SMS Pal Lets Advertisers Text in Classified Ads

April 8, 2008

CARLSBAD — SMS Pal, a text message classified company based in Carlsbad, Calif., is offering advertisers a new way to submit a classified ad — from their cell phone. Simply text a classified ad up to 160 characters to 99134 (also known as a “short code.”) SMS Pal automatically posts classified ads on its website, and will place them in participating local newspapers upon request. The service costs 99¢ for each listing, and it is charged back as a premium SMS message on the user’s cell phone bill. SMS Pal will then coordinate with local newspapers who subscribe to their service to run the ad.

“This service will help people like college students, travelers and low-income workers who don’t have immediate access to a computer or the internet. It will also help newspapers, who are struggling to find new customers and revenue sources,” notes Joe Moreno, founder and president of SMS Pal.

Text messaging, aka “texting” or more formally, “Simple Message Service (SMS),” is available on virtually every cell phone worldwide (that’s more than 3.3 billion phones!) and most people are active “texters.” Texting is commonplace in foreign countries where access to computers and the internet is limited, and has been growing quickly here. In the U.S., cell phone companies either bundle text messaging as part of a package or charge individual users an average of 5¢-25¢ per SMS text message (sent and received). Unlimited text messaging plans are becoming more commonplace and market demand should ensure that very soon, texting is as inexpensive as sending an email or making a phone call.

Soon, SMS Pal will offer an “update alert” feature — for instance, if someone wants to hire a babysitter and it matches a local classified ad, SMS Pal will send a text message to the person’s cell phone alerting them to the ad. “This is where newspapers will really be able to realize the potential of our service — they can provide their customers an effective new enhancement to traditional classified ads, something that online classifieds can’t offer,” notes Moreno.

SMS Pal is rolling out its service to markets nationwide. For more information, visit their website at, or call Kerry Kerr at (703) 436-2704.