Mobile marketing and m-commerce

Advantages and disadvantages of SMS marketing


SMS marketing, or text message marketing, is a direct marketing method and a type of mobile advertising.   

It requires sending promotional messages to potential or previous customers via text. It is a form of opt-in marketing that requires contacts to give their consent. 

Advantages of SMS marketing

The personal nature of mobile phones makes SMS marketing a very powerful tool which can have different benefits:

  • Most people take their mobile phones everywhere - meaning they can be effective for time sensitive messages. 
  • People tend to read virtually every text they get - unlike junk mail, spam or adverts which can be ignored. 
  • Ian be used with information from your customer relationship management system to target customers past on their past purchase behaviour. 
  • A potential higher open rate than other direct marketing methods. 
  • It is suitable for time sensitive promotions since people read text messages instantly. 
  • SMS marketing is a relatively cheap option for small enterprises and start-ups.  
  • Businesses can send personalised messages to specific customer groups using collected data. 
  • It can be used with information from your customer relationship management system to target customers on their past purchase behaviour.

Potential disadvantages of SMS marketing

Some of the downsides include:

  • Your message has to be short - you only have a little space to get your message across. 
  • People respond negatively to unwanted texts. Make sure you have their permission to send them texts and that your SMS marketing complies with privacy and data protection rules. See privacy and data protection in direct marketing.
  • People are wary of responding to SMS messages due to  increased fraudulent messages. Under the E-commerce Regulations, you are required to make it clear who the message is from and commercial communications must be clearly recognisable as such. For more information, see selling online and the law.


You will need to employ a mobile phone agency to send out the texts for you. Companies tend to price their services by packages - so check their delivery rates and make sure the support services are satisfactory. You can also brand your messages so you send messages from your company name, not just your number. The development of 4G (fourth generation) and smartphones, which have larger screens and can play music and video clips, has also made multimedia messaging service (known as MMS) possible.

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