SMS Ads Small In U.S., Big In Europe

    September 20, 2007

Close to three-quarters of Western European mobile subscribers received a short message service (SMS) advertisement in July 2007, according to M: Metrics.

In its survey of mobile users in Western Europe and the U.S., M: Metrics found that U.S. SMS ad response rates increased 12 percent in July, even though SMS ad volume was down. Only 17 percent of U.S. mobile users receive SMS ads according to the company.

"The early days of SMS advertising are similar to the advent of e-mail, which was initially a very effective, high-conversion advertising platform," said Evan Neufeld, senior analyst at M: Metrics.

"It is not coincidental that the marketplace with the highest prevalence of SMS ads, Spain, also has the lowest level of response, as it is natural to see interaction with ads dip as the novelty factor wears off," he said. "The trick is to keep interaction as high as possible by keeping the messages targeted, having them come from trusted partners and capping frequency of communication."

Around 73 percent of respondents said that their mobile service providers had sent them SMS ads. Just over 17 percent of mobile users received opt-in SMS ads.

 Twenty-one percent of respondents said a company that did not have their permission to advertise had sent a SMS ad indicating mobile spam.