Why USSD is Perfect for Mass Marketing

USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) is a vastly under-rated marketing platform. It’s cheap, easy to use and has a tremendous reach – unlike most other platforms, it is accessible without needing expensive modern technology.

Let me explain: Usually, you’ll need an internet connection at the least and smartphone technological capabilities at best to interact within social media. So far so good, as research by Mobile Marketing South Africa has shown that more than 90% of working adults in the country use mobile phones. Hence, an excellent platform with which to connect when engaging with potential customers.

Yet not so. While the majority of working adults have mobile phones, research also shows that an average of 80% of South Africans living in urban areas and 94% of South Africans living in the more remote rural areas have pre-paid accounts. This means a lot of people are still using the old cellphones with dial pads, not the newest smart phones with touch screens and pictures galleries and cameras and apps.

And this is where it becomes clear how a USSD service can add value. USSD is supported by all handsets and networks and requires no internet connection or application to be installed. This means your reach has just grown exponentially.

Benefits of USSD

  1. Increase Revenues by making it easy for prepaid users to re-charge accounts and generate higher call volumes.
  2. Reduce Operating Costs by providing a low cost customer care alternative. It is much cheaper than SMS for two way transactions.
  3. Global Access – USSD works worldwide on almost every handset with familiar connection options.
  4. Intuitive menu based access options provide you with interactive real-time communication.
  5. Increase Loyalty – Convenience and user experience with USSD speeds up to seven times faster than SMS.

You can now reach this untapped market through surveys, polls and competitions, as all they need to do is use the touch pad as a menu and type in short questions to answers in the form of a code, using 1-2-3.

USSD is very effective in that it works across all phones, network carriers and is also accessible in remote areas which has brought companies closer to their customers.

Benefits of using USSD can include promoting customer engagement, building brand awareness, increasing customer loyalty and forming real-time connections.

The two-way exchange of data is engaging and open, creating a communication channel more familiar to a generation that is less exposed to technology.

USSD is also extremely cost-effective. The cost of using USSD technology is approximately 20 cents per 20 seconds. Sessions are capped at 3 minutes. That means that your service provider has a protocol in place to time your activity out if your response time is delayed.  This ultimately means you don’t have to spend more than is required to access any service.