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Here's why SMS Marketing Is Literally the Worst Idea Ever Why is it so hard for startups to understand SMSs are obsolete technology?

By Rustam Singh

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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There's literally no form of spam that's more annoying than SMS marketing. Every single time my iPhone makes beep sound of the annoyingly loud tone of an SMS, I am alarmed whether it's a notification of my bank that someone's been misusing my funds! Could it be someone from my family that's not so familiar with technology and still sues SMSs? Could it be some notifications from my private email accounts of an unauthenticated transaction? I, therefore, immediately jump to check my phone and immediately have a flush of emotions ranging from rolling my eyes to just frustration, because it's usually an SMS announcing that the pizza place I ordered a pizza from 6 months ago has 10% off if I spend 1000 bucks. And sometimes it is about some discount on properties in a part of the country that I have never visited (or plan to) or even heard of- yes that bad!

Startups and companies should understand this abundantly clear idea – nobody in their right frame of mind likes such spam soaked marketing anymore.

(Image source: Pixabay)

SMS services are best preserved for when you're out of a data pack and wish to immediately and urgently alert someone over something. Using such an emergency and urgent form of notifications, when you have peanut sized discounts, is not only very unethical, but also fails to promote your brand in the right spirit.

Here are top reasons why SMS marketing is now obsolete:

It's blatant spam

Even the honorable Supreme Court of the nation understands that sending someone advertorial SMSs is a violation of their right to not to be bothered by ads and counts as spam. If your customer database is associating your promotional with spam, not only are you negating your brand image, but are also wasting precious, time and energy on better forms of advertisements, that can yield much better results.

Nobody is reading it. Ever.

I do not know a single user of smartphones that bothers to even read through the whole SMS anymore. One swipe from the notification menu is all it takes to delete an SMS – without even opening it. Thankfully, because of government mandated guidelines, advertisers are forced to feature an abbreviation of the name of the brand they are promoting – so the notification menu itself reads the brand name. And if you are one of those who do not mind taking actions against such spammers, you have a lead on it to work upon.

160 character limitation

SMSs are limited in text, and that's what makes them fun. It becomes very difficult to put everything you want to say in such a small character limit. Demotivated advertisers try to compensate this by using capitals excessively or exaggerating things – even just wrong English and sending obnoxious texts. Needless to say, this often backfires in their face. On the other side, if they try to increase the character length of the text, then the cost goes double, thereby, making it a wasteful choice; again!

A major chunk of the population is already registered with DND

Anyone who is decently smart would voluntarily register with the national Do Not Disturb registry, the moment they get a new SIM card. This makes sure advertisers do not have contact details or permission to call up random people asking them if they want to buy a property or need a loan unsolicited. Thus, your audience is already extremely limited. You would be much better off advertising via any other medium that is not such a pain for people.

Cost incurred isn't worth the responses

A majority of all SMSs to utilize one's services or buy goods have an independent app of their own. If your business already has an app or a website and you expect the user to use those services, you understand the user has access to internet already. If the user has access to internet already, why would you not send him/her an email where you can not only include much more graphic details about what you are advertising but also make it easier for the user to click the link that opens to your website?

Which are the most annoying startups that send you the most spam via texts? Let us know in the comments on our official Facebook page Entrepreneur India

Rustam Singh


Tech reporter.

Contact me if you have a truly unique technology related startup looking for a review and coverage, especially a crowd-funded project looking to launch and coverage.

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