Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Did You Get My Text?


That number signifies the number of mobile apps in Apple’s App Store. That number also signifies that mobile is here to stay and that people will use their phones for everything they can. 

Mobile marketing is a growing trend and will continue to trend for a number of reasons:   

1. Smartphones Have Taken Over

Yes it’s true, smartphones have broken the 50% barrier and are now more prevalent than regular old mobile phones. 

2. Text Messaging Is Always on the Rise

Text messaging has risen to 8 trillion SMS in 2012 which is a rise of over the billion SMS sent in 2011.

3. Social Media is Still Growing

eMarketer estimates that by 2015, the population of mobile social network users will reach 79 million. Social networking was also the fastest-growing category among users of both apps and mobile browsers. In short, people are using their phones to be social more than ever and it’s only getting more prevalent. 

So how can businesses get involved with mobile marketing? Well, there’s two terms that you should make yourself familiar with if its something you want to pursue, those being: 

  • Long codes
  • Short codes

Long codes and short codes are how SMS marketing deploys or receives its message. Short codes are great because they are used to generate a response from your marketing activity. Short codes are how people vote for their favorite singer on American Idol. It is taking a 5 digit “short code” and texting it to a certain number. They then receive an automated response letting them know what will happen next.

Short codes are the costlier of the two options, but it’s because the number is shorter (and therefore easier to remember and text), you can do large text blasts, and short code platforms are generally easier to use. The downside is they are more costly, people can “opt out” of your campaign, and you have to register with all mobile carriers. 

Long codes are the cheaper option, but it also has its pros and cons. For one, clients can use their own long code (instead of registering a five digit number as with short codes). Long codes also don’t have to be registered with each cell phone provider and (as I said before) they’re also cheaper. 

However, the cheaper the product, the lesser the benefits. Long codes are, well, they’re long which means it will be more difficult for people to remember that number as opposed to a five digit one. You are also limited to the number of texts that can be sent as opposed to short code texts with which there are no limits. 

There are a lot of great options to consider with mobile marketing and the trends prove that it’s something worth looking into. It may not be the biggest tool around today, but we also may not be far from the day when it is.