Want To Get Paid To Receive SMS Advertisements?

An interesting new mobile revenue-share service caught my eye today, not only because it’s a new approach to mobile marketing, but also because it seems to solve a huge problem with SMS marketing as a whole. Consumers hate spam, especially on their mobile phones, and...

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An interesting new mobile revenue-share service caught my eye today, not only because it’s a new approach to mobile marketing, but also because it seems to solve a huge problem with SMS marketing as a whole. Consumers hate spam, especially on their mobile phones, and while waiting for the user to text in to show interest might be a solution, it reduces the amount of exposure a mobile advertising campaign should get.

HooHaa, A relatively new company based in New Zealand, has set out to offer a new Pay-Per-Text platform to mobile user’s based heavily on the user’s interests, likes, dislikes, and more. When the user receives an SMS advertisement, their account is credited with $.10.

Here’s how it works. User’s sign up for a free account via the website, and during the registration process they’re asked a series of questions that are used to determine what types of SMS advertisements are to be served to that user. Everything from age to restaurants they frequent to the type of music and films they like. The user then agrees to be sent a maximum of 4 SMS advertisements per day based on their preferences. You get offers such as discounts, new releases, coupons, and useful information the user might actually find beneficial.

The credits you accumulate for receiving the advertisements are paid out monthly only after gaining a balance of $2.50 or more per month. This may not sound like much, but it does create a small incentive to receive relevant advertisements. The money you make can be turned into cash payments, mobile phone credits, sent to charity, or sent to a Pago Wallet. A Pago Wallet is an online & SMS payment system offered in New Zealand similar to Paypal or Google Checkout.

It’s hard to say how effective this method could turn out to be. If the revenue opportunity was a bit more substantial, people might be more apt to sign-up. On the other hand, receiving SMS after SMS everyday might become annoying to everyday users. You’re also bound to get people who immediately delete the SMS without even taking a look, just so they can get the credit to their account. Not to mention the hackers who will cheat the system much like they have with AdSense and other revenue-sharing platforms.

Another aspect to think about is the differences between mobile phone habits in the USA and elsewhere in the world. In New Zealand, much like countries in Europe and elsewhere in Australia, mobile technology seems to be more advanced, and SMS/MMS is used much more widespread than in the USA. Also, mobile-service billing is much different, and pre-paid service is more prevalent, therefore receiving credits to your mobile service or pre-paid account is more beneficial to users overseas than in the US.

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5 comments

  1. sudhakar

    send me link

  2. justin

    Prasad- You can reach HooHaa via the link below

    http://hoohaa.co.nz/

  3. prasad

    send me link..

  4. Julia

    There’s a similar service in Germany (http://www.geldfunk.de/) and I heard the subscriber base is growing exponentially.

  5. Giff Gfroerer, i2SMS

    Justin,

    Interesting column and thoughts. We hear advertisers balking at 6 or 10 cents per message to run normal, opt-in campaigns from people asking specifically to be involved in their particular product. In this instance, in order to pay out 10 cents and cover costs and a profit for Hoo Haa!, the advertiser is going to have to fork over something like 15 or 20 cents. And the people receiving the messages don’t necessarily want to hear from this advertiser…

    It will be interesting to see if it works. We continually tell advertisers the 6 cents to reach an interested, opted-in customer is by far the most effective use of advertising dollars they will spend. (Imagine the cost to send out direct mail – printing, mailing, postal cost, etc. – or email blasts where the response rate is well under 1%.) Here, you reach specifically and only your targeted audience for pennies.

    Good luck to Hoo Haa! Interesting concept. However, as you mention, it is loaded with potential abuse and scams.

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