Why SMS Marketing Has Become a Top Communications Channel for Innovative Companies

Shopping bags with speech bubbles
Published on
Jul 17, 2020
Written by
Elodie Huston
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SMS marketing offers brands and organizations a direct channel to engage in two-way conversations with mobile-first audiences. Learn why marketers—and their mobile subscribers—love personalized text messaging.

Today’s consumers are spending more time than ever on their mobile devices. Smartphones have become the default way many consumers navigate the world around them––whether shopping online, listening to music, communicating with friends, or finding directions. As consumers shift to a “mobile-first” mindset, they’re also shifting the way they interact with content from brands and organizations. Adobe found that 82% of consumers primarily engage with marketing content on their smartphones.  

In addition, consumers’ preferences for how they communicate with companies have rapidly shifted over the past few years—rather than receiving one-to-many communications, they want to engage in personalized conversations with the brands and organizations they love. As a result, SMS marketing has quickly emerged as an essential direct communications channel for innovative brands and organizations. It empowers marketers to engage in two-way conversations throughout the customer lifecycle, increasing loyalty and ultimately driving more incremental revenue.

Learn how SMS marketing has evolved over the past decade, and why innovative brands & organizations are relying on text messaging to communicate 1:1 with their audience.

What did SMS marketing used to look like?

When you think of SMS marketing, you might remember a different experience from a decade ago. It’s likely that the only way you found out your favorite brand offered a text messaging channel was through in-store signage. Maybe you were hesitant to sign-up, because you didn’t have an unlimited texting plan on your phone at the time or know what to expect out of being a subscriber.

If you did sign up for their text messaging channel, you still had no way of letting the company know what kind of content you wanted to hear about. You likely only received plain-text messages that sounded robotic and impersonal, without any photos or links to more info. The content was “one-size-fits-all” and not relevant to your unique interests or needs at that time.

Fast-forward ahead to 2020, and a lot has changed

Unlimited text messaging plans: Cellular plans that include unlimited text messaging are now standard. In a survey of over 2,000 US adults, fewer than 2% did not have unlimited text messaging. Because unlimited plans are now the norm, text messaging has become the most popular feature used on smartphones. Nearly 99% of those surveyed said they regularly use text messaging. What’s more, 98% of those surveyed said they prefer texting over email.  

People are shopping with their phones more than ever: With the rise of smartphones has come the rise of e-commerce. Most online retailers are now seeing the majority of their site traffic coming from mobile devices. But, consumers aren’t just using phones to browse—they’re also using their phones to complete their online purchases. Statista projected that by 2021, more than half of US e-commerce sales are expected to come from mobile devices. That shift to online commerce has evolved faster than expected—due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19, more shoppers than ever are making purchases online. And, according to Adobe, they’re turning to their smartphones to make those purchases.

Email has become saturated: Email is a tried-and-true marketing channel that’s certainly not going away any time soon, but it’s important to supplement it with other methods for direct brand communications. Consumers’ inboxes are overloaded with messages from various brands who are all competing for their attention. Over the last 5 years, email marketing performance has fallen 47%— the average marketing email click-through rate for retail businesses in North America is now just 3.1%.

App retention is declining: Not only is creating a mobile app a significant investment of time and resources, but it can be challenging to acquire new users. 53% of users say they do not have their favorite brand’s app installed on their phone. Once you do have users, it’s even more difficult to keep them engaged. Of the users that do download an app, 37% will disable push notifications if they receive more than 2-5 messages per week from one app.

What’s possible with SMS marketing now?

Today’s consumers are eager to hear from their favorite brands via text. 79% of consumers would sign up to hear from brands via text messaging. What makes communicating 1:1 with brands and organizations so appealing to consumers?

  1. Seamless sign-up experience: Thanks to Attentive’s patent-pending mobile “two-tap” sign-up, e-commerce marketers can quickly and easily drive sign-ups from mobile & desktop web, social media, email, and more. Marketers can A/B test to determine which sign-up promotions are the most effective.
  2. Consumer personalization and control: Attentive’s platform gives consumers the freedom to directly communicate with brands by responding via text message, and gives marketers the ability to segment, personalize, and send tailored messages based on real-time CRM and behavioral data.
  3. Optimization and proven results: With nearly 100% open rates (…when was the last time you didn’t check a text message?) and 30%+ click-through rates, text message marketing is a fast-growing, ROI-positive channel for quickly and effectively reaching today’s mobile consumers in a much more direct way.

Want to learn how you can quickly get started with text messaging to engage your customers and drive more revenue? Request a demo!

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