When it comes to reaching their target audience, many marketers believe that their customers don't want SMS marketing. After all, there is a smorgasbord of options out there. From traditional channels such as print, radio, TV trade shows, and direct mail, to newer options such as websites, blogs, search, social media, messaging apps, and email, there is no shortage of potential ways to gain a consumer's attention. You can even reach consumers in their on-the-road-navigation software.
Why, then, would consumers be interested in yet another marketing channel?
Enter SMS (or “smart message services” AKA texting).
SMS has been around for nearly 30 years, and as such is one of the older communication technologies going. It’s stuck around, in part, because it’s immediate, useful, and inexpensive to deploy. It’s a direct way of communicating without too much disruption. Traditionally people have thought of SMS as a channel reserved for important or close communications between friends, colleagues, and family.
So, customers don't want SMS marketing added to the mix...right?
The answer may surprise you. As it turns out, consumers are more open to receiving marketing messages via SMS than on many other platforms.
Texting is Second Nature to Millions of People
According to renowned social science think tank Pew Research Center, as of February 2021, a whopping 97% of U.S. adults own mobile phones, and 85% own smartphones. And the gross majority of those people use their phones to text. No big surprise, right? Go anywhere, any time and you’ll see most people staring at a screen or tapping out a message. In short, using a mobile phone to communicate via text is second nature to millions and millions of people.
And People Like Texting
It’s true. People like texting a lot. Turns out the immediacy of texting brings an urgency to communicating that email, social, and other messaging platforms can’t match. People tend to respond more quickly to a text, and respond more overall, much like answering a ringing phone. Have a look at a few stats:
- 68% of people say checking, sending, and answering text messages is the activity that they’re most engaged with on their phones throughout the day.
- 42% of Millennials check their texts 10 or more times a day, with the over-60 set checking three or more times per hour.
- And a massive 82% of people say they open every text message they receive.
People Engage with Brands on Their Mobile Devices Already
If you make your retail purchases from your mobile phone or tablet, you’re not alone. According to market and consumer data platform Statista, during 2020, nearly 51% of U.S. mobile phone users made at least one purchase on their mobile device一that’s about 168 million users!
And there’s more! Estimates for smartphone retail e-commerce sales are due to surpass a mindblowing $432 billion for 2022, nearly triple the $148 billion figure for 2018.
So basically, people actively engage with brands on their mobile devices already. Starting out the process with SMS marketing that’s also accessible on their devices, then, just makes sense.
SMS Marketing Requires Consent from Recipients (and Lots of People Have Given It)
Here’s something you might not know. If you’re a business, you can’t just start texting customers willy nilly. As with email marketing, there are rules and regulations in place that protect consumers from unwanted SMS marketing solicitations.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the CAN-SPAM Act require that recipients provide explicit consent to receive SMS marketing messages from a named business before any marketing message is sent. Enforcement is largely overseen by the Federal Communications Commission, though other stakeholders include the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) (who can suspend texting services to businesses) and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) (a key trade association).
What does this all mean? It means that consumers must give their permission to a business before that business can legally send them a single SMS marketing message.
And guess what?
As of the end of 2020, over 48 million consumers have opted in to receive SMS communications from their favorite brands. Not only that, but 60% of consumers want to be able to respond to SMS messages they receive from brands, but only 13% of businesses provide the capability for customers to respond to their SMS marketing messages.
Seems like a missed opportunity, right?
People Respond Favorably to SMS Marketing Messages
The really good news for marketers is that people respond favorably to SMS marketing messaging. How do we know? Because
- 54% of consumers say they like to receive promotions via text message.
- 59% of consumers say they prefer receiving direct messages from brands rather than via a separate app on their phones.
- 74% of consumers said they still prefer to get help from a human rather than interacting solely with a chatbot.
And here are a few additional stats you might be interested in:
- SMS marketing open rates are colossal一clocking in at over 90%.
- SMS marketing click-through rates for e-commerce brands can be as high as 36%! That’s 10-15% higher than average email marketing CTRs!
How to Include SMS in Your Marketing Mix
So, this idea that customers don't want SMS marketing simply isn’t true. In fact, we think the facts suggest the opposite.
Looking for some inspiration to help your marketing team? Check out our guide to everything you need to know about SMS Marketing. And, for examples of how you can improve your outreach to existing customers, check out some sample text messages for improving retention.
To make the most of your SMS marketing campaigns consider working with a partner like Salesmsg. Salesmsg is a premier two-way business text messaging software platform that enables you to easily send, receive, and manage SMS message conversations from a single dashboard. It also integrates seamlessly with more than 1,000 third-party apps, including popular CRM platforms like HubSpot, Marketo, and Salesforce.
Salesmsg also offers basic and advanced pricing plans (both costing pennies per text message) that include a range of features, such as SMS broadcasting (up to 1,000 texts at a time), customer onboarding, and premier support.
Oh, and using a comprehensive SMS marketing platform like Salesmsg can also ensure your messaging is compliant with all the necessary rules and regulations.
To learn more about how Salesmsg can help you craft SMS marketing that your customers will love, get in contact today.
Text us at (888) 409-2298 or start your free trial today.