Is SMS Marketing Just a Fad?

Podcasting. Vlogging. Facebook Live. Instagram Stories. In an ever-changing marketing landscape, it isn't easy to know if strategies like SMS text message campaigns are here to stay and which audiences they work best for. 

If you're skeptical about allocating your time and resources, just look at the research. We collected a round-up of SMS and text message marketing data to help figure out how it could impact your business.

Mobile Shopping Continues to Skyrocket

M-commerce, or mobile commerce, is rapidly growing with no signs of slowing down. Research shows that by 2025, retail m-commerce sales are predicted to more than double to $728.28 billion and account for 44.2% of all retail ecommerce sales in the United States. 

Mobile shoppers are already an established, eager market who want promos and coupon codes. When they're accustomed to making purchases from their smartphones, they're more likely to click your SMS marketing message and start shopping.

Consumers Prefer Getting Text Messages

If you're worried about bothering customers with too many SMS marketing messages, don't. Nearly 93% of consumers want to text with businesses, yet two-thirds report that few companies are actually texting them. 

Research and industries differ somewhat on how often to text consumers. However, aiming to send communication once to twice a week is usually a safe bet. There are some caveats here. If you're a salon, a weekly text is probably unnecessary. Instead, you could send out appointment reminders and occasional promos. But if you're an online store that consistently curates new inventory, multiple texts a week are probably welcomed by your audience.

SMS Builds Stronger Relationships

Consumers are willing to engage with brands but prefer texting to other mediums. Research shows that 74% of consumers prefer texting with a company if a real person is texting back. 

Instead of emailing your consumer base, text a personal follow-up about their recent purchase or service. Collect their feedback and insights into their shopping experience to help shape your business and future marketing efforts. Text engagement can also take the form of a poll, survey, or inviting customers to join your social media channels.

Open Rates for Texting Remains High

The open rates for SMS and text message marketing remain as high as 98%. Unlike email, which can take hours to read, consumers open their texts within minutes. 

SMS leads in more ways than just open rates–click-through rates are also climbing. The statistics change somewhat depending on the industry, but research shows that over 71% of business owners see 10%-35% click-through rates from SMS.

Text Message Marketing Works for Big and Small Brands

Some marketing methods, like email, need an extensive list of consumers to see results. The average conversion rate for email marketing is just 2% to 5%, which poses a challenge for small businesses trying to scale and earn more profits. 

SMS marketing doesn't necessarily need an extensive list of customers to earn revenue, although it certainly helps. The conversion rate for SMS marketing rose 102% year-over-year in 2020. Depending on your industry and offer, conversion rates for SMS marketing range from 14% to 29%.

SMS Marketing Helps Shape a Positive Perception of Your Business

There's something about SMS and texting that helps customers see businesses more positively. Studies show that the average person is 64% more likely to perceive a company positively when they have directly communicated with them. 

But phone calls aren't the answer. 90% of people prefer to receive text ads over direct calls and emails.

SMS Is More Than Just Marketing

SMS and texting serve valuable purposes beyond marketing. Statistics show that nearly 60% of customers feel that long holds and wait times are the most frustrating parts of a service experience. Customer service also improves when you use texting as a go-to instead of phone calls with long hold times.

Of course, providing unparalleled customer service is part of a sound marketing strategy. When customers receive a poor experience, they're unlikely to return to your business. 

Nearly Half of All Consumers Don't Answer the Phone

If your business is trying to reach a customer by phone, chances are high they won't bother answering at all. An analysis of 13 billion monthly phone calls showed that consumers only pick up 48% of the calls they receive. They’re also unlikely to listen to their voice mail, especially if it’s from a number they don’t recognize. Many people now view voicemail as a dead technology that they don't want to bother handling.

Instead of relying on voice mails your customers may never check, send a text about their order or delivery problem instead. They can answer it at their leisure, check crucial details, and work out the issue without stepping away from work to take your call.

Consumers Engage with SMS Faster Than Other Forms of Marketing 

SMS marketing is a fast way to connect to customers, launch a flash sale, and resolve a service issue. It only takes 90 seconds to a few minutes for someone to receive and answer a text message, even if it's from a brand. Meanwhile, it takes around 90 minutes to respond to an email. 

If you're down to the wire and need a revenue boost, SMS also delivers. Sending a last-minute promo or prompting customers to save their abandoned carts helps recover potentially lost revenue and keep your income steady. 

You Have an Edge Over the Competition

Email marketing could be effective for your business but is highly saturated with competition. Research shows that 87% of marketers use email marketing to distribute their content, promo, and other information. Yet, despite how ready and willing consumers are to sign up for SMS marketing lists, only 11% of businesses use SMS. 

You also don't need to choose one marketing method over SMS and texting. If email marketing is working for your business, you can integrate it with texting to enhance your results and reach a broader audience.

The ROI of SMS Marketing is Easy to Track

ROI will vary depending on your industry and what you're trying to accomplish. If your KPI measures how many people click through to your promo, your ROI remains high. If you're strictly measuring conversions, your SMS marketing ROI probably ranges between 14% to 29%. Here are a few ways you can set your KPIs to measure the success of your SMS marketing campaigns:

  • How many products are rescued from abandoned shopping carts
  • How many last-minute appointments are booked for your service
  • The amount of revenue earned for a VIP sale
  • How much feedback you receive from a survey or poll
  • How many customers take advantage of a promo code
  • How many products you upsold with premium offers

However you want to determine your KPIs and ROI for SMS marketing, it's easy to track. You can dig into your SMS stats to see how many messages were sent, the action customers took, and how it impacted your revenue. 

Final Thoughts

SMS and text message marketing significantly impact conversions, ROI, and engagement, but businesses are still slow to adapt to the growing trend. Incorporate more text messages in your next marketing campaign and test your results against your current efforts. You may find SMS saves time, resources, and budget while making a greater impact on your revenue. 

Are you ready to get started with SMS and text message marketing for your business? Contact us today.