SMS. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? It is a simple acronym that stands for Short Messaging Service, but the majority of people simply refer to it as text messaging. Anyone that hasn’t been living in a cave for the last decade knows how big text messaging has become. As of this year, there are over 4.5 billion people worldwide that actively use SMS. That is A LOT of people; approximately 75% of all mobile users to be exact. Believe it or not, SMS has been around for over 20 years, but just now are marketers catching onto this unquestionable cash cow in order to promote their services worldwide.
Within the realm of mobile marketing, SMS is the undisputed king. This year alone, SMS marketing is expected to bring in over $150 billion in revenue, and the numbers are expected to continue to rise considerably in the coming future. Not only is this marketing method piquing the interest of business people and fortune 500 companies alike, but if the trend in revenue continues as believed, it may even completely surpass internet marketing as a whole.
Last year alone, over 8.6 trillion SMS text messages were sent via mobile device. By 2016, this number is expected to rise to an astounding 9.5 trillion SMS messages in a single year. Here’s a thought. Try going anywhere into a public area. Try counting the number of people around you that are continuously glued to their phones and utterly oblivious to their surroundings. People even text while operating a 2 ton vehicle!
Nokia, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of mobile devices, estimates that mobile users check their handheld mobile devices at least 150 times daily. It is almost as if mobile phones have become an extra limb that is impossible to detach from the human body. In fact, one report suggests that 57% of mobile users bring their phone with them whenever they use the bathroom. In olden days, people used to look at magazines or the newspaper, now technology has become so advanced, that mobile surfing and text messaging preoccupy us whenever there is a moment of downtime throughout our waking lives.
SMS has even been shown to evoke more consumer engagement than typical email marketing. Society’s neurotic obsession with continuously checking their phone leads SMS messages to be checked almost instantly (5 seconds on average) after being received, and are read 98% of the time. According to Mailchimp, the average open rate for an email is only 22%, which may even be a slight embellishment on Mailchimp’s part in order to sell their services. Now, any marketer with half a brain can see the monumental potential that results from this sort of engagement.
What does this all boil down to? The numbers do not lie. According to the statistical data provided, SMS may be a very lucrative and clearly viable source for product and service marketing. Unfortunately, open rates and the fact that people are practically glued to their mobile devices actually mean that SMS ads actually convert to sales. After all, the $150 billion may only work for large companies that have a marketing budget of millions upon millions of dollars to throw away.
Well, according to a case study conducted by the analytics company, Upstream, 70% of the people polled within the US admitted that they would enjoy having offers sent to them through their mobile phones from their favorite companies. This bodes extremely well for UK marketers as well, because the prevalence of smartphones is even higher than that of the US. This is important because smartphone users are far more likely to make a sale or redeem a coupon than any other mobile user. Not only that, but Upstream found that coupons were actually 10 times more likely to be redeemed via a mobile device than those that were received in the mail.
It has become as clear as day that people WANT to be marketed to through their phones. It is far easier to reach them through their mobile devices and they are even more likely to redeem coupons. What more could you possibly ask for?
As word spreads, the use of SMS marketing will undoubtedly become more popular. Think to yourself the last time that you received an offer through your mobile phone. I certainly can’t remember. That is because the market is virtually untouched. There are literally billions of people just waiting to see your products and services. All you need to do is send them an SMS.