SMS gateway offers a platform which renders sending and receiving of short messages of 160 characters, thereby allowing individuals, organizations, marketing companies to stay connected with friends, employees and potential customers respectively. SMS gateway offers advertisers a great opportunity to interact with consumers by sending unique catch lines and slogans to capture their attention through SMS.
Typically, an SMS gateway provides a system, allowing to and fro movement of text data with or without the use of mobile phones or any such devices. A simple example would be a text message originating from an email. The system has enormous potential which can also be utilized in various applications and systems apart from creating brand identity and brand recall value. Text messages form an integral part of SMS gateway; the only restriction is the length, which is set to 160 characters.
Incidentally the 160 character limit has today become synonymous with twitter's tweeting demarcation.
No wonder then, SMS marketing has become a rage with advertising companies. It is a relatively new concept as compared to some of the other technology driven techniques. The basic tool is the use of SMS to make a product or service propaganda. This single prong hook makes it a unique merchandising option. The procedure is quite simple. Using the SMS gateway, a simple message is created which highlights a product or a service along with custom logo. Once the template is ready, it is send across to potential customers.
Such a system can be operated from within the organization. If for some reason it is not possible then there are specialized marketing firms who do the needful at nominal charges. However, for the former there are resellers who provide the necessary infrastructure and setup programs.
One of the first groups of entities to make use of SMS marketing was the cellular companies themselves. It was only natural for them to pursue SMS marketing because they had the required technology, customer base and personal information.
The reason for the growing popularity of SMS marketing is the ease of use coupled with other advantages like high response rate and choice of target audience.
But this approach does have its own set of demerits. The limit of 160 characters makes it extremely difficult to capture user attention. This invariably puts a lot of pressure on advertising companies to adopt a more aggressive stance by sending multiple messages, creating a bad image, thereby defeating the whole exercise.
With the advent of online SMS, a web based short message service which enables transfer of short text messages (SMS) to mobile devices, advertisers and internet advertising firms have turned euphoric. Online SMS uses IP or internet protocol to communicate with cell phones and other related devices making it extremely cost effective.