Is SMS Marketing Dead? What New Research Tell Us

The history of SMS marketing can be traced back to 1992 when Neil Papworth, a British engineer, sent the first SMS to Richard Jarvis, a Vodafone Director. Over the years, the concept of SMS marketing has changed, with brands using it as a tool for sending promotional messages to customers.

But considering the rise of social networking platforms and other online tools, you may wonder – is SMS marketing dead? In this article lies the answer to this million-dollar question. We consider what new researches say about marketing through SMS and whether there is a future for the concept. 

 A message screen on a phone

The Problem

One of the significant problems of SMS marketing is getting recipients to read promotional messages. Many people tend to ignore messages that are not from real people. For instance, when you sign up for a mobile service, you will likely get a welcome message which you may leave unread or delete. 

The issue for many people is identifying which messages are helpful to them and which ones aren’t. This way, they can know which ones to read and not outrightly ignore all marketing SMS. However, if you use a top SMS marketing platform like Textback, you may be able to make campaigns stand out. 

What New Researches Shows Us

Due to the problem mentioned above, it’s easy to think that the days of SMS marketing are long gone. But don’t be quick to jump to that conclusion. According to a recent study from SimpleTexting, SMS marketing may still be effective. 

The study with over 1300 consumers and marketers revealed that around 76% of brands plan to invest in SMS marketing over the next few years. Likewise, 62% of customers in the study also claimed to have subscribed to a minimum of one brand’s SMS in the previous year. 

Based on the data from this study, it is safe to assume that SMS marketing is still very much in vogue and not a thing of the past. But why the sudden increase in the acceptance of this form of marketing? 

The COVID-19 Doorway

In 2020/2021, the coronavirus crisis hit the world, causing several businesses to shut down and some to resort to a remote way of handling tasks. The pandemic also caused many people to stay home, gravitating more to mobile devices and electronics. In fact, statistics showed that the number of online purchases during the COVID-19 pandemic was higher than the previous years. Besides, 76% of consumers reported more screen time during this period. 

What about texting? Consumers also recorded a significant increase in the hours spent on text apps. With people staying at home, businesses could only reach them through electronic means like online advertising and SMS marketing. 

The Effectiveness of SMS Marketing in 2021

As we mentioned earlier in the study conducted by SimpleTexting, 62% of consumers claimed to have opted for at least one brand’s SMS campaign. However, the research also showed that 43% of customers subscribed to one to three brands’ SMS. 

When measuring the effectiveness of SMS marketing, it’s worth considering consumers’ responses, which have to be faster than email. While it can take around an hour for people to check their emails, 72% of people respond to text messages within 10 minutes. 

In addition to the swift response of SMS messages, the engagements are also pretty high. In a different study that surveyed digital marketers and business owners, 43% of the participants reported clickthrough rates between 20% and 35%. 

Another exciting thing the SimpleTexting study revealed is that 52% of brands claimed to enjoy increased opt-in rates for SMS campaigns in 2021. But in the same survey, around 10% also reported decreased opt-ins. 

We can deduce from this data that consumers can easily opt-in for an SMS campaign, but they can also quickly unsubscribe if they feel it is useless. So at the end of the day, it all boils down to brands using the right strategies for SMS marketing and relaying information consumers want. 

How to Launch a Great SMS Marketing Strategy

From the points discussed so far, it is evident that SMS marketing is not dead yet. But if you want to reap the benefits of using this form of marketing, you need the right strategy. First, you must know your audience. Understand what exactly appeals to them and engagingly create your texts to cause them to act. 

Besides, give your subscribers what they signed up for. If you promise to send information about one thing but send another that doesn’t appeal to them, they won’t think twice before unsubscribing from your marketing campaign. 

Also, avoid the temptation of bombarding your subscribers with too many messages. Nobody likes to have their inbox filled up with tons of meaningless messages. Ask yourself before sending an SMS campaign – am I sending too often? Do I need to send that particular text? If your answer is no, then don’t send it. 

In a Nutshell

SMS marketing is undoubtedly still in vogue, and businesses can benefit significantly from it. We’ve highlighted the research by SimpleTexting, which shows that 62% of consumers opt-in for at least one brand’s SMS campaign. The effectiveness of message marketing in 2021 also indicates that more can be expected in this marketing form in the future. 

But remember that to benefit fully from message marketing, you need a good strategy. If you follow the tips we’ve provided in this article, you may just be able to create the best strategy, relate with your audience better and profit from SMS marketing. 

Interesting Related Article: “The Top Dos and Don’ts of SMS Marketing