Mobile Marketing – Pros and Cons of SMS Marketing

SMS Marketing message on a cell phone

 Leo Prieto/Flickr

A lot has been said about the benefits of SMS marketing for the mobvertiser. The humble SMS or Short Message Service is undoubtedly an excellent strategy for businesses wanting to connect with more customers, via their mobile phones and smartphones. However, this aspect of mobile marketing is not without its downside. It is important that the advertiser understands the pros and cons of SMS marketing, before actually entering the field and creating elaborate advertising campaigns.

Every newbie marketer should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of mobile marketing. The same is the case with SMS marketing. While this aspect of marketing can really help a company reach the heights of success, it also has its own negatives.

  • SMS as the Best Tool for Mobile Marketing

Listed below are pros and cons of SMS marketing.

Pros of SMS Marketing

Marketing a product or service by way of SMS is one of the best ways of reaching out to more customers, for the following reasons:

  • Since users opt-in to receive SMS messages from companies, this type of marketing pulls in a niche audience, which is keenly interested to know more about the product or service concerned.
  • Since all the messages are going out to users in real-time and are instantly delivered, companies can offer impromptu deals to their customers. Industries such as real estate can immediately notify customers about updated property listings and the latest properties available. Restaurant businesses too stand to benefit, as they can serve up day-to-day deals to attract more customers in that area.
  • SMS being highly interactive, companies can keep in constant touch with users, urging them to participate in surveys, fill out questionnaires and vote in polls.
  • Gathering user data is much easier by way of SMS marketing. This makes it much easier for the company to make changes to the advertising campaign, as and when necessary.
  • Companies can consider offering rewards for users’ participation. If they can also integrate this with the various types of mobile social media available today, existing users would be able to spread their message through word of mouth.

    Cons of SMS Marketing

    Now let us understand the disadvantages of SMS marketing. Here are some cons of SMS marketing:

    • SMS allow companies very little advertising space. The maximum limit for text messages is 160 characters. Besides, the advertiser cannot add impressive audio or animation effects to the messages. That could limit the creativity of the advertiser.
    • Since an SMS message is so short, the advertiser would have to put in added time and effort to create an effective enough campaign, which would attract more users. Also, the same advertisement cannot be repeated over and over again, unlike TV or radio ads. Each SMS ad has to be differently worded and presented.
    • It is not very easy to constantly engage mobile users and encourage them to opt-in to receive messages on their mobile phones. Even if they do opt-in, it is not necessary that they read every message the company sends them. Messages that are sent without the user’s permission are usually discarded as spam.
    • While text messaging is the most commonly used form of communication between mobile users today. But, this type of marketing commands a very limited audience, as it is only a certain age group of people that use texting on a regular basis. Out of this scanty population, only a fraction of users would opt-in to receive messages and an even lesser number would actually bother to look through the message. That factor severely limits the size of your audience.

      Give It a Try

      As you can see, SMS marketing has its pros and cons, just like any other industry. Your job as an advertiser is to ensure that you study your niche audience in detail, get their pulse and understand what it is exactly, that will attract them to your product or service.

      Have you tried SMS marketing? What has been your personal experience? Do feel free to share your thoughts with us.