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What is Mobile Marketing?

Mobile marketing
Mobile marketing allows companies to get in touch with consumers directly through their mobile devices.
Credit: Champion studio | Shutterstock

Because the smartphone is becoming more and more the vehicle of communication and online interaction for countless consumers worldwide, many companies resort to mobile marketing, sending advertisements straight to phones in the form of a text message.

Mobile marketing is an extension of Internet marketing, dependent largely on a form of permission-based marketing. In order to actively market to a mobile device, a company must first obtain the user’s phone number, which can generally only be accomplished by requesting it as part of delivering a service or by promising rewards for subscribers.

Mobile marketing consists of ads appearing on an individual’s mobile device, often in the form of a text message. Given the fact most users would be reluctant to give out their cell phone number to companies if it meant dealing with pop-up ads, a surprising number of consumers share their number due to the ability to opt out of mobile campaigns. In order to send a message, consumers must first opt into receiving messages. Additionally, much like with email marketing, those users must likewise be able to opt out of receiving future messages.

Common uses of mobile marketing

Companies use mobile marketing in a variety of ways that put them directly in contact with individuals.  Few consumers willingly give their phone number to advertisers. The most traditional method of encouraging opt-ins is a good, old-fashioned bribery, such as offering a discount or free service when you opt into receiving messages.

Many companies use mobile marketing as a way to engage audiences, asking questions or giving alerts about upcoming events. Whether a company has upcoming deals, daily coupons or new products, text messaging proves to be a popular method of informing consumers. Messages that actively engage recipients rather than merely advertise are those that find greater results and fewer opt-outs.

Mobile marketing trends

According to a 2008 study by Experian, The Standard, MarketTree, and Cellnumbers.com, more than 75 billion SMS were sent each month, with more than twice the total number of active email users. Just like a company needs a computer with an Internet connection, the statistics of modern mobile usage indicate the importance of appealing to mobile users. This study likewise relayed some of the following information:

  • 60 percent of the world’s population (more than 4 billion) are mobile subscribers
  • 10 percent of SMS messages are spam (compared to 65 percent of emails)
  • 98 percent of handheld devices in the United States have SMS capabilities
  • Average text message users send more than 400 messages per month

Mobile marketing, while a budding method of reaching the modern consumer, is proving to be a very effective way of keeping an audience engaged and informed about company sales and event updates.

Mobile marketing services

Mobile marketing services exist that send out mass messages to a full list of recipients for a low monthly cost. These services include the ability to send out a single message to a list of phone numbers. Because many consumers have smartphones on unlimited SMS plans, this proves to be a very cost-effective method of directly contacting an audience. And most mobile marketing services allow an unlimited number of messages for a monthly fee, also allowing companies to benefit from a wide range of reports and message customization options.

It’s not enough to have the means of sending out thousands of text messages. In the absence of reporting tools to see where the messages are going, the interactions they’re creating and the responses you’re receiving, mobile marketing loses much of its potency. Most services provide reports that allow you to track each of these with greater effect to better interact with the company’s audience and respond to their texts rather than simply push out new messages as noteworthy events occur.

Services that prove to be most popular in the text message marketing sector are companies like SUMOTEXT, Ez Texting and Trumpia.

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