On Monday 2nd January - a holiday here in Cape Town - I received an sms advertisement for life insurance.
Let us forget for the moment that I was sitting under the trees at an outdoor restaurant enjoying a leisurely meal with a couple of glasses of the Cape's finest. Let us also forget that my mood was a bit down as I had just blown a waterpipe on my car miles from nowhere, and on Alfa v6's that tends to lead to money.
But it set me thinking - who in their right mind would respond to an advertisement for financial services from an unknown person at an unknown company?
Now if I want insurance I would contact all the major players (companies / brokers), get quotes and decide. I certainly would not go with an sms - it just gets deleted, not even the name remembered.
Or were they hoping to get the 'New Year's Resolution' crew? Those people who decided on New Year's day that their resolution for the year would be to get life insurance. Get in while it is on their mind as it were. To my mind they just lost their money. 10,000, 100,000 sms's at 20c per sms? Sort of blows their advertising budget if they dont get some response.
Many companies do tend to abuse sms advertising. My favorite (not good, I assure you) are those that send me sms's at 3 in the morning. Banks and medical aid companies are the main culprits here. I assure them now, I will never buy their product - if they are that inconsiderate to potential clients, what are they like with existing clients (I know - just as bad).
Maybe, just maybe, it is because their sms servers were down, or the networks were busy. But surely technology exists to circumvent this?