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Are SMS Ads Effective?

Updated: Mar 19

The following is an article “Are SMS Ads Effective?” by Marc Primo.


These days, more and more businesses are seeking out alternative marketing tools that are both effective and cost efficient. While digital marketing channels continue to be a popular choice, their effectiveness has become debatable for various reasons.

SMS in the 21st century


As digital marketing methods, such as e-mail marketing and online advertising, face new challenges, wary consumers tired of the clutter have resorted to ad-blocking apps or junking e-mails sent from unknown addresses. As a result, more and more marketers are going old school by capitalising on the popularity of a relatively primitive messaging technology.


If you thought SMS was well on its way to obsolescence, think again. According to a study conducted by OneReach, a surprising 85% of students stated that SMS is their preferred channel for mobile advertising. And with the number of teenage smartphone users on the rise each year, advertisers are increasingly bullish about the power of SMS ads.


Brevity reigns supreme


Unlike new media that is heavily saturated, the power of SMS marketing lies in its simplicity and accessibility. Anyone with a mobile phone and a subscription, whether prepaid or postpaid, is automatically eligible to send and receive SMS, also widely known as text messages. It’s convenient because unlike social media or e-mail, SMS eliminates the need to create an account and doesn’t require an Internet connection. A sim card is all you need and you’re all set.


What’s more, SMS ads leverage on the 160 characters per message limit—roughly 25 words—which is just about the ideal length to succinctly describe your product within the short attention span of the average mobile phone user. SMS ads also cleverly make use of hyperlinks that redirect recipients to a website for a more elaborate call to action.


The proof is in the pudding


So just how effective is SMS advertising? If you factor in the findings of scientists that the average phone user reaches for their device at least 2,000 times a day, then targeting these mobile phone users is a no-brainer.


That same study mentioned earlier also discovered that the average response rate for SMS messages is a healthy 45%, versus only 8% for e-mail. This might not come as a surprise, given that most people shy away from lengthy articles online, often scrolling down to the bottom of the page to get to the point. With SMS ads, there is a greater tendency to read the entire message when they see that it won’t take up more than 10 seconds of their time.


The verdict


According to FunMobility, the hyperlinks that accompany SMS ads result in a click rate of 36%—an astronomical figure compared to just 3.4% for email marketing. And more than an inexpensive yet highly effective stand-alone medium, SMS ads also complement other digital marketing channels by directly linking to them, boosting the number of visits to a company’s website, social media page, or any other marketing channel in the digital realm.

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© 2021 by Marc Primo Digital.