The world has changed radically since text messaging was introduced back in 1992. Though initial growth of texting was slow—in 2000, users averaged 35 messages a month—since the explosion of the Internet and later Bring Your Own Device, BYOD, text messaging has skyrocketed for both consumers and businesses.
Today, 97% of Americans send at least one text message a day, and many use SMS more heavily. Globally, 8 trillion texts are sent every year.
People like texting because it’s immediate and intimate. It has become a normal part of everyday interaction, like talking.
As personal smartphones follow people from work to home to shopping, the boundary between personal and business use is starting to fade. Increasingly, people are using their smartphones not just to say “Hi Mom,” but to transact business with both colleagues and customers.
Almost all business owners interact with their customers on a daily basis, and two-thirds use text messaging for business in some form. According to a recent IDG/Heymarket survey, business owners use text messaging about eight times per day and 50% said they use SMS messaging more than they did last year, and expect to increase their text messaging in the future. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they were using messaging more than they did last year, and most expect to expand their messaging in the future.
Because of its ease of use, speed, and popularity, text messaging is a natural platform for businesses as well as on-the-go customers to use to communicate. In the survey, 84% of people said they use their smartphone to get information about products and services.
Businesses that want to catch their eye should give serious thought to reaching them by text messaging rather than standard email campaigns.
The statistics about business text messaging are truly amazing. According to a Dynmark report, 90% of SMS messages are read within the first three seconds, and SMS has a final read rate of 98%. Almost half of businesses that message customers recognize significant benefits to their businesses, the IDG study found.
And that’s not all. Texts have an 80% response rate, Heymarket research has found. The Dynmark report said 47% of responders go on to make a purchase.
Why is text messaging so effective?
A Telefonica study suggests that text messaging reaches consumers in their moment of need, when they are most likely to act.
Another advantage is that text messaging doesn’t place demands on customers. Users don’t have to download or subscribe to an app, making communication smooth and natural, as well as personal.
Consumers also use text messaging apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Facebook Messenger, but are unlikely to go through the trouble of installing another platform to communicate with a brand. And now, thanks to Heymarket’s platform, their existing text messaging environment can become a powerful enterprise business tool.
In an era where consumer technology reigns, both customers and workers expect a seamless online experience, whether they’re communicating with a co-worker or shopping for a dress. Patience is short, and for brands, the competition is just a click away. Companies that provide a simple, natural, and intimate experience for their customers have a real edge, and one of the easiest ways to achieve it is through text messaging .