Don’t Miss The Boat

Statistics on consumer mobile usage and adoption to inform your mobile marketing strategy mobile site design and app development

Mobile to overtake fixed Internet access by 2014” was the huge headline summarising the bold prediction from 2008 by Mary Meeker, an analyst at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers who reviews technology trends annually in May.

The mobile statistics that the team at Smart Insights curate in the regular updates to this article include:

  • Ownership of smartphone vs Desktop
  • Mobile vs desktop media and website use
  • Mobile advertising response
  • Smartphone vs Tablet vs Desktop conversion rates

Well, we’re now past the mobile Tipping Point as this report from comScore shows. So it’s no longer a case of asking whether mobile marketing important, we know it is! It’s now a question of using the statistics to understand how consumers behave when using different types of mobile devices and what their preferences are.

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Some Stats

Texting has been around for over 20 years, but it’s only now just hitting its stride when it comes to business. Formerly just a way to send silly photos and emoticons (and to some extent, it still is), text messaging is now being viewed as a powerful way for businesses to connect with their customers.

For example, it’s widespread, affordable, real-time and flexible. It’s also brief, preferred, and can be used in any industry to satisfy customers.

What’s not to like?

At OneReach, we’re not shy about singing text messaging’s praises—it’s a great way to interact with friends, family and customers alike. However, we know it’s important to back up our opinion with some cold hard facts, so that’s why we’ve compiled 45 texting statistics on why text messaging is such a powerful business tool. Check them out below, then let us know what you think of texting for business in the comments.

General Texting Statistics

  1. Texting is the most widely-used and frequently used app on a smartphone, with 97% of Americans using it at least once a day. (Pew Internet)
  2. People worldwide will send 8.3 trillion text messages in just this year alone. That’s almost 23 billion messages per day, or almost 16 million messages per minute. (Portio Research)
  3. Over 6 billion text messages are sent in the U.S. each day. (Forrester)
  4. Over 80% of American adults text, making it the most common cell phone activity. (Pew Internet)
  5. Text messages have a 98% open rate, while email has only a 20% open rate. (Mobile Marketing Watch)
  6. Text messaging has a 45% response rate, while email only has a 6% response rate. (Velocify)
  7. Texting takes up 14.1% of cell phone users’ time. (Nielsen)
  8. 90% of all text messages are read in under 3 minutes. (Connect Mogul)
  9. Text messages are read on average in under five seconds. (SlickText)
  10. 75% of phones worldwide (4.5 billion) are text-enabled (DuoCall Communications)
  11. 96% of smartphone users text. (Acision)
  12. Americans sent 69,000 texts every second in 2012 (CTIA)
  13. The average adult spends a total of 23 hours a week texting (USA Today)
  14. The average Millennial exchanges an average of 67 text messages per day (Business Insider)
  15. On average, Americans exchange twice as many texts as they do calls (Nielsen)
  16. Only 43% of smartphone owners use their phone to make calls, but over 70% of smartphone users text (Connect Mogul)
  17. 55% of heavy text message users (50+ texts per day) say they would prefer to receive a text over a phone call (Pew Research Center)
  18. In 2011, 31% of Americans said they preferred text messages to phone calls (Pew Research Center)
  19. It takes the average person 90 minutes to respond to email, but only 90 seconds to respond to a text message. (CTIA)
  20. American women text 14% more than men. (Nielsen)

Business Texting Statistics

  1. 79% of companies believe customers want SMS/text support. (ICMI)
  2. 38% of contact centers currently offer SMS, and 23% have plans to add it in the next 12 months. That means 61% of contact centers will offer SMS support in 2016. (Dimension Data)
  3. 80% of people are currently using texting for business. (eWeek)
  4. One in five consumers is just as likely to prefer a text message from a business to a phone call. (ICMI)
  5. The activities people with text capabilities would most prefer to do via text are: check order status (38%) schedule or change appointments (32%) and make or confirm reservations (31%). (Harris poll; link below)
  6. Over half of customers said they would be likely to text with a customer support agent. Similarly, 52 percent would prefer texting customer support over their current preferred form of communication. (eWeek)
  7. A 2012 study found that text was the highest rated contact method for customer satisfaction out of all other customer communication channels. Text earned 90 out of 100 points, while phone earned 77 out of 100 and Facebook earned 66. (CFI Group)
  8. Millenials prefer automated text messaging over IVR, including speech-based solutions (Frost & Sullivan)
  9. Over one-third of business professionals say they can’t go 10 minutes without responding to a text. (eWeek)
  10. SMS text chat converts a $6-$20 call to a chat that costs pennies per session. (Forrester & ContactBabel)
  11. At least five types of social media channels are used in more than 50% of call centers, including SMS/texting (VoIP Info)
  12. Sales prospects who are sent text messages convert at a rate 40% higher than those who are not sent any text messages. (Velocify)
  13. Over 80% of people use text messaging for business, and 15% said that more than half their messages are for business purposes. (eWeek)
  14. Almost 25% of marketers are currently using text messaging. Over 65% of them report SMS as being “very effective.” (ExactTarget)
  15. 70% of U.S. consumers appreciate getting texts or emails from healthcare providers. (Loyalty 360)
  16. 75% of people would like to have offers sent to them via SMS. (Digital Marketing Magazine)
  17. Over 80% of people would only like to receive a maximum of two marketing messages per month. (Digital Marketing Magazine)
  18. 44% of consumers with texting capabilities would prefer to press a button to initiate a text conversation immediately, rather than waiting on hold to speak with an agent. (Harris Poll; link below)
  19. Texting in the sales process can lead to conversion gains of more than 100%. However, sending text messages before establishing contact with a prospect can adversely affect both contact and conversion rates. (Velocify)
  20. 20% of financial services companies use mobile messaging to ensure business continuity and add to their multichannel capabilities. (Loyalty 360)
  21. 77% of consumers with texting capabilities aged 18-34 are likely to have a positive perception of a company that offers text capability. (Harris Poll; link below)
  22. 44% of consumers would rather receive product details and other marketing messages through text over any other channel. (Direct Marketing Association)
  23. 72% of business professionals prefer texting to messaging apps. (eWeek)
  24. Nearly 70% of employees think their organization should use text messaging to communicate with employees, and 86% say it should not be reserved for just customer communication. (Vitiello Communications Group)
  25. 64% of all consumers are likely to have a positive perception of a company that offers texting as a service channel (Harris Poll; link below).

So, what did you think of the texting statistics? Do you think more companies should start offering text messaging? Is there another, better channel that we’re missing, or are you just not fond of text messaging altogether? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to download our 2014 Harris Poll report detailing why 64% of customers want to text your business.

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Does Mobile Marketing Work?

Mobile everything has been the fastest growing trend so far this decade. People are on their phones for a slough of reasons at all hours of the day and night. If you need, we’ve got elaborations on mobile trends and usage all overour site. Below, however, are all the texting statistics you could ever want. Enjoy!

Worldwide Texting Statistics

1. The number of monthly texts sent increased more than 7,700% over the last decade. (Statistic Brain)

2. Over 560 billion texts are sent every month worldwide. (Statistic Brain)

3. 18.7 billion texts are sent worldwide every day (not including app to app). (Statistic Brain)

4. WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger combine for 60 billion messages sent every day. (The Verge)

5. 4.2 billion+ people text worldwide. (MBA Online)

6. Text messaging is the most used data service in the world. (Nielsen)

U.S. Texting Statistics

7. 81% of Americans text regularly (about 200 million people). (Pew Research Center)

8. Over 6 billion texts are sent every day. (CTIA)

9. Over 180 billion texts are sent every month. (CTIA)

10. 2.27 trillion texts are sent every year. (CTIA)

11. 97% of Americans text at least once a day. (Pew Research Center)

12. America is responsible for approximately 45% of the world’s text volume. (CTIA & Statistic Brain)

13. Americans text twice as much as they call, on average. (Nielsen)

14. In 2010, almost 200,00 texts were sent every second of the year. (MBA Online)

Texting Statistics by Age

15. 91% of teens with cell phones actively text. (Pew Research Center)

16. About 50% of adults 18-24 say text conversations as just as meaningful as a phone call. (Experian Marketing Services)

17. Adults under 50 send and receive 85+ texts every day, on average. (Experian Marketing Services)

18. 77% of students want relevant information from colleges via text. (Cappex)

19. 59% of students say a college can text them first. (Cappex)

20. Adults 18-24 y.o. send and receive over 128 texts every day. (Experian Marketing Services)

21. Adults 18-24 y.o. send and receive 3,853 texts a month. (Experian Marketing Services)

22. Adults 25-34 send and receive over 75 texts a day. (Experian Marketing Services)

23. Adults 25-34 send and receive 2,240 texts a month. (Experian Marketing Services)

24. Adults 35-44 send and receive about 52 texts a day. (Experian Marketing Services)

25. Adults 35-44 send and receive 1,557 texts a month. (Experian Marketing Services)

26. Adults 45-54 send and receive 33 texts a day. (Experian Marketing Services)

27. Adults 45-54 send and receive 998 texts a month. (Experian Marketing Services)

28. Adults 55+ send and receive 16 texts a day. (Experian Marketing Services)

29. Adults 55+ send and receive 491 texts a month. (Experian Marketing Services)

Texting Statistics by Time & Rates

30. Texting is 10X quicker than phone calls. (Text Request)

31. Texts have a 99% open rate. (SinglePoint)

32. 95% of texts will be read within 3 minutes of being sent. (Forbes)

33. Average response time for a text is 90 seconds. (CTIA)

34. Texts have a 45% average response rate. (Velocify)

35. College students spend 94 minutes a day texting, on average. (Journal of Behavioral Addictions)

36. Texting takes up 33% of Millennials’ mobile usage. (RealityMine)

37. Text messages are read in under 5 seconds, on average. (SlickText)

38. 96% of smartphone owners text. (Pew Research Center)

39. The average adult spends 23 hours a week texting. (USA Today)

Texting Preference

40. 33% of American adults prefer texts to all other forms of communication. (Pew Research Center)

41. Text is the most used form of communication for American adults under 50. (Gallup)

42. 91% of people who text prefer it over voicemail. (RingCentral)

43. Texting is the most common cell phone activity. (Pew Research Center)

44. A third of Americans prefer text to phone calls. (Pew Research Center)

Business Texting Statistics

45. 78% of people wish they could have a text conversation with a business. (RingCentral)

46. 79% of bosses are supportive of texting for business purposes. (RingCentral)

47. 61% of businesses wish they could send and receive texts from a business number. (RingCentral)

48. 61% of contact centers have or plan to offer SMS support by the end of 2016. (Dimension Data)

49. 80% of professionals currently use text for business purposes. (RingCentral)

50. People prefer text most for scheduling or changing appointments, and making or confirming reservations. (Harris)

51. Over half of customers would rather text a customer support agent instead of using other available options. (eWeek)

52. Texting is highest rated contact method for customer satisfaction compared to all other communication channels (Text – 90; Phone – 77; Facebook – 66). (eWeek)

53. Over 1/3 of professionals say they can’t go 10 minutes without responding to a text. (eWeek)

54. Calls cost customer service centers several dollars per conversation. Texts cost pennies per conversation. (Forrester & ContactBabel)

55. 44% of consumers prefer to press a button and initiate a text conversation, rather than wait on hold with an agent. (Harris)

56. 75% of people like offers sent via text (but no more than 2/mo). (Digital Marketing Magazine)

57. Texting in the sales process with a qualified lead can increase conversions over 100%. (Velocify)

58. 72% of business professionals prefer texting to messaging apps. (eWeek)

59. Nearly 70% of employees think text should be used for interoffice communication. (Vitiello Communications Group)

60. 64% of consumers are likely to have a positive perception of companies that offer communication via text. (Harris)

61. 90% of leads prefer to be texted, compared to called. (FranchiseHelp)

62. Response rates from text are 209% higher than those from phone calls. (FranchiseHelp)

63. Verification rates (positive or “yes” responses) are 295% higher through text, compared to phone calls. (FranchiseHelp)

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See How This Works

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

Incredibly High ROI and Retention Rate

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?

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What A Wild Ride!

Texting is now the preferred method of communication of nearly one in three U.S. adult cell phone owners.

According to Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 31% of U.S. cell phone owners would rather be contacted via text instead of talking on their phones.

Granted, a majority (53%) still prefer voice calls to texting, but how long before people have to be reminded that, you know, you can make calls on those things.

Overall, the Pew survey found that 83% of American adults own cell phones and 73% of them actively text. Pew interviewed 2,277 adults ages 18 and older in April and May.

Thanks to my provocative headline, I know you’ve been dying to find out which group of Americans texts the most. I’ve strung you along enough. The answer is…

America’s seniors!

Kidding, of course. It’s actually young adults. According to Pew, “Cell owners between the ages of 18 and 24 exchange an average of 109.5 messages on a normal day—that works out to more than 3,200 texts per month—and the typical or median cell owner in this age group sends or receives 50 messages per day (or 1500 messages per month).”

In contrast, Americans ages 65 and older exchange 4.7 messages a day. And then take a nap.

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The Facts

Text message marketing is generating a lot of buzz. Considering the explosion of smartphone use in the past few years, and the prevalence of text messaging, it’s not surprising that it has become the go-to marketing method for 2016.

Here are 20 statistics every business should know about text message, or SMS, marketing:

Mobile minded culture

The Mobile-Minded Culture
Text messages are a product of smartphones, and these handheld devices seem to be everywhere. Here’s a look at how mobile dependent the global culture has become:

1] An estimated 2 billion people will own smartphones next year and by 2018, about half of the world’s mobile users will have a smartphone (Source: eMarketer)

2] 25% of smartphone owners ages 18–44 say they “can’t recall the last time their smartphone wasn’t next to them.” (Source: Pew Research)

3] 67% of cell owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating. (Source: Pew Research)

4] 44% of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any calls, text messages, or other updates during the night. (Source:StatsCounter Global Stats)

5] 29% of cell owners describe their cell phone as “something they can’t imagine living without.” (Source: Pew Research)

6] Globally, mobile traffic is about 30 percent of all internet activity. (Source: StatsCounter Global Stats)

7] There are 224 million monthly active app users in the U.S. (Source: Search Engine Journal)

The Prevalence of Text Messaging
Have you ever wondered how popular text messaging is? Well, wonder no more. The research below suggests that text messaging has become a mainstay:

8] Texting is the most widely used and frequently used app on a smartphone, with 97% of Americans using it at least once a day. (Source: Pew Internet)

9] Over 6 billion text messages are sent in the U.S. each day. (Source: Forrester)

10] Over 80% of American adults text, making it the most common cell phone activity. (Source: Pew Internet)

prevelance of texting

Consumers say Texts Have Value
Some businesses worry that texting consumers is bothersome, and will hinder customer relations rather than help. Research proves otherwise. Take a look at these statistics that show how valuable consumers believe texts are:

11] 70 percent of consumers found all types of push notifications, including order updates and location-based messages, to be valuable. (Source: Responsys)

12] 44% of consumers would rather receive product details and other marketing messages through text over any other channel. (Source: Direct Marketing Association)

13] Consumers believe texts have so much value that the average open rate of a text is 98 percent. (Source: Venture Beat)

Profitability from Text Message Marketing
Text message marketing can impact your bottom line. Here are some statistics that show just how impressive it can be:

14] Today 9 out of 10 smartphone shoppers used their devices to buy products while at a brick-and-mortar store. (Source: JiWire)

15] Nearly two-thirds of consumers subscribed to mobile marketing indicate that they have made a purchase as a result of receiving a highly relevant mobile message. (Source: Responsys)

16] Text messages can be 8x more effective at engaging customers. (Source: Cellit)

17] Mobile offers are redeemed 10x more frequently than print offers. (Source: eMarketer)

18] Marketers spent $4.4 billion on mobile advertising in the U.S. in 2012. That figure doubled to $8.5 million in 2013; and that figure is projected to quadruple to $31.1 billion by 2017. Search advertising accounts for about half of the total. (Source: Heidi Cohen)

19] An estimated 54 million consumers in the U.S. will use smartphone coupons in 2014. (Source:eMarketer)

20] The activities people with text capabilities would most prefer to do via text are: check order status (38%) schedule or change appointments (32%) and make or confirm reservations (31%). (Source: eMarketer)

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