Using the latest market-research from The State of SMS, I’ve assembled some key lessons about the UK’s fastest growing marketing channel, and why your business should consider using it.

By 2020, 48.7 million consumers will opt in to receive business SMS

The power of SMS is increasing on a daily basis as more consumers opt in to receive communications from them via the channel. By the end of 2016, the figure stood at 37.2 million and is set to rise to 48.7 million in 2020. These figures not only make SMS the fastest growing marketing channel in the UK, but also the most appetising for businesses.

6.3 billion business SMS will be read within the first 3 minutes

Incredibly, a staggering 7 billion text messages will be sent this year. And when you consider that 90% of SMS are read within the first three minutes, this equates to 6.3 billion. That’s a significant amount of exposure for any business or organisation.

Businesses are only operating the SMS channel at 38% capacity

On average, across the sectors researched, businesses this year will only be operating the SMS channel at 38% capacity. What I mean by this is the number of messages sent per sector, per annum, will fall short of the amount consumers are happy to receive.

This fact is incredible when you consider the wide range of features that come hand in hand with SMS marketing. Whether you want to send a customised SMS voucher to boost sales, or a mobile survey to gather vital customer feedback, the text messaging channel presents a bottomless pit of opportunity.

SMS boasts a higher response rate than mobile advertising

To put this into context, I’ve compared the performance of SMS versus the much-hyped mobile advertising (below). Examples of mobile advertising would include: banner ads, mobile search advertising and mobile video bumpers.

As the table suggests, SMS generates a higher response rate than mobile advertising in every example.

23.5 million people will respond to a business text messages in 2017

SMS marketing is also highly effective in generating response rates. It’s believed that a staggering 23.5 million people will respond to a business SMS this year. And when you consider how many people have opted in to receive branded SMS (37.1 million), that’s a huge proportion of them.

Further research made for The State of SMS also revealed that the average response rate for a bulk SMS campaign is 32%. In fact, when you compare this percentage with other channels, it’s almost unheard of. The peak response rate for an email is less than 23% across all industries – and that’s not even considering the time it’s took for the customer to actually read it. Similarly, 62% of small business owners believe that boosted Facebook Ads are missing their targets – stating that they generate a lot of traffic and impressions, but offer no real penetration. However, that’s not to say that email marketing and social media aren’t effective. In fact, it’s still an integral part of the marketing cog.

My point is; there’s a change in emphasis and businesses are starting to take note of text messaging. Of course, like any other marketing channel, SMS requires a certain level of thought. When is the optimal time to send out a campaign? How do I build a mobile database using short codes and keywords?

But the underlining fact remains; SMS is here and will continue to grow in 2017. The question is: when will you try it?

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