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Last Updated : Aug 25, 2012 11:38 AM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Bulk SMS ban: Telemarketers to lose 30% monthly revenue

The department of telecom may have increased the SMS and MMS limit to 20 per user per day, but telemarketers and telecom companies are still not smiling. The 15 day bulk SMS ban will see telemarketers losing close to 30% in monthly revenues, reports CNBC-TV18's Animesh Das.


The department of telecom may have increased the SMS and MMS limit to 20 per user per day, but telemarketers and telecom companies are still not smiling. The 15 day bulk SMS ban will see telemarketers losing close to 30% in monthly revenues, reports CNBC-TV18's Animesh Das.


It's not just teenagers who are frustrated with the SMS restrictions. In effect till August 31, telemarketing companies claim that the restriction will mean a 30% loss in monthly revenues. Netcore, which handles bulk SMS services for companies like ICICI Bank, Reliance Retail and Tata says that it stands to lose around Rs 75 lakh.


Kalpit Jain, chief operating officer, Netcore Solutions, says, "Overall volume drop would be in the range of 40 to 50%. While the first three days were holidays, so we are yet to determine the overall impact of it in the coming few days, but overall, I think we have seen an overall drop of 40-50% happening on the total basis."


To circumvent the restrictions, telemarketers are urging clients to switch to email marketing or direct calling. Agencies say that most marketers have already moved their SMS budgets to email campaigns, since the cost per message - anything between 5 to 10 paise - is almost on par with bulk SMS. However, direct calls have very few takers.


Sanjay Tripathy, executive vice-president and head - marketing, HDFC Life, says, "We are looking at other means to really, reach out to our customers. Be it through sending emails, or sending calls, or providing information through IVF. However making calls is really much more expensive, so that's really impacted communicating with our own customers."


But some still say they will wait out the 15-day SMS ban.


Ankur Warikoo, chief executive officer, GroupOn India, says, "About 8-10% of what we do in our daily marketing is through SMS marketing and that has right now suffered in impact. Given the fact that it is only a limited period ban and we understand the sensitivity of it, we haven't yet looked for any alternatives as we understand that this is an important ban in the eyes of the government and why it was done."

The Internet and Mobile Association of India or IAMAI has written to the DoT asking it to lift the ban for telemarketers. It claims that though August 31 is just a week away, the damage has been done, and it won't be easy to make up the lost revenues. Meanwhile, the Cellular Operators Association of India claims that telecom companies will lose between 7-8% of their monthly revenues.

First Published on Aug 24, 2012 09:39 pm
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