With mobile phone usage continuing to grow at a rapid rate, the rise of SMS as a means of effectively targeting consumers while they are on-the-move has been well chronicled.  But text message marketing is not a panacea, it raises various issues that make it an option to use carefully.  Below are some of the pros and cons of the practice.


1)      Open rates.  The rate at which SMS texts are read tends to be much higher than for other types of marketing such as emails, which are subject to being caught in spam filters.  Another factor driving open rates is the use of mobile phones as a primary communication device.  This gives texts an urgency and immediacy that other forms of marketing find hard to match.

2)      Response rates.  Conversions are also correspondingly higher with SMS, due partly to the high open rate but also due to the fact that an initial consumer opt-in is required, meaning that those on your text lists are likely to already be at least somewhat interested in the products you provide.

3)      Rapid delivery.  Once you have delivered your message to your SMS provider it can be rapidly sent to the entirety of your marketing list, or to some portion of the list if you are taking a segmented approach to your marketing efforts.

4)      Short codes.  Using short codes in conjunction with your SMS gateway provider, you can have your prospects text a keyword to indicate their interest in your offer.  Using multiple keywords allows you to segment your offers and more accurately target your audience.


1)      Building an SMS list can be more difficult and take longer than is the case with an email blast list or other broad-based marketing approach.  Given that SMS is an opt-in, permission based marketing format, adding customers and prospects to your list can take some time.

2)      The mobile industry is somewhat fragmented, with a variety of different carriers and standards.  This can make it difficult to reach all of the numbers on your list easily, as you may need to coordinate with a variety of telecom firms to be able to get your message out to everyone on your list.

3)      Privacy concerns.  Issues regarding privacy when it comes to sending texts make it necessary to stay on top of the latest SMS text marketing rules being promulgated by government and industry bodies in regards to messages of this type.