Are mobile messaging platforms overtaking SMS use in business? We look at the real statistics on the response to SMS when used for marketing compared to mobile advertising.
Popularity of SMS in last two years
A report by Satista for 2016-2017 (UK) on the reason for preference of SMS for communication states the following top reasons why text messaging has proved to be still popular and preferred:
Summarising the top 5 reasons SMS is still popular:
- SMS is not dependent on an internet connection.
- Most mobile contracts offer unlimited or huge numbers of SMSes.
- Other’s I communicate with don’t always have an internet for a messenger platform.
- SMS only needs their mobile number
- Mobile messengers don’t always “announce” their messages
Popularity of WhatsApp
And other messengers….do they even figure in the larger scheme of things? For the purposes of comparison, the other messenger platforms are too numerous, yet too underused to make a statistical impact on the results, so we singled out What’sApp.
For business, is marketing by SMS better than Messaging popular messaging platforms?
In The State of SMS, a report by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA, October, 2017) it looked at the issue of text messaging generally, and opting-in to receiving marketing texts. What they found was encouraging for the future of SMS.
37.2 million users in the UK opted in to receive text messages from businesses in 2016. That’s 7 million more than social media opt-ins, and Facebook’s Audience, and this is expected to increase to 48.65 million by 2020 – making text messaging the fastest growing marketing channel in the UK.
The following results show that recipients respond favourably to SMS Marketing:
- In 2017, 54% of opted-in message recipients actively engage with a text message from a business
- About a quarter of those opt-in SMS recipients click on a web link
- Another 25% go on to forwarding the text on.
SMS marketing vs. mobile advertising
Comparisons between the performance of SMS versus mobile advertising
(below) show the following results.
As the table shows, SMS generates a higher response rate than mobile advertising in every metric compared.
Comparing uptake of SMS to Mobile advertising (2016/2017)
|Purchased a good or service via your mobile phone immediately||3%||2%|
|Gone in-store to make the purchase||8%||4%|
|Purchased a good or service via an alternative device (PC/Mac or tablet)||8%||6%|
|Purchased a good or service via your mobile phone at a later time||7%||5%|
|Booked an appointment||10%||n/a|
|Downloaded an app||9%||3%|
(Mobile advertising includes banner ads, mobile search advertising and mobile video bumpers.)
Sites like SMS comparison offer businesses and small and medium service providers a quick way of glancing through the different options available on the market (see https://www.smscomparison.co.uk/sms-marketing-uk/ for a quick guide on what is offered by service providers in the UK).
Brit Tammeorg is marketer and freelance writer for SMSComparison (https://www.smscomparison.co.uk). She writes about digital marketing, communication and topics important for small businesses.