What are Text Message Alerts?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Sometimes referred to as mobile alerts, or simply text alerts, text message alerts are pre-arranged text messages that are sent automatically to subscribers who have indicated they wish to receive the messages. Alerts of this type can be used to advertise products, remind consumers of impending credit card or utility payments, and advise interested consumers of an upcoming sale or discount. Text message alerts can even provide sports enthusiasts with updates on the scores of selected events as they take place.

Text message alerts can be used to remind consumers of impending payments.
Text message alerts can be used to remind consumers of impending payments.

As text messaging has become more common, many businesses have seen the value of using this medium as a means of generating additional revenue. This is accomplished by establishing subscriber listings that allow interested parties to opt in on receiving periodic messages. Telecommunication companies often use this means of communicating with customers to advise them of upcoming discounts or sales on equipment or special service offerings for a limited period of time.

Text message alerts might inform a consumer of a sale that a business is having.
Text message alerts might inform a consumer of a sale that a business is having.

Other types of businesses can also make use of text message alerts. Simple advertisements can be sent o a targeted list of customers, advising them of daily specials at a local restaurant, or a sale at a local clothing shop. By only sending the messages out to people who have opted to receive them, the chance of earning business with this promotional tool is greatly increased.

Not all uses of text message alerts are geared toward sales efforts. Some applications are focused more on alerts that have to do with a hobby or pastime. Many professional and semi-professional sports teams now offer fans the option of signing up for messages that are sent out automatically during a sporting event. For example, a text alert that has to do with a professional football game will include details such as the current score as of the end of the current quarter, yards gained by each team, and who currently has the ball. Alerts of this type are usually available for a fee, although some clubs have begun to include this feature as part of the package extended to season ticket holders.

For the most part, businesses who use text message alerts as a sales and promotional tool do not charge any type of fee for receiving the message. Any costs incurred have to do with the charges associated with the subscriber’s cell phone contract. Subscribers with unlimited texting ability as part of their service package can enjoy free text message alerts from utility companies, local restaurants, and other businesses that are seeking their patronage.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


My husband is very scared of storms, so he signed up to receive an SMS alert from the local TV station every time that warnings or watches are issued. He had to pay a fee of $10 per year for this service, but that isn't much when you consider the peace of mind it brings him.

We have a storm shelter in our yard, so these alerts inform him of when he needs to head to it. Once he's inside, he will rely on the texts to know what is going on outside and when it is safe to return to the house.

The alerts let him in on everything from flash flood watches to tornado warnings. He gets really nervous during tornado watches, because he knows that they can turn into warnings at a moment's notice. If there is a watch in effect, he keeps his phone in his hand wherever he is so that he can run to safety as soon as necessary.


Good text message alerts are the kind that tell you about opportunities to save money at your favorite stores, in my opinion. Those are my favorite text alerts.

I am signed up at both my favorite shoe store and my favorite clothing store to receive text alerts. These always include coupon codes, so I can save money either by shopping online and entering the code or shopping in store.

Stores must have figured out by now that this is a great way to advertise sales. Just about every time I get a text alert of this nature, I go buy something.


@kylee07drg – Text message alerts on campus can save lives. I remember the time that we had a shooter on campus, and every student received a text alert.

This meant that everyone who read the message had the chance to go to a safe place. Many of us locked ourselves up in our dorms or in sorority houses. Those who lived off campus ran to their cars and got out of there.

I think that if we hadn't received this alert, many more lives would have been lost. So I would definitely pay whatever the cost of receiving the message was without complaining.


I am all for receiving cool text message alerts that I have signed up to receive. If I get some that I didn't request, that bothers me, though.

For all the company that is sending them knows, I could have a very limited messaging plan, and their alert could be costing me money. That's why I think that this type of alert should be sent only to those who have requested them.

I remember being in college and having to sign up for campus text alerts, which were sent out only in emergencies. At the time, I didn't have unlimited texting, so I had to pay ten cents for every alert. That bothered me, but since the campus only used this service in emergencies, I figured it was worth it.

Post your comments
Forgot password?