In this article, we’re going to tackle the future of SMS marketing and give you some bankable trends to watch for in the remainder of 2021 (and beyond).
A Golden Age and Growth
Anyone in tune with digital marketing trends can tell you that SMS is a painfully underutilized channel in most marketing strategies. But companies are starting to figure it out. A new report by Forrester Research predicted that the average consumer is going to get more texts in 2021 (and beyond) than ever before. Brands are realizing that consumers actually prefer text message marketing in many cases.
We’re in a golden age of text message marketing, but the market continues to become more crowded and is headed toward eventually being as saturated as email marketing and social media.
Customers are going to begin receiving more and more text messages as companies continue to add SMS marketing to their strategies. The industry is expecting an increase of 40% or more in the next year. The lesson? Don’t wait until text marketing becomes oversaturated to start using it.
If you don’t have an SMS marketing strategy, make it priority #1– and if you do have a strategy, it’s time to increase your budget and more effectively market using text messaging.
Customers are Starting to Prefer Text Marketing
A recent study by Finances Online showed that 77% of consumers have a positive opinion of the brands and companies that use SMS marketing to communicate with them.
Digital Marketing Magazine did a study that found 75% of people said they’d appreciate an offer via an SMS message.
As cluttered as inboxes are, and as many Robocalls, as people get, one of the last forms of communication that people actually keep up with is their text message inbox.
This can be proven with some staggering statistics: A person checks a text message 78% faster than email and replies in a fraction of the time (email replies take an average of 90 minutes, and that’s if they open it).
Many shoppers (more than 50%) are moving toward using their mobile devices as their preferred method of shopping. This means that when you use an SMS marketing campaign, you are reaching people with a strong open rate, directly on a device that they prefer to make purchases on.
So let’s put those pieces together to see the whole picture (because it’s a good one): If you’re utilizing SMS campaigns to reach your customers, then:
- They’re likely to have a positive opinion of you
- They’ve said they’d appreciate an offer
- The open rate is nearly 100%
- They’ll get your offer and check it within ~90 seconds
Increased Popularity of 10-Digit Long Codes
In the past, having a Short Code was the core of any successful SMS marketing campaign. Getting that nifty little five or six-digit number was a lengthy process, and it wasn’t affordable for many businesses. Short Codes were coveted because (in addition to some other benefits), they acted as a passport for companies to send a high volume of text messages over a short period of time and not suffer any penalties from mobile carriers.
Short Codes are no longer the secret sauce they used to be.
The future is 10-Digit Long Codes (often called ‘10DLC’). These are 10-digit phone numbers that are local, and that (when used properly) can be effective for SMS marketing campaigns that are high-volume.
10 DLC are far more affordable, quicker to obtain, and when used in accordance with carrier and TCPA guidelines, can be very effective for text message marketing campaigns.
(Text-Calibur has the most robust and affordable 10 DLC system in place to ensure your messages will get through, and if your number stops working it will be replaced for you automatically.)
Short Codes are a thing of the past, and 10DLC is the way of the future.
Two Way Conversations Will Become King
Many companies that use SMS marketing still think of it as a one-way street. In their mind, they blast the customer an offer via text message, and as long as they use the exact right message with the perfect call to action, they cross their fingers hoping the customer will convert.
Customers are craving a more interactive experience, and conversation will always lead to more conversions. The future is in conversations– two-way communication between you and your customers.
If you use two-way communication, the customer is immediately more invested. Think about it: text messaging by its nature is a conversation. Companies are finding that if they emulate the same experience consumers are used to on the text platform, they can build engagement, earn trust, and ultimately get more sales.
Recent studies have shown that when SMS marketing feels more conversational, it leads to an increase in conversions of up to 24%.
The way trends are headed, two-way, conversational marketing will be something you’ll need to adapt to stay competitive.
Customer Support via Text
On the heels of emphasizing two-way conversational marketing, you can also stand heads and tails above other companies if you can leverage SMS for customer service.
Think about the customer service landscape as it is. When customers have an issue, they can typically either call, email, or visit a site and hope a live chat operator is online (or be met with a bot).
While none of these options are terrible, they don’t even begin to touch the convenience of text message support. Studies have shown again and again that people will pay more for convenience (and this trend is only growing with services like DoorDash, Instacart, and others becoming the norm).
The companies who realize that they can stand out by using text-based customer support will be the winners as the industry shifts and evolves.
SMS Will Outperform Other Mediums
When it comes to marketing channels, most agree that email is still king in terms of pound-for-pound return on investment. The issue is that emailing at scale can be a costly venture since you almost definitely need specialized software like MailChimp or AWeber (which aren’t cheap for large lists).
Email is the king of the hill by sheer force of numbers. A higher volume of promotional emails is being sent– many more than promotional SMS messages– so of course email will make more revenue.
But as SMS marketing continues to grow, it will eventually overtake other marketing channels as the ROI champion. Due to its open rates, response rates, and conversion rates, as the total number of SMS sales texts being sent increases, it will eventually catch up to email, becoming the new king of the hill.
Use Text-Calibur to Stay Ahead
If you’re still not using SMS marketing, you’re definitely behind the curve– but you still have time before you’re left in the dust.
Even if you’re an SMS marketing veteran, these trends will affect you as well.
If you want to stay ahead of where the industry is moving, you’re going to need a powerful tool in your arsenal. Text-Calibur is that tool, and you’ll be stunned at what it can do for the price.
SMS marketing goes far beyond simply “sending a text message.” If you need help improving your presence on one of the fastest-growing marketing platforms, Text-Calibur is the perfect tool for you.
What are you waiting for? Start by creating your free Text-Calibur account today.