What is SMS Advertising?

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  • Written By: Kristie Lorette
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2019
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SMS stands for short message service, which is a text message that goes to a mobile phone. SMS advertising is a type of marketing that companies and organizations use to send text messages to advertise and promote its products and services to intended customers. In order to broadcast SMS advertising messages, most companies and organizations employ an SMS service that has the technology and capability to send out a text message to multiple recipients at one time.

As technology changes and as the U.S. becomes more and more of a mobile society, businesses and organizations have to find new ways to reach its intended audience. SMS advertising is a form of new media that reaches customers where they are. Since these text messages come in on a cell phone, organizations and companies using SMA advertising to reach its targets can reach audience members no matter where they are.

Since SMS advertising is a special type of marketing, it also has its own set of rules to make it effective. For example, text messages must be short and succinct, yet still provide necessary information in order to make them effective. While this is true of any type of marketing or advertising, since SMS advertising only entails text, without images, music or complementary forms of media, more of a focus lies on the message itself.


Similar to other forms of media, recipients of marketing text messages can control their intake of the message. While someone watching a TV commercial may choose to change the channel, someone receiving a text message advertisement may choose not to read it, delete it and even opt out of receiving any future communications from the company or organization responsible for sending the message.

As cell phones and mobile technology evolve, so will the types of SMS advertising organizations use. For example, many smart phones now have text message capabilities that also allow recipients to receive graphics along with text messages. As this becomes more of a common element, it may change the way that businesses reach out to its target market when it comes to SMS advertising.

In addition, businesses and organizations using SMS advertising are making it easy for recipients to buy products and services directly from the text message. Along with cell phone owners having access to text messages on their phone, cell phones often have access to the Internet as well. When a text message comes in that recipients want to act on, they can simply connect to the Internet directly from a link in the text message and buy the product or service or make a donation prompted by the text message received.


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