why sms marketing is so effective

Cell phones are one of the biggest marketing platforms of the 21st Century and makes SMS marketing so effective. SMS may appear “old school” but it continues to provide brands with a direct channel consumers are responsive to.

Whilst SMS marketing was written-off by some marketers several years ago, text message marketing statistics show the old-school mobile channel is an effective marketing tool.

Marketers that stuck with text message marketing do not get surprised by the results. Over 270 million people own a mobile device in the US. This figure is expected to grow to 273m in 2019. And folks always have their cell close by.

With the advancements of smartphone technology, consumers are doubling up on the time they spend on their mobile phones. Mobile searches surpassed desktop searches in 2015.

As more businesses turn to mobile-first marketing, advertisers are recognising how effective SMS is on a number of levels. Coca-Cola spends 70% of the mobile marketing budget on SMS.

People Read Text Messages

reading text message

Texting is associated with rewards. And the human brain is hardwired to feel excitement towards any possibility of good news. It comes as no surprise that up to 98% of text messages are opened.

A study performed in the UK discovered that the global average open rate for SMS marketers was 94%. 98% of respondents will read text messages from trusted sources.

Given brands have to receive consent from consumers before you are permitted to send promotional content via SMS, it’s fair to say that you are a trusted source.

The report also reveals that 73% of consumers open every text. That’s still a high percentage of people that are reading your messages.

Furthermore, SMS arrives directly in the recipient’s inbox. SMS does not have spam filters, ad blocking or push notifications you can turn off. Consumers love SMS messages.

Impressive Response Rates

SMS response rates are subjective. Your message has to be compelling enough for recipients to take action. Some reports indicate that SMS engagement rates are six to eight times higher than other channels. This when used for depositing coupons, collecting data and increasing brand awareness.

It’s worth bearing in mind the majority of sales attributed to SMS come from in-store transactions rather than through digital channels.

Retailers that use text message marketing with fixed time frames and a strong CTA have seen response rates of more than 23%.

Consumers Prefer SMS

SMS does not have to be used solely for marketing. As a matter of fact, it’s not a smart move.


Whilst reports indicate that 64% of consumers say they prefer to communicate with brands via SMS over voice service channels. Only two percent are interested in promotional texts – unless they are relevant.

The statistics show that marketing channels are only effective when used in the correct way. It’s critically important that marketers know which type of content and promotions their audience want to receive.

This is particularly the case with SMS. If you send too many misplaced messages, your customers will unsubscribe from your SMS list.

On the other hand, consumers are responsive to brands that use SMS to enhance customer service.

A study performed by OneReach revealed 77% of customers aged between 18-34 are likely to have a positive experience with brands that offer texting capabilities.

There are various ways you can use SMS effectively. Customers prefer to receive texts for customer satisfaction feedback, appointment reminders, dispute resolutions, update personal information, reset passwords, receive confirmations and digital receipts.

Retains Loyal Subscribers

Using text messaging services to improve your customer service has a knock-on effect with your customer loyalty program – particularly amongst millennials.

Whilst 89% of consumers say it’s important that brands have different options for customer support, 47% saying texting can improve the overall customer service.

It goes without saying that good customer service is beneficial to customer retention. According to Bain & Co, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by more than 25%.

Time Efficient

The direct nature of SMS means the channel is also time efficient! You can react to breaking news much quicker or capture the attention of customers when they are close to your store.

Given 90% of text messages are read in the first three minutes of receipt, time-sensitive messages do not get lost in the noise of social media or left unopened in an email inbox.

Text messages are fairly easy to construct as well. Because of space limitation, your message has to be succinct.

You should put some thought into how you construct a text message of course, but if you stick to the point, you can craft a message and send it in 10 minutes. In contrast, an article this length takes at least two hours.

Thanks to the speed and ease of SMS, the channel becomes a cost-effective and efficient means of reaching your customers in real-time.

Assists Multi-Channel Campaigns

inform customers

There are multiple channels marketers can use to reach customers these days. Yet despite the number of options, a good deal of your marketing efforts goes to waste.

As we mentioned above, SMS has an incredible reach. It can therefore be used to drive traffic to ads or information on other channels that would otherwise go unnoticed.

For example, if you are running a competition through social media, you can use SMS to bolster the campaign by informing customers of the opportunity to win a prize.

Thanks to advancements in mobile technology, it’s possible for marketers to embed videos, images and links into text messages. And encourage customers to engage with content posted on your website or third-party platforms.

If you are one of those marketers that think SMS messaging services are out-dated and have no place in the digital age… You may want to rethink your strategy.

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