Millions of Holiday Greetings Sent Via Text Messaging This Year

A new survey from America Online’s Tegic Communications division shows that a “surprising number of people” in America and Europe are sending Christmas and Hanukkah greetings by text messaging this year, rather than through conventional, paper cards via the mail.

The survey is based on data from the U.S. and five countries in Europe, AOL told the E-Commerce Times. When asked whether they have or would send a “Merry Christmas” text message, the following percentages in an array of countries said yes, including:

  • The U.S., 39 percent
  • The U.K., 56 percent
  • France, 66 percent
  • Germany, 79 percent
  • Spain, 88 percent
  • Italy, 91 percent

In addition, when mobile users were asked whether they have or would send a “Happy New Year” text message, the figures were rougly equivalent:

  • U.S., 35 percent
  • France, 85 percent
  • Germany, 88 percent
  • Spain, 90 percent
  • Italy, 92 percent

Other, similar surveys show the increasing popularity of text messaging as well. A report from wireless provider Alltel indicates that text messaging increased by 154 percent during the last year.

The wireless company said that in the month of June, 2005, 7.2 billion text messages were sent, a huge increase from the 2.8 billion sent a year earlier.

Women Most Prolific Text Messagers

Women were said to be the most prolific users of text messaging for sending messages, sending them daily. The average text messaging “conversation” included five text messages, the Alltel survey said.

About half of those polled said that they text message at work, with one of five sending a message to clients and one of three sending a message to co-workers.

About 40 percent said that they have flirted with someone of the opposite sex using text messaging.

Even marketers are stepping up the pace of usage of text messaging. A firm called Smart SMS Corp. this week debuted a contest for consumers in Los Angeles to enter a contest via text messaging with the winners receiving free mortgage payments if they win the contest.

“Text campaigns deliver more effective promotions in every market and every industry in the U.S.,” said Gordon Lee, chief executive officer of SmartSMS, adding that as third generation, or 3G phones, come to market, the “evolution” in the usage of short messaging, or text messaging, will continue.

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