Now that 3g services have been launched in India everyone is going Gaga over 3g services and its features like high speed mobile internet, live tv, downloads, online recharge etc. and it is understood that new is in. But we can’t forget our good old SMS after all old is gold. SMS, a traditional short message service on mobile, even today is pretty much the most frequently used feature after calling or even more than calling. Yup you heard it right Short Messaging Service is used more than calling. Everyone from a college going kid to a retired person uses SMS for different of reasons. Professionals use it for bill payment, college students to stay connected to their friends also to check their prepaid balance.
Indians are using SMS as an extension of their lives more and more every year, an average Indian sends 29 SMS per month. Just multiply that with number of ever growing Mobile subscribers in India and you will have an idea of amount of SMS traffic India generates. India is the second largest telecom market in the world after China adding about 10-12 million customers per month. SMS service is highest revenue earning Value added service for the service providers. Almost 5% of the revenue earned by the service providers comes from SMS. 1 in 5 urban Indians have used a SMS based VAS service either as a one-off or on subscription basis. That means sms plans and sms packs are a hit among the urban crowd. SMS is an effective marketing tool, showing conversion rates a lot higher than other conventional mediums i.e. TV/Radio etc. 1 in 3 Urban Indian has acted in some manner over the SMS i.e. forwarding to others or enquiring about it. This means that sms marketing is cheap and effective as compared to other expensive modes of marketing. 25% Indians have participated in some sort of SMS contest
Keeping the above facts in mind service provider offer various service through messages. These services vary from casual jokes to investment tips. Jokes are the most popular SMS VAS service with 53% of Indian mobile users subscribing to it. Astrology is second most popular SMS VAS service (47%) followed by News alerts (44%) and Jobs (43%). About 43% of the population subscribes to sports SMS vas. It won’t be a surprise if most of these subscribers read only cricket news after all India is a cricket crazy nation. Males are generally more active users of SMS VAS services compared to their counterparts. While males are more interested in getting sports updates ( 63% ) females are interested in spiritual ( 52.1% ) and astrology ( 50.3% ) quotes.
SMS is increasingly being viewed by India Inc. as a source of getting in touch with their customers. This is evident from the fact that every second urban Indian acknowledged receiving marketing/promotional SMS on their phone. SMS as a marketing tool is most frequently used to attract customers in buying ringtones, wallpapers & games. Second most popular where SMS is used for marketing are entertainment products followed by financial products. 1 in 3 (approx. 32%) of Urban Indians who receive a marketing/promotional SMS took some action, while 2 out 3 deleted or ignore the message completely.
Something that has added to the benefits of sms services is online recharge. Mobile plans and packs are available online. Recharging mobile and activation of sms plans and packs can be very easily done online. Plus with every recharge subscribers get free coupons of leading brands across India.
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