SMS marketing is one of the fastest-growing trends in the modern world. As generations change, more and more interest is garnered for text communication from companies. This report looks at the amazing growth of the new marketing medium, along with it’s pitfalls and triumphs.
Below are statistics meant to give a holistic view of SMS marketing and its importance to businesses and consumers.
10 Major SMS Statistics for 2021
- Before the Covid-19 pandemic, 51% of US retailers planned to invest more in SMS marketing, and in 2020 the percentage grew to 56% (eMarketer, 2021).
- Using texting for B2C customer service is rising, reaching 2.7 trillion in 2020 during th pandemic (eMarketer, 2021).
- The number of mobile phone users stands at 7.1 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow to 7.4 billion by 2025 (Satista, 2021). To give perspective, there are over 7.7 billion people on earth.
- About 96% of marketers claim SMS marketing drives revenue and 60% found SMS marketing greatly improved revenue (Attentive Mobile, 2021).
- Of the marketers that have not used mobile marketing, around 66% have highly considered or plan to in 2021 (Attentive Mobile, 2021).
- According to adults that received SMS texts, 29% valued notifications about discounts on products and services (ZipWhip, 2020).
- Over 90% of consumers have shown interest in signing up for notifications from their preferred brands in 2021 (Attentive Mobile, 2021).
- Research has shown 69% of marketers struggle to connect with their consumers on a personal level (Attentive Mobile, 2021).
- Around 60% of consumers have expressed the desire for customer support through text messaging (Simple Texting, 2020).
- About 33% of patrons have expressed the media in a text message is less important than the relevance of the message to them specifically (Attentive Mobile, 2021).
SMS Funding News and Developments 2021
Twilio Acquires ZipWhip for Business Messaging
In 2021, Twilio acquired ZipWhip for $850 million paid in cash and stocks. Twilio was a partner of the text messaging startup ZipWhip before moving to buy and include them. ZipWhip is a company that allows businesses landlines to send and receive text messages to customers.
This way business numbers can communicate without using someone’s personal number, making communication more reliable. Twilio found ZipWhip to be the perfect partner to add to their growing SMS campaigns.
MessageMedia Acquires Aprika’s SMS platform Mercury SMS
This year international giant MessageMedia acquired Mercury SMS, owned by Aprika. Mercury SMS is a Salesforce instant messaging integration. The acquisition will allow companies to use MessageMedia’s SMS marketing platform within the Mercury integration. Salesforce isn’t losing Mercury SMS but actually gaining more marketing functions in that one integration.
Unifonic SMS Startup raises $125 million in Series B from SoftBank
Unifonic is a customer engagement and messaging platform. This deal is the first of its kind. Unifonic is the first Saudi-based startup to receive funding from SoftBank, a Japanese corporation. This is also the most funding a Saudi startup has raised so far. Unifonic helps businesses grow by allowing them to communicate via WhatsApp, voice, and SMS. Unifonic is used in Middle East Asia and North Africa and plans to expand to the rest of Asia.
SMS Startup Wizard Announces Series A Funding of $50 Million
Wizard is a fast-growing startup that markets itself as a “conversational commerce” platform. They aim to be a B2B option that creates a space for retail companies to talk with customers during transactions. The service they plan to offer is meant to streamline the process to ensure helpful checkout as “an end-to-end shopping experience.”
Wizard’s product is not up and running yet, but they already have Marc Lore, Walmart’s former head of U.S. e-commerce, backing them. Marc Lore has integrated himself into Wizard as a co-founder, board chairman, and investor. It’s safe to say Marc Lore plans to put a good deal of time and effort into evolving Wizard’s retail tech service.
SMS Trends and Challenges to Watch Out for in 2021
SMS marketing’s main trend is rapid growth and benefits, but it’s main challenge is marketers adapting to the new language. Regular style ads will simply become spam, be unread, deleted, and blocked like email. Below are sources that talk about the best way to communicate and way it’s worth it to learn.
As SMS Marketing Grows so do SMS Scams
One big issue about the rise of SMS marketing is those messages being lost in phishing scams. Many phishing texts include links and hyperlinks. A consumer might not click on a CTA link because they are weary–for good reason. There’s been a 125% increase in phishing scams. A CNBC article outlines how smishing has risen a trend to follow the rise of SMS marketing.
Marketers need to be aware of how to appear legitimate in their messaging for the sake of conversion. One great way to do this is to avoid sending out content that can be confused as spam or scams. Business News Daily goes over how to avoid making those mistakes.
Reputation is another thing that can be hurt if your SMS campaign gets hijacked by scams. Twilo is a giant in the SMS space and they made sure to write up a guide to help customers avoid smishing attacks. Taking the time to help customers tell the difference between an attack and a normal message can be a great way to build trust.
The FCC and It’s Effect on SMS Marketing
One very important challenge is paying attention to the law regarding SMS marketing. Marketers need to stay within the FCC guidelines on phone scams and robotexts. Anyone can file a complaint so the content and volume of your text messages are key. For more explanation on how the FCC process, check out the JOOKSMS article Is SMS Marketing Legal and Key Requirements Needed.
Even though the law can seem daunting to marketers, it does mean that the quality of messaging will matter going forward. As the SMS market grows, we can expect text messages to be less like email spam and more like personal connections. The more marketers craft their strategies around the guidelines, the more personalized the discourse can become.
SMS Marketing and How to be Human
The major issue with SMS marketing is managing to be human. As noted in the SMS statistics above, 60% of consumers expressed interest in being contacted through instant messaging, whilce 69% of marketers struggle to make personal connections with consumers. This an important divide, especially with the market moving rapidly towards using SMS marketing. According to eMarketer, new ways companies use SMS messaging include live chat substitutes, transaction help, and to add a human element.
As more marketers pick up on the needs of consumers, it’s very likely SMS marketing will become more personalized. Companies that succeed will have a brand voice that can translate over text messaging, just as well as in marketing content. This article from emotive.io notes the key points to crafting human communication.
SMS Marketing Grows to Makes up 90% of Mobile Marketing Revenue
EZTexting goes over the importance of tapping into the growing mobile market. They talk about rising smartphone use and the types of ads placed on them. The areas to advertise on a smartphone alone are growing not just in the form of text but also in specific games and apps. On top of growth and reach, SMS marketing is very affordable compared to other virtual advertising. Marketing budgets can benefit greatly from using SMS targeted campaigns or services.
Companies Losing Out by Assuming Customers are Bothered by SMS Marketing
SMS marketing can easily become annoying for customers and can lead to FCC complaints. This does not mean every SMS approach is unwanted. 22% of Companies that choose not to communicate via text do so because they assume consumers don’t want to be bothered by text. Research shows that the opposite is true, consumers would rather have two-way communication via text over phone calls, chatbots, and emails. Consumers certainly won’t appreciate spam about sales, but they do want more personalized customer service.
Marketers are losing customers by assuming their needs and not adapting to new technology. The SMS customer service market can be expected to grow as more companies realize consumers want more authentic communication with companies they patronize.
SMS Marketing Services Pricing
|Software||trScore||Starting Price||Free Trial||Free or Freemium||Premium|
|SimpleTexting||8.5/10||$25/mo||yes||no||Priced per texts sent|
|TextMagic||9.1/10||$0.04 per text||no||no||Priced per texts sent|