SMS State of the Industry Report

Friday, November 03, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

With roughly 97% of Americans age 18-44 owning a smart phone, mobile marketing is now viewed as a significant solution for businesses to reach their customers in the most direct way – on their personal devices. As brands continue to put major emphasis on creating great experiences across all touchpoints, marketers should take advantage of the time consumers spend on their mobile devices. According to comScore, the average American adult (18+) spends 2 hours, 51 minutes on their smartphone every day.

Because so many people are using mobile devices, businesses that take advantage of SMS are finding it an effective way to drive conversions. With 75% of customers preferring offers delivered via SMS and a 97% read-rate, SMS is becoming one of the most compelling marketing channels out there. By adding SMS to your cross-channel digital marketing strategy, you can establish a direct connection between your brand and your customers, build customer loyalty and drive sales while creating a consistent and seamless experience.


Our Research
In order to find insights on the industry’s best practices, we monitored over 500 brands for four months to understand how SMS is being used to engage customers and drive sales – including online and offline promotion, short codes and keywords, text to join campaigns and number of SMS messages received per month. For each brand that incorporated an SMS promotion, we took note of its onsite acquisition point, its placement in the email, what keyword the brands chose, and if the short code was unique. We also went through every email we received to see if brands promoted SMS in welcome messages or ongoing marketing messages. After we searched each site and email, we turned to field research to look for in-store data. Our goal was to see if stores offered SMS online and not in-store or vice versa. With that, we combined our research with some industry statistics to give you a look at the current state of the SMS industry, expert tips and best-practices to guide you on the path to a successful SMS campaign. 

Here are some of our findings - be sure to download our SMS State of the Industry Infographic for even more details.

  


We also monitored industry stats to provide a full picture of the state of the industry:



                                      Download our SMS State of the Industry Infographic


If you're considering adding SMS to your digital marketing mix, here are some tips to keep in mind:


Create Urgency
In addition to its broader reach and the fact that it is the preferred communication channel for consumers, one of the most attractive things about SMS marketing is its immediacy. This makes it ideal for messages of urgent nature such as a “one-day only” sale, a flash sale, or any limited-time offer because it is one of the fastest ways to get in touch with your customers.

With 97% of your messages opened within three minutes of receipt, your objective should be to reach your subscriber just before they make a buying decision. Think about when your customers are likely to make decisions and try your best to get your messaging to them right then. By adding a sense of urgency to your SMS messages and timing them correctly, you can yield better results while encouraging your subscribers to respond right away or act faster.



Think Cross-Channel Acquisition
SMS bridges the gap between your online and offline worlds. And, with Listrak's platform, you can speak to your customers through other channels, such as email or social audiences, based on their SMS acquisition source to provide a highly personalized message.

In-store signage promoting SMS campaigns


According to industry stats, 2/3 of consumers shop in more than one channel, and consumers who do so are typically a brand’s most valuable customer as they have a 30% higher lifetime value, on average. With that, adding a mobile marketing solution to your digital marketing mix will give you a direct connection to your customers and a competitive edge. Plus, it works really well with your email campaigns, offering that extra touch to enhance engagement with your eCommerce-only shoppers. One study shows that integrating SMS into a campaign can increase email open rates by 20%. Moreover, when in-store shoppers subscribe to SMS, our clients are seeing 92% of  those SMS subscribers also opt in to email. In turn, 6% of SMS and email subscribers convert.

Following the SMS path to purchase can be challenging, but we can help you report on SMS conversions and revenue attribution within Listrak's SMS analytics dashboard.

In-store signage promoting SMS campaigns / SMS text-to-join email list

Combining SMS marketing with your email campaigns results in a powerful strategy for your business. The relationships that are developed with current and future customers are the foundation of your success online, and combining email and SMS begins the conversations that lead users to your sales funnel. Email and SMS create a personal line of communication that supports the needs of your customers and allows you to acquire new subscribers in their preferred channel. And, the fact that new subscribers contribute to a 3-6% increase in overall email channel revenue proves that SMS is the perfect complement to you email marketing campaign.


 
Email messages promoting SMS campaigns


Establish Exclusivity
Everyone wants to feel like they are part of an exclusive club, and you can make that happen with your SMS marketing campaigns. According to Vibes, 26% of people subscribe to SMS to receive exclusive content. Just like email, you can let potential SMS subscribers know that when they opt-in, they will get special alerts, sales, and deals that can’t be found anywhere else. By sending information that isn’t included in your email campaigns or print ads, you are creating an exclusivity to your promotion. Through this, you can reward your loyal customers by starting an insider SMS program with “first to know” content about big sales and new arrivals that they can only get if they subscribe to your SMS campaign.





You can also promote your mobile marketing program through your on-site popup - but follow best practices. Don't just ask shoppers to enter their mobile number as they aren't opting-in to the mobile messaging. Instead, share your keyword and short code and let them initiate the conversation.

 



SMS practices are an efficient way to reach today’s consumers and the most relevant way to engage with them, build brand trust, and acquire new subscribers. If you’re not already engaging with customers through SMS campaigns, it’s time to go mobile. For more information about SMS statistics, check out our infographic, or visit our SMS resource center.



Megan Ouellet
Director, Product Marketing

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