As email marketers, we might find the sexiness of HTML email too alluring to pay much mind to SMS as a form of mobile marketing. However, now that 90% of the U.S. population owns a cell phone, you should take the time to see if mobile marketing via SMS should be part of your overall plan.
Among the trends we’re seeing in SMS mobile marketing is location-based marketing. If, for example, you know your customer just showed up at the mall and you can send her a coupon code for your retail store located at that mall right when she’s parking her car, imagine the likelihood that she’ll make a trip to your store while at the mall!
You can also use SMS to drive people to email. Bar codes and QR codes cannot be sent via text message. They can however, be sent via email if, for example, you were to text subscribers with your email address to receive updates and coupons from you.
SMS messaging requires having the phone numbers to market to, and a platform that enables SMS messaging. So it’s not as if you can jump straight into it as an email marketer. First you’ll need the numbers, then you’ll need the platform. However, you might already be positioned for SMS marketing depending on your ESP: It could be the ESP you’re already using can provide the tools you need for SMS marketing. For example, ExactTarget has SMS marketing capabilities built in to their platform, enabling you to market with contests, polls, coupons and surveys, as well as measure and track results.
As text messages, SMS marketing can reach your audience with a directness and immediacy mobile email can’t quite match. Plus not everyone carries a smartphone. Plenty of folks are still relying on the good old fashioned cell phone, and mobile marketing to them requires SMS. Consider making it part of your mobile marketing mix.