May 12, 2011, 10:39 AM

Retailers plan to spend more on text ads this year

13% say they’ll increase their text ad budgets in 2011 over 2010.

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Text ads are playing an increasing role in retailers’ marketing strategies, according to the annual State of Retailing Online report released last week by and Forrester Research Inc.

13% of 67 retailers in the study say they’ll spend more on text ads this year than last year, as part of an expansion of overall mobile marketing efforts, the study says. It notes that 16% of that same group of retailers say they’ll increase their overall wireless/mobile marketing spend this year.

But text ads, which can include coupons and other promotions sent as text messages to consumers’ mobile phones, scored far below other more established marketing tactics covered in the SORO report. When asked which marketing tactics they plan to spend more on this year, the largest group of respondents, 75%, cited search engine optimization/natural search, followed by 72% who named social networks.

Following is the full list of marketing tactics cited in the study and the percent of respondents planning to increase spending:

● SEO/natural search, 75%

● Social networks, 72%

● E-mail to house file, 61%

● Paid search, 61%

● Remarketing, 61%

● Affiliate networks, 61%

● Behavioral targeting, 36%

● Comparison shopping engines, 33%

● Microblogs, 22%

● Wireless/mobile, 16%

● Text ads, 13%

● Online marketplaces, 13%

● Blogs and message boards, 12%

● Traditional portal deals, 9%

The study also notes that 3% of respondents cite text ads as being among their three most effective sources of acquiring customers. This put text ads above blogs, Twitter and alternative payments as a means of customer acquisition, but still low on the list of acquisition tactics.

Here’s the full list of customer acquisition tactics noted in the study and the percent of respondents citing each as among their three most effective sources of new customers:

● Search engine marketing, 90%

● Affiliate marketing, 49%

● Organic traffic, 44%

● E-mail prospecting, 18%

● Social network presence, 18%

● Direct mail, 10%

● Sweepstakes, 10%

● Remarketing, 7%

● Offline ads, 7%

● Online marketplaces, 4%

● Flash sales, 4%

● Behavioral marketing, 3%

● Text ads, 3%

● Co-registrations, 3%

● Blogs, 1%

● Micro-blogs such as Twitter, 1%

● Alternative payments, 1% is the online retail division of the National Retail Federation, an industry trade group. The SORO report released last week covers online marketing, social networking and mobile commerce strategies; a second phase of the SORO report will cover other aspects of online retailing when it is released later this year.

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