Survey: 37% Need Incentives To Respond To SMS

There was an interesting survey conducted by ABI Research recently that pointed out that SMS marketing’s level of responsiveness can often be improved through the use of incentives.

The results of the survey suggest 37% of those who have received text message-based advertising have indicated they are more likely to respond to advertising in a text-based marketing message if they are offered an incentive such as a retail coupon or free song or ringtone, compared with only 11% who indicated that such incentives would not have any impact.

Not very surprising, but incentives that received the most positive response in study were real-world discounts and coupons for retail storefronts. 60% of those who were either neutral or open to potential text message marketing nominated a discount coupon at a local retailer as the incentive they would most likely respond to. After retail coupons, the next most popular incentives were free ringtones and songs.

This study more or less pointed out the obvious. It’s been widely known that SMS marketing campaigns almost have to include an incentive in one way or another to be even remotely successful. I’m actually surprised the number wasn’t higher than 37% of the respondants who wanted an incentive to respond to the campaign- in my experience, if there’s really nothing the user can gain from the interaction, they’re not going to bother.

“We think that in general, advertisers and operators must tread carefully when delivering marketing messages to a consumer’s mobile handset, especially given that many subscribers believe they are paying a significant amount of money for their mobile services,” says research director Michael Wolf. “However, we believe that marketing and advertising messaging that is properly crafted and that utilizes incentives could enjoy more acceptance on the part of the consumer.”