One of the reasons SMS Text message volume is surpassing call volume is due to the immediacy of delivery. If there is fraudulent activity on your credit card or bank account would you rather have your bank leave a voice mail on your home machine or get a text alert.
If the worst does happen and someone steals your credit card account information to go on a buying spree, the consumer protection department of your credit card issuer will attempt to contact you, most commonly through voice, as that is the default for most consumers, especially older consumers. Email is also frequently used.
However, both voice and email introduce delays into a process where timely outreach is critical. If the number of record is a home landline, the message may not be picked up until well into the evening. Even if a business line or cell phone is being contacted, people often defer calls from unknown numbers to a more convenient time. Meanwhile, the fraudulent transaction which triggered the alert process may still go through. Even if it is declined, the identity thieves are free to try again. Conversely, if the transaction is legitimate and the account holder is unavailable to confirm it, the desired purchase may be stalled or declined.
This opens an opportunity for mobile messaging to become a value-add to consumers experiencing account fraud. SMS delivered to the handset is not just a fun way for friends to stay in touch — in cases like identity theft alerts it provides a valuable business benefit.
Many users who have adopted SMS as an ordinary communications channel will typically check their messaging as soon as possible – at a stoplight, on a meeting break, walking down a hallway – even in situations where they may not be willing or able to take a voice call.
The consumer whose account information is suspected to have been stolen can receive a text message to contact a fraud hotline immediately. Valuable time is saved in a fraud management process where minutes can count – minutes that can prevent further damage to the consumer’s credit.
The sticking point with commercial SMS messages in the U.S. is getting consumers to opt-in to receive such messages in the first place. A multichannel media strategy for garnering opt-ins can provide big payoffs for both lenders and consumers. Examples include SMS opt-in opportunities at the end of agented or automated voice calls, point-of-sale messaging at branch banks or lending offices, Web-based check-box options within the customer’s account profile, statement messaging or inserts and print advertising campaigns.
When consumers are given the opportunity to opt-in for fraud alerts via SMS, businesses can create stronger customer relationships through protecting everyone in the transaction chain – consumer, merchant, processor, and lender – while improving profitability through a more efficient fraud management process. A simple mobile messaging campaign, delivered in these difficult times, reaps dividends for everyone involved.
Contact ApolloBravo about our mobile alert platforms. Over 95% of text messages are read by customers.
Mobile marketing Watch: Nielsen Mobile is so upbeat about SMS marketing, its analysts even use the jargon!
In its December 2008 report titled “The Short Code Marketing Opportunity,” Nielsen Mobile outlines the success of numerous SMS campaigns, describes how it bridges old and new media, and engages customers because it’s a “highly personal and interactive medium.” In its closing sentence, the report tells marketers: “Good luck 2 u.”
No wonder Nielsen descends into text-speak. According to research figures, SMS messaging has become extremely popular with U.S. wireless subscribers. In the third quarter of 2008, 203 million of 263 million users, or 77 percent, paid for texting either as part of a data package or in per-transaction fees. By the third quarter, wireless subscribers were sending an average 357 texts per month.
During the same period, brands using SMS saw great response. Coca-Cola’s short code campaigns resulted in 1.1 million AT&T and Verizon Wireless customers actively texting with the beverage company. Some 1.013 million (presumably pizza-loving) Verizon and AT&T subscribers texted with the pie chains Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and Papa John’s. Foot Locker’s VIP program resulted in 306,000 AT&T and Verizon subscribers exchanging texts with the shoe chain. And the SMS campaigns of more than two dozen radio stations–which used the technology to let listeners enter contests and engage with their favorite on-air hosts–received enough response that the campaigns appear in Nielsen’s Messaging Report.
What does all this mean?
It proves that as texting becomes embedded in U.S. consumers’ daily life, it is also the ideal way for marketers to reach them. (As long as these texts are permission-based opt-in messages, of course.) This isn’t just true for national brands. As Nielsen noted in its report, a regional chain of Ashley Furniture HomeStores in the Carolinas saw ROI of $122 for every $1 spent when it used SMS to promote a “secret sale.”
Besides radio, print media has also used SMS to create multi-channel campaigns. Hearst Magazines has implemented campaigns to offer specials to readers of titles as varied as CosmoGirl and SmartMoney–proving that print really can survive in a digitized world.
To be sure, SMS usage among wireless subscribers in the United States lags behind everyone else in the world except Canada, according to Nielsen. The U.S. rate was 57 percent in the third quarter, compared to 88 percent in Russia, which had the highest usage of all countries mentioned.
However that U.S. rate is bound to increase, especially after the recent presidential campaign drew more awareness to text campaigns. Nielsen estimates that the famous SMS-announcement of Sen. Joe Biden as Barack Obama’s running mate was received by 2.9 million phone users. While election-year hysteria has died down, excitement over SMS marketing–on the part of consumers–keeps growing.
Contact ApolloBravo for a free consultation on mobile marketing campaigns 703-835-9688 or text bravo to 99702
CEO Steve Largent told show-goers that the numbers of SMS messages sent by U.S. wireless subscribers rose to a staggering 1 trillion last year—or triple the piddling 363 billion text messages we sent in 2007.
That comes out to about 3,700 text messages annually—or 10 texts a day—for every cell phone subscriber (about 270 million as of December 2008, according to the CTIA) in the States.
contact ApolloBravo about adding text message promotion to your marketing plan.