Ask most US consumers whether they want to receive mobile-marketing messages on their cell phones, and they will usually answer with a resounding "No."

Consumers have been presold that allowing such advertising on their cell phones means they'll start receiving unwanted Viagra ads and messages from a prince in Kenya who wants to give them $10 million.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Mobile Coupons Are Opt-In Only

Mobile marketing, as well as mobile coupons, is opt-in marketing, which means companies cannot send you mobile-marketing messages unless you've given them permission to do so.

Now, that's not to say the rule isn't violated. But mobile marketing will never be like email marketing.

With mobile marketing, there is an intrinsic cost to send a text message, whereas with email marketing there is no definable hard cost to send more spam. Hence, sending spam to cell phones with no targeting wouldn't work nearly as well from an ROI perspective.

Mobile-Coupon Growth

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Bob Bentz is president of Advanced Telecom Services (, which provides a mobile-marketing solution for advertisers and advertising agencies at