If you are a regular Facebook user in Ghana, you would have noticed recent free sms ads like the ones shared to the left of this article. One of the companies advertising free sms to Ghana is SMSGH. SMSGH owns a platform for free sms at lite.mytxtbox.com
Alex Adjei Bram is the General Manager (Sales/Marketing) of SMSGH.COM
I chatted with him recently to ask about their new free sms services and to know the catch behind it as well as how they intend to make considering several free sms websites have failed in the past.
Oluniyi: I’d wanted a few questions about your free sms service.
Oluniyi: What’s the business model? Do you want to harvest people’s mobile numbers and then blast ads to them?
Oluniyi: As you know, nothing is really really ever free and considering you are spending money to even advertise the service.
Alex: Ha Ha Ha Ha. The messages are paid for by advertisers.
Oluniyi: Oh okay. Ad driven.
Oluniyi: …but several of such websites have failed in the past. What makes you think you would succeed? What makes yours different?
Alex: Advertisers who use http://pro.mytxtbox.com can place SMS ads with specific keywords.
Oluniyi: Ah. Yours is sort of targetted. Since you mentioned keywords, that implies that the messages flowing through your systems are scanned for words. What about privacy issues?
Alex: Privacy for users or privacy for advertisers?
Oluniyi: For users.
Oluniyi: I see.
Alex: Have you tried it yet?
Oluniyi: Trust me. It tested it the first day I came across it. 😀 How has the reception been?
Alex: Somewhat overwhelming.
Oluniyi: Really? That’s impressive.
Alex: We’re currently doing 4 messages every minute. We hope that once a recipient mass is built advertisers can ride on that to market their products.
Oluniyi: At the rate of patronage you described as “somewhat overwhelming”, how do you see your free sms service in 3 months’ time?
Alex: At this rate we may hit 3 msg/ sec in 3 months time. Could even be way more.
Alex: I would love for you to try it out. Register an account at pro.mytxtbox.com We’ll top you up with some credits and then you can give us some feedback.
Oluniyi: Google has recently turned attention to your market audience. How do you find the competition from Google?
Alex: It’s going to be exciting. Google being an international brand and all. We hope they will bring some good competition to the industry.
Oluniyi: Why exciting, considering Google is a MEGA competitor?
Alex: We’re very excited.
Oluniyi: You have not stated the cause of your excitement. …in relation to Google.
Alex: Google will bring some good attention to the industry. We think we are good too… They have some pretty good products.
Oluniyi: Good enough not to be worried about competition from Google. I see.
Alex: No. We are not at all worried.
Oluniyi: So how effective and relevant is SMS advertising from your years of experience in Ghana?
Alex: It’s very effective.
Oluniyi: Does your service offer any means of measuring effectiveness?
Alex: And yes quite relevant too. Most of the time via reply short codes. We usually record an average of over 6% response which is far better than radio, TV and print put together. But SMS needs to be used right when applied wrongly responses are even in the negative. That’s the challenge of the industry.
Oluniyi: In that case, what help do you offer to your clients on how to use SMS marketing effectively?
Alex: Apart from our free marketing guides and other literature we deploy apps that help users utilize SMS effectively.