SINGAPORE: Permission-based mobile marketing allowing consumers to "opt-in" to receive messages is outperforming other channels in Asia.

According to a new report from the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and Out There Media, the conversion rate for opt-in mobile ads stands at around 25%, while the response rate for mobile display ads remains in "the low single digits".

The report also compared the mobile opt-in conversion rate to that of direct mail (1.38%) and online advertising in general (0.2%).

Ads counted as opt-in by the MMA are those for which consumers have registered - whether via SMS or online - to receive a specific programme of messages from advertisers.

"It is worth noting that, in some cases, the rate of response to opt-in mobile advertising was as high as 50%," the report stated.

"This is the difference between opt-in mobile marketing, which is driven by consent as well as highly targeted and the scattershot approach of web advertising which pushes out advertising banners to large numbers of eyeballs, in the hopes of reaching the right audience."

Opt-in campaigns are most popular among FMCG advertisers, which account for around 26% of the regional total.

The beauty and fashion category came second on 20%, while finance was third on 18%.

Opt-in mobile advertising has increased markedly in popularity in the Asia-Pacific region over recent months.

Out There Media's database, from which the MMA's report was derived, had 4.19m South East Asian consumers on its database by February 2011, up from 1.75m in November 2010 and 190,000 in August 2010.

According to latest figures from the database, 49% of the channel's audience is female, and 51% is male.

Twentysomethings are the most-represented age group at 60% of the total audience, with 0 to 19-year-olds and 30 to 39-year-olds making up 17% and 12% respectively.

Data sourced from MMA Global; additional content by Warc staff