Picture this: you receive a promotional text message from your favorite local store, offering an exclusive discount just for you. Would you be more likely to take advantage of the deal compared to a generic email blast? If you’re like most consumers today, the answer is a resounding “yes!” In this ever-evolving digital landscape, text messaging has proven to be the rising star among communication channels.
But what’s behind this trend, and how can businesses harness the power of text messaging to connect with customers in meaningful ways?
We surveyed consumers (who are most like your customers) and asked them about their relationship with promotional text messages — and they didn’t hold back!
Buckle up, as we’re about to dive into the fascinating world of SMS communication and uncover customer preferences for text messages, which make it the go-to choice for both consumers and marketers alike.
- Text messaging is the preferred method of communication for most customers, with businesses needing to adapt their strategies accordingly.
- Consumers prefer convenience, personalization/relevance and real-time interaction in text messages. Businesses should focus on promotional offers while balancing frequency & timing when crafting SMS marketing campaigns.
- Businesses must manage opt-ins & opt outs, maintain privacy & security and stay up to date with trends to ensure compliance and foster customer loyalty via texting initiatives.
Text Messaging Trends
It’s no secret that text messaging is on the rise, with a whopping 90% of customers preferring it over direct phone calls.
In fact, the 2022 State of Texting Consumers Report by EZ Texting sheds light on some surprising changes in consumer attitudes, behaviors, and preferences when it comes to text message marketing since their last survey in 2021. As mobile phone usage skyrockets, consumers are rapidly gravitating towards the convenience and speed of SMS communication.
This growing trend isn’t limited to a specific demographic either; the report shows that a similar percentage of customers aged 34 and younger (37%) and those aged 35-54 (36%) favor texting. It’s clear that businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve must adapt their marketing strategies to embrace the power of SMS communication, especially when it comes to building meaningful connections with their customers.
Mobile Phone Usage and SMS Adoption
The widespread adoption of mobile phones has played a significant role in the rise of text messaging. According to a Pew Research Center study, 97% of Americans own a cellphone, with 98% of adults in the US having a mobile phone. This widespread usage has led to a massive increase in text messaging over the past decade, with the number of texts sent each month skyrocketing by more than 7,700%.
Not only is texting the go-to communication method for American adults under 50, but an impressive 91% of teenagers with cell phones text regularly as well. Furthermore, 75% of Millennials and Gen Zers prefer texting over calling.
As mobile phone usage continues to rise, businesses must recognize the importance of SMS communication, including SMS messages and messaging apps, to send messages and connect with their target audience.
Shift from Phone Calls to Text Messages
The shift from phone calls to text messages is not just a passing fad; it’s a reflection of changing consumer preferences. Texting has become the preferred method of communication for a majority of customers, with 56% of consumers finding it more convenient than phone calls. This preference is fueled by the fact that text messages are less intrusive, time-consuming, and unpredictable than phone calls.
To cater to these preferences, businesses need to adapt their communication strategies accordingly. This could include sending promotional messages and offers through SMS, balancing the frequency and timing of texts, and integrating text messaging with other marketing channels. By doing so, businesses can create a more personalized and seamless customer experience, ultimately leading to higher satisfaction and loyalty.
Statistics that Gave Rise to Unwanted Promotional Text Messages
You may have seen all these statistics about promotional text messages and how the average open rate of a text message is around 99%, with 97% of messages being read within 15 minutes of delivery. And that the click-through rate for SMS messages is estimated to be around 5% to 10%, which is higher than the average click-through rate for emails (2.5%).
With those kinds of stats, you might be thinking that you should be pushing all kinds of promotional text messages to your market, right?
NO! Don’t do it!
Yes, text messages get opened and clicked, but not all text messages get that kind of response. In fact, the wrong text messages will land you on a blacklist, and you don’t want that.
Sending spam text messages can result in significant financial penalties and legal action. It is important to comply with the TCPA rules and obtain prior express permission or invitation from the receiver before sending text messages.
Spam Messages are on the Rise
The number of promotional text messages (a.k.a spam texts) are on the rise. Americans received more than 66 billion spam texts midway through 2022, up 68% from the year before. And, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received roughly 14,000 complaints about unwanted text messages in 2020, up 146% from the year before.
It seems like there’s a disconnect between what your customers want in terms of text messages and what they are getting.
So, we conducted a survey with consumers to find out what their experience is like with text messages and what you can do as a small business to take advantage of these amazing engagement rates with text messages without losing access to your customers.
Consumer Preferences for Text Messages: What Matters Most?
As the popularity of text messaging continues to surge, it’s essential to understand what aspects of SMS communication resonate most with consumers. Three key factors emerge from the data: convenience and speed, personalization and relevance, and real-time interaction. By focusing on these aspects, businesses can craft SMS marketing strategies that effectively engage their target audience and foster lasting relationships.
So, what do these factors look like in practice? Convenience and speed refer to the ability to send and receive messages quickly and easily. Personalization and relevance involve tailoring messages to individual customers by using their names, locations, or purchase history to make the content more meaningful. And real-time interaction means enabling customers to communicate with businesses promptly, fostering a sense of trust and loyalty.
Convenience and Speed
The convenience and speed of text messaging are what make it so appealing to consumers. Texts can be sent and received quickly, allowing for almost instantaneous communication. This is particularly important in today’s fast-paced world, where people are constantly on the go and expect timely responses to their queries. In fact, 44% of Gen Zers check their text notifications within a minute of receiving them.
Businesses that prioritize convenience and speed in their SMS communication can capitalize on this consumer preference, leading to higher engagement and satisfaction levels. By making it easy for customers to get in touch and receive prompt replies, businesses can foster a positive customer experience that keeps them coming back for more.
Personalization and Relevance
Personalization and relevance are essential in ensuring that consumers find value in the messages they receive. By tailoring messages to individual customers, businesses can create a stronger bond between their brand and customers, leading to higher engagement and satisfaction. For instance, businesses can use customer data such as names, locations, or purchase history to make the content more relevant and engaging.
A whopping 75% of consumers prefer to receive appointment and payment reminders by text, emphasizing the importance of personalization and relevance in SMS communication. By focusing on these aspects, businesses can not only capture their audience’s attention, but also foster a sense of loyalty and trust in their brand.
Real-time interaction is another important aspect of text messaging, as consumers appreciate the ability to communicate with businesses in a timely manner. This type of interaction allows businesses to answer customer questions promptly and offer speedy customer service, which can help create customer loyalty and trust.
In fact, 54% of people want to receive promotions through SMS, but only 11% of companies are sending them. By embracing real-time interaction and providing quick, efficient responses to customer inquiries, businesses can tap into this unmet demand and create a competitive edge in the market.
New Survey Results — How Your Customers Experience Your Text Messages
80% of consumers receive unwanted text messages!
So, if you want to ensure that your text messages have a positive impact on your customers and don’t land you in hot water with the FCC, it’s important to understand how your customers feel about receiving promotional texts from businesses.
Promotional Text Message Tip #1
Get permission to send your customers text messages
If you expect to send text messages to your customers, make sure you get BOTH permission to send text messages, and clearly describe the kinds of text messages you’re going to send.
While that means you won’t get as many phone numbers to text, it also means that the people who sign up to get your text messages will open them.
Text messages can get EXPENSIVE!
It costs between $0.01 to $0.05 per SMS text message, with MMS texts costing slightly more because they can include up to 1600 characters and data like emojis, images, and brief video. That said, it could cost more to send texts internationally.
You are paying for every single number you send to, whether they open or not. So if your customers don’t want to receive them, or they mark you as spam, you’ll be throwing away a lot of money.
83% of consumers are annoyed by unwanted promotional text messages
Don’t be one of those companies that send out annoying promotional texts! Consumers are already annoyed by the sheer number of unwanted text messages they receive.
So, if you’re going to send promotional texts, make sure they actually offer value to your customers. Make it worth their while to get your text messages and be sure to give them an easy way to opt-out, if they decide they don’t want to receive them anymore.
Promotional Text Message Tip #2
Make sure your messages bring value—not just sales pitches!
Consumers are more likely to open a text message if it offers something of value. On the other hand, if you only send out sales pitches, your customers will be less likely to open your messages.
Think about how you can promote your business in a way that also brings value to the consumer. You want them to look forward to receiving your text messages, not dread them!
39% of Consumers are Worried that It’s a Scam
You may have done everything you can to ensure that your text messages are legitimate, but 39% of consumers remain worried that it could still be a scam.
It’s important to make sure your texts contain enough information for customers to trust the legitimacy of the message. Include in your message who you are and why they should care. Also, provide an easy way for people to ask questions and contact you if they have any concerns.
Promotional Text Message Tip #3
It doesn’t matter how internet savvy you are, there’s a good chance that you’ve fallen for some type of text scam and put your secure information in jeopardy.
Your customers are no different. Here are a few tips that you can do as a business to help your customers feel save and secure that the message is legit and coming from you:
- Use a trustworthy text messaging service. This will help you send messages in a professional and secure manner.
- Personalize the messages you send to your customers. Tell them who you are, address them by name and make a specific reference to a specific product, service, or appointment.
- Provide clear identification so your customers know who is sending the message. Use your name, your business name, and any other reference information.
- Avoid using links as it can be a red flag for your customers. Instead, give them your phone number or website for direct contact.
32% of consumers will report the message as spam
When it comes to promotional text messages, the last thing you want is for your customers to report your message as spam. Not only will this hurt your reputation as a business, but it could also get you in trouble with the law!
So how can you avoid having your messages marked as spam?
Promotional Text Message Tip #4
Make sure there is an easy way to opt out of future texts. This should be a no-brainer but unfortunately, it’s often overlooked. Make sure you give your customers the option to opt out of future text messages by providing an unsubscribe link or a keyword they can text back in order to be removed from your list.
45% of consumers LOVE getting specials, discounts, and coupons.
It’s no secret that consumers love a good deal. So, if you want to make your text messages more effective, why not offer them something special?
You can send out exclusive coupon codes or discounts for your products and services, announce the release of new items, or share limited-time offers with your customers. Doing so will help keep them engaged and ensure that they look forward to receiving your texts in the future.
Promotional Text Message Tip #5
Create a sense of urgency with limited-time offers!
Take advantage of the immediacy of text messages to create a sense of urgency by offering time-sensitive deals. This will encourage people to take action right away and increase engagement rates.
In conclusion, sending promotional text messages can be a great way to reach out to customers and promote your business. However, it’s important to make sure that you get permission from your customers first, send messages with value, create a sense of urgency with limited-time offers, and provide an easy way for people to opt-out. Doing these things will ensure that your text messages are well received by customers!
Text Message Marketing Strategies: Catering to Customer Preferences
Armed with an understanding of consumer preferences, businesses can now craft text message marketing strategies that cater to these needs. By focusing on promotional messages and offers, balancing frequency and timing, and integrating text messaging with other channels, businesses can create a seamless and comprehensive
But how can businesses put these strategies into action? Let’s dive deeper into each aspect and uncover practical tips for implementing successful text message marketing campaigns that keep customers engaged and satisfied.
Promotional Messages and Offers
Promotional text messages and offers are popular among consumers, making them an effective way to engage customers through text messaging. For instance, consumer preference for text messaging in the flash sale category shot up 8% to 41% this year. Additionally, 75% of consumers prefer to receive appointment reminders by text, further highlighting the appeal of promotional messages and offers.
To capitalize on this consumer preference, businesses can send out promotional messages that include incentives, discounts, or special offers. By providing value through these messages, businesses can not only capture their audience’s attention, but also encourage them to take action, ultimately driving sales and fostering brand loyalty.
Balancing Frequency and Timing
Balancing frequency and timing is essential to avoid overwhelming consumers with too many messages while still maintaining regular communication. Businesses that are unfamiliar with text marketing should begin cautiously by sending out no more than one message each week. Starting slowly and building up to a higher frequency of messages is the key to success. If response rates or unsubscribe rates are high, businesses should consider adjusting their messaging schedule, keeping it within normal business hours.
By striking the right balance between frequency and timing, businesses can ensure their messages are well-received by consumers and maintain a consistent line of communication. This approach not only helps prevent customer fatigue, but also fosters a positive customer experience that keeps them engaged and satisfied.
Integrating Text Messaging with Other Channels
Integrating text messaging with other marketing channels, such as email and social media, can help create a seamless and comprehensive
For example, a business may send an email newsletter to subscribers, followed by a text message reminder about an upcoming sale. By leveraging multiple channels, businesses can ensure that their marketing messages are seen by a wider audience and cater to the diverse communication preferences of their customers.
Implementing Texting in Customer Support: Meeting Customer Expectations
Implementing texting in customer support can help businesses meet customer expectations by providing quick and efficient responses, enabling asynchronous communication, and enhancing the overall customer experience. In fact, over half of consumers would rather text customer support than call, demonstrating the growing preference for texting as a support channel.
To successfully implement texting in customer support, businesses must focus on aspects such as quick and efficient responses, asynchronous communication, and enhancing the customer experience. By doing so, they can not only cater to consumer preferences, but also create a support system that fosters loyalty and satisfaction.
Quick and Efficient Responses
Customers expect quick and efficient responses when they reach out to businesses for support via text messaging. In order to meet these expectations, businesses should prioritize responding to customer inquiries in a timely manner and providing clear, concise, and personalized communication.
By focusing on quick and efficient responses, businesses can ensure that their customers feel heard and valued. This approach not only helps resolve customer issues promptly, but also fosters a positive customer experience that can lead to increased loyalty and satisfaction.
Asynchronous communication allows customers to communicate with businesses at their own pace, making texting a preferred method for customer support. By enabling customers to send and receive messages without being tied to a specific time or place, businesses can cater to the changing needs and preferences of their customers.
By embracing asynchronous communication in their customer support strategy, businesses can provide a more flexible and convenient support experience for their customers. This approach not only helps meet customer expectations, but also fosters a sense of trust and loyalty in their brand.
Enhancing the Customer Experience
Enhancing the customer experience through texting can lead to higher satisfaction levels and improved customer loyalty. By focusing on aspects such as quick and efficient responses, asynchronous communication, and personalization, businesses can create a support experience that keeps customers engaged and satisfied.
A study found that an impressive 61% of shoppers prefer the convenience of texting a business for appointments, reservations, and event reminders as well as customer service. This demonstrates the potential power of adapting to customers’ needs. By implementing texting as a customer support channel, businesses can cater to this growing demand and create a more comprehensive and seamless customer experience.
Overcoming Challenges and Ensuring Compliance
While text messaging offers numerous benefits for businesses and consumers alike, it also comes with its share of challenges and compliance concerns. To overcome these hurdles and ensure the success of their SMS marketing and customer support initiatives, businesses must focus on managing opt-ins and opt-outs, maintaining privacy and security, and adapting to evolving consumer preferences.
By addressing these challenges and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations, businesses can build trust with their customers and protect their personal information. This approach not only helps maintain customer loyalty, but also safeguards the business from potential legal issues.
Managing Opt-ins and Opt-outs
Managing opt-ins and opt-outs is essential to ensure that consumers have control over the messages they receive and maintain compliance with regulations. Businesses must provide clear and easy-to-understand instructions for opting in and out of text message communications, as well as adhere to all relevant laws and regulations.
By effectively managing opt-ins and opt-outs, businesses can ensure that their SMS marketing and customer support efforts are not only compliant but also respectful of consumer preferences. This approach fosters trust and loyalty among customers and helps maintain a positive brand reputation.
Maintaining Privacy and Security
Maintaining privacy and security is crucial in building trust with consumers and protecting their personal information. Businesses must ensure that their text messaging practices adhere to data protection laws and respect the privacy of their customers.
By prioritizing privacy and security in their SMS marketing and customer support initiatives, businesses can create a safe and trustworthy environment for their customers. This approach not only helps protect customer information, but also fosters a sense of loyalty and trust in the brand.
Adapting to Evolving Consumer Preferences
As consumer preferences continue to evolve, businesses must stay updated on trends and continuously refine their text messaging strategies to cater to changing customer needs. By staying agile and adapting their SMS communication to meet the ever-shifting landscape, businesses can ensure that they remain relevant, engaging, and successful in their marketing and customer support efforts.
By understanding the needs of their customers and responding quickly to changes in the market, businesses can ensure customers choose them over competitors, as they are able to provide what customers want.
In conclusion, text messaging has undoubtedly emerged as a powerful communication channel that caters to the growing preferences of today’s consumers. By focusing on aspects such as convenience and speed, personalization and relevance, and real-time interaction, businesses can harness the power of SMS communication to connect with their customers in meaningful ways.
As the world of text messaging continues to evolve, businesses must stay ahead of the curve and adapt their strategies to meet the changing needs of their customers. By doing so, they can create lasting relationships, foster customer loyalty, and ultimately achieve success in the competitive landscape of the digital age.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do customers have to opt in to text messages?
Companies need prior consent from customers before texting them, unless it’s an emergency.
Texting for opt-in is against the law.
What determines which recipients you can send SMS to?
The number of people an SMS can be sent to is determined by the wireless carrier; limits vary depending on the provider.
Recipients can be tracked by looking at the bracketed number in the header line.
Do customers prefer text or email?
Customers overwhelmingly prefer text messages over email, with 90% indicating they would rather interact with a brand via text message. Data also shows that 85 percent of consumers would rather get a text from businesses than a call or email.
66% either prefer mobile messaging or consider it their second communication choice when compared to phone and email.
Why is text messaging becoming more popular among consumers?
Text messaging is becoming increasingly popular among consumers as it offers convenient, fast and real-time communication.
It is a great way to stay connected with friends and family, as well as to receive important notifications from businesses. It is also a great tool for marketing as it allows companies to market themselves.
How can businesses personalize their text messages for customers?
Businesses can personalize text messages by using customer data such as names, locations or purchase history to make them more relevant and engaging.
By leveraging this data, businesses can create messages that are tailored to the individual customer, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.