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Death of SMS? Premature indeed.

Silhouette in a subway tunnel. Light at End of Tunnel

I’m forever reading articles declaring SMS is dead. It always confuses me because I see just the opposite. But the argument they make usually has something to do with the growth of instant messaging apps, or in app notifications. Many predict that apps are, or will be, the preferred mobile form of interaction with brands. It’s an argument for sure, and it may be true in some sectors. But it ignores one single truth about SMS messaging: it works on any type of mobile, no app required.

You can reach anyone with a simple SMS message. All you need is their mobile number (and their permission if you’ll be using it for direct marketing). You don’t have to ask them to download an app. You don’t have to ask them to open the app to see your messages. And you don’t have to rely on them reading through a list of notifications that pop up when their phone or app isn’t on (where it’s likely your message will get lost amongst a slew of emails or other app notifications).

When you’re trying to connect with people, you want to keep it as simple as possible. Whether you’re looking to increase sales, keep your organisation updated on a project, or improve attendance at Sunday services, a single SMS message can reach everyone. And they don’t have to do anything other than read the message. They’ll see it, and they’ll read it. No extra steps needed.

If you’re an app advocate, you may think I’m oversimplifying or just not up on the latest trends. Apps certainly have their purposes. I’m a fan of apps too. But if you’re interested in mobile marketing, SMS is the place to focus. And it’s not just me saying that.

An article in Mobilemarketingwatch.com reported on a recent study done by the Mobile Marketing Association. The results of that study showed 90% of mobile marketing revenue was driven by SMS. They looked at all channels including mobile video ads and other forms of mobile advertising. But as the article states, “SMS is ‘cleaning up’”.

If SMS could talk, I think it would be quoting Mark Twain:

“The report of my death was an exaggeration.”

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