Short message service is a mechanism of delivery of short messages over the mobile networks. It is a store and forward way of transmitting messages to and from mobiles. The message (text only) from the sending mobile is stored in a central short message center (SMS) which then forwards it to the destination mobile. This means that in the case that the recipient is not available, the short message is stored and can be sent later. Each short message can be no longer than 160 characters. These characters can be text (alphanumeric) or binary Non-Text Short messages. An interesting feature of SMS is return receipts. This means that the sender, if wishes, can get a small message notifying if the short message was delivered to the intended recipient. Since SMS used signaling channel as opposed to dedicated channels, these messages can be sent/received simultaneously with the voice/data/fax service over a GSM network. SMS supports national and international roaming. This means that you can send short messages to any other GSM mobile user around the world. With the PCS networks based on all the three technologies, GSM, CDMA and TDMA supporting SMS, SMS is more or less a universal mobile data service.* Note: The actual limit of size of SMS is 160 characters if Latin alphabets are used. If non-Latin alphabets like Chinese or Arabic are used, the limit is 70 characters.
Let's face it: when we think of marketing, SMS is not exactly the first vehicle that springs to mind. However, with more of us ditching our computers and laptops for smart phones, SMS will increasingly become an important tool for marketing - whether you are promoting traditional business products, professional services, your latest book or even just your blog posts (The Writers' Shack uses push technology to alert smart phone users to new posts).
Statistics show 95 percent of SMS messages are read yet only 20 percent of emails are ever opened - a statistic we at The Writers’ Shack can attest to. In fact, our email newsletter has an open rate of about 14 percent.
The world is going mobile so it makes sense to embrace SMS marketing.