Digital marketing is constantly evolving, with new communication channels and platforms emerging on a constant basis. Marketers are always on the lookout for a new channel to add to their marketing programs and most of their attention is on those exciting opportunities (Augmented Reality! Personalized OTT Digital Video! etc.). However, what if there was an older channel that isn’t universally used by every advertiser? What if this platform also happened to regularly deliver spectacular performance metrics? You might want to give it some consideration, wouldn’t you?
Here are 5 stats that should catch your attention and suggest that it might be time for you to look at old-school SMS/text message marketing and how it might fit into your overall marketing strategy.
5 billion people actively send and receive text messages (Text Request)
How many other ‘new’ marketing channels come with a built-in audience that encompasses the majority of people on the planet? Text message marketing is almost as ubiquitous as the cell phones that billions of consumers carry with them at all times. Despite its status as an old school form or communication (since the first text message was sent all the way back in 1992), SMS is more popular today than ever. Like other types of mobile marketing, the ability to tap into this vast potential audience makes SMS marketing valuable to a wide range of advertisers.
SMS Open Rates can reach 98% (SlickText)
It’s great to have a huge potential audience, but every marketer knows that the key is to get them to actually notice and acknowledge your marketing message. Because of the incredibly immediate nature of text message communication, SMS open rates can reach as high as 98%. That’s the kind of open rate that any email marketer would dream about. It’s not surprising when you think about your own user behavior with your mobile phone. When a text message comes in, you are very likely to open it to check out the message, even if it isn’t from your partner or best friend. There aren’t many marketers that wouldn’t want to know that nearly 100% of their audience will see their message.
The average reply time frame in SMS is 90 seconds (Text Request)
Once you get someone to open your text message, if they are going to respond, it is likely to happen within the first 90 seconds. Few marketing channels can drive response that quickly. We think of email as generating response with a fairly quick turnaround, but that is generally in hours and even the first few days to get the majority of responses to a typical promotional email. This kind of turnaround time can be incredibly valuable to marketers looking to leverage time sensitive offers and other promotions requiring a nearly immediate response.
As many as 45% of recipients reply to branded text messages (SlickText)
Performance-based marketers in particular are focused on driving engagement and response. SMS hits the mark here, with extremely high engagement rates that can be a 6-8x compared to another high performing channel like email marketing. A campaign that delivers a nearly 50% response rate would be a top performer for just about any digital marketer in any channel.
Only 30% of consumers receive SMS messages from their favorite brands (TechJury)
Why is this stat important? Because the SMS market isn’t saturated yet. There’s a good chance your competitors aren’t using SMS marketing yet and that provides an opportunity for any advertiser to be the first in their market to effectively use a marketing channel to reach current and potential customers.
That’s a lot of evidence as to the value of using SMS marketing. However, before you go out and start planning your first SMS campaign, there are a number of key considerations. You’ll want to get an understanding of the rules of the road in SMS (best practices and legal guidelines), as well as learning about the technical requirements (an SMS platform, and potentially an SMS suppression list management platform, among others). Once you get a handle on the keys to compliance and campaign success, you can look at making SMS a part of your ongoing marketing strategy in 2019 and beyond.