Over nine million gamblers will be placing bets via mobile by the end of 2014 according to Textlocal, the industry leader in business mobile messaging solutions in the UK, and specialist research house, MobileSQUARED. The research identified 2.5 million mobile users currently opting to receive communications from gambling companies and predicts that the figure is set to rise by 21% to three million by the end of 2015 in line with continued uptake and use of smartphones. Findings also highlighted three quarters (74%) of opt-ins are male, a figure which increases the likelihood of a message being acted upon; 40% of males compared to 33% of females.


Mobile is recognised as an effective marketing and communications channel for gambling companies with the majority having invested both in a mobile site and a dedicated app as well as making use of short codes and QR codes and an opt-in database. On average, major gambling companies boast a database of over one million contacts of which between 31% and 50% also have an associated mobile number and receive at least one SMS message per week.


In order for mobile messaging to be a real business driver for gambling companies, it is crucial to consider how and when these messages are distributed as well as who is being targeted. In 3Q13, 59% of gambling opt-ins were using smartphones but this will rise to 78% of all opt-ins by 2015. During this period, the number of gambling opt-ins on a featurephone will drop from 910,647 to 566,559 but will still remain more prevalent than those using iPhones (399,097 by 2015). This underlines the importance of featurephone users to marketers in the industry. The difference in feature-set and capability can be easily overcome by an immediate call to action which drives the user to engage either in-person or through a complementary channel.


Rob Townsend, marketing director, Textlocal, said, “Mobile gambling activity is centred around apps but the average response rate to SMS communications is much higher than in-app push notifications (28% and 8% respectively). A complementary messaging campaign can play an important role in driving engagement and interaction from gamblers as it offers an alternative route in to push promotions or in-play, and also avoids the perception of spamming that can come with in-app push notifications. But it is key for gambling companies to take into account who they want to reach and what platform they are using. Segmenting the opt-in audience using CRM techniques is crucial as developing bespoke campaigns for certain personality profiles and device users will play to the needs of each individual and drive significantly more success through long term adoption.“


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