Added: (Wed Jan 10 2001)

Pressbox (Press Release) - Cape Town, South Africa

Clickatell has made an announcement today that is set to revolutionize Virtual-to-Real marketing with the release of its Hi-Impact marketing programme.

Clickatell, a key player globally in wireless and speedmail communications-marketing, has released their Hi-Impact marketing programme amidst a storm that has hit the Internet around SMS messaging. The storm has been long in the coming, says Pieter de Villiers, MD of Clickatell. Web-originated SMS messages are increasing in volume daily, with Clickatell using this trend to spring-board their product-suite into the future the. Clickatell holds 100% market share in the niche that they have created for themselves. This is visible in the approach they have taken toward combining the marketing component of the Internet with wireless technologies.

The Hi-Impact programme is a World First, in every sense of the word. Clickatell allows for brand-exposure across a wide array of site-categories. The common denominator in this case is the use of mobile communications and the market segment it represents. “The web is impossible to group systematically,” says Danie du Toit, Marketing Director of Clickatell. “What we have provided is the facility for related industries to market directly towards the wireless community. This is a segment of the market that is usually extremely difficult to reach, eluding the typical shotgun-banner campaign by a mile! Not that banners are ineffective, but their placement is critical.” Du Toit also notes that it is not just the related industry-sector who will benefit from this marketing opportunity, but also any campaign that is focused on Clickatell’s primary market. This is defined in short as tech-savvy, young individuals who makes use of or is schooled in GSM technology and related economic pools. The inferential status of the audience provides for targeted campaigning.

Clickatell has in fact made extensive use of banner advertising, but they are adamant that it is a highly focused community to which their banner-placements are targeted. They claim a click-through rate of between 1 and 3 percent, depending on the content of the campaign. This is high by any standard and will prove difficult to maintain. Clickatell is confident however that they will manage to keep it above the 1% mark.

The defining component in their Hi-Impact programme is the use of “Brand Tags.” This refers to the use of “tags” or short, strategic brand messages that are added on to the last part of all SMS and Speedmail (high velocity e-mail) messages sent from two sources, the Clickatell Desktop system and the Clickatell home page. Clickatell messages sent from their clients’ sites carry a message chosen by the client, but Clickatell dictates all other content to high impact campaigns. This type of viral marketing reaches beyond the boundaries of the web, right to the mobile user who receives the message. Clickatell terms this “Virtual-to-Real” marketing, having been originated on the web.

The Clickatell-Button is the first step of what Clickatell terms Communitizing™, a new advertising channel that Clickatell is developing. It is contextualized by their strong focus on targeted marketing for all their web-clients, who make extensive use of their products. They are clearly doing something right, having had almost 3500 sites implement their service in the first six weeks of operation. This falls neatly in place with their projections, which should take the number of SMS messages they send per month to over 7 million within the next year.

Watch this space!

Try it out at www.clickatell.com

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