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How to create effective iPhone-targeted SMS campaigns

While much of the focus on marketing to iPhone users centers around advertising, they are also heavily engaged with SMS campaigns. Using device targeting, marketers can reach iPhone users via SMS with campaigns designed to meet their needs.

According to a new report by Mogreet, iPhone users are the most engaged mobile audience for SMS campaigns, with 50 percent of the consumers who opt-in to text messaging programs being iPhone users despite the fact that Apple has a 34 percent share of the overall smartphone market. In contrast, while Android phones have a 52 percent market share, only 34 percent of consumers opting into text market campaigns use Android smartphones.

?Our mobile data report found that iPhone users significantly over-index in opting in to text message marketing programs compared to others,? said James Citron, CEO of Mogreet, Venice, CA.

?What does that show?,? he said. ?That iPhone users continue to lead the way in engaging in multimedia and text message marketing programs.?

?With handset detection and customer segmentation tools provided by text marketing programming, marketers can target only iPhone users to promote iOS specific apps or opportunities. We see this all the time, it is a great way to support specific iOS mobile programming and to drive platform specific app downloads.?

SMS opt-ins grow
Despite all the attention that other forms of mobile marketing receive, Mogreet also found that SMS and MMS-based marketing programs continue to grow, with more than 100 percent growth in participation since April 2012.

In general, text messaging offers brands the ability to invite a consumer to opt-in to engage in a dialogue and receive content in exchange.

The open rates for text messages are around 98 percent, meaning that this strategy offers marketers a strong method for insuring that their message will be seen.

IPhone users, in particular, are an attractive audience to target via SMS because they are often confident technology users, which helps reduce barriers to clicking on a link delivered by text message.

IPhone users are also heavily engaged with apps and like real-time information, being strong users of mobile for news related to sports, current events and weather.

Content is king
When reaching iPhone users, it is important to include valuable and interesting media specific to a particular mobile campaign.

For iPhone users, the strong integration of multimedia creation and sharing tools makes these users heavy creators and sharers of multimedia. As a result, they appreciate new and exciting multimedia content and are turned off when they receive old content.

?This may seem obvious, but marketers still continue to recycle their other digital assets,? Mr. Citron said. ?Consumers who opt-in to text marketing programming want to receive something exclusive and valuable in exchange for giving brands permission to engage with them on such a personal device.?

There is also an opportunity for marketers to leverage the fact that the text messaging experience on the iPhone resembles a friend to friend IM chat with easily viewable images and video.

?This provides MMS marketers the option to create longer text messages with hyperlinks, images, videos, flip books, and more to promote their products or upcoming films/TV shows in a highly personalized manner,? Mr. Citron said.

?SMS is great for sending quick messages such as reminders, but to engage the iPhone users, smart marketers will take advantage of the phone's high-resolution screens and send something that is highly branded and engaging such as exclusive video content,? he said.

Huge potential
Currently, not a lot of marketers are targeting SMS campaigns by devices, according to Brian Teague, chief technology evangelist at Pocketstop, Dallas.

This means there is an opportunity for brands to adopt a device-specific strategy to iPhone users.

?The potential for reaching iPhone users via text is huge,? Mr. Teague said. ?Every iPhone user has SMS and they know how to use it.

?Most text messages are looked at within 15 minutes and responded to within an hour,? he said. ?You don't get that with any other form of communication.

?If you were to get someone to download and app, with notification, you wouldn't get the same response that you would by sending a message directly to their inbox via text message.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York