The partners hope to lure more advertisers into mobile marketing with this rationalized fee structure, which resembles the "pay-per-click" model that is familiar from online advertising.
Josh Martin, ID Media's vice president and director of emerging media, emphasized the importance of "minimizing financial risk for testing new media" during a steep recession. Looking to the future, he added: "We think more and more consumers will opt to respond to advertising via texting rather than calling a toll-free number or going to a Web site." ShopText COO Adam Lichstein claimed the company's services "can improve response by five to 10 times over traditional direct response mechanisms."
Last April, ID Media announced a similar partnership with 4Info, which allows consumers to send short numeric codes to get ad-supported content from a variety of categories, including news, sports, entertainment, stocks and weather. 4INFO delivers a brief text ad that invites the user to click to call, email, send an SMS message, or access more information via wireless application protocol (WAP), which brings them to a mobile Internet site.
Even before the recession, mobile marketing was having a hard time getting off the ground.
Last year, Dag Olav Norem, a senior analyst with M:Metrics, noted that the United States lags far behind other parts of the world in terms of penetration by mobile marketing. In the first half of 2008, just 20% of U.S. mobile users received an SMS marketing message at least once a month, versus 75% in Europe.
But there is also an "opposite correlation between penetration and response rates." In Europe, among people who receive SMS marketing messages, 4.9% respond, compared with 12.4% in the U.S.