Harnessing the Power of Bulk SMS Marketing

April 27, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

Sometime last year, a cousin of mine came hurriedly claiming that a single missed call could help Anna Hazare in his anti-corruption drive. The idea was to garner enough support from the people so that they could pressurize the government to accept the Lokpall Bill. Having spent donkey’s years in the field of mobile marketing, I could do nothing but smile at his naiveté. Missed call marketing is one of the many strategies used by marketing to gather attention among the public.

In a country where more than half the population has access to cell phones, it would be a colossal stupidity to not harness this opportunity. Bulk SMS marketing helps businesses to connect with their customers with short succinct messages. Here are some of the potential areas that have scope for the strategy:

• They can be used by public transport authorities like the railways and airlines to inform customers about bookings, cancellations, and also delays in schedules.

• Private retail chains can make use of this strategy to inform customers about offers, discounts and other information.

• Service providers such as gas/mineral distribution agencies, banks, blood banks can also make use of these services to inform details about orders. Schools too have made use of this service to inform parents of students to convey important notifications.

• The SMS marketing has also been of great help to farmers in the rural hinterlands of the country. A recent article in The Hindu reported that a nonprofit organization CAB International has tied up with Handygo (a VAS solutions provider) to help farmers with mobile based solutions to common problems in fields such as horticulture, agriculture, and animal husbandry. The system can thus be used to provide live updates on weather and market prices of agricultural produce.

And for those worrying about the costs- installing bulk SMS software and managing it is far cheaper than running a direct mail campaign. It’s also easy to maintain the campaign. Sending bulk SMS’s is easy. All that you got to do is to install the software and download an XL sheet that contains the template of messages. And when it’s time to send the message, simply choose the appropriate template. This message shall be added to the mobile phone numbers in the list and then sent individually. Thus, all numbers in the phone-list get the selected text-message.

Bulk SMS has especially been helpful to SME (Small to Medium Enterprises) and internet-entrepreneurs who cannot offer conventional media strategies. The success of every strategy depends on the effectiveness of the keywords used. The message is to be conveyed in not more than 30 words; yet should be compelling enough to compel people to act upon your message.

Moneek Mehra is Brand & Business Development Head at Outsources Marketing Services- a company that markets bulk SMS software. He has written several articles to help people understand and appreciate the concept of sms marketing and bulk SMS.

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