SMS Advertising: A Simple, Cheap and Effective Way to Reach the Market

One famous Saturday morning cartoon had this simple life lesson at the end of each episode: “Knowing is Half the Battle.”

Marketers and advertisers all over the world know this to be true. If your customers – potential, current and former – know about what you’re selling, then the chances of someone buying your product or making use of your services gets higher. People knowing or not knowing about what you offer can make the difference between a successful business or one that goes bust.

But if there is one thing to describe today’s world, it’s that it’s noisy. Commercials over TV and radio compete with brightly-colored ads on newspapers and billboards for attention. Banners and pop-up ads try to entice the denizens of the Internet to click them.

In a world of such cacophony, how can someone without the budget and other resources of Big Business ever hope to make people know about the things your selling or the work you can do?

SMS advertising is one effective means of reaching out to consumers that won’t burn through your bottomline the way traditional advertising does.

SMS advertising makes use of, as the name implies, Short Message Sending, what is otherwise known as “texting.” And SMS or texting is connected to that almost-ubiquitous (if it isn’t fully so already) gadget of modern, 21st century life: the cellular phone.

In the United States alone, the penetration of the cellular phone is estimated at around 285 million. A Nielsen survey in 2007 found out that 35% of “tweens” – those between 8 and 12 years old – have a mobile phone. And how many millions of people buy new phones or change old ones at least once a year?

This amazing reach ensures that any message sent through the medium that is the cellular phone has a very good chance of reaching a wide number of persons in the market you intend to capture.

And because you will be using the most basic feature of the modern cellular phone – SMS, or texting – as your form of advertising, you can be sure that you will be able to reach anyone in your target market regardless of whether they have the latest smartphone or still use a Nokia 5190 (which, to those born in after the 20th century, was one of the first compact mobile phone units that made texting an effective means of communication).

This form of advertising can actually be more effective than, say, a TV commercial or a newspaper ad. Because of the remote control, people can simply switch channels when it is time for a commercial break. Readers can just flip past even full-page, full-color newspaper advertisements. This would mean that you paid so much money and didn’t even get to be seen or heard by your target market.

But through SMS advertising, you can be assured that people will at least glance at your message. The instinctive reflex of all mobile phone users is to grab that unit, which is usually not more than an arm’s reach away, when it plays that sound which tells them a message has been recieved. They may disregard or even delete your SMS after, but at least they saw it.

To the uninterested, its just a Dollar or so wasted, as compared to the thousands of Dollars down the drain for even a ten-second TV commercial or a newspaper ad that’s less than a fourth of a page. But what are the chances, given the dozens, or hundreds, or even thousands your SMS managed to reach, that several would be interested in what you’re selling?

In today’s hyperlinked world with hundreds of cable channels, getting your message across can be quite the challenge, especially if you’re a small business. The prevalence of the cellular phone in modern living, to the point that it is as much a necessity as it is a status symbol or a fancy technological toy, provides even the small businessman, through SMS advertising, to get their sales pitch right to the eyes and ears of the consumers, quickly, effectively, and cheaply.


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