71% of consumers are signed up to receive texts from businesses in 2023. We surveyed 1,400 consumers, business owners, and digital marketers to understand how these parties view and use SMS in 2023.
SMS marketing has been on a steady rise in recent years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. With Americans constantly glued to their phones, checking them once every 10 minutes each day on average, this marketing strategy puts your brand right at people’s fingertips.
To make a lasting impact in this competitive landscape, businesses must find innovative ways to capture consumers’ attention and break free from the noise. Businesses can leverage mass texting as a versatile channel for a wide range of initiatives, such as gaining early access sales, gathering customer feedback, sending timely reminders for abandoned carts, appointments, reservations, and much more.
In celebration of this thriving digital marketing channel, we’re thrilled to unveil the fourth installment of the SMS marketing report by SimpleTexting. We surveyed 1,400 consumers, business owners, and digital marketers to understand how these parties view and use SMS in 2023.
Discover which industries boast the highest number of SMS contacts, explore how businesses are incorporating artificial intelligence into their bulk SMS strategies, and gain valuable insights into the world of SMS marketing.
When it comes to checking text notifications, consumers are lightning-fast in their responses. Over 30% of consumers check their text notifications within 60 seconds of receiving a text, and 80.5% of consumers check their text notifications within just five minutes of hearing their phone buzz.
Even for those who take a bit longer, the majority are still quite prompt. Around 13% of consumers check their text notifications within 15–30 minutes of receiving a text.
These statistics bring great news for companies looking to leverage automated text messaging as a powerful tool.
Do reply rates differ when examining texts vs. emails? A large share of consumers (45%) reply to a text message within 5–10 minutes, followed by 32% of consumers who reply within 1–2 minutes.
In contrast, the largest share of consumers (33%) take a few hours to reply to an email. A significant disparity emerges when comparing the response rates between the two channels. An impressive 77% of consumers reply to a text within 10 minutes, while only 28% manage to reply to an email within the same timeframe.
This data underscores the importance of leveraging text marketing as an effective tool to ensure prompt and engaging communication with your target audience.
In a world where consumers often delete emails without reading them or quickly scroll past social media blasts, capturing the attention of your audience is only half the battle. We found that 32% of consumers check their text messages 6–10 times per day while 46% check their email 1–5 times per day.
As many companies wish to target younger generational cohorts, we found that 44% of both millennials and Gen Zers are highly active in checking their text messages, surpassing the 10 times per day mark. What’s more, 17% of millennials take their text message checking to the next level, exceeding 20 times per day.
Text message marketing provides a unique opportunity to bypass algorithms and overcome the clutter of junk email.
There’s nothing more tempting than pressing the big green text icon found on most smartphones—and we have the data to back it up.
78% of consumers state that checking, sending, and responding to text messages is the activity that they’re most engaged with throughout the day. It surpasses other popular activities like social media (66%), news or entertainment (51%), emails (50%), and even listening to music or podcasts (50%).
On an average day, consumers prioritize checking their text messages over any other app on their phones, including social media. This data emphasizes the high level of attention and engagement that text messages received from users, making it a prime channel for businesses to connect with their target audience effectively.
A strong majority of consumers (71%) opted in to receive texts from at least one business in the past year. An impressive 75% of Gen Xers (individuals aged 41-56 years old) have opted in to receive texts from businesses, showcasing their active engagement in this communication channel. 76% of women have subscribed to receive texts in the past year, while 65% of men have done the same.
53% of consumers want the capability to text a business back. Again, Gen Xers and women are the groups who want this capability the most. Two-way texting is a clear desire for many consumers, which gives them the ability to contact customer support and have other kinds of two-way conversations.
Consumers also don’t want to be spammed by texts, which is why timing plays a key role in SMS marketing. Most consumers (53%) who subscribe to SMS marketing want to receive texts from businesses once every other week, followed by 36% who want to receive them once a week.
Consumers are most likely to receive texts in the healthcare space (55%), followed by banking/finance (46%), and e-commerce/retail (45.9%). With SMS for healthcare, you can improve patient communication, send prescription reminders, and reach staff in an instant.
Notably, there has been a significant increase in healthcare-related opt-ins compared to the previous year’s report. In 2022, healthcare accounted for 49% of SMS opt-ins, indicating a 13% growth in healthcare-related opt-ins year over year.
As SMS marketing may be uncharted territory for many businesses, it is essential to understand consumer preferences and sentiments regarding receiving texts from companies.
In general, the largest share of consumers (46%) don’t care if they interact with an SMS chatbot or a live agent for customer service inquiries, so long as their issue is resolved quickly and efficiently.
One in three consumers (33%) prefer to text a business when they have questions or inquiries, as text messaging is perceived as a quick, easy, and straightforward communication channel.
However, businesses may still question the effectiveness of SMS marketing and its impact on driving purchases. In the past year, 45% of consumers have purchased from a brand/business after receiving a text from them with a special offer or promo code.
In 2022, 55% of businesses texted their customers using a text messaging service. In 2023, 86% of business owners and marketing managers have used SMS marketing to text their customers in the past year, indicating a 56% increase in SMS marketing adoption, year over year.
What’s more, 67% of business owners and marketing managers have increased their SMS marketing budgets, as they’ve seen an increase in their SMS opt-in rates over the last year.
81% of business owners and marketing managers who use SMS marketing integrate SMS with other marketing platforms or channels like HubSpot, Mailchimp, or Salesforce. A Mailchimp text messaging integration can increase reach and lead to better conversion rates.
91% of participants say they see higher conversion rates with integrated marketing campaigns that include SMS.
A majority of businesses (60%) say they use text marketing because of high engagement levels from customers. Opening up a text and following a link requires little effort, which is another reason why SMS marketing is so enticing.
This is followed by higher open and click-through rates from customers (53%), quick and easy channels for two-way interactions with customers (43%), and younger customers preferring texting over other communication channels (28%).
Businesses are embracing the use of AI in their SMS marketing strategies, as evidenced by the fact that 83% of business owners and marketing managers who engage in texting their customers have incorporated AI into their approach.
81% have used ChatGPT or other AI tools to help write SMS marketing messages to their customers. More than half of businesses (57%) use AI such as SMS chatbots for customer satisfaction surveys and review requests, followed by appointment or reservation reminders (50%).
SMS marketing doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Companies are leveraging AI in their SMS marketing strategies, customers desire two-way communication, and industries like healthcare, banking, and retail are using SMS to their advantage.
Check out our success stories spanning various industries, showcasing how SMS marketing has empowered both small business owners and corporations to connect effectively with their target audiences.
Interested in starting your own SMS campaign or engaging customers through two-way texting? Try us out for free today!
The statistics in this report are derived from two separate surveys. We surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers across a range of demographics and regions from May 3rd to 4th, 2023, and 400 U.S. business owners and marketing managers from May 4th to 6th, 2023.
Nathan is the head of content and SEO at SimpleTexting. With the help of an awesome team, he’s attracted more than 65 million website visitors, converted 10 million email subscribers, and supported 300,000 software users. He's written for the likes of Fast Company and his work has been referenced in publications like Forbes. Nathan has 15 years of proven corporate and startup marketing experience and continues to venture off the beaten path. When he’s not marketing, you’ll catch Nathan canoeing in the Boundary Waters or training for his next ultra marathon. Connect with Nathan on LinkedIn.More Posts from Nathan Ellering
Start a text marketing campaign or have a 1-on-1 conversation today. It's risk free. Sign up for a free 14-day trial today to see SimpleTexting in action.
No credit card required