that they wouldn’t otherwise have received,” Lee says. “It kept the event at the forefront of the recipients’ minds.”
Such campaigns typically involve an agency that’s already set up to do business with the cellular carriers (which are sticklers about avoiding junk mail-type campaigns that don’t offer any value to their customers) and to use what are known as “short codes,” or special telephone numbers that are shorter than regular numbers and are used to address SMS and MMS messages from mobile phones. A robust mobile campaign that ties in with other media can cost $10,000 to $20,000 to develop and administer, says Lerner, while smaller, more targeted campaigns may cost only a few hundred dollars per month.
In return, Lerner says firms get exposure to a greater pool of potential customers and a new sales channel that blends well with existing advertising strategies (such as radio, TV or billboard – all of which can easily incorporate a text message campaign). “It doesn’t cost anything to add a short code to a radio ad,” Lerner explains, “but doing so makes the campaign more measurable and more effective as a lead generation tool.”