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6 | Minute Read

This post takes a look at some key SMS marketing statistics. Even though SMS is older technology, it remains relevant and should form part of your marketing toolkit. 

If you reach out your arm right now, you can probably touch your smartphone. 

Mobile technology connects you with work, family, and friends. It replaces your wallet, camera, and games console. It will also hold your vaccine passport as Australia exits the pandemic. 

The tech is so popular you could even be clinically addicted to it: 1 in 10 millennials would prefer to sacrifice a finger rather than live without their smartphone. 

The prevalence of cell phone technology is a phenomenal opportunity for your business and allows you to reach customers and prospects instantly. 

As the following statistics show, the best medium for connecting with people via smartphone isn’t email, WhatsApp, or Facebook. The best medium also happens to be the oldest cell phone technology—SMS.

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SMS Marketing Statistics (Editors Choice)

  • The SMS open rate for Australia is 94%.
  • 61% of businesses are expected to increase SMS marketing budgets due to the pandemic.
  • 86.1% of recipients open SMS messages within 30 minutes of receipt.
  • 54% of people claim significant frustration if they can’t send a business an SMS.
  • 60% of Australian adults in 2020 relied solely on a mobile phone for home telecommunication. 

SMS Marketing Statistics for 2021

Here’s a selection of statistics that show why SMS marketing is effective in Australia. 

Australia has a high level of smartphone ownership and more mobile connections than people. What’s more, those that don’t have a smartphone usually own a handset that can send and receive SMS messages. 

Mobile technology is the first choice for home communication for an entire generation who don’t think a fixed-line phone service is necessary. 

Perhaps the most persuasive argument for SMS marketing in Australia is that nearly all SMS messages are opened and read, unlike the alternative messaging formats.

Australian SMS Marketing Stats

1. 60% of Australian Adults in 2020 relied solely on a mobile phone for home telecommunication. (Source: Australian Communications and Media Authority)

2. Over 70% of Australians aged 18-44 don’t have fixed-line phone service at home and only use a mobile phone. (Source: Australian Communications and Media Authority)

3. The SMS open rate in Australia is 94%, and 78% read every SMS.  For comparison, the Australian open rate for email is only 34%. (Source: Esendex)

4. In 2020 there were 32.89 million mobile connections in Australia, equivalent to 130% of the population. (Source: Datareportal)

5. 96% of Australians use their mobile phone for sending messages. (Source: Statista)

6. Australians spend an average of 35 minutes per day sending text messages. (Source: Esendex)

7. Just 2% of the population of East Asia and the Pacific region don’t have mobile connectivity. (Source: GSMA Intelligence)

Business SMS Marketing Statistics

SMS messages aren’t just for appointment reminders and chatting with friends. 

Businesses have steadily increased spending with SMS messaging providers in recent years. The pandemic has accelerated the increase, even though companies are trimming marketing budgets elsewhere.  

If you’re not using SMS marketing in your organisation, you’re missing out on its two best benefits: high response rates and a low cost-per-message.

8. Globally, businesses are predicted to spend US$50 billion on SMS messaging by 2025. (Source: A2P Messaging)

9. 61% of businesses were expected to increase their text marketing budgets in 2020. (Source: Simple Texting)

10. The pandemic is forcing retailers to change marketing investment priorities. Investment in SMS marketing is expected to increase by 50%, while spending on other channels is anticipated to decrease.  (Source:  CommerceNext)

11. SMS marketing grew by 8.5% and 20% in March and April 2020, respectively, in response to the Pandemic. (Souce: eMarketer)

12. SMS marketing is cheaper than other forms of advertising. The average cost per send is $0.07 for SMS, while the cost per click for Google Search is $1.39 and Linkedin $3.87. (Source: BurstSMS)

SMS Marketing Statistics comparing SMS with other advertising mediums

13. 68% of businesses used SMS messaging in some form in 2020.(Source: ZipWhip)

14. SMS marketing messages have better response rates than email and search advertising. 6.16% of recipients click a hyperlink in an SMS, compared to 2.8% for email and 1.98% for search advertising. (Source: textanywhere)

15. On average, sending an SMS is 33% cheaper than MMS media messaging. (Source: Postscript.io)

16. Recipients are five times more likely to click a link in an SMS message than email in the events and entertainment industry (12.96% and 2.36%, respectively). (Source: BurstSMS)

SMS Marketing Statistics About Customers

Customers want to contact businesses by SMS and are frustrated when they can’t.  Customers also become annoyed when they can’t respond directly to an SMS they receive from a company. Remember, SMS is supposed to be two-way communication. 

However, when your business sends an SMS message to a customer, you can expect them to read it quickly. The vast majority of recipients will read it within 30 minutes; when you narrow it down to younger generations, even faster than this. 

SMS statistics also suggest that customers value SMS messages more highly than other messaging types. This is perhaps due to SMS being an inbuilt smartphone feature rather than a third-party application.

17. You can expect your SMS marketing text to be viewed by 86.1% of recipients within 30 minutes.  (Source: Simple Texting)

SMS Marketing Statistics graph on speed of checking notifications

18. 83% of Millennials open SMS messages within 90 seconds of receiving them. (Source: EZTexting)

19. Consumers expect to interact with businesses via text, with 43% proactively texting companies. (Source: ZipWhip)

20. 59% of users prefer a phone’s inbuilt communications features over third-party apps. (Source: Voicesage)

21. 39% of business use SMS messaging in some form to communicate with customers. (Source: MessageDesk)

22. 75% of SMS recipients are frustrated if they can’t respond to a business on the same number. (Source: MessageDesk)

23. 54% of people claim significant frustration if they can’t send an SMS to a business at all. (Source: EZTexting)

SMS Marketing Needs To Comply With The Law

In Australia, SMS marketing falls under The Spam Act 2003.  This means you need to make sure you have the recipients permission before you send them messages. You also need to make clear who the message is from and give recipients the option of unsubscribing from future marketing messages.

24. You must get recipients permission to send SMS marketing messages. In March 2021, regulators fined an Australian company $79,800 for sending unsolicited marketing SMS messages. (Source: Australian Communications and Media Authority)

Key takeaways From These SMS Marketing Statistics

  • SMS marketing is blossoming thanks to the role that smartphones and feature phones play in everyday life. 
  • Customers value SMS more than other messaging formats. SMS messages reach recipients reliably and are highly likely to be read. 
  • SMS marketing is cheaper than alternative channels such as MMS messaging. 
  • While smartphones are widely used, not everyone has one. So you can extend your company’s reach instantly by using SMS because all mobile phones can receive them. 
  • SMS is older tech, so it’s often overlooked in favour of newer messaging formats. But if you want to sell more, raise awareness, or thank a customer, an SMS message is a great way to do so. 

Harness the Power of Automation Software for your SMS Campaigns

SMS Marketing isn’t just the future, it’s the present day. Without SMS as a core part of your marketing strategy, your brand runs the risk of lagging behind and failing to reap the benefits of the wider reach, and better engagement rates of catering to mobile devices.

Is your business currently using SMS and email as part of your wider strategy? Do you need help with the creation, automation, or increasing engagement?

Here at Swift Digital, we can help you with your email and SMS campaigns by providing tips on email and SMS best practices to make your next campaign a success! Start collecting SMS subscriptions today, and see how your ideal ROI is only a couple of text messages away.

To find out how your business can get the best out of Swift Digital’s SMS module, contact our team today on 02 9929 7001