Customers across all demographics reach for their phones dozens of times per day, opening a key opportunity for businesses and brands to reach the people who matter. Mobile technology continues to evolve, as we see the development of VR, Rich Communication Services, Voice Search and more. However, SMS marketing firmly grasps the lead as the favourite communication method of key customers over methods such as PPC or email that brands typically spend more time, money, and effort investing in.
In an age of rapid marketing method development and increasingly nuanced online strategies from competing brands, text messaging allows businesses to capture the attention, loyalty, and action of the customers they care about the most. With impressive open/response rates and favorability among customers, today’s most successful businesses heed these twelve key statistics that may surprise you.
1.SMS marketing sets marketers up for other advanced mobile opportunities
Mobile Marketers are on average 79% more likely to use other mobile-specific marketing tactics if they employ SMS marketing strategies. (Source)
This is because companies that embrace SMS marketing quickly see the effectiveness of SMS marketing tactics and understand the receptiveness of their audience to the medium, informing marketing strategy all around.
Texting campaigns also set consumers up to recognise a brand’s other mobile campaigns, helping with response rates and exposure, while increasing the positive light and relevance with which they view a company.
2. Using short links in mobile marketing campaigns can boost conversion rates
Branded vanity links get up to 39% more clicks than generic short links. (Source)
Branded links achieve higher CTR than generic short links because they mark the message as being directly related to your brand. Branded links become particularly important with text messaging campaigns for security and reassurance reasons. From the recipient’s point of view, a link within a text could send them anywhere on the web, unless they are familiar with the domain name. Customers feel better about clicking on it, knowing your company wouldn’t be associated with spam or phishing sites.
3. Rich Communication Services, the next big mobile marketing channel, will be worth billions very soon
RCS is estimated to be worth $74 billion by 2021. (Source)
Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging is touted by Gartner, TechCrunch, the GSMA and OpenMarket as “a messaging standard that has the potential to tie together SMS and other chat apps”. It is set to overhaul SMS into a messaging system that can challenge Apple’s iMessage service, offering group chat, video, read receipts, and all the in-depth functionality of a webpage or APP. Developed and promoted by the GSMA Association in 2008, Google is currently adopting and developing it alongside the main carrier networks.
4. More than one-third of the world’s phones aren’t “smart enough” for advanced mobile-marketing
Over 35% of phone users in the world are best reached by SMS text messaging. (Source)
While iPhones and Androids seem ubiquitous in major cities today, it’s important to remember that nearly half of all cell phone users in the world do not own a smartphone.
This means that more advanced mobile marketing campaigns — such as those utilizing apps or QR codes — aren’t accessible to nearly half of your potential global customers.
As companies look to expand to these key demographics, SMS marketing allows them to contact new markets where their competition may not be able to.
5. SMS open rates beat email nearly 5x over
90% vs 20% – Open rate of SMS compared to email open rates (Source)
Compared to email, SMS text messaging boasts a considerably higher open rate. This reflects most customers’ opinions of texting as a more trusted, personal way to communicate and receive marketing offers. Cheaper than many email campaigns and paired with a greater return on investment, adding SMS marketing tactics to your strategy is an easy choice.
With GDPR, changes to Gmail’s layout, and increasing amounts of email being sent, the plateau of email open rates is unlikely to change anytime soon. Text messaging has a reliability about it that will see the gap between the channel’s engagement rates remain for the foreseeable future.
6. Response rates to SMS marketing are 7.5x higher than email
The response rate of SMS text message marketing is 45% vs email response rates of 6% (Source)
Not only are your customers more likely to open marketing offers and communications via text, but they’re also more likely to interact with you when you communicate via SMS messaging.
Beyond the obvious personal element, SMS messages are generally more convenient to receive, read, and act on as consumers check their phones dozens of times a day.
SMS marketing statistics prove that texts motivate conversion through your sales funnel from the top-down, whether your customers are responding to an offer you text, clicking through to your website or giving you a review of recent services.
7. Customers respond extremely fast to text messages
It takes the average person 90 seconds to respond to a text message (Source)
While people are quick to respond to a text, they take up to an hour and a half to respond to an email with the same information.
This makes SMS text messaging a key marketing vehicle for time-sensitive, participation-heavy offers and events, such as contests, limited time/supply sales or event registration.
Companies can also leverage faster response rates to get real-time customer feedback on orders, customer service experiences, and brand opinions.
8. Most people don’t mind receiving promotional offers via text
75% of people wouldn’t mind receiving an SMS text message from a brand (after opt-in) (Source)
Contrary to most people’s intuition consumers report that they wouldn’t mind receiving an offer from a brand via text. Customers feel this way because of the personal touch text messages come with, along with the fact that, for companies to reach out via SMS, consumers have to deliberately have opted into the communications.
SMS marketing tends to be less intrusive because of the deliberate opt-in action recipients must take. It’s also more concise and does a better job of presenting the value proposition of an offer due to limited space, something consumers across all demographics and industries appreciate.
9. More than half of consumers prefer texting for support
More than 50% of customers prefer contacting support through text messaging compared to other channels. (Source)
As more and more of our lives become automated, instant, and mobile-focused, customers appreciate — and expect — to have their basic questions addressed without having to dial a number and speak to a physical customer service representative. Allowing customers to contact customer support via text cuts down on annoying wait times and will enable you to automate answers to common questions, allowing live-chat customer service calls to center around providing more in-depth assistance. Additionally, proactively initiating conversations via SMS will reduce inbound calls to the customer support team.
10. The majority of people use texting for business
80% of people use texting for business purposes (Source)
Today, most people mix business with pleasure when it comes to their mobile usage, whether they’re talking with clients, communicating with vendors/companies, or calling loved ones.
Your customers are accustomed to using text messages for all kinds of purposes, from appointment reminders to communicating with family to leads on their next purchase. Take advantage of this open-minded approach to the use of mobile phones by finding new, innovative ways to incorporate SMS into your marketing and outreach strategies.
11. Use of SMS as a channel has grown significantly among B2C and B2B marketers
The use of SMS marketing grew 197% as a strategy in B2B efforts from 2015 to 2017 (Source)
While not as saturated as other marketing channels, SMS marketing efforts have gained in B2B strategies and grown by 92% in B2C efforts. While not all your competitors are on board with text message marketing strategies, many are finding that SMS marketing statistics validate a change in approach to reach key customers.
12. More companies plan to use SMS text messaging marketing in the future compared to email
20% of marketing leaders plan on using SMS in their marketing strategies in the next 12 months (Source)
As more and more studies show the success of SMS marketing strategies, focus in this area has picked up steam among brands, with one in five marketing leaders planning to use SMS in the next year, compared to just fourteen percent positioned to start using email campaigns in the same time period.
Percentage of Marketing Leaders Who Use (orange) or Plan to Use (blue) the Following Channels over the Next Twelve Months (Salesforce)
In conclusion, text messaging is a clear easy win for marketers to complement existing marketing strategies and engage their customers in an empathetic way.
Mobile communication doesn’t have to be complicated. When you need a response from customers, why wouldn’t you use the messaging platform that’s getting results? And with the development of RCS, Rich Media and iMessage, you can increasingly provide the functionality and interactivity of an app or email via the tried-and-trusted format of a text.
Guest author: Fionn Daly, Marketing Demand Generation Manager at VoiceSage
Fionn is responsible for helping B2C marketers and contact center managers engage their customers in the best way possible.