Is SMS Saturation a Growing Issue?

by Victor Green
3 mins read

It’s no big secret by now that seemingly everyone has a mobile phone. In fact, the reason why you’re reading this blog post probably stems from the fact that you want to reach out to potential customers via these very devices. The only problem? So does everyone else in your industry.For some brands, the concerns surrounding this saturation of options for consumers is great enough to warrant hesitation about entering the SMS market. To ensure you don’t make the wrong call on this front, let’s break down the mobile marketing landscape as it stands now, as well as whether or not there’s really enough room left for your brand to make a splash via savvy text messages.

The Current State of the Industry

To say the amount of mobile phones in North America – and the world at large – continues to grow at a steady rate is like saying that Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt is kind of fast. In fact, Mobile Marketing Watch’s Michael Essany reports that 90 percent of adults in this region own a mobile phone, with an additional 60 percent of these devices falling into the smartphone designation.Abroad, this trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. According to the team at the Mobile Marketing Blog, mobile phones currently outnumber the earth’s population, with more people owning a mobile phone than those who own toothbrushes. Dental hygiene concerns aside, there’s also the realization that 371,000 babies are born in a day, compared to 378,000 iPhones sold in the same timeframe. To put it bluntly, people love their phones and there’s no sign of this reality fading away any time soon.

Is the Amount of Competition Too Great?

With this demand helping put things into prospective, it’s easy to see why so many brands tip their hats into the SMS discussion. However, just because companies from around the world are targeting and reaching out to the same customers as your organization, that doesn’t mean you’re automatically behind the curve in terms of potential and the ability to capture unclaimed conversions among these segments.As the report from the Mobile Marketing Blog goes on to explain, the amount of money spent on mobile operations accounts for less than one percent of the average marketing budget. Essentially, the mobile marketplace is crowded, but most companies continue to undervalue this portion of the brand outreach and awareness process. If you’re willing to take note of this gap and put forth the necessary effort, there’s nothing stopping your organization from giving these consumers exactly what they want and reaping the rewards of your hard work.

Standing out in a Crowded Room

So just what goes into a great text message that stands out in a cluttered mobile inbox? In his look at the “road map” to great SMS messages, Douglas Karr of The Marketing Technology Blog narrows the discussion down to six crucial attributes. At the top of this list is creating an offer that’s actually valuable. If you’re offering your contact list a pittance compared to the competition, it’s hard to expect a positive response. Another key point on this front is to make the offer exclusive. It’s hard to develop a following via SMS if your targeted consumers can capture this same opportunity on numerous other platforms.Once you have your offer in place, don’t be afraid to start your message off with the offer front and center, in addition to placing a direct call-to-action (CTA) in a similar position of prominence. People do read virtually every text sent their way, but just like an marketed email, you don’t want to waste the time of your audience with frivolous content.Speaking of timing, if you can build a sense of urgency into your text, Karr pinpoints this as a crucial victory for your brand. Should a consumer not feel the need to act immediately, this lethargy regarding the offer can quickly turn into permanent inaction – something that’s definitely not good for SMS outlook.Finally, don’t be afraid to mention your brand name early and often. Familiarity is a big concern for today’s typical shopper, so ensuring that these members of your contact list always know the origin point of the message is a great way to assuage any issues on this front. When paired with the other info laid out by Karr, as well as your newfound understand of the crowded – yet manageable – nature of the modern SMS scene, there’s no reason why your brand can’t tap into the plethora of potential that’s still out there via powerful mobile marketing operations.

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