South African consumers have become more aware of privacy and security issues; not all are willing to reveal their mobile number. Businesses have to find new ways to get phone numbers for direct communication, but also location data mixed with social segmentation, which in itself is an art to acquire and manage.
According to a survey by Nielsen.com, more than 29 million people in South Africa have a mobile phone subscription, more than half of the entire country - so how do marketers tap into this? The services of an experienced email service provider (ESP) can help marketers connect with their audience through Shortcode marketing in a credible and trusted manner; and in doing so open up a whole new market of consumers.Shortcode marketing
, a simple, short sequence of numbers used to send and respond to mobile messages by businesses, offers a consumer-controlled, truly interactive B2C exchange. Instead of using longer numbers for business to consumer communication, marketers are now able to shorten it to a simple code of but a few numbers that consumers can use to get into contact with businesses and respond to offers. An example of this is a callout to consumers to sign up to a service they've heard advertised over the radio or seen on television, instead of having to 'phone in' to an office the consumer merely texts the shortcode and opts in to receive marketing material.GraphicMail
will be launching its Shortcode marketing package
for the first time on Thursday March 14th in South Africa. Already a success in the United States, GraphicMail's Shortcode marketing tools enable businesses to build free-standing mobile sites, for free, from customisable templates and send out text messages with a link to their site. GraphicMail clients can rent a keyword of their choice and use it to communicate to their prospects and clients via the shared Shortcode (44233) at only two hundred Rand per month. As soon as the responses come in GraphicMail creates a list with all mobile numbers in the clients account automatically.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of using shortcode in mobile marketing comes from the compatibility with all network carriers, helping you build a solid base of trusted users; people who can interact with your exclusive offers on any device connected to a mobile network. This puts your message in the pocket of almost everyone with a mobile phone, whether high end or budget consumers; with GraphicMail's mobile technology being compatible with more than 5000 headsets you're sure to hit the mark.
Says Andre Strauss, national sales and support manager at GraphicMail South Africa: "This added feature will complete our mobile marketing offer
: SMS, mobile sites, and now Shortcodes", and when asked why he thinks Shortocde marketing could be a winner for South African businesses, he responds: "It is an easy and legitimate way to grow your mobile database as it's an opt-in service, no spam - after all, you need mobile numbers before you can start a bulk SMS campaign."
A report by Juniper Research predicts that by 2016 application to person messaging (A2P), like advertising, marketing, business administration and ticketing messages will have surpassed person to person (P2P) messaging. Communication between those who offer and those who desire is becoming more and more diverse. As consumers start looking to high-speed, less intrusive marketing campaigns for inspiration, mobile technology offers marketers the means to capitalise on this trend and industry-leading ESP's like GraphicMail offer businesses the right tools to take full advantage of this shift in bulk mobile marketing.