SMS is not dying

By November 29, 2013 No Comments

Every year there seems to be a group of individuals who are convinced that SMS is dying and SMS marketing is a thing of the past.

This always strikes me as odd, especially since these are most likely the same people who continue to send hundreds of SMS’s a DAY! Where is the logic then in thinking that SMS marketing is dead?

Over the past few years, the emergence of messaging applications such as WhatsApp and the re-emergence of BBM have certainly eaten into the carriers SMS revenues.  The carriers themselves have admitted this.

However, SMS and SMS marketing is growing and will continue to be one of the most effective ways to reach your target market, reach your loyal customers and drive sales.

Here are a few reasons that support this argument.

1)      SMS is growing

Canadians sent 24 BILLION person-to-person SMS in Q1 of 2013, according to the CWTA.  Then there is this graph.  Tough to argue that SMS is not growing.

SMS growth rate

SMS growth rate

2)      SMS marketing is growing

Business-to-consumer SMS continues to experience double digit growth and Juniper Research has predicted that B2C SMS will overtake person-to-person SMS by 2016.

In 2012, 2.4 billion Common Short Code messages were sent and received in Canada, which means that the SMS marketing is going to skyrocket to reach Juniper’s forecast.  This is the entire opposite of dying.

3)      The numbers don’t lie

  • SMS, on average has a 98% open rate
  • SMS produces 6-8 times more engagement than email
  • 70% of people have stated that would like to receive mobile offers from brands
  • SMS produces a 19% click-through-rate, compared to email’s 4.2%

4)      Not everyone has a smartphone, even today.

Although the smartphone penetration rate now exceeds 60%, there are still millions of consumers out there without a smartphone and as a brand, you certainly do not want to abandon them.  The only way to connect with EVERY mobile consumer on their mobile device is through SMS.

5)      The only standard feature on every phone

Aside from the ability to make phone calls, the only standard communication feature that comes pre-packaged (read: not capable of, but already installed) on EVERY single mobile phone is SMS.  No additional downloading or creating of an account is needed.  Not to mention, everyone sends SMS these days.

6)      It’s also the future

Have you ever tried to get a hold of a teenager in the past few years? Texting them is your only option.  If they aren’t already, this heavy texting demographic will soon have purchasing power and how do you think they will want to be communicated with?  The brands that offer SMS as an option will certainly win their wallets.

It is important to remember that SMS is not meant to replace any form of marketing or communication but rather complement what you are already doing and most importantly, it offers your customers a choice.

What is clear is the lowly SMS is not only powerful and effective, it has a great future.

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