7 Statistics to Get You Fired Up About SMS Marketing

Text messaging could be the key to better engagement with your customer base.
Customers are twice as likely to take a feedback survey when contacted via text message as opposed to email. (Photo: GaudiLab/Shutterstock)

Text messaging using mobile phones has been around 25 years and is one of the most widely used methods of communication today. Also called short messaging service (SMS), texting is a great way to connect with your customer audience.

Using SMS to communicate with consumers can also differentiate your business from other brands. You can use it for offering customized promotions and discounts, sending appointment reminders, gathering feedback and providing customer service.

Check out these seven statistics to see how marketing using text messages 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 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.

In 2017, 66 percent of people worldwide owned a mobile phone

The U.S. isn’t the only place mobile phone use has become a ubiquitous form of communication. In a recent joint report from We Are Social and Hootsuite, an estimated 4.92 billion people used mobile phones in 2017, equaling 66 percent penetration of the global market.

Related: What Small Businesses Need to Know About Permission Marketing

More than 26 billion text messages are sent daily in the U.S.

According to data from Statistic Brain, more than 781 billion text messages were sent in June 2017 by U.S. wireless subscribers. That breaks down to more than 26 billion text messages every day, a 23 percent increase from 2016 and up 84 percent from five years prior.

Almost all (98 percent) of SMS messages get read


While only 20 percent of emails are read by consumers, SMS messages are read about 98 percent of the time. (Photo: oatawa/Shutterstock)

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.

Related: Where to Allocate Your Small Business Marketing Dollars

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

In an age of convenience, people want information on demand. 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 market, text messaging is an even more powerful customer service tool. The vast majority of millennials (83 percent) 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.

Related: Create a Customer Survey to Generate Results You Can Use

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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