SMS Marketing India - Industry Overview & Statistics

  • An SMS marketing company may send close to 20 million SMSes per month
  • Roughly half of the SMSes are sent on behalf of real estate developers (who have become the most prolific and annoying spammers in this particular medium).
  • It takes just a minute to send 100,000 SMSes, for which a company may charge Rs4,000;
  • For one million SMSes, the rate drops to 3 paise per message.
  • Comparision of SMS marketing with other media channels:
    • If you call 100,000 people, even at 30 paise per call, imagine how much more expensive it would be
    • The cost to reach 1,000 people via print is, on average, Rs180 for an ad sized 100 column cm.
    • Via a 30-second television advertisement, reaching 1,000 people costs Rs25.
  • SMS Marketing Effectiveness
    • Average response rate to these SMSes is roughly 1%, and even less for realtors—low, but acceptable for such inexpensive advertising (higher than an Internet banner ad’s average of 0.5% for click-throughs.)
  • SMS Marketing Adoption
    • SMSes go out now from every manner of business: insurance companies, realtors, bars and restaurants, neighbourhood grocers, stockbrokers, gyms, and schools. 
  • SMS Marketing Volumes
    • Nearly 150 million marketing messages—of both spam and non-spam variety—are sent every day in India; assuming each message costs, on an average, 3 paise, that would bring the industry’s annual revenue to Rs200 crore. Around 30% of these are promotional SMSes. The remaining would then be service messages—SMSes that the receiver has opted to get, such as bank account activity alerts. 
  • The SMS Marketing Industry Ecosystem
    • Most visibly, there are half a dozen big companies (such as ValueFirst and SMSCountry) and a smattering of smaller ones, all of which buy bulk messaging capacity—or “pipes”—directly from telecom operators.
  • SMS Industry Suppliers
    • Around 60-70% of the capacity used by SMS marketeers is sourced from Tata Teleservices Ltd, often at rates so low that they translate into 1 or 2 paise per SMS. 
  • SMS Marketing Rules
    • According to rules set down by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), every telemarketeer must be registered with it. Also, every marketing SMS must be stamped with a unique sender name, bearing a prefix that identifies the operator who has provided the requisite capacity. A “TM” prefix, for example, fingers Tata Mumbai; an “AD” message comes via Airtel Delhi.
    • The sway of the unorganized section of the SMS marketing industry is strong: Onais Rafiq, manager of media sales and alliances at SMSCountry, estimates that only 40% of these text messages are sent by “organized” firms such as his own

Courtesy: Livemint.com