The service, which Easyquote.ie claims is a first for Ireland, allows customers to request quotes for SMS marketing services via the company's Web site for free. At the moment, the service has only two suppliers - Dataconversion Direct and Abtran, but Easyquote told ElectricNews.Net that it expected additional suppliers to come on-board over the next couple of weeks.
According to Barney Joyce, director, Easyquote.ie, the service will prove popular among businesses because SMS marketing is an emerging arena and as such businesses may have difficulty sourcing potential suppliers.
Joyce, who has a background in marketing, added that he believed that SMS marketing would become an increasingly popular way to market to consumers despite some analysts' misgivings about whether people will tolerate being bombarded by SMS ads and marketing messages.
"There is an extremely delicate balance that has to be maintained with SMS marketing between opt-in and targeting, but if done properly it is a very cost-effective great way to get to the market you want to," he remarked.
Joyce's view is backed up by a recent survey in Sweden carried out by Netsurvey and UK mobile marketing company, Mediatude. The survey showed that 76 percent of 5,000 respondents believed SMS information services added value, even with advertising, and fifty-two percent said they would recommend advertising-financed SMS services to others. Also, nearly 30 percent of respondents to the survey said that the advertising made them interested in the campaign offer, and 18 percent said that since receiving an SMS advert, they had actively searched for more information.
Easyquote.ie is an independent gateway that gives businesses the opportunity to receive multiple quotes from a variety of suppliers covering a range of industries including direct marketing, print, telecoms, freight and Internet services.
Launched in September, 2000, the company said that it now has close to 400 member companies. Businesses pay a flat yearly fee to be listed on the site. Easyquote.ie splits the country into nine regions (i.e. south west, north midlands, north east) and the size of the fee depends on how many of regions a company wants to be listed in.
According to Joyce, it has received requests for business worth around EUR5 million through its system since its launch. He added that the company expects to post a "modest" profit before the end of the year.
Easyquote can be found at http://www.easyquote.ie