Marketing through cellphones' SMS (Short Message Service) became increasingly popular in the early 2000s in Europe and some parts of Asia when businesses started to collect mobile phone numbers and send off wanted (or unwanted) content. On average, SMS messages have a 98% open rate, and are read within 3 minutes, making it highly effective at reaching recipients quickly.
If your open rate is low, your goal will be to start improving that. If there are multiple parts of your message that you would like to improve, start with identifying the most important one. If, for example, your open rate and click-through-rate of the message’s contents are low, it would be better to first work on the open rate. After all, no one is going to see your improved content if no one is opening it in the first place. So, determine your goal and let that direct your focus towards the thing that needs improvement most.
Over the past few years SMS marketing has become a legitimate advertising channel in some parts of the world. This is because unlike email over the public internet, the carriers who police their own networks have set guidelines and best practices for the mobile media industry (including mobile advertising). The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), as well, have established guidelines and are evangelizing the use of the mobile channel for marketers. While this has been fruitful in developed regions such as North America, Western Europe and some other countries, mobile SPAM messages (SMS sent to mobile subscribers without a legitimate and explicit opt-in by the subscriber) remain an issue in many other parts of the world, partly due to the carriers selling their member databases to third parties. In India, however, government's efforts of creating National Do Not Call Registry have helped cellphone users to stop SMS advertisements by sending a simple SMS or calling 1909.
With the strong growth in the use of smartphones, app usage has also greatly increased. Therefore, mobile marketers have increasingly taken advantage of smartphone apps as a marketing resource. Marketers aim to optimize the visibility of an app in a store, which will maximize the number of downloads. This practice is called App Store Optimization (ASO).
Location-based services (LBS) are offered by some cell phone networks as a way to send custom advertising and other information to cell-phone subscribers based on their current location. The cell-phone service provider gets the location from a GPS chip built into the phone, or using radiolocation and trilateration based on the signal-strength of the closest cell-phone towers (for phones without GPS features). In the United Kingdom, which launched location-based services in 2003, networks do not use trilateration; LBS uses a single base station, with a "radius" of inaccuracy, to determine a phone's location.
The idea is that by collecting a database of subscribers we are obtaining their prior permission before we actually send them any marketing information. It means the people you send to will already know you, they have already told you they are interested in what you have to say. It’s called permission marketing, loads of books have been written on the subject, if you want one try Permission Marketing by Seth Godin.
In a nutshell, mobile devices are arguably the most personal items we own and as (SMS/MMS) marketer building your phone number database in the early stages of your (SMS/MMS) campaign, you need to let subscribers know what they are opt-in for. keep your promise and send only infrequent, valuable text messages. Remember to keep delivering value through incentives and your customers will stay opted-in and very eager to receive your next text.