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Connet Systems confirms airtime giveaways increase response rate

By Brendan White, CEO of Connet Systems.

Pretoria, 06 Jun 2013
Read time 2min 20sec

Prepaid in South Africa dominates the subscriber market with about 80% of the total subscribers buying their airtime upfront. Therefore, using airtime giveaways as an incentive to enter a competition is very appealing to consumers; it is practically a necessity in Africa.

"Marketing companies come to us with their mobile strategies for their competitions and brand awareness. We have seen thousands of campaigns, many that do very well and others that flop. With the precise reporting from USSD, we can conclude that airtime giveaways make campaigns or competitions a success," says Brendan White, CEO of Connet Systems. "The instant gratification that the consumer gets from winning free airtime when entering a competition can result in a viral campaign. You have to build in the appropriate business rules to restrict entries and timeframes or your campaign could get out of control."

The USSD application is a flexible marketing solution when giving out airtime. The airtime winner receives an SMS with the airtime PIN immediately following the completion of the USSD menu. The winner just dials the network USSD code and PIN to receive the airtime. White mentions: "There is a multitude of options for customising your airtime giveaways; it doesn't have to be a win for every entry but maybe only every 100th entry to a competition. It is a simple mechanism that can be tailored to meet the client's needs."

Restrictions to a campaign can include determining winners based on correctly answered questions, a list of permitted entrants, or allowing only unique entries. A variety of airtime denominations can be given out.

Setting up automatic airtime rewards for competitions will undoubtedly increase the entrants to your USSD campaign. Once the data is collected with customised USSD reporting, SMSes can be sent to further increase brand awareness. Media 101, a leading digital sales media company concludes: "Introducing instant airtime reward into a campaign, especially in South Africa's prepaid-heavy market, is one of the best ways to generate great response from a campaign," says Duncan Harling from Media 101. "Added to that, the outbound communication to the database further entrenches the brand to that audience. All our airtime incentive campaigns have been hugely successful."

A leading developer of mobile services and systems, Connet Systems specialises in USSD applications as well as SMS, mobile applications, short codes, mobile payments and other mobile communication, and counts some of South Africa's largest companies among its customers. You can reach Connet Systems at (012) 348 5332 or visit

Editorial contacts
Connet-Systems Caitrin Le Roux (012) 348 5332
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