You have one. Your friends each have one. Even your granny has one. We’re talking about mobile phones – both smart and dumb. This ubiquitous piece of technology has revolutionized many aspects of our lives but none more so than the way we communicate with one another.
From phone calls to text messages, cell phones are making communication far easier than it used to be. Remember the days when you’d have to share a landline with your entire family? And you’d check your post box for marketing messages from companies?
Now, all communication – from personal to business and promotional – can take place using your mobile phone. And there’s one area of mobile phone usage that is particularly valuable, especially for customer engagement and marketing purposes. SMS is the great equalizer in reaching customers. No matter a customer’s skill level, the technology they have available or attitude toward embracing a tech-centric lifestyle, they do have and have used SMS. Simply put, for everyone from the tech-savvy to the tech-opposed, an SMS application is the best way to reach them.
So, why is an SMS application the best way to reach customers?
Statistics by Statista show that there were expected to be about 4.68 billion mobile phone users by 2019. That's a massive 67 percent of the world population. And smartphones are becoming increasingly popular, the research says.
"By 2014, around 38 percent of all mobile users were smartphone users. By 2018, this number is expected to reach over 50 percent. The number of smartphone users worldwide is expected to grow by one billion in a time span of five years, which means the number of smartphone users in the world is expected to reach 2.7 billion by 2019," says the report. Think about it: what other piece of communication technology does two out of every three people in the world own?
SMS messages are sent over a cellular network. You only need a cellular network plan to start sending and receiving text messages. This makes it a more affordable method of communication and likely one of the major reasons why mobile phone usage – especially for dumb phones – has become so ubiquitous.
SMS messages are pretty hard to ignore, so difficult that they're opened 98 percent of the time. That's pretty close to all of the time. They arrive with a ping. A light flashes on your screen until you read the message. It's no wonder your audiences don't wait long to open that message. In fact, SMS messages are typically read within 90 seconds of being sent. Yes, your customers might just want to stop that light from flashing, but it's up to you to craft a message inside that's so enticing, it can't be resisted.
Studies have found that a massive 64 percent of your customers would prefer customer engagement marketing to take place via SMS than over the phone. It's a more efficient and convenient use of their time, they feel. The same research also indicated that customers will be more likely to remain loyal to a company which offers SMS as an engagement option.
We all send and receive text messages daily. Without even thinking about it. SMS messages have become a part of life that is recognizable, comfortable, and familiar. This is particularly true for young people who have grown up with technology and have always had access to mobile phones.
There should be little doubt by now that using an SMS application is the best way you can reach your customers and conduct customer engagement activities. If you’d like to read up a little more on the topic, have a look at our recent article. It highlights exactly why SMS marketing must be key to your marketing strategy and details principles for mobile marketing success.