7 statistics to get you fired up about SMS marketing

Published May 19, 2021

Text messaging on mobile phones got its start almost 30 years ago when UK engineer Niel Papworth used his personal computer to send a “Merry Christmas” text to his colleague’s phone. Now it’s one of the most widely used methods of communication because of how convenient it is. Incorporating this simple but effective method in your marketing can differentiate your business from your competitors.

Short messaging service (SMS), or more simply known as texting, is a great way to connect with your customers. Use it to offer customized promotions and discounts, send appointment or reservation reminders, gather feedback and provide customer service.

Check out these seven statistics to see why SMS marketing can help boost your small business.

95 percent of Americans own a mobile phone

According to the Pew Research Center, 95 percent of the U.S. population own some type of cell phone. The majority of these are smartphones, with 84 percent of households having at least one smartphone and a third of them having three or more smartphones. 

These numbers are even more striking for young adults. In the 18- to 29-year-old bracket, almost all (96 percent) live in a home with at least one smartphone, and more than half (51 percent) indicate their household contains three or more smartphones.

More than 3 billion people worldwide own a mobile phone

The U.S. isn’t the only place mobile phone use has become a ubiquitous form of communication. According to Statista, globally 3.6 billion people owned smartphones in 2020 and by 2023, based on continued steady buying, an estimated 4.3 billion people are expected to own their own smartphones.

More than 23 billion text messages are sent daily in the U.S. alone

According to data from EZ Texting, in 2020 approximately 23 billion texts were sent in a day in the U.S. alone which means Americans are texting at least 270,000 times every second. And texting is the most frequently used app with 97 percent of Americans sending a text at least once a day.

Almost all (98 percent) of SMS messages get read

Communicating with your customer base via text message is more likely to have an impact, according to mobile marketing platform OpenMarket. While only 20 percent of emails get read, the open rate for SMS messages is exponentially greater, at a whopping 98 percent.

What’s more, 90 percent of text messages get read within three minutes of delivery, and 83 percent of millennials open texts within the first 90 seconds.

29 percent of businesses use text messages to connect with consumers

While SMS messaging is highly used across consumer audiences worldwide, businesses are lagging behind in leveraging the trend. As part of a joint research project with Internet Retailer, OpenMarket found that less than a third (29 percent) of retailers use texting as a way to communicate with their customers. And while more than half (52.1 percent) see ways they could use text messaging by their company, they said it’s not a priority for their business at this time.

70 percent of consumers want to resolve queries without ever talking to anyone

In an age of convenience, people want information on demand, and let’s be honest—sometimes you’re just not in the mood to talk on the phone. OpenMarket found that nearly three-quarters (70 percent) of consumers would prefer to find answers to their questions without needing to talk to a live person. 

In the millennial (and Gen Z) market, text messaging is an even more powerful customer service tool. The vast majority of millennials would rather text a business for help than call their customer service helpline.

Customers are twice as likely to take a SMS feedback survey than one by phone

Text messaging is also a much better way to get customer feedback for your small business. While only 10 percent of consumers told OpenMarket they are likely to take a voice survey, they said they would be twice as likely (20 percent) to participate in a feedback survey sent via text.

If you’re looking for a way to make your brand stand out from the crowd, text message marketing may be a good opportunity to increase engagement with your target audience and win more business.

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