SMS Price Cuts


GraphicMail Cuts SMS + Mobile Site Link Campaign Pricing by 50%
Cape Town, South Africa, 29 October. Just in time for the holiday season, when many businesses need to rely on quick sales strategies to boost their revenue – more and more, via mobile campaigns - South Africa’s leading email marketing service provider GraphicMail is reducing the price of its innovative SMS marketing.  The innovation?  GraphicMail enables the sending of SMS campaigns with web links to mobile sites that companies can put together easily, free, and based on mobile templates.  This way, the same rich media and content can be sent via SMS as via email newsletters, with the advantage that SMS has an open rate of 98% as opposed to 22% for email (Frost & Sullivan 2010 & Epsilon 2009). 
According to a recent study by Retail Systems Research (RSR), online retailers will increase their spending on email, mobile and social marketing by more than 20% compared to 2011 results. About 68% or the respondents expect sales to increase during this holiday, and nearly a quarter think they will see a rise by more than 50%. 40% of retailers report an overall increase in mobile marketing spending for the 2012 holiday season. 
Mobile Marketing Association’s Rimma Katz states in a recent article that SMS will be one of the main channels behind mobile marketing strategies among internet retailers – used to drive in-store traffic, engagement and sales.  According to Accenture, 56% of mobile shoppers in the US are said to showroom, and 27% to buy via their devices. Deloitte predicts that shoppers' smartphone activity, including research, coupon use and purchases, could account for $36 billion in holiday sales this year.  
South African consumers show similar trends; not only did 88.9% of households own cellphones in 2011 (compared with 31.9% a decade before – according to the latest Census), but a research by inmobi reports that 46% of South African mobile web users purchased via mobile devices in 2011, versus 10% via desktop. Non-smartphone users (feature users) are said to have an even higher preference for shopping using their mobile.
This poses a great opportunity for mobile-smart marketers to differentiate and increase sales and engagement via mobile devices. A new report from Gartner found that in 2011, nearly 80% of major advertisers had not launched a mobile friendly site. Yet, a revolution usually starts with the “small guy”. And this is where GraphicMail steps in. Even their free account users can set up a mobile site, based on templates, in the time it takes to prepare lunch. The software solution makes it easy to add maps, contact details and videos. Then, a SMS message is set up with a link to this personalised mobile site, hosted free by GraphicMail. This kind of innovative SMS push campaign can be used for mobile coupons, event invitations, or full mobile sites. And in order to make it affordable, GraphicMail is allowing the creation and promoting of a mobile site at the same price of a regular SMS.
“Traditionally, there have been concerns regarding weblinks in SMS messages, due to the limited penetration of smartphones. This, however, is no longer the case as smartphone penetration is in excess of 20% in South Africa (MyBroadBand); and with a system able to render mobile sites on over 5000 mobile devices there is no need to worry about whether the person has a smartphone or not”, reckons Nicholas Eckert, CEO at GraphicMail.