Want to engage consumers on their cell phones? Then you’d better send them a text message.

That’s the gist of an eMarketer report yesterday, which notes that among mobile consumers, SMS gets them more responsive than other types of mobile advertising. That’s a stance we at mobileStorm have long taken, even with the advent of true Internet access on handsets. As eMarketer said, “The simplicity and compatibility of texting is likely to ensure its long-term appeal in the same way text-based e-mail has remained viable.”

The first thing to consider is that despite industry enthusiasm for iPhones and similar gadgets, mobile Web marketing won’t edge out SMS marketing. According to a Direct Marketing Association survey of U.S. mobile users ages 15 and older, 70 percent of people who responded to mobile offers did so because of a marketing text message. That number was more than three times greater than 22 percent of those who responded to mobile Internet ads.

Now, we’re not saying that SMS is the be-all, end-all of mobile marketing. Remember, text-only email has remained viable. Recall, too, that we at mobileStorm have long touted the importance of multi-channel marketing – and the lead role SMS plays therein. Even eMarketer noted, “The medium (SMS) is better-suited for targeting specific audiences, and as part of multichannel campaigns.”

One thing yesterday’s report pointed out was that when iMedia surveyed U.S. online marketers, two-thirds said they would simply “dabble” in mobile advertising this year. That’s because of the relative newness of the platform, especially compared to Internet and non-digital channels.

But there’s no need to fear the new. There are a lot of resources for neophyte mobile marketers, such as mobileStorm’s white papers on SMS and digital marketing. Considering how important text-only messages will remain, it’s time all marketers learn more – and then implement their knowledge.

Eydie Cubarrubia, Marketing Communications Manager, mobileStorm
“I’d rather you text me”