Limited use for SMS marketing today.

Years ago, I remember getting really excited, rushing to work and announcing to everyone that I finally figured out how to get our system to send an SMS at a decent price. We already knew of people that used SMS for business for marketing, but we had worked out places where SMS could be used in our marketspace not only for marketing but also the administration such as in the rostering system. What I did was ring up people I knew, hit google, got on the phone to many companies, spoke with many people until I had found a company that was prepared to take a chance with us on a group deal that was reasonable. It was 10c an SMS with a promise that if we could get a large number on board, it would be cheaper still. They also were prepared to give us free coupons for my clients to try it out free. I was really excited; this was going to be right. However, what I did not realise was just how difficult it was to get our system to talk to them, and so it took heaps of work, but we did it. None of our competitors ended out able to do it with them, so they went off with easier systems to use but which were dearer systems. I, however, wanted our clients to have a really good system at a very economical price. It worked, and our clients went on an SMS frenzy.

SMS has several advantages over email and Apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Viber.

  • Almost everyone reads SMS almost immediately, often within seconds while email and apps varied a lot. I read personal emails once a day and apps like Facebook messenger twice a day.
  • Almost all SMSs get read. This is not true for email and many of the apps.
  • SMS is available almost everywhere. Email and apps tend often to work only with WIFI.

However, the big problem is even if one accepts that 10 cents an SMS reasonable, its more then zero for email and apps. As well as that people do not like often commercial SMSs. They consider it spam. So over time, most of our clients have been switched to emailing or using apps. Plus I think most people think of it as obsolete technology, for example on my mobile plan, I get plenty of free SMS a month which I use only a few as if I want to message someone I tend to use Facebook messenger or if it longer, or I do not know them that well, I use email. The main advantage for SMSs for me is that I can schedule SMSs so late at night. I have a great idea; I can schedule the SMS to be sent at 9:00am or its something that I need an instant messenger system.

As such the SMS part of our system, although still available with even a better offer now which includes three free SMSs a day is rarely used.