Texting as a Web Marketing Technique

For a quick, inexpensive way to reach hundreds or thousands of people (especially teens), consider short message service, or SMS, which operates essentially like bulk e-mail by cellphone, as long as you have user permission to send these messages

If you’ve ever watched the blur of teenagers’ speeding thumbs, you’re well aware that teens, especially females aged 13 to 17, send thousands of text messages every month on their cellphones. It turns out that many other people do, too — about a trillion text messages per year, worldwide.

In an October 2010 report, The Nielsen Company reports that although texting falls off rapidly with age, users as old as 54 still send or receive hundreds of messages every month, making cellphone users appealing targets for specific messaging needs.

These needs may range from requests to text the characters 2HELP (24357) to make a $5 donation to the Red Cross for disaster relief, to a campaign (triggered perhaps from an online search) encouraging users to text a keyword to your number to receive a special mobile coupon.

The coupon or promotional code displays as a text message that they can show to receive a discount for an event admission or purchase.

For a quick, inexpensive way to reach hundreds or thousands of people (especially teens), consider short message service, or SMS, which operates essentially like bulk e-mail by cellphone, as long as you have user permission to send these messages. Companies such as the ones listed below offer bulk SMS services:

As recently as September 2010, eMarketer forecast that SMS would be “the biggest single mobile advertising format in 2011, with a 38 percent share of mobile advertising spending.” However, eMarketer also warns that SMS will decline in importance as smartphone users increase, shifting the spending focus to display and search advertising.

Never send unsolicited text messages to customers’ cellphones. Depending on an individual’s cellphone plan, a consumer might have to pay to receive text messages; in that case, the customer would be furious to receive spam. As with e-mail campaigns, always enable users to unsubscribe easily.

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