SMS marketing is an up and coming strategy for many businesses.
But what is SMS marketing, exactly?
SMS is a fancy word for text message. It’s when businesses text their customers about promotions, scheduling and reminders.
The main goal of SMS marketing is to reach out to your targeted audience and improve customer relations and sales.
So… is SMS marketing effective? And how can you use it for your business?
These 26 SMS marketing statistics will answer all of your questions, like…
- Is SMS marketing useful?
- Does SMS marketing convert?
- How does SMS marketing compare to email marketing?
- How can you use SMS marketing for your business?
- What is the future of SMS marketing?
Not to mention, you’ll learn how to apply this strategy to your business.
Ready to get started?
SMS marketing statistics – Editor’s picks
- 60% of consumers check their text message notifications within 1-5 minutes. (Simple Texting)
- 75% of consumers under the age of 44 want to contact a business via text. (EZ Texting)
- SMS produces engagement rates 6 to 8 times higher than retailers normally achieve via email marketing. (Retail Dive)
Is SMS marketing useful?
SMS marketing might be getting popular, but is it worth trying out? This first round of statistics will tell you how SMS marketing comes into play.
1. 60% of consumers check their text message notifications within 1-5 minutes
Let’s face it. We keep our phones near us 24/7. When you get a text message, don’t you feel an urge to see what it says?
60% of consumers say yes. Within the first 5 minutes, most of you will check your text message notifications.
From a business standpoint, this gives you the opportunity to engage with your customers fast.
The term, ‘message app users’ is used because it’s a global statistic – many users across the world use an app, like WhatsApp, to text.
It’s become more common to message a business with questions or comments about their service.
3. More than 1 in 2 people surveyed across 15 markets consider business messaging the “modern way to communicate.”
Here’s another SMS marketing statistic by Facebook.
Text messaging, in general, is popular among all ages, so this doesn’t come as a surprise. But what age group prefers SMS marketing?
4. 75% of consumers under the age of 44 want to contact a business via text
Texting is fast, easy, and direct.
Users don’t have to wait around by their phone or their computer for a response from you. They can go about their day and talk to you at the same time.
Plus, texting has been around for years. Your users are used to this form of communication.
Source: EZ Texting
5. 70% of customers say SMS is a good way for businesses to get their attention
Communication with your customers only improves if they respond.
Ask your audience how they like to connect. Whether it’s texting or through a chatbot, take note of what they prefer.
Source: Voice Sage
Does SMS marketing convert?
This next round of SMS marketing statistics will give you a good idea of its open and conversion rates.
SMS marketing statistics 6-8 are based on the graph below:
6. Text messages have a 98% open rate
98% is only 2% away from 100%.
It’s hard to communicate with your customers when they don’t open your email or answer your call.
A higher open rate is a higher chance of talking to your users and increasing conversions.
7. 90% of SMS marketing is read within the first 90 seconds
We all check our phones… a lot.
Fast responses can lead to more sales. When you use SMS marketing, make sure to respond to them quickly as well.
8. ⅓ of SMS recipients react to SMS call to actions, and 47% of them will make a purchase
A popular form of SMS marketing is to promote your product.
Customize your texts for your audience. It’s one thing to open a text, but it’s another to make a purchase.
9. Only 24% of businesses find it very easy to get a response from customers
Sure, the open rate of SMS is high, but what about your response rate?
Avoid sending spam-like messages to your users. Instead, grab their attention. Give them a reason why they should respond to you.
You can do this by asking them a question or offering a promo code.
10. 41.3% of businesses have seen an increase in opt-in rates over the past year
Opt-in messages let users choose if they want to receive your messages. You can’t send text a random list of phone numbers—you have to get their consent.
Make your first opt-in message inviting and personal. Add an incentive if you’re selling a product. Discounts and limited-time offers are common ones to use.
How does SMS Marketing compare to email marketing?
Many businesses aren’t sure whether they should use SMS marketing or email marketing. Email and text messaging are similar forms of communication. How do they compare?
11. SMS produces engagement rates 6 to 8 times higher than retailers normally achieve via email marketing
… when used for redemption, data collection, and brand awareness.
Notice how this statistic is focused on retailers. Retailers can send discounts, coupons, and limited-time offers with SMS.
If you’re a retailer-owner, consider adding SMS marketing to your strategy.
Source: Retail Dive
12. SMS marketing has a better open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate than email marketing
This data might provoke negative thoughts toward email marketing.
Email marketing isn’t useless. In fact, it’s an effective way to nurture your leads and build long-lasting relationships.
What really matters is what your audience prefers. Try both strategies and analyze your data— what strategy converts the most users?
13. The average open rate for emails is somewhere between 20-30%. In comparison, the open rate for SMS is nearly 98%
Consider how many of your emails go directly to someone’s spam. There isn’t a spam folder in SMS, so there’s a higher chance of a user opening your text.
Take advantage of this and write high-converting text copy. Your copy should reflect your end-goal.
Keep in mind that you can send texts about other topics than sales. Send your customers updates and reminders too.
14. On average, consumers have 192x more unread emails than text messages
Again, it’s common for emails from random users to go straight to your spam. And most emails in your spam folder are unread.
As SMS marketing becomes more popular, its spam blocker will improve too.
With that said, use the same protocol as you would with email marketing. Send an opt-in text and send information your audience actually cares about.
15. 86% of small business owners who use text messaging find that it offers a higher rate of engagement than email marketing
A common reason why small businesses use SMS marketing is to improve their customer service.
Retaining customers is necessary for small businesses. A good way to retain customers is to build genuine relationships with them.
You can improve your customer service experience over SMS with:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Payment notifications
Source: EZ Texting
16. Email remains as a popular channel for marketers, with 73% saying it’s their number 1 digital channel for ROI
Both email and SMS marketing are effective content strategies. They both have the potential to build relationships and increase conversions.
You don’t have to choose one over the other—they can work together.
For example, include a shortcode and your business phone number to an email. Or, advertise your email newsletter using SMS.
This will help broaden your communication channels.
Source: Campaign Monitor
How can you use SMS marketing for your business?
This is where digital marketing gets interesting. Now that you know how SMS marketing works, how can you implement it to your business strategy?
This round of statistics will show you how businesses reach their goals with text.
17. The growth of SMS databases is strongest during the 4th quarter holiday shopping period, when retailers can expect their mobile databases to grow by an average of 41%
Basically, SMS is most popular for retailers during the holidays.
Why? Well, customers want to buy gifts.
If you’re a retailer, increase your SMS budget during the holidays. Send discounts and promotions about your holiday sales.
If you want to build genuine relationships, send them a warm holiday message.
Source: Retail Dive
18. Retailers who embrace promotional SMS programs with fixed time-frames and strong call-to-actions typically see a 23.3% conversion rate
You can use a promotional SMS program to advertise a new line of products.
Your customer data will help you choose a fixed time-frame. When are your customer’s most active? What time of year do you achieve high conversion rates?
Finally, your call-to-action should be personal. Avoid generic CTAs like, “Sign up now!”
Understand your user’s desires and pain points—you can create a convincing CTA from there.
Source: Retail Dive
19. HBO’s SMS marketing campaign went up to 70,000 subscribers within 2 months
HBO advertised a new season of Game of Thrones using SMS marketing.
Here’s how they did it:
HBO texted their fans with an offer to watch sneak peeks of the upcoming season. In exchange, fans had to subscribe to HBO’s temporary mobile site.
These sneak peeks were time-sensitive, so users felt an urge to subscribe, asap.
You can use a similar campaign model to increase your subscriber list. Add a sense of urgency with a time-sensitive offer.
Source: Mobile Marketer
20. 31% of users would like to choose how they communicate with a business
People like options. Your customers want a say in how they communicate with your business.
Consider offering at least 2 different methods of customer service. For example, you could use SMS marketing and chatbot automation.
21. 56% of businesses use SMS marketing for scheduling reasons
Scheduling is a common tactic in SMS marketing.
It keeps you and your audience organized. Plus, it ensures a good attendance rate.
This is worth looking into if your business runs appointments or events.
What is the future of SMS Marketing?
This last round of statistics will show you upcoming trends about SMS marketing. You’ll learn how to apply this strategy in the future.
22. 59% of users want their communications function built into their phone, not an app
How many apps are collecting dust on your phone?
Probably a lot.
This is where SMS marketing comes into play. Users can chat with you without downloading another app.
Source: Voice Sage
23. Response rates for push notifications, which require an app install, range from 7 to 48 minutes as opposed to only 3 seconds with an SMS message
Here’s another statistic about using an app – push notifications take users longer to respond compared to texts.
You can take advantage of the SMS open-rates and send time-limited promotions.
24. Compared to 2016, 23% more people will opt-in to receive SMS messages from companies by 2020
SMS marketing has been growing since 2016 and continues to grow now.
Apply your business goals to your SMS marketing strategy.
For example, if you aim to boost your event attendance rate, text your attendees an event-confirmation and promos.
25. The majority of respondents want to text businesses back about customer support issues
Customer service refers to:
- Product/service questions
- Product defects
There’s nothing more dissatisfying than asking a question and never getting a response.
Customers want their questions answered. Fast.
Use SMS marketing to connect with your audience and give them room to ask you any questions.
Source: Simple Texting
Not all businesses have caught on to SMS customer support. Notice how only 20% of businesses send texts about appointments.
Get ahead of the trend and implement SMS customer service to your business.
If you aren’t sure about your audience, ask them how they’d like to chat. You can do this with a survey, email, or poll.
To wrap up
Text messaging has now been around for decades. It’s about time SMS marketing becomes popular.
If you plan to use SMS marketing for your business, remember these 3 key takeaways:
1. It’s easily accessible
Almost everyone has a phone, and therefore, text messaging. Not to mention, the open-rate for SMS is close to 100%.
On that note, SMS marketing is a reliable way to improve your communication with your customers.
2. It can be integrated
SMS marketing wears many hats. You can use it to boost your email marketing campaign, event attendance, sales, etc.
Be dynamic with SMS and use it to grow your overall marketing strategy.
3. It’s not going away
Text messaging will be around for a while. Plus, more users want to talk to businesses over text messaging.
If you haven’t already, try SMS marketing and analyze your customer data. The shoe might fit.
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