Mobile SMS – The Small Business Savior

Mobile SMS Marketing’s arrival on the scene meant that a small business no longer had to settle for watching on the sidelines while the big boys played the texting game. The affordable costs literally leveled the playing field overnight. Now businesses of any size were able to instantly interact with their current and prospective local customers.

These short messages sent to a person’s cellphone proved quite effective in marketing products and services to consumers.

At 160 words maximum, short messages, called sms messages or texts, are delivered and received by way of a 5 or 6 digit number called a short-code. These numbers are issued in the United States by the Common Short Code Administration, or the CSCA.

Pretty much like telephone numbers, but shorter, these codes are leased and revert back to the SMS service providers whenever the lease expires.

‘SMS Marketing’ by the Numbers

First, your use of a short code for mobile messaging is or should be governed by the Mobile Web best practices since sms text messaging is still considered an intrusion when it’s not asked for specifically, it’s very similar to email spam, but worse. People consider their cell phone number more private that their email address.

Using a dedicated short code for your sms messaging requirements is desirable though quite expensive. You still would have two choices in codes, a random or a vanity short code. As with anything else, customization costs more. Dedicated short codes also can take 12 weeks or more of processing time.

A more cost-effective solution would be the use of shared short-codes for your mobile marketing. The way this works is, the code itself is shared, however each lessee is given their own specific keyword. You can use your keyword as your brand. Again, do the math before you decide which option is for you. The numbers must make sense to only one person, you.

Short Codes – How Much Are They? The Shared Option.

If you desired vanity codes like some of the larger brands, you’ll pay $1000 per month for registration and leasing fees. Random codes will set you back $500 per month. Sadly, these fees do not include sms software number setup and the monthly management fees with the wireless carriers, nor the cost of Application Service Provider’s ability to conduct various marketing interactions over the code with various keywords. Setup is usually around $1500 and monthly fees about $250. All-in-all, quite an expensive task.

You own a local pizza shop. Does that mean you have to pay these fees in order to conduct mobile phone marketing via sms? Of course not. We did mention the option of a shared shortcode.

A shared short code along with your personalized keyword would be the best way to go. Companies can usually provide these for a basic one-time setup fee and a monthly access fee of around $45. Just like cellular phone agreements, these plans vary widely. You select one base ed upon your mobile sms advertising requirements.

Go here for our Shared Option Plan: Shared Short Code Mobile Advertising.