The real value of SMS to businesses
There is a real and significant growth in the popularity by businesses of using Text Messaging Services (SMS) as the best means of communicating a message whether it is for marketing purpose, for alerts, confirmations, and coupons or for reminders, just to name a few reasons.
One could consider SMS as an updated version of an email but with a more succinct and direct effect on the reader. It can be used in similar ways through its automated and scheduled approach and in a timely and engaging way, but SMS brings a greater awareness, it is more disruptive and bring near immediate attention to the end-user.
Mobile users in UK ever increasing
From a business perspective, 44 million consumers received a business SMS in 2017 in the UK. Consumers want to receive SMS from businesses as a quick, easy to follow and quick way of communicating a product or service. The issue as to why do businesses only use some 38% of their communication capacity in sending text messages considering the power and range of features of SMS communication. There are so many opportunities that should be taken advantage in using SMS to communicate with their customers, clients or staff.
Some 48% of the UK population now possess a smartphone, which equates to around 32 million people having such a device. With a forecast of the number of mobiles increasing steadily with an additional 14 million new users in the next 5 years to 38.7 million (increase by 11%), they have become a significant part of people lifestyle as a communication device.
That makes text messaging is the fastest growing messaging service in the UK.
When reviewing the top five services of mobile devices in the UK, it can be shown that SMS is the highest users with over 54% of users engage with a text message from a business. This is followed less by browsing the Net with around 25% clicking onto a web link and followed by another 25% by using Emails. Mobile camera and weather updates are less accessed but popular with mobile users.
Key benefits of using SMS by businesses
The key benefits of SMS distribution by UK businesses can be summarised in three points:
1. It is an immediate way to communicate – text messages are sent to mobile phones within seconds of the order to distribute. Very important for alerts, warnings, time-sensitive messages and announcing a new product or service.
2. It has a direct effect – text messages are distributed directly to a specific mobile phone number thereby assured that it will be highly seen by the end-user.
3. It will be read – nearly all mobile users will open every text message they receive.
4. It features are wide – text message can be used for confirmations, verifications, customer service, alerts, reminders, deals and special offers.
SMS is the fastest growing communication tool
Text messaging is now recognised as the fastest growing communication vehicle means reaching millions of mobile users every day. Here is some interesting recent statistical evidence collected about the growth of SMS in UK:
• Over 90% of text messages are read within three (3) minutes of receiving them. Interestingly, most users read the message as soon as it sent to their mobile.
• Around 98% of mobile users are likely to have read the SMS by the end of the day.
• Only 20% of emails are opened by the end of the day
• Over one third of mobile users are attracted and read their mobiles immediately after waking up.
• Number of SMS messages sent monthly has increased by more than 7,700% over the last ten years.
This type of statistical information shows that SMS is a very powerful communication tool. Not only is used for personal use, the data above also indicate that businesses are noticing the value of SMS as a reliable and effective communication source.
The effectiveness of SMS to businesses
From a business perspective, over ¾ of businesses in UK believe customers want some sort of SMS information, and 1 in 4 customers prefer a SMS from the business rather than a phone call. Using the information provided by eWeek, 80% of people are using texting for business while one-third of business professionals cannot go more than 10 minutes without replying to a text message. Take the example of the number of UK companies contact or call centres preferring to use SMS as their best way of contacting people. According to ContactBabel 2018 report, SMS texting has decreased the price of a UK customer service call from pounds to now pennies per session.
So how do consumers think about receiving business SMS? Mobile Behaviour Report research has shown that of the 91% of mobile users who read their texts (who are likely to be Millennials), 64% of consumers believe businesses should use SMS more and 70% believe that a SMS is a more interesting way to attract their attention. And equally interesting from a company perspective, 77% of consumers have a more positive attitude of the business when provided with text as a communication tool.
What does this mean for a business in the future?
The statistics provided indicate that SMS Is a very viable and effective means of communicating directly to each end-user whether it be a customer, consumer, client or employee. It is a more effective way than the business website (64%) and display advertiser (59%). Businesses surveyed indicated that they plan to continue to increase their SMS communications over the next few years.
We now live in a world of instantaneous demands at any time for information, updates, news, ideas, better products and improved services. 35% of us check our mobile phones within 5 minutes of waking up in the morning, with 70% using our mobiles during meal times. If that’s not enough, over 90% of us read a SMS within 3 minutes of receiving it. That’s why SMS is the most effective communication tool available for business effectiveness and efficiency in UK now.