Standard SMS vs. Premium SMS

There is a lot of confusion from customers between standard SMS messaging and premium SMS messaging. Derek Johnson, CEO of Tatango explains the difference between these two different types of SMS messaging.


Video Transcription

Hey everyone, Derek Johnson with Have you ever heard the word standard rate message or maybe premium rate messaging? They’re kind of confusing, and today I’m going to make sure you understand the difference between the two.

The first thing is standard messaging. A couple of years back, standard messaging used to mean that you would be charged anywhere from $0.01 to $0.20 per message on your mobile phone bill. Over the last couple of years though, a lot of people have transferred over to unlimited plans or bulk SMS messaging plans, and now only 12% of people pay per text message. When you look at those numbers, standard messaging really means that the majority of Americans won’t even see that message charge on their mobile phone bill. Only 12% will. That’s why most mobile SMS campaigns you still have to put standard messaging rates apply, because of that 12%.

Now on the other hand, there’s a thing called premium messaging or premium SMS messaging. These are things that will, 100%, end up on your mobile phone bill. Things like voting “American Idol” you text in to vote for the best singer, that’s going to charge to your mobile phone bill. Donations, text Haiti or text to help people in Japan, that is going to end up on your mobile phone bill. Again, these can range. It can be a couple of dollars to $10 or $15. It really depends on the campaign. Downloads, ring tones, wallpapers. I don’t know if people still do wallpapers anymore, but I remember those back in the day. That would end up on my parent’s mobile phone bill. Always these things will end up on the mobile phone bill. Four is subscriptions. Joke of the day, news alerts, horoscopes, all those kinds of things they charge $9.99 per month, and they will end up on the mobile phone bill.

Really, if you paint with a broad stroke, when you look at standard messaging, most likely it won’t end up on the phone bill. Again, for 12% of people it will, and again it’s still very small charges. Anywhere up to $0.20. On the other hand, premium messaging, voting, donations, downloading ring tones, it’s great but it will end up on the mobile phone bill and it can be pretty expensive.

Now hopefully you understand the difference between standard rate messaging and premium rate messaging when we’re talking about SMS marketing.

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