Mobile marketing is opt-in marketing


mobiletv.jpgADOTAS — It’s a market estimated at $648 million in 2008 and anticipated to reach $3.3 billion by 2013.

Mobile marketing is here and advertisers and advertising agencies are starting to catch on. Just like 800 numbers became an integral part of advertisements in the early 1990’s, a keyword and short code are becoming a regular part of advertising in the late 2000’s. Mobile marketing makes every advertisement interactive.

Mobile marketing is opt-in marketing. That means that you can’t just buy a list of cell phone numbers and start sending bulk text message blasts to the list. This is considered spam and mobile marketing is covered by the same spam laws that email is. The only difference is that email can be sent for virtually free from anywhere in the world. With mobile, it is far too expensive to set up offshore and send spam to cell phones.

Therefore, mobile marketing is all about permission marketing. Marketers need to have a legitimate opt-in to send text messages to a user’s consumer’s cell phone. And, marketers must first develop this opt-in list to tap the power of mobile marketing.

While creating this opt-in list might seem daunting at first, it’s the opt-in that is precisely the reason why mobile marketing works so well. It’s marketing that consumers actually request to receive. What could be more targeted than that!

The best way to create an opt-in database of consumers interested in your product is to offer an interactive mobile marketing product. In this case, an advertisement asks users to text a keyword to a short code. For example, text RESULTS to 84444.

When the consumer sends the text message keyword to the short code, he immediately receives a return text message. This text message both returns the information requested and can qualify the consumer as an opt-in member of the database for future mobile marketing. This is a very valuable database indeed.

In most cases, a sweepstakes or mobile coupon is the best way to generate the maximum number of participants. People love the chance to win something and your advertising reaches them and encourages them to respond with the only medium that they always have with them—their mobile phone.

It is important to note that an advertiser need not create new advertising or obtain a new advertising budget to promote its mobile marketing offer. Simply add it to your existing advertising plans and you’ve made your advertising interactive at no additional investment.

Once an advertiser has created its interactive promotions, it now has a very valuable list of consumers and prospects who are uniquely interested in the product. Now, you can send broadcast text messages to the database that has been created.

Advertisers send broadcast text messages to the opt-in database to remind them of special offers, sales, or product launches.

Timing is one of the best features of broadcast text messaging. Restaurants, for example, can send broadcast messages just before lunch time or on Monday nights when your restaurant is slow. Or, a nightclub can send a text message to its database just when fans are leaving the ballpark.

Mobile coupons are especially effective in mobile marketing. How often do you go to a store and remember that you just saw a coupon in the newspaper. With mobile marketing, the coupon is on the cell phone and thus always with the consumer. Your advertisement is a walking billboard in the consumer’s pocket.

Text message marketing is at the core of mobile marketing. Seventy-two percent of consumers have sent a text message and 57% are “regular users” of text messaging (source—Neustar). Therefore, its text message SMS that will generate the most participation.

Mobile marketing may be the newest medium, but it’s also the most powerful medium of all-time. Never, in the history of advertising, has there been an ability to have a one-on-one relationship with your target customer like mobile marketing and mobile advertising can offer.

It’s time for your message to be on the move.

Just like your customers are.


  1. I am the Media Director at a medium-sized agency and have found one barrier to SMS marketing for our clients to be perceived uncontrolled costs. Since we cannot predict how many will opt in to each promotion, it’s difficult to project how much sending one SMS will cost in our annual client budgets. If a promotion is wildly successful and garners thousands of mobile numbers, sending a subsequent mobile coupon to that group could potentially assess thousands of dollars to a promotional line on a client’s budget. Of course, hopefully it will also result in the corresponding sales to make the ROI undeniable – but, convincing the client to take that leap from traditional media is proving to be harder than expected!

  2. I agree that mobile coupons are an idea way for an advertiser to reach a shopper when they are in the right frame of mind. We just launched a Beta program for advertisers to try this out. Any business can create a coupon and mobiQPons will deliver to all shoppers who are in the 10 mile vicinity of you business(s). Let me know what you think of it.

  3. Katy: You are correct about the unknown budget and it was the same concern when toll free rates in the early 1990’s were much higher. Advertisers felt that they were “writing a blank check” with the eventual cost and return unknown. That’s why we recommend that advertisers try things on a regional basis first then expand nationwide once the ROI has been fully tested and confirmed.


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