Short messaging service (SMS) has been around for over two decades. According to Mashable, most early mobile phones did not support the ability to send text messages—until Nokia manufactured the first GSM phone line that enabled users to exchange SMS in 1993.
Like most new technology, the adoption of SMS was slow, with the average user sending 0.4 texts per month in 1995. Come the year 2000, this number increased to 35 texts per month.
At present, SMS remains to be the most used data in the world, with over 5 billion people around the globe still using their phones to text. In fact, more than 18.7 billion text messages are being sent daily—that’s over 216,000 messages every second.
In addition, a study by Pew Research Center reported that texting is widely practiced in both rich and developing nations, in which sending texts is common among cellphone users in some of the poorest countries surveyed.
Even in this smartphone age where chat apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are being used by many, a study has found that 94% smartphone users still sends texts.
While SMS is a 30-year-old technology, these statistics prove that text messaging is not a fad that’s about to go away anytime soon—and businesses realize that. Sending texts or doing an SMS blast is viewed as a great tool for companies to reach new customers as well as support and retain existing ones.
Check out these emerging trends and powerful statistics on the advantages of SMS for business.
SMS Growth Trends
90% of all mobile phones are SMS-capable. – Cross-Cultural Marketing
98% of text messages sent are read. – Mobile Marketing Watch
80% of people use texting for business. – eWeek
Text messaging has a 45% response rate, while email only has a 6% response rate. In 2013, 84% of email traffic was spam. – MarTech
An average person takes 90 minutes to respond to an email, but only 90 seconds to respond to a text message. – CTIA
Almost 8 out of 10 businesses believe that customers prefer SMS/text support. – ICMI
About 400 million text messages are sent by Filipinos every day or 142 billion a year. – Morbie
The average Filipino mobile subscriber sends an average of 600 text messages per month. – GMA News
60% of the world remains offline, and that 60% is heavily concentrated in developing economies. In these emerging markets, 51% of consumers prefer to receive promotional messages via SMS. – EFL Global
Application-to-person (A2P) SMS can let businesses securely share notifications, login confirmations, password resets, and status updates. 1.7 trillion A2P texts were sent globally in 2018 -Portio Research
Trends Driving the SMS Surge
One-Time Passwords (OTP)
It is the most common A2P texts sent by businesses to prevent security breaches. – Portio Research
33% of people have received at least one text in the last 12 months from a banking or financial services company, because OTP texts are used for bank authentication. – Mobile Ecosystem Forum
SMS is as a great way to send reminders, pickup and delivery notices, and event invitations.
Texting provides a simpler, better customer experience for giving quick answers or updates such as payment confirmations, product availability, and shipping alerts.
More than 1/2 of consumers would prefer texting with customer support over other methods. – eWeek
Artificial intelligence will enable SMS automation to become even more advanced.
Nearly 1 in 6 people communicate with healthcare providers via text, because providers are using automated texts for appointment reminders, medication pickup notifications, disaster/emergency hotlines, and more. – Mobile Ecosystem Forum
Social apps are using text in a variety of ways such as user authentication, notifications, and other alerts.
E-commerce websites use text messaging for order confirmations, delivery notifications, and running promotions like sending discount coupons or vouchers with embedded links to the website.
Businesses can now create and send automated, personalized texts to their customers by using available data like location information to birthdays.
Marketing Campaigns and Sales Promotions
More than 75% of consumers would like to have special offers sent to them via texting. – Digital Marketing Magazine
Almost 25% of marketers are using text messaging, and over 65% of them report SMS texting as being very effective. – ExactTarget
How to Utilize SMS for More Customers
- Build an SMS subscriber list by offering an incentive or discount to customers who opt-in to receive SMS updates.
- Send personalized and relevant SMS messages that add value to the customer experience, such as exclusive offers, discounts, and promotions.
- Use SMS to provide timely and relevant customer service and support, such as order updates, shipping notifications, or resolution of issues.
- Use automation and segmentation to tailor your SMS messages to specific customer segments based on their behavior, interests, or demographics.
- Track and analyze your SMS campaign performance to optimize your strategy, such as by measuring open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, and iterate on your approach to continually improve your messaging.
Understanding the Value of SMS Marketing
With billions of texts being exchanged every single day, SMS is here to stay and will play a key role in connecting the latest of technologies. It is a feature available on every mobile phone you can acquire today, making it the most effective and direct means of reaching the most customers.
Whether you are looking to enhance your marketing and boost sales conversions, improve customer service, and/or increase user security, SMS is a channel that needs to be included in the strategy.
Now’s a great time to reconsider the impact that text messaging can make for your company.
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Infographic References: Business2Community (5 Reasons SMS Can Improve Your E-commerce Experience); Cross-Cultural Marketing: Theory, Practice and Relevance; CTIA via Hubspot’s 9 Amazing Mobile Marketing Statistics Every Marketer Should Know; Digital Marketing Magazine (7 Key Statistics for SMS Marketing); EFL (Alternative Credit Scoring in Emerging Markets); eMarketer (Three in 10 Retailers Rely on SMS for Customer Service, Promotions); eWeek (Businesses Texting Grows More Widespread; Consumers Like Using Text Messages to Solve Customer Service Issues); Forbes (Fifty Essential Mobile Marketing Facts); GMA News (Philippines still text messaging champ -US study); ICMI (I’m Excited to Enable SMS in My Contact Center, But Should it Integrate with Other Channels?); MarTech (Text Messaging); Media Post (How Brands Can Reach Consumers In Emerging Markets); Mobile Marketing Watch (SMS Marketing Wallops Email with 98% Open Rate and Only 1% Spam); Mobile Ecosystem Forum; Morbie (Filipinos, Morbie and 400 Million Text Messages a Day); Portio Research; Ring Central (Infographic); SpamFighter (Flooded Inboxes: 84% of All E-mail is Spam)