionally signed up for it. Unfortunately, it’s that 13% of recipients who actually consider it who make it almost worthwhile in the end for some companies to market this way (just like spamming), so I don’t think we’ve seen the end of it. Interesting article – I hope the legislation is passed (and enforced).

  • Opt-in SMS is not all that unusual here in Australia, though it’s fairly well regulated and offenders are smacked hard with fines. The law here considers spam to be spam no matter the medium, which is awesome.

    For example, my hairdresser sends me SMS about special deals (not more often than once a month) and also took the time to let me know where they moved to, which is pretty groovy. It’s less straight-up advertising and more like relationship building/convenience, but I really appreciate it.

  • The first thing I do when I receive a promotional SMS is phone up the company that sent it and bitch vitriol at them.

  • Anon

    Complete waste of time depending upon marketing your products and services using SMS simply because your mobile phone is an extension of yourself.

    Email is different in so many ways – you can simply ignore it – and to say SMS and Email are both the same is just being stupid.

    Opportunites do exist for mobile marketing but I don’t think anyone had discovered the right way to apply it yet – simply sending spammy text messages ain’t gonna cut it.

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