Industry Insights

Is SMS messaging still a popular choice for communication?

Ufuoma Uvomata
May 18, 2023

Good communication helps to build and maintain healthy relationships. It allows us to understand each other's thoughts, needs, and emotions. Poor communication leads to misunderstandings, conflicts, and everybody chopping breakfast. 

At work, nothing would get done if we couldn’t communicate. Sharing information helps make sure tasks are completed the right way, deadlines are met, and goals are achieved successfully. It’s also how services are offered to customers and ensures they get the best from the business.  

Communication has evolved and changed the way companies keep in touch with customers. People now have the choice to call, email, DM, or text businesses. This makes it easier than ever for companies to manage customer relationships with good customer support and efficient marketing campaigns.  

Despite the use of other marketing channels like social media and email marketing, SMS remains a widely used and preferred form of communication for companies trying to get the most from their marketing efforts.   

With reels and TikToks taking over the world, do people still respond to SMS marketing? In this guide, we’ll look at the impact text message marketing has on businesses today. 

Understanding the popularity of SMS.

SMS (Short Message Service) is the OG messaging service that allows people to send and receive text messages on their mobile phones. Like many old things, SMS has lasted so long because it just works. 

Texting is a quick and easy way to communicate. Consumers prefer text messaging because they can read and respond at their convenience unlike phone calls, which can be intrusive and require immediate attention. 

SMS was first introduced in 1984, but it wasn’t until the late 1990s that it started becoming popular. By 2007, mobile messaging had become the most widely used messaging application around the world.

Basically, everyone with a cell phone receives SMS text messages. That’s about 5 billion people who send and receive SMS messages daily, accounting for more than 65% of the world’s population.   

Most mobile phone users are happy to receive text messages from businesses they patronize. They get convenient appointment reminders, updates on their order status, and relevant marketing promotions. 

Text marketing is loved because companies can easily send direct push notifications to their customer's mobile devices and experience amazing open rates.

SMS usage statistics and trends.

Mobile messaging is widely accepted and used across all business sizes and industries. Here are some of the latest SMS marketing statistics and sms marketing trends: 

  • Over 5 billion people worldwide use SMS.
  • 21% of users choose SMS marketing for its cost-effectiveness.
  • The top uses of SMS for business are internal communications and customer support.
  • 46% of finance and banking companies have increased their SMS marketing spending recently.
  • The use of SMS for event-driven marketing increased by 40% after COVID.
  • The use of SMS marketing is lower in SMEs (39%) and higher in enterprises (58%).

These text messaging statistics show that SMS is a widely used and preferred form of communication, particularly among younger generations.

SMS is used a lot in business to keep in touch with customers because it's so simple and effective.

SMS usage trends.

According to recent studies, SMS usage patterns have changed significantly over the years. The retail brand Michaels uses Attentive to grow its text sign-up list, and send personalized messages customers to drive sales. They noticed that 20% of the customers that receive a reminder about their abandoned cart, went back to the website to buy the item.

Here are some of the most notable SMS usage patterns today:

  1. Frequency of use.

SMS is still the most widely used messaging platform, with most smartphone users using it regularly. The average person sends and receives around 94 text messages per day, indicating that SMS is still a popular form of communication in everyday life.

  1. Demographics

Younger generations continue to prefer SMS over other messaging apps. Around 75% of millennials prefer SMS over phone calls. SMS is still the most commonly used messaging platform among Gen Z users. Older generations still use SMS, with over 80% of baby boomers using it regularly.

  1. Business usage.

SMS is also widely used by businesses for marketing and communication purposes. According to SMS marketing stats, 90% of text messages are read within three minutes of being received, making them an effective marketing tool. PWC’s report showed that several industries will be increasing their SMS marketing budget in the coming years, indicating the effectiveness of SMS in reaching customers.

Benefits of using SMS Communication.

  1. Text is reliable and secure.

Text messages are typically stored on the recipient's phone, making them more secure than emails or other forms of digital communication that may be vulnerable to hacking or interception. 

SMS does not require the sharing of personal information, unlike some messaging apps that require access to users' phone numbers, email addresses, or social media profiles.

  1. Messages are delivered instantly.

SMS messages are delivered almost instantly, making them ideal for time-sensitive messages. Unlike emails or other forms of digital communication that may take several minutes or hours to be delivered, SMS messages are delivered within seconds.

  1. Text messages are universally compatible.

Almost all mobile phones support SMS services, regardless of their brand or operating system. Text messages work on any mobile network, unlike other messaging apps that need the internet. It is an inclusive form of two way communication that is accessible to the average person in any location.

  1. High open and response rates.

According to a report by PWC, SMS marketing campaigns have open and response rates as high as 95% and 45%, respectively. That’s impressive compared to other channels like emails, which have around a 20% open rate and a 6% response rate. This is partly due to the number of messages that typical mobile users receive for each type of digital marketing.

  1. Text campaigns are cost-effective.

SMS is a cost-effective way for businesses to communicate with customers. Compared to other communication channels, text message advertising is relatively inexpensive, making it a good choice for businesses of all sizes.

  1. Personalized brand communication.

The personalization of SMS marketing campaigns allows text marketers to improve their communication with customers and deliver an exceptional customer experience. Consumers respond more to messages that are tailored specifically to them, such as dollar off discounts on previous purchases. 

SMS marketing and customer engagement.

SMS marketing is a form of mobile marketing that uses text messages to promote products, services, or events. Businesses can send text messages to customers who have opted in to receive them, offering promotions, discounts, or other marketing messages. 

To maximize the effectiveness of your SMS marketing strategy, follow the digital marketing strategies for using SMS to engage with customers.

  • Obtain consent.

Before sending SMS messages to customers, it is essential to obtain their consent. This can be done through a signup form on your website, during the checkout process, or through a text-to-join campaign. It is important to make sure that customers are aware of what they are signing up for, how often they will receive messages, and how they can unsubscribe if they wish to do so.

  • Personalize messages.

Personalization is one of the most important text messaging strategies for effective customer engagement. Use the customer's name or other information in your own SMS marketing campaign. You can tailor the content of the text message to their interests and preferences. This can be done by using Simpu to segment your customer base and send targeted messages based on demographics, purchase history, or other factors.

  • Keep messages short.

Text messages should be short and to the point. SMS messages have limited characters, so be concise and clear. Use simple language and avoid jargon or technical terms that customers may not understand. If you need to provide additional information, include a link to your website or a landing page.

  • Be timely and relevant.

Timing is crucial when it comes to SMS messages. Send messages at times when customers are most likely to be receptive, such as during business hours or in the evening. Simpu uses your customer data to send messages that are relevant to each customer. For example, you can send messages about upcoming sales or promotions, order updates, or personalized recommendations based on their behavior or history.

  • Provide value.

Customers are more likely to engage with SMS messages that provide value. This can be in the form of exclusive promotions, personalized recommendations, or useful information related to their interests. Avoid sending messages that are purely promotional or sales-focused, as this can lead to customer fatigue and opt-outs.

  • Include a clear call to action.

Every SMS message should include a clear call to action. This can be a link to your website, a coupon code, or a request to reply with a keyword to indicate interest. Make sure the call to action is easy to understand and takes the customer directly to the desired destination.

  • Monitor and analyze results.

It is important to monitor and analyze the results of your campaigns to determine SMS marketing effectiveness. Track metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates directly on Simpu. You can use this data to make adjustments to your campaigns and improve customer engagement over time.

SMS for business communication and customer support.

SMS allows businesses to provide timely and convenient support to their customers. Here are some strategies for providing excellent customer support via SMS:

  • Personalize your messages.

Personalization is key to providing excellent customer support. Manage your customer data on Simpu and use it to add the customer's name, refer to previous conversations, and provide relevant information to make the message more personal.

  • Send automated responses.

Automated responses can be used to acknowledge receipt of the customer's message, provide a status update, or answer frequently asked questions. Simpu users love this feature because it saves time and effort and helps improve customer satisfaction.

  • Be available 24/7.

Customers expect customer support to be available 24/7. SMS allows you to provide support outside of regular business hours, which can be a significant advantage. Setting up automated responses ensures that your customer support is available at all times.

  • Respond quickly.

Speed is important when it comes to providing excellent customer support. Customers expect prompt responses, and delays can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction. Use technology to help you respond to messages as quickly as possible, and set realistic response time expectations to manage customer expectations.

  • Provide clear and concise information.

Because of the character limits, it is essential to provide clear and concise information. Break down information into bite-sized chunks and avoid using technical jargon or acronyms that customers may not understand. You can provide links to additional resources or support channels if necessary.

  • Use positive language.

Use positive language to convey a helpful and friendly tone, and avoid negative or confrontational words. Choose phrases such as "Thank you for reaching out" or "We appreciate your business" to show appreciation for the customer.

The future of SMS communication.

As technology continues to evolve, it is interesting to see how SMS communication adapts and evolves to meet changing needs. Here are some emerging marketing trends that aim to improve the way we communicate: 

  • Rich communication services (RCS).

Rich Communication Services (RCS) is a messaging protocol that aims to replace SMS. RCS offers features such as group messaging, read receipts, and multimedia messaging. It offers more features and an interactive messaging platform.

RCS provides new opportunities for businesses to reach customers through interactive messaging. The platform allows businesses to send interactive messages that allow customers to make purchases, book appointments, and more.

Although some users prefer a more feature-rich and interactive RCS messaging platform, SMS is still expected to remain a popular form of communication, particularly for basic messaging needs.

  • Integration with artificial intelligence (AI).

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is another emerging trend in SMS communication. AI can be used to automate customer support, allowing your business to respond to customer inquiries quickly and efficiently. Simpu’s AI-powered chatbots can be used to quickly answer frequently asked questions, provide product recommendations, and automate routine tasks.

AI can also be used to personalize messages. Using your customer data, you can send targeted promotions and messages based on customer preferences and behaviors. This helps increase engagement and drive more sales.

As AI continues to advance, it is likely that SMS communication will become more integrated with AI-powered chatbots. This integration would make it a lot easier for businesses to communicate with customers in a fast, personalized, and efficient way.

  • Increased security measures.

As SMS communication continues to be used for business purposes, it is likely that we will see an increase in security measures to protect sensitive information.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security measure that requires users to provide two forms of identification to access a system or application. SMS is one of the most commonly used forms of 2FA, with users receiving a one-time verification code via text message. 

SMS-based 2FA has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially for mobile payments.

  • Application-to-Person (A2P) messaging.

Application-to-person (A2P) messaging refers to SMS messages that are sent from an application to a mobile phone user. A2P messaging is used in industries such as finance, healthcare, and retail, where businesses use SMS to communicate with customers and clients.

A2P messaging is also being used for new purposes, such as emergency notifications and public safety alerts. Governments and emergency services are using A2P messaging to notify citizens of emergencies such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other critical situations.

How to send SMS Campaigns on Simpu. 

To start sending out SMS campaign messages on Simpu, follow these easy steps;

  • At the top of the navigation bar, click on ‘Marketing’
  • Next, click on the ‘Create campaign’ button
  • Select ‘SMS Campaign’
  • Click on the ''who will you send this campaign to?'' selection
  • Select a list from your saved lists of SMS subscribers
  • Give your Campaign a name
  • Select Your Campaign Sender ID which is the name your customers see instead of a phone number
  • Type in your message in the text compose area or edit one of our templates.

In conclusion, the popularity of SMS can be attributed to its exceptional convenience and accessibility. With the widespread ownership of mobile phones, texting has become a swift and effortless means of communication. It enables people to stay connected even in situations where phone calls might be impractical or unsuitable, such as in public or noise-sensitive environments.

Moreover, businesses favor text messages due to their robust encryption, rendering them highly resistant to interception or hacking. Typically, only the intended sender and recipient have access to the messages, making SMS a more secure option compared to emails or other digital communication platforms.

Ufuoma Uvomata

Content Writer
Ufuoma is a writer who creates website copy, SEO articles, scripts, blog posts, and short stories for companies in several industries. If you meet her, ask about her plants.

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