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48 SMS Marketing Statistics You Must See: 2021/2022 Market Share Analysis & Data

As 95% of people own mobile phones that do not need an Internet connection, businesses are bound to make the most of these technologies. SMS marketing statistics show SMS is indeed increasingly becoming a core feature of mobile marketing software.

In this SMS marketing research, we’ll look into SMS marketing market size, the effectiveness of SMS with consumers, how businesses use SMS, how the COVID-19 pandemic affected SMS marketing strategies, and what the future holds for text marketing.

After you’re done with this reading, you just might consider boosting your other channels with SMS marketing. One thing is for sure; you’ll see SMS in a whole new light.

key sms marketing statistics

General SMS Statistics

Since the first text message was sent in 1992, SMS has remained largely the same – short (160 characters) and straightforward. This simplicity has driven its massive use, adoption, and staying power, as you can see in the statistics on the texting landscape below:

  • Americans check their phones 96 times a day or once every 10 minutes. This figure has a 20% daily increase in 2019 compared to two years prior. (Asurion, 2019)
  • In addition, there were 2.098 billion text messages sent in the United States in 2019. (Statista, 2020)
  • Meanwhile, in 2020, there were 2.1 trillion text messages exchanged, an increase of 52 billion messages since 2019. (CTIA, 2020)
  • On average, consumers send 13 texts on their personal cell phones every day. This is more than four times the average number of emails sent on their personal cell phones per day. (Zipwhip, 2021)
  • Lastly, there is also a heavy usage of online messaging apps, with 2.52 billion people using them as of 2020. (Statista, 2021)

Demographics & Usage

  • Among teens ages 13 to 17 in the US, the favorite way of communicating in 2018 was texting (35%). It was followed by in-person (32%), social media (16%), and video chatting (10%). (Common Sense Media, 2018)
  • More recent studies show that 83% of teens in the U.S. used text to keep in touch with friends and family during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was followed by phone calls (72%) and social media (66%). (Statista, 2020)
  • Americans ages 18 to 24 check their phone over twice the national average — 190 times a day or more than once every 10 minutes. (Asurion, 2019)
  • 68% of Americans ages 18 to 24 are more likely than other Americans to limit their phone use. (Asurion, 2019)
  • In 2016, adults have preferred texting as the top form of communication for at least six years now. (Text Request, 2016)
  • 96% of adults in the US own a “cell-phone” of some kind. But 15% of the American population does not have an internet connection via a smartphone and has access only to basic SMS services.  That’s roughly 52.5 million Americans that can only be reached by text messaging. (Apofonica, 2019)
  • On a global scale, 5 billion people own a cell-phone of some kind, and 2.29 billion can be reached through SMS/cellular and not via the Internet. (Apofonica, 2019)
  • 76% of millennials prefer texting because of the ability to check messages on their own time. (TextMagic, 2019)
  • Businesses can see an increase in engagement of 11% to 30% for text campaigns geared to millennial customers (TextMagic, 2019)
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U.S. Teens' Favorite Ways of Communicating During the Pandemic

U.S. Teens' Favorite Ways of Communicating During the Pandemic
Text: 83

Text

%
U.S. Teens' Favorite Ways of Communicating During the Pandemic
Phone calls: 72

Phone calls

%
U.S. Teens' Favorite Ways of Communicating During the Pandemic
Social media: 66

Social media

%
U.S. Teens' Favorite Ways of Communicating During the Pandemic
Video chat or video conferencing: 66

Video chat or video conferencing

%
U.S. Teens' Favorite Ways of Communicating During the Pandemic
Messenger apps: 48

Messenger apps

%
U.S. Teens' Favorite Ways of Communicating During the Pandemic
E-mail: 37

E-mail

%
U.S. Teens' Favorite Ways of Communicating During the Pandemic
Other: 6

Other

%
U.S. Teens' Favorite Ways of Communicating During the Pandemic
None of the above: 2

None of the above

%
U.S. Teens' Favorite Ways of Communicating During the Pandemic
No answer: 1

No answer

%

Source: Statista

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Is SMS Marketing Effective?

SMS is now becoming an integral feature of leading mobile marketing solutions. You can send text messages online or offline, from mobile devices, and from desktop or laptop computers to boost SMS campaigns. How effective is it? The SMS marketing data below, with a focus on customer impact and preference, provides some insights.

  • SMS is the preferred channel for consumers because it is easy to use. Furthermore, they don’t have to download a brand’s app to receive notifications. Also, SMS is a more direct push notification that won’t get lost in the inbox like email. (eMarketer, 2016)
  • 9 out of 10 consumers prefer to communicate with businesses through text message, whether through alerts, reminders, back and forth communication, etc. (SMS Comparison, 2021)
  • In fact, 80% of people use SMS for business communications, finding it convenient, unobtrusive, and fast with near-instant delivery of messages. (ClickSend, 2019)
  • In 2020, 48.7 million people opted to use business text messaging services, making it one of the most rapidly growing marketing channels. (SMS Comparison, 2021)
  • More than 50% of consumers would prefer text messaging over phone calls for customer support rather than phone calls. Moreover, US consumers are 5x more likely to send and receive text messages than phone calls. (SMS Comparison, 2021)
  • Among the channels preferred by consumers for receiving loyalty updates from brands, the top spot went to SMS (48%). Other channels include email (22%), app notifications (20%), and direct mail (8%). (eMarketer, 2016)
  • New studies reinforce this as they found that 52% of consumers prefer being texted about promotions. (ZipWhip, 2020)
  • Meanwhile, 30% of customers say that receiving updates on deliveries via text is important. (ZipWhip, 2020)
  • Moreover, 75% of customers would like special offers sent to them through text messages. Furthermore, CTR for text messages is much higher (9.18%), compared to other marketing channels such as Google Adwords (1.91%) and Facebook (0.90%). (SMS Comparison, 2021)
  • Lastly, 90% of customers say they see value from loyalty programs made through text. (SMS Comparison, 2021)

Open & Response Rates

  • SMS marketing has an average open rate of 82%. (Shift)
  • In contrast, email only has a 20% open rate but 49.7% spam. (Voicesage)
  • It takes just 90 seconds for the average person to respond to a text message. (Voicesage)
  • While only 20% of people answer calls they don’t expect, texts are read in 5 seconds on average. (Text Request, 2016)
  • There is a 45% response rate for SMS messages compared to just 8% for email. Interaction is also much higher, with a click-through rate of 36% for SMS and a mere 3.4% for email. (SMS Global, 2021)
  • Another source puts the response rate for email at just 6%. If SMS is at 45%, then that would mean a staggering 750% response rate over email. In other words, when promos and offers are sent via SMS, they are much likely to be opened, responded to, and lead to sales. (ClickSend, 2019)
  • More recent studies show that 6 in 10 consumers answer texts from businesses within 5 minutes of receiving it. (SimpleTexting, 2020)
  • In addition, 95% of text messages are opened and responded to within three minutes of being delivered. (SMS Comparison, 2021)

Consumers’ preferred channels for receiving updates from brands

Top Mobile Marketing Software

  1. Avochato. Use this cloud-based text messaging software to manage relationships with your customers. Learn how you can leverage its core features like ‘textable’ landlines, live inbox, and automated surveys for mobile marketing here in our Avochato review.
  2. Iterable. Create personalized SMS campaigns using Iterable’s customizable workflow module. See how its features like triggered campaigns and customer segmentation can help you get a competitive advantage in our Iterable review.
  3. Customer.io. This digital platform offers a robust SMS feature mixed in with features for other channels. See how its A/B testing module, Liquid Templating feature, and customer segmentation capability can help your company in our Customer.io review page.
  4. Adestra. This digital marketing module includes both email and mobile marketing capabilities. Learn how you can use its robust features such as social sharing, project management, and analytics to make data-driven decisions in our Adestra review.
  5. InsideView. Use this all-in-one marketing intelligence platform to understand how your mobile marketing campaign is doing. Read about its powerful features such as tech profiling, data health diagnostics, and customizable prospect lists in our InsideView review.

SMS Marketing & Business Statistics

How are businesses and companies leveraging SMS for marketing? And what have been business responses to consumers’ seeming preference for SMS marketing? Our SMS marketing report found some interesting details.

  • Despite the SMS boom, only 68% of businesses have embraced the platform to reach customers. (Zipwhip, 2020)
  • But it’s about to change. Businesses are increasingly adopting text messaging as a communication tool. Today, 39% of businesses use some form of texting to communicate with customers. Certain industries such as real estate (73%), agriculture/veterinary (65%), and entertainment/leisure (63%) are expanding their use of SMS. (Zipwhip, 2019)
  • Pursuant to more SMS adoption, 73% of businesses plan to increase their SMS budgets in 2019. (SMS.to Blog, 2019)
  • 47% of marketers believe the retail industry uses SMS most effectively. (SMS.to Blog, 2019)
  • 43% of consumers have proactively texted a business. However, 1 in 3 of these individuals did not get a reply. As such, for businesses that are not text-enabled, those are missed messages from potential customers. (Zipwhip, 2020)
  • Furthermore, 75% of consumers are frustrated when they cannot respond to a business text message because of limitations with certain kinds of texting tools such as short-code texting. (Zipwhip, 2020)
  •  68% of businesses use some form of texting today. (Zipwhip, 2020)
  • Using branded links or vanity URLs in SMS marketing campaigns can increase brand visibility and boost CTRs by up to 39%. (Zipwhip, 2019)
  • 21% of businesses target loyal customers via SMS rewards. (Access Development, 2016)
  • 77% of consumers are likely to have a positive perception of a company that offers texting. (Mobile Marketing Watch, 2016)
  • Sending business appointment reminders to customers through SMS reduced missed appointments by 26%. (Aviaro, 2018)
  • Up to 80% of consumers preferred to track their orders via text when products were shipped. (Aviaro, 2018)
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Top 10 Industries that Reported Texting with Customers in 2019

Top 10 Industries that Reported Texting with Customers in 2019
Real Estate: 73

Real Estate

%
Top 10 Industries that Reported Texting with Customers in 2019
Agriculture: 65

Agriculture

%
Top 10 Industries that Reported Texting with Customers in 2019
Entertainment & Leisure: 63

Entertainment & Leisure

%
Top 10 Industries that Reported Texting with Customers in 2019
Construction, Machinery & Homes: 57

Construction, Machinery & Homes

%
Top 10 Industries that Reported Texting with Customers in 2019
Utilities, Energy & Extraction: 53

Utilities, Energy & Extraction

%
Top 10 Industries that Reported Texting with Customers in 2019
Airlines, Aerospace & Defense: 50

Airlines, Aerospace & Defense

%
Top 10 Industries that Reported Texting with Customers in 2019
Business Support & Logistcs: 50

Business Support & Logistcs

%
Top 10 Industries that Reported Texting with Customers in 2019
Nonprofit: 50

Nonprofit

%
Top 10 Industries that Reported Texting with Customers in 2019
Automotive: 48

Automotive

%
Top 10 Industries that Reported Texting with Customers in 2019
Education: 47

Education

%

Source: zipwhip, State of Texting

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The Future of SMS Marketing

What awaits texting in general and SMS marketing in particular in the years ahead? Here are developments and projections shaping up SMS for business.

  • Experts predict that 3.5 trillion SMS business messages will be sent in 2023, up from 2.5 trillion in 2019. (Juniper Research, 2019)
  • By the end of 2021, Rich Communication Service (RCS) is projected to be worth $75 billion, driven by greater adoption. RCS will combine SMS with other chat apps to provide a messaging channel that will feature group chat, video, read receipts, and other high-level functionality features. (ClickSend, 2019)
  • Mobile advertising spend is projected to reach $247.510 billion in 2022. (Statista, 2021)
  • Chatbots will utilize AI technologies like machine learning and natural language programming to effectively converse with customers via SMS. They can send customers instant replies, reminders, and answers to FAQs (Hureka Technologies)

SMS business messages in 2023

Include Texting in Your Marketing Mix

Marketers consider SMS as the Twitter of digital marketing. It is indeed the SMS attribute of not requiring the Internet to send and receive messages that make it a convenient tool for marketing.

While mobile marketing statistics show there are billions of mobile device owners, not all cellphones they carry are web-capable smartphones. That means there is a huge untapped audience for businesses and an overlooked and underutilized tool in SMS for marketers.

However, as our SMS marketing data indicates, there is a resurgence in the utilization of SMS for business. Major industries, such as real estate, entertainment, construction, automotive, and education, among others, are reaping the benefits of SMS marketing. Even the banking and finance industries can provide instant account notifications to clients via SMS.

The good thing with SMS is that you don’t have to use it as a standalone marketing tool. It can be used to support your email marketing software, for example. Other companies set SMS in tandem with their sales or marketing automation software.

The point is that you can include SMS in your marketing mix to make your campaigns more effective. If you haven’t been leveraging SMS for promotions and marketing, now is the opportune time to do this.

 

References:

  1. 2019 state of texting. (2019). Zipwhip.
  2. 2020 annual survey highlights. (2020, August 25). CTIA.
  3. The 2020 state of texting. (2020). Zipwhip.
  4. The 2021 state of texting. (2021). Zipwhip.
  5. 7 SMS marketing trends to look out. (n.d.). Hureka Technologies Inc.
  6. A2P business messages to reach 3.5 trillion by 2023, as RCS & OTT technologies gain traction. (2019, March 6). Juniper Research.
  7. Americans check their phones 96 times a day. (2019, November 21). Asurion.
  8. Burke, K. (2016, May 18). How many texts do people send every day (2018)? Text Request.
  9. Carter, B. (2016, December 31). Customer loyalty statistics: 2016 edition. The Access Loyalty Blog.
  10. Consumers prefer SMS for loyalty program updates. (2016, August 19). Insider Intelligence – eMarketer.
  11. eRetailers: Text consumers or risk irrelevancy in 2017. (2016, November 11). Mobile Marketing Watch.
  12. The future of marketing: Texting. (2018, December 10). Aviaro.
  13. Guttmann, A. (2021, January 13). Topic: Mobile marketing worldwide. Statista.
  14. How effective is SMS marketing in 2021. (2021, February 23). SMSGlobal.
  15. Johnson, J. (2020, April 23). U.S. teens social media coronavirus 2020. Statista.
  16. Mobile messaging users worldwide 2022. (2021, February 4). Statista.
  17. O’Dea, S. (2020, August 30). Text messages sent in the U.S. 2005-2019. Statista.
  18. Ozolins, U. (2019, July 19). SMS marketing guide for business. Apifonica.
  19. Pratt, M. (2019, May 3). Fascinating facts: Remarkable SMS marketing statistics. ClickSend Blog.
  20. SMS marketing statistics in 2019. (2019, June 15). SMS.to Blog.
  21. SMS vs email & apps: Customer engagement stats [INFOGRAPH]. (n.d.). VoiceSage.
  22. Social media, social life infographic. (2018, September 10). Common Sense Media.
  23. Svyrydenko, A. (2019, May 9). Why Millennials love texting [Infographic]. TextMagic.
  24. Text messaging Statistcs 2021 for USA businesses. (2021, January 5). SMS Comparison.
  25. What is the open rate of SMS text messaging? (n.d.). SHIFT Communications.
  26. Wilkinson, D. (2020). 2020 SMS marketing report. SimpleTexting.
James Anthony

By James Anthony

A senior FinancesOnline writer on SaaS and B2B topics, James Anthony passion is keeping abreast of the industry’s cutting-edge practices (other than writing personal blog posts on why Firefly needs to be renewed). He has written extensively on these two subjects, being a firm believer in SaaS to PaaS migration and how this inevitable transition would impact economies of scale. With reviews and analyses spanning a breadth of topics from software to learning models, James is one of FinancesOnline’s most creative resources on and off the office.

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