Statistics show that SMS marketing is the most cost-effective and efficient way to advertise. When it’s coupled with e-mail, IM and social networking, the results will be as much as 30% more effective than traditional marketing. The projected growth in SMS marketing is nothing short of phenomenal, and, there is very little competition.

Smart Phones vs Standard Cell Phones

Mobile marketing is distinctly different from SMS Text marketing. While you use a cell phone with both methods, you cannot reach the same target market. It is limited to those with cell phones that can use apps like you find on a smart phone. On the other hand, SMS marketing can reach almost anyone with a cell phone, including a smart phone.

Both smart phones and standard cell phones can use MMS to send pictures, conduct polls and contests, send coupons, utilize QR codes and many other marketing features. With a smart phone, the features are in the phone or apps that the phone uses. With a standard cell phone, the features are accessed through a SMS platform.

Using a standard cell phone is by far the most cost-effective way to venture into SMS marketing. The only equipment you need is your cell phone (actually you don’t have to have a cell phone, your business could be web-based). No special apps, software or any other peripheral equipment is needed. With just your standard cell phone you can start SMS marketing for pennies.

What Industries Use This Form Of Marketing?

Home based businesses, start-ups, small to medium-sized businesses, large conglomerates and even affiliate marketers can benefit from cell phone marketing. Case studies on the following business industries report up to a 300% increase in sales:

Membership Organizations
Promotion and Events
Medical Services
An Inexpensive Way of Marketing

SMS text marketing is far cheaper than traditional advertising methods such as TV, print media, and using billboards. It also can have a greater impact compared to other forms of advertising. One possible reason could be that you develop a relationship with your customer. You can target the target market. This greatly increases customer retention in addition to getting referrals from them for new customers.

Getting Started

It’s easy to get started in SMS Text marketing, but here’s the decision you have to make. Do you want to spend a lot of time sending and responding to text messages? If you don’t, it would probably be more expedient to use a SMS text-messaging platform. All of the tasks related to your campaign will be automated.

SMS Platforms

Select a full service SMS platform. The company help set up your campaign, provide training, and industry case studies. Review the case studies to see how others in your industry have set up their campaigns. Don’t reinvent the wheel; follow the model making only adjustments that are necessary for your culture.

the platform must perform the following services, at a minimum:

2-Way Texting
Advertising Templates
Appointment Scheduling
MMS (Pictures)
Mobile eCards
Mobile keywords
Mobile Coupons
Mobile Polls
On-Line Sign Up Page
QR Codes
Short Code
Shuffle Responder
Voice Blast
Developer api
In addition to providing the services above, the SMS platform needs to integrate with e-mail, IM, and Face Book. An SMS text-messaging platform that has the above features and integration will serve you very well. All of your online marketing must be handled from one platform and work together to increase your sales.

How Much Should the Platform Cost?

The only thing you should expect to pay for is the number of messages you send out each month. The more messages you send, the higher the cost will be. Shy away from companies that charge a setup fee and require a contract. Look for a company that offers a free trial so you can learn the ropes while you setup your marketing campaign.

Monthly charges start at around $25 for SMS text marketing platforms that offer full services and the features mentioned above. Expect 500 – 1000 free message during the trial period. You must be able to use all the premium services too. Given the right circumstances, you really can run a successful SMS marketing campaign for literally pennies per message.

All In One Marketing Campaign

A SMS marketing campaign should involve sending text messages and multi- media messages to your clients. Inform them of new products and services, a contest, send coupons, get them to join in a group discussion, or announce an event. Get all your communication tools to work together so that you do not spam.

Send your advertisement every couple of days, but through a different media. The more often your customer gets information about your event, the more effective your advertising will be. If you start with an announcement a week out, a coupon on another day, a discussion on a different day, and send a reminder hours before, you could have standing room only during your sale or event. The trick is to keep your text messages informative and relative.

This Is The 5th Dimension in Marketing

When compared to other forms of marketing, SMS text marketing is the winner without a fight. It is inexpensive to get started, you are communicating directly with your customer at your customer’s request, and you have creative ways to keep your customer engaged. Only the number of cell phones in the world limits your potential customer base, five billion and counting.

Alyce J. McGhee is a successful Internet marketer with over 15 years experience. She has developed an expertise in article marketing, affiliate marketing, e-mail marketing, internet marketing, seo marketing and social media marketing.

Ms. McGhee has performed extensive research on mobile SMS marketing []. She watched the industry develop, learned the best practices and waited strategically for the technology to become affordable to the regular internet marketer.