consumer experience, technologies

59% of mobile consumers want operator deals by SMS

getting across to consumersReports commissioned by technology companies to advocate their solutions rarely throw up huge surprises, but a YouGov survey conducted for Upstream has generated a couple of interesting stats.

It reveals that most consumers want to receive mobile deals by text message (61 per cent), and within service messages such as top-up confirmations (9 per cent), missed call and voicemail alerts (8 per cent), balance updates and roaming notifications (7 per cent).

While consumers will accept offers, the report shows that there is a threshold. 14 per cent saying they were prepared to receive offer messages up to two times a month, 38 per cent once a month, and 31 per cent less than that.

A Moco News item led with a top line saying most consumers are likely to accept mobile marketing when it’s delivered by their mobile operator rather than a third party. This is probably because most mobile marketing is delivered by mobile operators.

By signing up to a contract or buying credit, you’re also giving a soft opt-in to receive messages. Added to this, many recipients won’t know how to unsubscribe from these messages, or won’t be bothered enough to find out.

Consumers do accept the messages from mobile operators, but arguably because they think that’s part of the deal. Third party marketing from unknown origins will always be tougher.

Almost 66 per cent of consumers said they would opt-in to receive third party advertising if it offered discount incentives, but 88 per cent said it was unacceptable for mobile operators to feature third-party advertising.

This appears so strong many SMS marketing veterans might baulk at the suggestion. But while the question itself hints that Upstream might have the odd solution it wants to sell directly into mobile operators, it also underlines the antipathy which many still hold towards third-party SMS mobile marketing.

The SMS inbox clearly remains a private place where access should be permission-based and earned.

Alex Vratskides, CEO of Upstream, told Mobile Entertainment: “In Upstream’s experience, personalised messages, which are contextual and feature utility and transactional driven rewards can have a significant impact on an operator’s average revenue per user – particularly when these offers are included in messages the operator is already sending to the customer.”

In other words, the best messages are personal yet functional, and expected but affective. It’s both a fine balance to strike, as well as a tricky skill to master, particularly in the explosive whirl of rival media – which sometimes might be more appropriate. Just because you struck gold once, it doesn’t mean you have a permanently winning formula. But practise makes perfect and if Upstream can keep commissioning these YouGov reports, the rewards are definitely still out there.

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