August 16, 2008

Leave the scissors at home.

More than one-third (37%) of US consumers surveyed who received text-message-based advertising were more likely to respond to an incentive such as a retail coupon or free song or ringtone, according to a September 2008 study by ABI Research. Only 11% of respondents said such incentives would not influence them.

More than six out of 10 of those who were either neutral or open to potential text message marketing said they would be most likely to respond to discount coupons for local retailers. The next-most-popular incentives were free ringtones and songs.

As is often the case in mobile marketing research, the findings were delivered with a cautionary note.

"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," said Michael Wolf, research director at ABI, in a statement.

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A survey conducted by the Direct Marketing Association in March and April 2008 asked similar questions, but separated text messages and coupons. In that study, text messages had delivered the highest response rate out of five offer types, while coupons (not specifically local) were lowest.

Harris Interactive has also asked consumers what type of mobile ads they would like to receive. The company found nearly one-third of all teen and adult Internet users in the US they surveyed would like to get coupons for consumables. The coupons were not geographically specific (for example, local versus national).

The different studies suggest that a variety of coupons appeal to mobile users—if they want ads in the first place.

Courtesy of


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