SMS marketing advantages and disadvantages

What are advantages for SMS marketing?

SMS text message marketing is one of the most efficient marketing tools available today:

1. Text message function is a part of an operating system in mobile phones, as such when you get a text message open rate is 97%! In other words, you can’t turn it off.

2. Response rate and conversion are very high if you send a relevant offer and time it right. We have seen a response rate as high as 60% and a conversion rate of 35%!!! Sending marketing emails can’t come close to this type of response rate.

3. Instant reach to your users or customers. Once you start sending text messages you can measure responses quickly within minutes. People have their cell phones with them almost 24×7, text message marketing can bring result quickly.

4. Unprecedented ROI – we have seen ROI as high as 8000%!!! It is not hard to see 800 or 1000% ROI on SMS campaigns that are sending messages offering a good value to users.

When it’s that good, it comes with headaches.

Here are some:

1. Sending cost – unlike email, an SMS text message will cost marketer $0.005 ~ $0.01 depends on the carrier relationship and volume. If you are sending a massive amount of text messages, prepare to open your wallet.

2. Cost of shortcode – if you are using a shortcode, here are monthly recurring fees you need to deal with:

  • it will cost $500 a month for leasing a shortcode from CSCA
  • if you are using an aggregator to host a shortcode, prepare to pay a monthly SMS gateway access fee $150 ~ $500
  • there is one time SMS gateway integration fee of ~$3000

3. Character limitation – as a marketer you will need to learn to convey marketing message within 160 characters. You can go beyond 160 but it will cost you more.

4. Carrier scrutiny – carriers can block your shortcode or longcode if they do not like the message contents. You will need to follow CTIA rules which are about 200 pages long.

5. TCPA compliance and potential litigation – there are professional litigators who will make frivolous lawsuits to make a quick buck. The courts are overcrowded with this type of lawsuits as TCPA is written 28 years ago and open for interpretation by judges causing unfair verdicts for marketers in some cases.


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