The Ultimate List of SMS Marketing Statistics for 2021

Are you investing in SMS marketing yet?

By the time you’ve finished exploring these SMS marketing statistics, you might be keen to start your own campaign. After all, 48.33% of all the people in the world have their own smartphone. Those who do have access to a phone often use it all the time too.

We carry our smartphones with us to work, keep them on-hand when we’re sitting at home, and 88% of people even take their phones to the bathroom.

At a time when people are obsessed with their communication devices, now could be the perfect opportunity for your brand to start exploring SMS marketing.

Here’s your guide to all the SMS marketing statistics you need to know for that initial inspiration.

What is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing is a kind of advertising strategy designed to help you reach your customers wherever they are. Unlike social media, email, or content marketing, SMS campaigns can reach your clients regardless of whether they’re online.

Though not everyone has access to the internet, a growing majority of customers have their own phone, allowing them to interact with companies in a variety of ways.

You can use SMS marketing to speak to your customers when they have an upcoming appointment or remind them of an impending sale. There are even SMS solutions designed to target audience members based on their location, interests, or purchasing potential.

Before we explore the top SMS marketing stats in depth, here are some great initial insights:

Key SMS Marketing Statistics – Editor’s Choices

  • 66% of Americans admit to sleeping with their phones at night
  • People check their phones up to 160 times a day, or once every 9 minutes
  • Around 39% of US customers say they use smartphones too often.
  • There are more than 5.11 million unique mobile users worldwide
  • The average opening rate for SMS marketing is 98%
  • SMS response rates are up to 295% higher than phone call responses

SMS Marketing Statistics: Platform Reach

1. There are 3.90 billion smartphone users in the world and 10.97 billion connections


Statista and GSMA

Statista notes that there are over 3.8 billion smartphone users in the world, accounting for around 48.33% of the global population. Since 2016, this number has increased drastically from only 2.5 billion users.

There are also 10.97 billion mobile connections, according to GSMA’s real-time intelligence data. A single mobile user can have multiple connections.

2. 84% of customers say they’ve already received SMS marketing messages from businesses


G2

Customers don’t mind accepting SMS marketing messages from companies they believe can offer them value. SMS marketing has been growing at a surprising rate, with G2 stating that around 84% of customers already receive messages from companies today. Texting might have been around since 1992, but it’s still one of the fastest-growing marketing mediums available.

3. 39% of US customers think they use their phone too much

Deloitte

A study from Deloitte reveals that consumers are well aware of their addiction to their smartphones, but the desire to use these tools isn’t going anywhere. The research says that 39% of US customers think they’re using their smartphones too often. Between 2017 and 2018, Deloitte also found that the number of times users checked their smartphones increased from 47 on average, to 52.

4. Americans check their phones up to 160 times per day

Reviews.org

A study into smartphone addiction by Reviews.org found that around 75% of customers considered themselves to be addicted to their smartphone in 2020, while 48% felt the same way in 2021. The most recent study notes that US mobile phone owners can check their phone up to 160 times per day. In fact, 65.6% of customers check their phone this often.

The study further revealed that users are accessing their phone for a range of reasons, including using it as an alarm clock (79.5) and using it on dates (57.4%).

phone statistics

5. 97% of Americans own a cell phone

Pew Research Center

The majority of US citizens own a cell phone or smartphone of some kind. This number has increased significantly in recent years. What’s more, the majority of users choose “smart” technology over standard cell phones.

Pew’s study indicates that 100% of people between the ages of 19 and 49 in America own a cell phone at this time. Even if a phone isn’t smart, it can still usually accept SMS messages. Perhaps more enticingly, around 97% of phone owners earn up to $74,999 per year.

6. 64% of customers think businesses should text them more often

ZipWhip

Texting company ZipWhip revealed that around 64% of customers think businesses should be contacting them by text more often. The generation most comfortable with the idea of texting was Gen Z with 83% requesting more texts.

The study also found that appointment reminders are the most popular form of text that users would like to receive from brands. Around four out of five Generation X respondents said they’d prefer text over other channels for these reminders.

7. 77% of consumers say they’re likely to have a positive perception of a company offering SMS

Harris Poll

A Harris Poll found that SMS marketing is one of the most popular ways for companies to connect with customers. Around 64% of customers with texting capabilities said they would prefer to use texting instead of voice as a channel. 77% of consumers said that they feel more positively about a company that offers text communications.

SMS Marketing Statistics: Engagement Levels

8. 83% of millennials say they open texts within 90 seconds of receiving them

OpenMarket

OpenMarket found that millennials prefer two-way texting as a way to connect with brands and companies. 72% of millennials say they text at least 10 times per day, and 83% open text messages within 90 seconds of receiving them.

The millennials surveyed said that they receive less than 5 messages a week from business, and like getting appointment reminders the most. Millennials also like SMS messages for getting promotions and survey requests.

9. 50% of US customers make a direct purchase after they’re sent an SMS text, coupon, or discount code.

Aspect

Aspect research found that text is the most widely used app on a smartphone, with 97% of Americans texting every day. Additionally, text messages receive almost twice as many customers as any other mobile marketing strategy. 50% of customers make a purchase after they receive a text message with a branded offer, discount, or QR code.

This information builds on the often-quoted statistic that consumers redeem SMS coupons up to 10 times more than other coupon offers.

10. 70% of customers say that SMS is a great way to get their attention.


VoiceSage

Your customers know how difficult it is for you to get their attention in today’s distracting digital world. Fortunately, VoiceSage found that 70% of clients agree that SMS is a successful way to get them to take notice. People generally open SMS messages regardless of who they’re from. The same VoiceSage study notes that 82% of people open every message they receive.

text message statistics

11. 9 in 10 people open their text messages

Mobile Monkey

Mobile Monkey says that around 9 in 10 people claim they always open their text messages. If you use that information to compare the open rates between text-based marketing efforts and email marketing, you can see that SMS wins by far.

One of the primary reasons why SMS marketing is so effective is that it uses push notifications as a default setting. This means phones are designed to grab customer attention, wherever they are.

12. 74% of customers say they have no unread SMS on their phones

Digital Information World

According to Digital Information World, the push notifications delivered by SMS marketing are excellent for ensuring engagement. These notifications increase engagement by up to 88%, because around 52% of users are constantly looking for offers. Currently, 74% of customers say there are absolutely no unread messages on their phone.

What’s more, 32% of users react to promotional SMS from vendors and companies, meaning SMS has engagement rates up to 8 times higher than email.

13. Over a third of the world’s phones are best suited for reach by text

Ericsson

According to the Ericsson mobility visualizer, a significant portion of the world (around 35%), wouldn’t be able to access brand deals through any media other than text message. While there are a lot of smartphones out there today, some users still only have a basic cell phone.

SMS marketing could be the key to unlocking a wider range of customers.

14. 75% of customers don’t mind receiving texts from companies if they opt-in

eMarketer

Around 75% of consumers say they don’t mind receiving SMS branded messages from companies after they’ve agreed to opt-in to the experience. According to eMarketer, clients feel just as comfortable receiving messages via text as they do via email – if not more so.

As long as you give clients the option to “opt-in” to a text, they’re happy to receive your messages.

SMS Marketing Statistics: Success Rates

15. The average response time for an SMS is 90 seconds, compared to 90 minutes for email

Gartner

Gartner studies found that the average response time for a legitimate email is usually around 90 minutes, compared to only 90 seconds for an SMS message. Additionally, Gartner notes that various sources rate the response and open rates of SMS are around 98% compared to around 20% for email.

16. Only 10% of SMS messages are seen as spam

Mobiniti

Mobiniti says customers seem to feel overwhelmingly positive about SMS messaging. Only around 10% of messages sent by SMS are marked as spam, compared to 49.7% of emails.

SMS messages also have an average clickthrough rate of around 36%, compared to only 3.4% for email messages. What’s more, 90% of leads say they prefer to be texted about their sales opportunities, rather than receiving a phone call.

17. 80% of people use texting for business purposes

Semaphore

Semaphore defines SMS as the most-used form of communication in the world, with around 4.2 billion people worldwide using their phones to text, despite the growth of extra tools. Around 80% of people say they use texting for business. Additionally, 90% of all mobile phones are SMS-capable.

texting statistics_2

18. The click-through rate of SMS is around 19%

TextBoard

According to mobile marketing brand, TextBoard, the average click-through rate for links sent via SMS marketing is around 19.3%, compared to only 4.2% for all emails.

Google Ads only have an average CTR of around 0.4%, and Facebook ads get a CTR of around 0.051%. This makes SMS marketing one of the most effective tools for getting clicks to your website, particularly on web-enabled phones.

19. SMS Response Rates are up to 295% higher than phone call response rates

Franchise Help

Franchise Help found that SMS response rates are up to 295% higher than phone call response rates, indicating that customers are much more likely to respond to text than to calls. Customers are growing increasingly opposed to voice for communicating with businesses, and many prefer to stick with SMS or live chat when given the option.

20. 97% of customers said they felt they communicated more efficiently with customers after launching SMS strategies

CallHub

SMS can be a valuable tool for both marketing and customer service. As mentioned above, many consumers prefer text as a way to receive valuable information from companies. CallHub found that 97% of companies could communicate with their clients more efficiently after launching new texting strategies.

Perhaps one of the things that makes texting so efficient is the ability to look back through a conversation when picking up on a discussion after a break.

Discover the Power of SMS Marketing

Increasingly, SMS marketing is gaining more attention as a powerful tool for reaching and connecting with your target audience. As the list of SMS marketing statistics above shows, communicating with clients via text could be the key to unlocking a range of valuable benefits for your company.

Not only do people feel comfortable connecting with companies through their phone, but they also prefer to receive messages from brands this way most of the time. As the number of smartphone users worldwide continues to use, it only makes sense to have an SMS marketing plan in place.

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Rebekah Carter
Rebekah Carter is an experienced content creator, news reporter, and blogger specializing in marketing, business development, and technology. Her expertise covers everything from artificial intelligence to email marketing software and extended reality devices. When she’s not writing, Rebekah spends most of her time reading, exploring the great outdoors, and gaming.

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