Mobile messaging is taking off globally, with a large number of American mobile companies and corporations coming to the party.
Predictions for the growth of text messaging volumes by 2010 range from 2.316 trillion per annum by Gartner, 2.827 trillion messages per annum by Ovum, and 3.173 trillion messages per annum by Portico Research.
In the middle of June alone, Sprint Mobile Media Network began to allow marketers and advertisers the opportunity to reach its millions of wireless data subscribers through web-based advertising programs.
Clickatell has also announced that it would power CNN’s Breaking News Alerts’ promotions starting from June. This contract requires Clickatell to send promotions of CNN’s Breaking News Alerts to mobile phone users through 600 mobile networks in 200 hundred countries. Consider the big reach this contract enables for CNN, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Are you positioned? The question I’d like to ask the small business owner, especially the Internet marketer whose potential client base is not restricted by geography is, where do you fit in with this trend?
Are you strategically positioning yourself to be part of the mobile messaging revolution or are you still not convinced that you need to explore other communication avenues?
Perhaps you read the part where I mention Sprint and Clickattell’s mobile messaging activities and thought “that’s for the big corporations! I don’t have that kind of budget.”
The thing is you could expand your marketing and customer relations management reach through mobile messaging, while operating within your means.
I’m not quite sure what kind of services Sprint will offer small business operators, but Clickatell already offers small clients a web-based managed service designed especially for smaller clients.
The offer for online managed bulk texting services for smaller businesses with a limited budget is how the company was first established. The service is now global and can access by online marketers anywhere, anytime.
[And this is where I mention that I don’t work for Clickatell, and am I in any way associated with the company, so I gain nothing from mentioning their services. The reason I am familar with the company’s offerings is because I report on its activities as a Messaging editor.]
I’m sure there are many other bulk messaging companies in the US, all willing and able to provide a fully managed service that you can approach for further information. The issue is why should you even bother to explore this avenue?
Let me count the ways 1. More mobile phone subscribers than Internet in the US
A third of the global population (over 2 billion people) already uses a mobile phone. Additionally, In the US, there are more mobile phone subscribers than there are Internet subscribers.
CRMDestination.com says there are over 229 million mobile phone subscribes in the U.S. “Owned by an astounding 76% of the United States population, mobile phones are more pervasive than the Internet and more readily available,” says Joseph Salesky CEO of ClairMail and the article’s author.
“Just as the Internet began as a communication medium and evolved to become a customer interaction channel, the mobile phone is likewise moving beyond voice communication and is poised to change the landscape of customer interaction, ” writes Salesky.
2. Users already used to texting Users don’t even have to get used to this method of communication. Sending text messages grows exponentially year by year.
A recent study shows Americans sent 48.7 billion text messages in the last half of 2005, more than double the amount sent in the same period in 2004.
3. Reach your customer anywhere I know that concept of a marketer being able to reach you anywhere chills some people. As a matter of a fact, I am one of those people who prefer to control incoming communication, and have been known to turn my mobile off for days on end ( when I really need to decompress).
But many users carry their mobiles everywhere, meaning that they are still able to access communication from you and choose whether they want to respond then or not. WAP enabled phones even allow subscribers to access the Internet directly.
4. Transactions enabled Banks are slowly implementing mobile phone banking, which enables the customer to respond to an offer by simply sending a short text code in reply. So your customer no longer has to be in his home office or at work to accept your offer and/pay for it.
5. Good back up for email communication A multimode messaging system allows your customer to choose a number of ways you can reach him. You can send the first message to the primary communication tool (email, for example), and if the message is not read within a specified time frame, to resent to another communication channel (e.g. mobile phone).
While this service is typically used for emergency services and by banks to confirm identity of customers during online transactions, the small business owner can also judiciously use the tool when running time-limited promotions.
If the potential a customer authorized you to contact them by mobile as secondary communication, you are able to make an offer at least twice, while also allowing a customer not to miss out on a good deal because they were travelling and did not check email for a couple of days.