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Mobile Marketing : Creating and running a great SMS campaigns

October 15, 2015
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In my previous article, I told you about creating a great mobile experience. In this article, I shall talk about creating and running great SMS Marketing campaigns and Mobile Advertising.

SMS marketing is one of the key facets of mobile phones as it most used service of a phone apart from calling. SMS works on all mobile devices. Among various marketing tools SMS provides one of the highest response rates from consumer. So getting SMS campaigns is critical.

SMS should not only be seen as marketing tool to promote services but also used as customer service tool. When it comes to SMS marketing there are a few things one should keep in mind.

Basic Principles of SMS Marketing

Relevant & Brief content

Sending relevant content is most important factor; the message should be brief and to the point. No exaggerated words or sentences. Leave details, focus on the core message. Due to character limit in SMS, brief and precise content is very important.


According to research, 90% of SMS are read within 3 minutes. So timing is important. Make sure you SMS your Target Audience when the chances of them reading your message are high. Eg: Indigo sends SMS to its passengers once passengers reach their destination about the travel experience.

Conversations style

SMS by nature is conversational in style. One should use conversation messaging to be in touch with customers. Try to use daily used words in SMS to be more relevant. People should feel that they are interacting with you and not with machines. Don’t use SPAM words and ALL CAPS WORDS in your messages

A good example is as follows :

“40% off on all Sport shoes at Inorbit mall, Madhapur this weekend. Use coupon code INORHYD at checkout in all the stores”.

“15% cashback on all recharges only on Mobrecharge App. Offer valid till 12PM today. Use promocode 15CASH. Download app at”

Call to action

Having call to action is vital. Having CTA helps customers understand exactly what is expected out of them. CTA helps customers to know what should be his/her next steps.

Eg: Below in the example, Paytm uses the CTA “visit website”

paytm mobile marketing


Any marketing activity should be measured & tracked. Using shortcodes, url links, CTA are excellent ways to measure the success of any SMS campaign.

Here in above example of Paytm, Paytm publishes shortcode to measure the success of their SMS campaign and to know how customers are responding to their SMS.


Incentives such as mobile coupon code are an effective way to increase penetration among customers. Coupled with urgency factor (time bound) in coupons. SMS can be great way to connect with customers where you offer something of immediate value.

Eg: In above example, along with core message, Paytm promotes their cashback promo-codes to increase transaction through the app. So, instead of sending separate messages, they are using existing service SMS to promote coupon and promo codes as well.

Team work

Having SMS marketing campaign is not a one man’s job. SMS activity will impact other departments as well. Having a cross functional team comprising of members such as IT, customer service, Sales will definitely help in creating effective SMS strategy


Most brands don't have consistent SMS marketing plan. SMS marketing becomes one of the various avenues in the marketing plan. SMS marketing needs to be consistent. If your brand is running some offer every month, you should make sure that every month customer should get SMS updates on that offer. Brands should not send high rate of messages in 1 week and later for months there is no messages.

Bulk SMS

In recent times, sending bulk SMS without explicit approval from customer is illegal and sending bulk SMS can be counterproductive for your brand. There are strict regulations about SPAM in SMS. In India, TRAI has certain rules and regulations for the same which should be followed before starting any SMS campaign.

Mobile Advertising

Due to increased use of mobile phones, smartphones and tablets among users, mobile devices have given an ever increasing opportunity to reach out to our potential customers and prospects.

Marketers can reach customers through mobile primarily through the following media.

  • Text - text messages/ SMS 
  • Display - Static or animated images banners
  • Rich media - Combination of text and images to provide interactive experiences.
  • Audio & Video - Combination of Audio & Video clips to promote goods and services.
  • Incentivized media - A video or rich media advertising which incentivizes consumer and offers free credits, offers, coupons for watching ad, video.

With mobiles, advertisers have opportunity to send ads based on user’s location, proximity, device, telecom connection, digital behavior & physical behavior. This info makes mobile advertising a very powerful media and helps advertises to tailor their ad relevant to the customers.

In mobile advertising, the following aspects should be considered starting any campaign

Setting the objectives

Setting your goals & objectives is important. You should set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound (SMART goals).

Allocate a budget

Set a right budget for your advertising plan. Your media plan may vary depending on your budget.

Decide on media mix plan

Media is a place where your mobile ads shall be placed. Make sure you select the right plan.

Design creative

Based on the media plan, creatives are chosen. It may be rich media, text messages, A/V , interstitial etc. One has to be concise & brief with the creative.

Set up tracking

Detailed plan to track & analyze media & ad performance

Optimization plan

Optimization is key. One has to choose wisely which media is working which is not. Optimize not only media but also creatives so as to achieve objectives. Allocate more money in ads which are performing better.

Mobile advertising & Mobile marketing is a growing discipline which has evolved in last few years. From SMS to Push notifications to contextual marketing everything has gained importance. Technology has evolved and so have the customers.

So every marketer thinking of mobile should be open to innovate, experiment, learn and adopt to stay ahead of the competition.

If you any questions do let me know through comments, I will try my best to answer them.


About the Author

Techno Marketing & Product Manager with over 8+ years of experience across IT, Banking & Financial Industries He loves History, Science ,Comics ,Web . He believes that, We are in most exciting period in Human history. He is Marketer during the Day and Coder at Night.


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