Current and Developing SMS Marketing Trends

Marketing through SMS channels continues to be a growing component of the industry. Compared to the likes of social media and email marketing, barely 40% of businesses incorporate some form of SMS marketing into their advertising media, but the number is steadily increasing. As of 2020, some 60% of businesses have increased funding towards SMS marketing and more companies have sought to pick it up or maintain usage in a post-pandemic world. Here are some more reasons why making that jump to SMS marketing is more important than before.

The Potential of Opt-in Messaging

People have genuinely opened up to opt-in tactics for SMS marketing.  As it currently stands, just over fifty million people globally have opted to receive SMS messaging from companies.  This isn’t a trend directly caused by the pandemic either, so this isn’t going to be a trend that will die out once the world leaves a pandemic state.  That said, the pandemic has certainly helped opt-in strategies.  In 2020 alone, over 40% of companies that had adopted SMS marketing stated they saw a rise in communication rates.

Customers want to know about events, customer support, restocking, and more importantly, flash sales and promotional offers, so keeping them in the know helps to keep them up-to-date on all that is on offer.  Additionally, they find value in messages that either provide reminders for appointments or updates on the shipping status of a given order.  While it does vary from industry to industry, almost 50% of people surveyed are more likely to accept messages from e-commerce, retail, health care, and banking/finance companies.  For more information on opt-in marketing, check out our article here.



Simply put, texting can reach more people than any other conventional means of marketing.  People will usually have a cellular device on their person frequently with two-thirds of the population using some text messaging daily.  Because SMS messaging is now a norm, 66% of people prefer texting as their main means of communication or secondary means after phone and email.  At least 58% of customers believe that texting is the most efficient way to reach them and 70% admit that SMS marketing does catch and retain their attention for longer.  SMS messages have an almost 100% open rate with a 45% response rate as opposed to emails with a 20% open rate and a 6% response rate.  Furthermore, 40% of people on average will at least check out a new text message within the first five minutes of receiving it and 18.57% of people will check within the first minute.  All this means it’s now incredibly easy to retain customers through SMS.

Following good SMS campaigns, 31% of customers stated they wanted more options when it came to communicating with companies.  Roughly 32% of customers claim that being able to text back and start a conversation with marketing would be incredibly useful and 60% of customers would want query functionality added to company text messages.  Messages that put some emphasis on the time-critical nature of an offer can expect 47% of customers who were contacted to have made a purchase.  Overall, companies that utilize SMS messaging in their marketing to some extent can expect greater interaction from customers.

Return on Investment

Adding investment or further investing into SMS marketing is going to be the strongest marketing tactic within the foreseeable future.  It may sound minuscule until put to scale, but companies have been able to accomplish as much as an $8 USD return on investment per text message sent or a 23.3% conversion rate.  Most businesses – approximately 62% – will cite the faster pipeline to their customers as the primary benefit alongside a wider demographic reach and the other aforementioned reasons.  Ordering over SMS has become a common trend with order value standing at $85 USD on average.  The biggest advantage comes from making the most of holiday events where big purchases relative to normal days across the year are more likely.  Companies have cited an almost 600% increase in order rate during Black Friday with the use of SMS marketing as opposed to email marketing.

Closing Statistics


  • 54.8% of all website traffic is on mobile devices.  That’s likely going to be a growing statistic, so using mobile marketing to link to a website is a good strategy.
  • 83.2% of the world population owns a smartphone, which roughly equates to 6.6 billion people.  This statistic is expected to cross the threshold of 7 billion by 2024.
  • 83% of Millennials prefer SMS over a customer service call.  Generally speaking, Millennials are very accessible via SMS with 62% preferring texts for appointment reminders, 59% preferring texts for delivering notifications, and 48% for payment reminders.
  • 79% of smartphone users check their devices within 15 minutes of waking up with 65% of users checking their devices immediately after waking up.  Even if any messages reach them in the middle of the night, they’ll get those notifications early in the morning.
  • On average, it’ll take 90 seconds to compose a follow-up SMS message whereas it’ll take 90 minutes to compose a follow-up email.

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Dolan Cleary

Dolan Cleary

I am a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Stout and am now working as a web technician. Currently working within the marketing department.

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