Consumers prefer to receive promotions by text message rather than mobile web, according to new research by the Direct Marketing Association.

The study found that 38% of UK consumers prefer SMS promotions compared to just 15% that favour mobile web.

However, this is likely to be a reflection of the number of consumers who own smartphones - which currently stands at around 46% in the UK according to Ofcom.

The research, carried out by Toluna QuickSurveys, also found that when it comes to the primary method of redemption UK consumers prefer printed vouchers (71%) over mobile (16%).

Mark Brill, chair of the DMA's mobile marketing council, told us that this is down to issues of trust and poor user experience.

People are still unsure whether retailers will accept a mobile voucher, whereas you know if you have a printed voucher they will take it. Also you often have to hand over your phone to redeem a mobile voucher which you’re not always happy to do.”

He said retailers and brands need to work on the way mobile vouchers work to deliver a seamless and user-friendly customer experience, otherwise consumers will want to stick with printed vouchers.

The research also reinforced the accepted principle that consumers like to receive offers and vouchers.

In the UK and US there is a strong appetite for preference-based offers (75% and 72% respectively) and very low levels of resistance to getting offers (5% in both countries). 

In Germany and France, offers based on likes and dislikes also have the greatest traction, but at a lower level (46% and 50% respectively). There are also far more consumers in these countries who want no offers at all (22%).

Taking a closer look at the online market, Groupon dominates the marketplace on the continent – 60% of consumers in France use it and 45% in Germany.

In the UK MyVoucherCodes is the main player at 42% compared to 35% for Groupon.

David Moth

Published 5 January, 2012 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (3)




over 6 years ago


eric tshimpaka

i am one of them ones who prefere SMS to mobile web.

over 6 years ago

Douglas McDonald

Douglas McDonald, Director of Mobile and Connected Consumer at TMW

Interestingly, I hear on the grapevine that mobile web is gaining share vs. SMS in competition entries. A "major brand" which has offered both SMS & mobile web for competitions (where a code from a pack needs to be entered)has seen mobile web entries jump from about 5% to 40% from one year to the next.

I think we can safely predict the death of "Text to Win". I think it will take a fair few years to finally die, though.

The decline in SMS for that brand, as well as the fondness for SMS, is linked, as the erudite Mark Brill comments, to whether or not the audience has smartphones.

Web also tends to be a route chosen by people who enter competitions multiple times. A large percentage of users migrate from SMS to web (any web)on the second or third entry. This is simply because, usually it costs 10p/12p a go to enter. A well designed "companion" site for a promotion can avoid this cost and provide a good platform for more information on the activity. If you are a smartphone owner that's probably a more compelling option.

over 6 years ago

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