Mobile advertising is a growing industry! Text message marketing is a trend to watch out for. Here’s why…
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With approximately 90% of the U.S. population owning cell phones, according to CTIA’s semi-annual wireless industry survey, and 98% of those phones being SMS-enabled out of the box, SMS is one of the most popular communication methods in the world. The rise of text messaging can be attributed to its low cost and ease of use. If you have a cell phone, you have the capability to text — no downloads or installations needed. And with the advent of unlimited messaging plans, texting has become the mobile communication option of choice for cell phone-toting teens, beating out e-mail, and phone conversations.
If that isn’t enough data to show that SMS is an essential communication line, there’s more. In May, 65.2% of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile devices, up 1.4 percentage points versus the prior three-month period, according to comScore, making texting the top cellular device feature for all U.S. consumers, aside from calling.
The texting audience is large and still growing. eMarketer projects that the growth of the global market for ad support of mobile messaging will reach nearly $12 billion in 2011, up from about $1.5 billion in 2006.
“SMS doesn’t get a lot of hype that the flashy apps do, but it works because it provides what all marketers seek — a one-on-one dialogue with a customer,” noted Jack Philbin, co-founder and president of Vibes Media, a mobile marketing company based in Chicago.
Philbin explained that click-through rates (CTRs) and conversion rates for text messaging are much higher than rates for e-mail and Internet display, two channels that win larger percentages of marketing budgets than mobile. The average CTR for text messaging is 14.06%, while the average conversion rate is 8.22%. E-mail brings in an average CTR of 6.64% and an average conversion rate of about 1.73%, and Internet display doesn’t even hit the radar with an average CTR of 0.76% and average conversion rate of 4.43%, according to the Direct Marketing Association’s 2010 Response Rate Trend Report.
The response rates that marketers experience via texting campaigns are definitely attractive. These high action rates are probably due to the fact that texting is an opt-in marketing channel, in which consumers actively seek out information and sign-up for updates. Philbin says that he looks at SMS as a funnel, in which marketers start with text interaction, optimizing their messages to drive traffic by including a link to rich media, video, or other marketing materials, where users then take the desired action.
What’s perhaps one of the most interesting reasons to advertise via SMS is that “about 90% of all text messages are read within three minutes of their delivery, and over 99% of all text messages are read by the recipient,” according to a whitepaper on conversational advertising [PDF] by SinglePoint. The immediacy of SMS is currently unparalleled by any other marketing channel.
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