Australian Consumers Are Excited About SMS: Here’s How to Reach Them

illustration of phone, graph, discount tag, light bulb, and Australian flag
Published on
May 24, 2022
Written by
Lauren Bauman
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87% of Australian consumers are interested in hearing from brands on SMS, and more than half want to go beyond transactional messages.

Customers who are excited to hear from you and eager to spend are the golden ticket in marketing. In Australia, more of these shoppers than you might think are just an SMS away. Our consumer report examines trends in how Australian consumers feel about SMS marketing—and let's just say they have their phones and wallets ready.

In our survey, 35% of respondents said they’ve already opted in to at least one SMS marketing program, and another 52% said they’re open to signing up for SMS marketing messages. Even better, SMS subscribers aren’t leaving brands on read. Of the respondents who subscribe to at least one brand’s SMS marketing program, 83% said they’ve made a purchase from an SMS within the last three months, including two-thirds who’ve made a purchase within the last month.

Australian consumers see SMS as a valuable way to connect with brands. However, many Australian brands have yet to seriously explore SMS marketing to its full potential. Here’s how to use SMS to keep your customers informed, engaged, and excited about what you have in store—backed by findings from our report.

pie chart showing how many Australian consumers have made a purchase from a text message

Take your brand’s SMS messaging beyond order confirmations and shipping notifications—give subscribers exclusive perks

Most of the Australian consumers we surveyed want to receive more than just transactional SMS messages from brands. They also want ‌special perks for being on your SMS list.

For some consumers, that means being kept up to date about new products. When asked what makes them want to subscribe to a brand’s SMS program, 55% of respondents said they want brands to share information about product launches. But for the majority of respondents, access to sales and offers they can’t get anywhere else is the main motivator: 79% said they would sign up for a brand’s text messages to receive exclusive VIP perks and discounts.

VIP text example from MATE the Label

Discount codes ​​are also the best for getting Australian consumers to sign up for text messages, with 85% of respondents naming it as their preferred incentive.

But don’t think of discounts as giving something away for nothing. SMS subscribers tend to be highly engaged customers who want to connect and spend with your brand. In other words, they’re the kind of customers you want to have a direct line of communication with. Given these survey results, it’s clear that discounts are an effective way to grow your subscriber list and reach more of these customers.

The more you grow your list, the more you can use SMS to collect valuable data—including zero-party data—about your customers’ preferences. For example, you can ask subscribers about the product category they’re interested in with a question form on your email and SMS sign-up unit or through two-way messages sent via SMS.

example of an email and SMS sign-up unit with preference collection

This data can ultimately help you take the VIP experience further and build personalized SMS campaigns for different subsets of subscribers. Just under a quarter (23%) of our respondents said they would sign up for SMS to receive personalized tips and product recommendations. 

Pro tip: Our guide, Marketing Mix: Personalisation Strategies to Drive ROI can help you get started with SMS personalization. 

SMS is a quick and convenient way for consumers to engage with brands they love

Australian consumers see subscribing to SMS as a way to stay in the know and make sure they never miss an update from their favorite brands. 63% of respondents said they want to receive SMS marketing messages once or twice a week, and 32% said they prefer to hear from brands multiple times a week. 

But, we also noticed an interesting trend. All of our survey respondents who subscribe to a brands’ SMS programs also subscribe to brands’ email programs—indicating that the immediacy of SMS makes it a valuable complement to email. Whereas people typically open emails within a few days, text messages have an average 97% read rate within 15 minutes of delivery. 

Australian consumers see this easy access to brands as a selling point for SMS: 66% said that the reason they subscribe to SMS as well as email is to get updates on products, promotions, and offers immediately. Over half (52%) said they subscribe to both types of communication because it’s more convenient for them to open and read an SMS than an email. And, 42% said they signed up for both because their email inbox is too full, and they’re more likely to see a text message.

pie chart showing why Australian consumers subscribe to both emails and SMS from brands

There are two major insights we can take away from these statistics. First, a significant portion of consumers are genuinely interested in hearing from brands—but if the message is delivered in the wrong medium, they struggle to access it. 

Second, brands that market to their customers via SMS have an advantage because they’re meeting them on their preferred device—their phones. Texts are a more convenient way for shoppers to receive branded communications, which means that while email is great for delivering longer-form messaging, SMS is better for sharing shorter, timely updates.

Need SMS campaign ideas? Discover Australia’s top marketing opportunities to engage, build loyalty, and drive revenue via text messaging all year round. 

Stand out and improve the customer experience by offering support directly via SMS

The convenience of SMS also makes it an excellent—and underused—customer service tool. Customers can get quick answers to practical questions about products or their orders, which improves their overall experience with your brand and makes them more likely to purchase from you again.

Australian consumers are very interested in using SMS for customer service. In our survey, 56% of respondents said they were likely or extremely likely to interact with a brand for customer service via text message. 

example of two-way text messaging with Attentive Concierge

When we asked respondents to choose the top three reasons they would subscribe to a brand’s SMS program, many referenced customer service applications, too. Specifically, 61% said they wanted to receive updates on order tracking and delivery, back-in-stock alerts, cart reminders, and more. And, 15% said they wanted to be able to get help, ask questions, and share feedback.

While the enthusiasm is there, many brands operating in Australia‌ aren’t taking advantage of SMS for customer service—yet. Only 15% of our respondents said they currently use SMS for customer service, meaning there’s a significant opportunity gap. Australian brands that add this option can stand out from their competitors, improve the customer experience, and, in turn, build brand loyalty.

Bottom line: Australian consumers are excited about SMS, which means big opportunities for brands

Our survey shows that Australian consumers value SMS as a quick and easy way to stay up to date with their favorite brands. They’re interested in using SMS as a convenient customer service tool, but they also want to hear about product launches, sales, and exclusive discounts. 

Given this eagerness among consumers, Australian brands that invest in personalized SMS have the chance to set themselves apart and reach their most highly engaged customers directly.

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