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Premium SMS in Mobile Phones

Mobile Phones are the most purchased and used technology today. In China alone, it is expected that 600 million Chinese people will be using mobile phones by 2010. Aside from this, researchers have found that in 2007, there are 3.

3 billion mobile phones users around the globe. Also, researchers have found that as of 2006, 80% of the world's population have access to mobile phone coverage and will increase to 90% by 2010. Mobile phones are the most used and accessible communication tool.

People are found to have more cell phone access than internet access. People use cell phones to send text messages to others for faster communication. This kind of communication is a lot cheaper too and this is one of the reasons why mobile phones have become popular. Because of the growth of cell phone usage around the world and its easy access, companies created a way for other companies to make use of this technological phenomenon as their means to reach their customers or clientele.

The means companies use to provide people information services, downloads, and other services are called Premium SMS. Premium SMS has become of the best tools for marketing nowadays. Companies have earned a lot of revenues from making use of Premium SMS, because aside from giving their customers the services that they want, they do not have to pay for the services sent. Premium SMS is also called Reverse Billing because clients who acquire these services would have to pay for the SMS received.

Thus, companies are enticed to make use of such services. Premium SMS services are used mostly as a company's marketing strategy. Premium SMS offers different kinds of campaign types for companies who are willing to acquire such services. These campaign types are: direct response, database builder, subscription manager, simple or advanced vote, quiz or competition, text to screen, text to browse, voucher promotion, media, media subscription, and inbound picture. Companies, that wish to acquire Premium SMS services, must know which kind of campaign type would fit their company's marketing objectives.

The different campaigns are defined as: ? The direct response type of campaign focuses on companies promoting direct calls and text messages to action in their advertising campaign. An example of this would be an advertisement saying "text INFO to 2377 and you will receive more information about this product." ? The database builder type of campaign allows companies to build their database of registered individuals for their future SMS marketing campaigns. An example of this would be a company that creates a game for their customers, which require them to register. The information gathered through this registration will be saved in the company's database.

? The subscription manager type of campaign allows companies to send text messages to people who choose to receive such messages. An example of this would be a person who subscribed to get inspirational quotes everyday. ? The simple or advanced vote type of campaign allows companies to provide voting services to their users, with message instructions. An example of this would be, a person voting for his or her favourite idol in American Idol.

? The quiz and competition type of campaign allow companies to provide mobile users with quizzes that they could answer for a chance to win prizes. An example of this would be a music channel giving out three questions for people to be able to win concert tickets. A person who answered the question has a bigger chance of winning those concert tickets. ? The text to screen type of campaign provides companies the service of allowing its users to text in their messages, which can be shared with other users. The messages are forwarded to an email address, a URL or a mobile number. An example of this would be sending a text message to television shows that allow text messages to be posted on screen.

? The text to browse type of campaign allows companies to provide mobile users a faster way of accessing a WAP site by sending a URL to their customers or mobile users. An example of this would be a social networking website, such as Myspace, to provide their mobile users a URL they could use to access Myspace faster, when their users are using WAP. ? The voucher promotion type of campaign allow companies to run SMS voucher promotions by allowing customers to send a text to an SMS shortcode number to receive a numbered voucher. An example of this would be a restaurant inviting customers to text in to receive a voucher which allows them to get freebies on their next visit. ? The media type of campaign allows companies to provide their customers different types of media ?ringtone, picture, video clip, etc. to download.

Companies who acquire this service need to have a media library in which the different media are stored. An example of this would be ? The media subscription type of campaign allow companies to provide their customers to subscribe to different types of media and can then order free media items until their subscription expires. An example of this would be a person subscribing to receive ringtones. ? The inbound picture type of campaign allow users to send images or other contents via MMS messages which can be forwarded to an email address, an HTTP/FTP server, or a media library. An example of this would be a person joining a "best phone camera picture" contest and sending his entry through MMS.

With the hype of companies making use of Premium SMS to earn more and to market their products and services, companies must know which kind of Premium SMS campaign to use. This is to ensure the success of the company in providing what their customers need, in marketing their products and services, and in gaining profits from using such a service.

John Davis is a seasoned professional in mobile industry. He has experience working for a variety of premium SMS, mobile marketing and WAP hosting companies and works on a variety of projects for SJA Mobile.

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