By the end of 2020, 48.7 million consumers will have willingly opted-in to receive SMS communications from their favorite brands.
While that number might sound high, it’s important to look at the facts to get the full story. When it comes to direct marketing there isn’t a channel more connected to the customer than SMS marketing. Sixty-eight percent of people say checking, sending, and answering text messages is the activity that they’re most engaged with on their phones throughout the day.
Text message campaigns vastly increase the likelihood your marketing efforts will be seen. Not only that, text message marketing is permission-based, so consumers opt in to campaigns, allowing them to make a significant jump down the sales funnel.
The key to successful SMS marketing is creating a mutually beneficial relationship between the customer and your business.
45 SMS marketing statistics you should know
There are a lot of marketing myths out there, but with these sourced statistics, you’ll see why SMS marketing can have a powerful effect on all types of businesses.
Texting engagement statistics
Texting isn’t as new-aged as you might think – it's been around since 1992. While mobile communication methods such as voicemail, direct mail, and email have their benefits, there’s nothing as remarkable as a text message for those who prefer immediate and direct access to their consumers.
SMS marketing is an instant solution to gain immediate attention. But are the people who use their phones obsessively within your target audience?
One in four internet users are already mobile-only consumers, meaning they only access the internet using a cell phone.
The average consumer spends four hours a day checking their phone.
Worried your marketing texts might be intrusive? Don’t be – 84% of consumers have received SMS messages from a business before.
of people say they open every text message they receive.
Looking to reach a younger audience with your message? 42% of Millennials check their text messages 10 or more times per day on average.
70% of consumers think SMS marketing is a great way for businesses to get their attention.
Millennials aren’t the only ones who are phone obsessed – consumers over 60 check their phones three or more times per hour.
Customer communication statistics
Just because a customer is phone-obsessed doesn’t mean they’re ready to start getting texts from anyone. Consumers have preferences about the types of information they receive, how often they want to receive texts from businesses, and more. Here’s a look at consumer communication preferences when it comes to SMS marketing.
Customers want to start a conversation with your business – 60% of consumers want to be able to respond back to SMS messages they receive.
83% of consumers would like to receive appointment reminders via text, but only 20% of businesses send them this way.
60% of customers want to actively text businesses back about customer support issues.
Customers don’t just want you to text them, 43% of consumers said they have proactively texted a business.
54% of consumers would like to receive promotions via text message, but only 11% of businesses send them this way.
One in three
consumers have tried to text a business and never gotten a response back.
When asked what’s most important when connecting with a business, 31% of consumers said they would like options when it comes to how they communicate.
66% of consumers would like to receive service notifications via text, but only 23% of businesses send them this way.
Only 13% of businesses allow for customers to respond to their SMS marketing messages.
18% of customers say a clean and easy opt-out method is the most important thing to them when receiving SMS marketing messages.
59% of consumers would prefer receiving direct communications from businesses rather than having to download a separate app on their phone
The top three SMS text message types customers say they like to receive are updates on their shipping tracking for products (75%), receiving order status and confirmations (65%), and scheduling reminders (46%).
Does it matter to customers who (or what) is on the other side of the SMS message? Maybe. 74% of consumers said they still prefer to get help from a human rather than interacting solely with a chatbot.
When it comes to the best time to send SMS marketing messages, the early bird gets the worm. 75% of consumers say that they check their phone within 30 minutes of waking up.
of consumers say they would opt into an SMS loyalty program if they were offered flash sales, deals, or coupons in return.
The top three industries customers say they are more likely to opt into text messages are: e-commerce/retail industry (46%), healthcare (43%), and banking or financial institutions (41%).
88% of respondents said they ignore phone calls from businesses and unknown numbers “often” or “very often”.
Making it easier to shop means more money for your business. 58% of people consider convenience alongside price when deciding where to shop.
SMS marketing statistics
Businesses are starting to understand the power that text marketing holds in the digital age. Marketing campaigns that are seen are more valuable, which proves the usefulness of distributing campaigns via text message.
Text marketing is incredibly effective, with SMS open rates as high as 98%.
The top three reasons marketers say they like using SMS marketing are: they have a large existing mobile audience (52%), for strengthened customer engagement (44%), and because of high open rates (43%).
Curious when to send those coupon codes out to your customers? SMS databases grow the most during the holiday shopping season, by an average of 41%.
of marketers use SMS marketing software to automate and send their SMS marketing campaigns directly to their customers.
SMS marketing click-through rates for e-commerce brands can be as high as 36%.
While SMS marketing may not be a crowded field yet, it’s going to get competitive. 61% of marketers increased their text marketing budgets in 2020.
62% of marketers surveyed say the speed of delivery is the biggest benefit of SMS marketing.
SMS messaging is one of the fastest ways to reach consumers directly. 60% of consumers say they read a text within 5 minutes of receiving it.
Unlike most marketing channels, SMS marketing is still a best kept secret. 61% of marketers still don’t use SMS marketing.
33% of SMS recipients react to CTAs in SMS marketing messages, and 47% of those end up making a purchase.
Marketers using three or more channels in their campaigns see a purchase and engagement rate 250% higher than marketers using single-channel campaigns.
SMS marketing vs. email marketing statistics
There’s no question that email marketing is one of the most popular forms of direct marketing available today. Marketers often wonder why they would add another channel to their roaster when email marketing works so well. Can SMS marketing truly compare to email marketing?
73% of marketers say email marketing is their best digital channel for ROI.
SMS marketing click-through rates can be anywhere from 10-15% higher than email marketing campaigns.
The size of a mobile database is typically between 2 and 10% of a retailer’s email database.
of small business owners who utilize text messaging say texting offers higher engagement than email communication.
Consumers are 4.5x more likely to reply to an SMS marketing message than a marketing email.
85% of consumers prefer to receive an SMS to a voice call or an email.
66% of consumers either prefer mobile messaging or consider it their second choice for communications when compared to phone and email.
Consumers are 134% more likely to respond to a text than an email, and 86% of businesses using texting find it generates higher engagement than email.
65% of customers say they have unsubscribed from a business’ texts.
The top two reasons customers unsubscribe from business texts are because they feel the messages are spammy (31%) and they are receiving too many messages (30%).
Sometimes the best way to reach your customers is to go directly to them. With SMS marketing, you can send targeted messages that provide real value faster than ever. And with the help of an SMS marketing software solution, you can do everything from tracking interaction data related to each SMS campaign to providing analytics into SMS marketing efforts and more.
Lauren Pope is a Content Marketing Manager at Oracle and a former content marketer at G2. You can find her work featured on CNBC, Yahoo! Finance, the G2 Learning Hub, and other sites. In her free time, Lauren enjoys watching true crime shows and singing karaoke. (she/her/hers)
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