Mobile use is at an all-time high, and ecommerce brands looking to capitalize on the trend are increasing their mobile marketing investment. SMS and text messaging make up a significant portion of that budget, as business owners are capitalizing on the direct connection between clicking a link in an SMS and sales.
Today, we look back on that last year with an eye toward the trends that will impact texting trends next year. All indications to this point are that this year will be a great year for businesses that harness the power of text messaging.
Texting Trends #1: New Businesses are Testing SMS
For many years business SMS was overlooked by companies, who considered SMS to be older technology. Despite its age, over the course of the post- pandemic era the text message displayed considerable value to businesses that focused on engaging their customers.
Now, businesses that shunned SMS in favor of Google Adwords and social media are adding text messaging to their digital marketing mix, which opens up opportunities for 2-way messaging.
SMS requires opt-in, so customers that receive messages are already more likely to convert. When combined with OTT advertising, search engine marketing, and social media ads, it considerably amplifies the message and frequently is the final piece in the marketing puzzle that drives the sale.
Texting Trends #2: SMS as a Traffic Driver
If one of your marketing goals is to increase website visits, mobile must be a cornerstone of your strategy. According to Statista, over 54% of all website traffic happens on mobile devices. Living on mobile has never been more important.
This trend works well with SMS, a mobile-native technology that comes to the users’ phones and encourages them to click mobile links. Using UTMs, website owners can easily see the percentage of traffic that comes from text message campaigns, and track conversions for those users. Using those metrics, business owners will continue to develop campaigns that feature SMS and text messages.
Texting Trends #3: Businesses Will Create Multichannel Text Campaigns
SMS is a great option for businesses, as it is already installed on every mobile phone. Any phone that can receive a call can also receive an SMS.
That being said, many users prefer alternative chat channels, like Telegram, WhatsApp, Viber, or WeChat. Businesses have recognized the importance of consumer choice in other areas, and it’s no different in text message marketing. We’re already seeing businesses run text messaging campaigns mixing the different channels, and it’s a trend we expect will grow as the year progresses.
Texting Trends #4: More Sophisticated SMS Campaigns
Text messaging campaigns build a one-to-one relationship between the brand and the consumer. Unlike Google Adwords which display a similar ad to all users, text messages can be customized to large groups, small groups, and even individuals. As a result, we are seeing highly sophisticated texting campaigns.
Brands are using dynamic tools to personalize bulk messages, so each recipient receives a unique message with an offer that is tailored to their preferences or needs. At the same time, brands are using consumer preferences and attributes to design small, highly targeted campaigns that deliver solid results.
2-way messaging helps pull these campaigns together, either through automated responses or answering questions that help move a customer closer to a purchase decision.
Texting Trends #5: AI-driven SMS is Being Used Beyond Marketing
We’ve seen ecommerce retailers discover more use cases for SMS over the last year, and expect to see more ways to use text over the coming 12 months. In addition to sales promotions and exclusive deals, some brands are generating 5-star reviews for their site through text messages.
The uses of SMS and other messaging platforms are endless. Many companies are using 2-way SMS messaging to get customer feedback through post-sale surveys. Others recover abandoned carts by combining a reminder with an offer. We’ve seen brands coordinate logistics, like shipping or pick up, and share product information. Customer service, operations changes, and other critical information is easily sent out to customers, reaching the home screen of their phone.
Have You Dived Into SMS?
SMS is going to continue to grow and is being used by retailers in every segment. It’s time you looked into text messaging to see the ways it can help your business grow.