Mobile and SMS Marketing Trends, Tools & Tips [Update 2023]

    by Emily Bronte

    In November, the Mobile Marketing Association updated the definition to “a set of practices that enables organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network.” That’s when mobile marketing was literally redefined back in 2009.


    What’s Mobile MarketingTrends


    Describing mobile marketing as a set of practices reflects how it has changed in 2009 and where it is headed in 2010. To understand, it helps to consider the following few trends.

    Mobile is multichannel

    In 2010, brands and agencies increasingly will use mobile to enhance other channels, both traditional and new media. This trend has been underway for a couple of years, and it is not hard to see why: With high penetration even in developing countries, mobile is widely recognized as a convenient, cost-effective way for marketers to reach the mass market, including in ways they cannot with other media.

    For example:

    A growing number of marketing campaigns use mobile-enhanced billboard, print and broadcast media to promote an opt-in for text alert programs, wallpapers, games and ringtones to maintain awareness of a product, such as a new car model or album. These programs support engagements long after exposure to the initial traditional marketing.

    Furthermore, the integration of a USA virtual phone number into these mobile-enhanced strategies has increasingly become a pivotal element for businesses aiming to extend their reach and engagement within the American market

    It’s engaging

    This stickiness of mobile is one reason why brands and agencies will spend in 2022 and include a mobile component throughout all their mobile marketing programs at every state of the customer lifecycle. Another benefit drives that trend.

    It’s cost effective

    Brands and agencies increasingly recognize that mobile is a powerful, cost-effective way to maintain a relationship with customers.

    For example:

    When customers respond to, say, a shortcode in a print ad, that initial communication is an opportunity to invite them to opt into future campaigns and promotions, such as SMS-delivered alerts and e-coupons for secret sales.

    It’s measurable

    Richer analytics is that follows: mobile analytics tools will grow in both selection and features so that brands and agencies have richer, more actionable insights into their mobile campaigns, such as how consumers are interacting with them. This level of hard metrics benefits both the campaigns and the mobile marketing industry by illustrating the value that mobile brings to a campaign.

    Mobile analytics tools also increasingly will be integrated with analytics tools for other media. For example, a multichannel campaign spanning broadcast and mobile will be able to use a single dashboard for viewing data for SMS usage alongside Nielsen and Arbitron metrics. That is a key component enabling the overall marketing trend toward integrated campaigns.


    Why SMS’ Value Skyrockets


    SMS is one of the oldest wireless technologies still in use, and for a good reason: It is nearly ubiquitous in terms of device and network support, enjoys comprehensive consumer awareness across all demographics, and is relatively inexpensive for consumers, brands, and marketers.

    All of those benefits make SMS a highly effective way for a mobile marketing campaign (SMS Marketing Campaign) to reach the mass market – far more than, say, smartphone applications, which have a rapidly growing yet still small addressable market.

    That is why in 2022, SMS will increasingly serve as the glue that cements multichannel campaigns. More campaigns that span print, direct mail, digital signage, and broadcast will use SMS to enable calls-to-action, e-coupons, and metrics such as the number of people who view an advertisement.

    One example is Atomic SMS Sender, which helps local businesses and national chains to create and execute campaigns that feature shortcodes in direct mailers. After texting the shortcode, consumers receive an e-coupon on their phone that they redeem by showing to the merchant’s sales associate.

    Participating Atomic SMS Sender merchants are reporting a coupon-redemption lift averaging 3.5:1. Just as important, SMS also allows these merchants to build an opt-in list to enable future campaigns. SMS Marketing also provides brands and agencies with a less expensive, faster, and farther-reaching alternative to smartphone applications, which many campaigns use. Although smartphone adoption skyrocketed back in 2009, smartphone applications are not ideal for every campaign because, by various analysts' estimates, upward of 80 percent of mobile users have a feature phone.


    SMS Marketing Tips


    Here are some extra important SMS Marketing tips and tricks to help you!

    1. Ask your audience

    After subscribers participate in one program, ask them if they’d like to opt-in for future SMS messages. For instance, if they opted into your event update program, offer them incentives such as promotions or alerts. This will help you build an opt-in database to kick-start future programs.

    2. Use media types for promotion

    If you use several types of media to promote your campaign, use a different keyword for each media type while keeping the message the same. For instance, in one program you could use the keyword COOL for print, ICE for in-store displays, and FREEZE for in-venue promotions. This will allow you to measure which medium was most successful by comparing results by keyword.

    3. Offer incentives

    Offer incentives based on subscriber activity and preferences. If subscribers show interest in a particular offering, send them related promotions or content via SMS.

    4. Mind the wording

    When promoting your vanity short code, always provide the short code’s digits for recipients with a QWERTY keypad. For example, “Text YES to 92259 (WACKY).”

    5. Provide help

    Provide a directory that allows subscribers to text the word HELP to get more information, particularly for more complex or feature-rich programs.

    6. Use it fro B2B

    Don’t think mobile marketing is just for consumer marketing; it can be used just as effectively in business-to-business marketing. Consider adding mobile alerts if you market to businesses – such as notices about upcoming Webinars or podcasts, or offers of on-site incentives to conference attendees.

    7. Mind opt-in/out procedures

    Always respect the privacy of SMS subscribers by obtaining their permission through an opt-in procedure, and never purchase mobile phone number lists.

    8. Partner

    Most importantly, make sure you partner with the right company to execute your mobile marketing.




    Needless to say that brands and agencies should not consider smartphone applications. Just the opposite: They are a powerful new option for campaigns and an example of why “interactive” is part of mobile marketing’s new definition. But at the same time, it is essential to understand how applications fit in – or do not – with the product being marketed and its target audience. In that regard, SMS’ ubiquity fits another part of mobile marketing’s new definition: “any mobile device or network.” A partner like AtomPark Software can offer support with carrier approval, program or campaign development, metrics and analytics, and the freedom to create and launch your campaigns in 165 countries! Only think of that! Good luck.

    Written by:
    Emily Bronte
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