Insight shows SMS beats the banner ad

New research shows that the open rate success of SMS marketing messages is higher than the click rates of mobile banner ads - but open rate statistics are not enough to show the real value of SMS.  

Mindi Chahal

The study shows that the average click-through on a mobile banner advert is 0.1 per cent. However, the research claims that 99.9 per cent of all text messages are read, with 95 per cent being read within three minutes. 

This may not be all that surprising, given that smartphones take people directly into text messages themselves rather than them having to be opened separately. But what is more interesting is that response rates also average above 30 per cent. Email, for example, typically has open rates of 15 per cent according to the Mobile Customer Experience report by mobile messaging specialists Textlocal.  

Obviously the report is slightly self-serving for the mobile specialists but it does show that brands can go further than these open rate stats. Texts can work because brands are communicating with consumers in a targeted way on a device that is personal to that consumer - and the insight that can be provided by that person is something that could be tapped into. 

Last week I wrote about how research conducted via mobile was in some cases more beneficial than traditional techniques. In this case, because the communications are already being done through mobile it presents a prime opportunity to get further insight.   

Textlocal’s report states that only 5 per cent of consumers (3.2 million) want brands to communicate with them via Facebook, compared to 27.9 million consumers that have opted in to receive marketing communications from brands direct to their mobile devices. By 2015, that number will increase to 35.3 million. 

Consumers who are happy to do so should be asked via mobile whether the messages they receive are useful to them and why, so that the service can continue to achieve a good response rate and also to to make sure that people feel in control of the messages they receive.  

The study, which has 2,000 respondents, shows that 60 per cent of UK consumers acknowledge that relevant mobile messaging would maintain their loyalty towards a brand, and an additional 14 per cent say it would actually enhance loyalty.

It also reveals that more women opt in to receive marketing communications from brands and the biggest opt-in audience by age is the 35-44 age bracket. 

However, there are ways that mobile shouldn’t be used to speak to consumers as Vodafone realised when it communicated a restructure of pay as you go tariffs, that will see some charges increase, via SMS to its customers who took to social media to complain about the way they had been told.     

However, the consumer comments and backlash provided insight on what not to do for Vodafone and other network providers when communicating key messages. 

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