One of the persistent and legitimate grumbles about SMS is that you are restricted to a measly 160 characters.
While e-mail and the web are unrestricted, mobile marketers have had to chew the end of their pencils to compress their offer into what amounts to a short sentence.
While some argue that this limitation poses the perfect challenge for copywriters, most mobile marketing folk would do anything to be given more elbow room to get their message across.
The ability to send long messages of up to 612 characters provides some relief, although any text message longer than 160 characters will cost more than one text credit. With ever tightening budgets, most tend to opt for the shorter but lower cost option.
Mobile Marketing Breaks Free
This inconvenience is however coming to a pretty rapid end with the meteoric rise of the smart phone. 60.4% of all mobile users in the UK now have smartphones (source – E marketing). This is splendid news for mobile marketing because it means that links that are sent within texts are far more likely to be clicked upon and the content read and acted upon.
With over 90% of us now using our smart phones to browse the web, a simple link in a text allows mobile marketers to shake free from the long-standing 160 character limit. This does of course mean that companies’ web presence will now need to be optimised for mobile. It’s no use including a link if it takes you to an unusable web page.
By shortening the web address using a URL shortener, the number of characters used for the web link can be minimised. Message Box accounts from Text Marketer include the newly launched URL shortener so that customers can quickly shorten URLs while writing their messages.
So SMS not only continues to be the most responsive direct marketing channel available but it also is becoming more flexible and useful to customers. Long may this continue.