Looking to expand its mobile offerings with an SMS and MMS mobile engagement solution, marketing platform provider Relevvant has joined forces with OpenMarket, an enterprise mobile engagement company. Through the partnership, Relevvant will offer its clients the deep personalization capabilities the company is known for via a channel that, despite some obstacles, has become ripe for growth.
Following revisions to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act that came into effect in October, analysts worried that the changes would be the nail on the coffin for SMS/MMS—a marketing channel already on its way to becoming obsolete. Yet despite the regulations forbidding telemarketers from reaching out to customers without prior written consent, Forrester’s Rise of Holistic Enterprise Mobile Engagement Survey found SMS to be the top mobile technology used for engaging with customers.
"When it comes to mobile, most companies turn to SMS to drive customer engagement," says Steve French, global vice president of product management and marketing at OpenMarket. "Seventy percent of the companies that Forrester surveyed were already using SMS, and another 16 percent planned on using within a year."
The statistics aren't surprising given that SMS open rates on a mobile phone are nearly 98 percent, French explains, citing a recent Frost & Sullivan study. "Those are impressive results, especially when you compare them to email open rates, which are around 20 percent," he says.
Relevvant's CEO, Craig Davis, agrees; though new regulations have presented a challenge by requiring brands to ask consumers to re-opt in, companies are not willing to abandon their SMS campaigns. "We've seen 100 percent of our clients choose to ask their customers to re-opt in rather than choose to leave the channel," Davis says. "SMS is worth sticking to," he asserts.
With SMS and MMS delivering high open and engagement rates, there has been a growth in demand among brand advertisers for mobile engagement solutions. As Relevvant began to look for a long-term mobile engagement partner, the company evaluated contenders based on three points—reliability, speed, and capacity. OpenMarket has been able to deliver on all three, Davis says.
"We've worked with other companies in the past and had downtime issues. OpenMarket is the only company we've worked with that has been able to handle high-traffic demands consistently, which is critical when it comes to a massive campaign," Davis says.
Because OpenMarket binds directly to carriers, its speed of transmission is also much higher, Davis explains.
Since the partnership was finalized, Relevvant has moved all of its clients onto the OpenMarket platform. With the partnership in place, Relevvant's clients will be able to harness the real-time, social, location, and purchasing data the company collects to drive targeting and consumer engagement initiatives across multiple channels, which now includes OpenMarket-powered SMS and MMS.
"We're excited to work with Relevvant on delivering targeted marketing campaigns to their clients, and ultimately, to consumers. Consumers spend an incredible amount of time engaging with their mobile devices on a daily basis, which is why reaching them through this channel has proven so effective," French says.