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Why SMS matters in the App Age

By Josh Gordon

The biggest advantage ? and biggest drawback ? to mobile marketing is the seemingly endless opportunity waiting to be harnessed.

Technology is advancing rapidly, consumer adoption is coming along ? albeit at a much slower pace than the technology is evolving ? and marketers are increasingly ready to dive in for a wide variety of reasons.

Most practical mobile approach
Consumers always have their mobile device with them, and now use it for texting almost as much as voice. Those realities present the most practical mobile marketing approach ? SMS.

SMS campaigns are easy to set up, execute and measure.

While it is sometimes overlooked as an advantage for SMS campaigns, they are also easy to optimize ? even after a campaign is in market.

Even campaigns with the most straight-forward calls-to-action, keywords, and shortcodes are prone to user error. Programming common misspellings of the keyword before and after an SMS campaign is introduced to the market is a practical method for ensuring success.

Most practical mobile messages
Like any other form of marketing, the first question to answer when designing an SMS campaign is, ?Will the audience like this??

It seems basic, but it is vital because few marketing channels require the commitment to personalized and relevant content that mobile demands.

The value exchange in the message must be worthwhile to end users to secure their initial opt-in and continued loyalty. One slip up, or message of questionable relevance, can trigger churn and put the marketer back to square one.

The safest messages are often the most practical, and useful, for the end user.

SMS campaigns featuring easily redeemable coupons or store location information with a click-to-call option are practical and extremely effective. Use them to grow the list of mobile subscribers, maintain engagement, or drive foot traffic and revenue at store locations.

Most practical mobile measurement
A practical approach to mobile marketing is ideal because the more practical a program is, the more measurable it is.

Whether a company is searching for a mobile business case or mired in its complexity, marketers must identify the easiest path to measurable results.

It is important to keep the ?easiest? path in mind because the success of an iPhone application, for example, can be measured easily in downloads.

However, the reach for an iPhone application is limited when compared to an SMS campaign, and the cost structure is very different as well. SMS wins the reach and cost efficiency argument right now.

Above all, consumers value convenience when it comes to their mobile devices.

While myriad options for diving into the mobile medium exist, remember that consumer convenience ? and a practical marketing strategy ? should be the focus of every execution.

Josh Gordon is director of marketing at Knotice, a digital marketing services company in Akron, OH. Reach him at  .