Get ready to be blown away by the stats.
SMS Has Huge Volume, Nearly Guaranteed to Be Read by Your Audience
- Globally, 33 percent more people have access to mobile phones than to toilets! In 2013 that was 6 billion with access to mobile phones (and thus to SMS).
- While the dramatic rise of new communication apps has overtaken SMS, an average of 20 billion text messages are being sent daily this year, translating to 7.3 trillion annually! That’s more than 5.5 million per second!
- Email open rates are great at 20-30 percent. But according to a Dynmark report, SMS blows that away at 98 percent open rate! In fact, 90 percent are read within 3 seconds. Just think how long it takes between your phone chiming for an incoming text and your hand moving to it.
Huge Conversion Rate
- A Pure360 report on SMS marketing quotes 32 percent of recipients respond to SMS offers, with texted coupons redeemed 10 times more often than traditional coupons.
- 54 percent of consumers receive at least one SMS message daily, and 50 percent of US consumers receiving branded SMS texts go on to make direct purchases.
- Dynmark, quotes in its above-mentioned report that 29 percent of SMS marketing recipients click on links in SMS messages they receive, and 47 percent of those go on to make a purchase. That’s nearly 14 percent conversion!
- Online cosmetics company Julep reported a 10.7 percent redemption rate for an offer sent via SMS.
- SMS campaigns support other channels too. For example, Smart Insights reports that sending a simple follow-up message, “Have you read our email?” (to people who opted-in for that type of SMS) increases email open rates by 20-30 percent.
- Smart Insight also says that SMS-based surveys enjoy high conversion, with 31 percent of consumers responding to such invitations, on average within five minutes.
Incredibly High ROI and Retention Rate
- British motor racing circuit Silverstone sent a text message to 45,000 people in their database, inviting them to purchase tickets for an upcoming Formula 1 race. That single message delivered to Silverstone an ROI of 680 percent!
- Julep, mentioned above, reported a 99 percent retention rate for its SMS subscribers!
What Gets Sent via SMS?
The Pur360 report offers a wide array of examples, by industry. This includes banks sending account balances, execution confirmations, alerts for large transactions or balances outside a client-designated range, and one-time password verification codes. Retail businesses send order confirmations, special offers, coupons, links to customer surveys, etc. Entertainment venues send notices of upcoming events and cancellations, special offers, surveys, etc. Travel-related businesses send booking confirmations, reminders and status updates, follow-up offers, etc.
Why is SMS so Popular With Recipients?
SMS stands for “Short Message Service,” and at 160 characters it takes almost no time to read and comprehend a message. It’s also dead simple to use, allowing live links that open mobile webpages or set up a phone call with a single click. Shortcodes also make impulse purchases easy, invoiced through the mobile phone bill, so no credit card is needed.
Using SMS the Right Way
Forrester’s “Guide to Using Mobile Moments with Messaging,” quotes their “Q2 2014 Global Mobile Executive Online Survey,” saying that 49 percent of marketers use SMS. This means more than half of marketers miss the opportunity represented by the stats quoted in this post.
According to a Marketing Charts article on measuring mobile marketing efforts, even at 49 percent (in agreement with the above-mentioned Forrester survey), SMS is the most widespread mobile channel, only 28 percent measure text message opens. In a future post, I’ll go into SMS best practices, which include closing this use-versus-measurement gap as an important first step.
If you’ve been using this simple and incredibly effective marketing channel, what has the experience taught you? Do you measure its performance?