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More than half of consumers read all text messages on their phone, with big implications for mobile marketing

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SMS marketing is set to become a major necessity for businesses as more than half of Brits have no unread messages on their phone at any given time, according to new research from telecommunications provider, TextAnywhere.

The survey questioned 1,000 consumers about their messaging habits to give an insight into their mobile phone activity. The findings reveal that over half (60%) of respondents have to open a message once it’s been received, and just over a quarter (28%) have a mere 1-5 messages marked as unread.

It’s predicted that users send more than 6 million texts over the course of their lifetime, and so SMS will be a key marketing tool for ecommerce businesses in the future. With this in mind, Laura Brown, Marketing Manager at TextAnywhere has outlined five tips for introducing SMS marketing to your business this year.

Five tips for introducing SMS marketing to your business this year, include:

Customise your sender ID – Although over 75% of recipients reported they open all text messages, this figure does increase when individuals are aware of who the sender is. This makes it clear just how important the sender ID is when businesses are contacting their customer base.

For SMS communications to be as effective as possible, it’s vital for businesses to appropriately tailor the sender ID of their messages, to something their audience will recognise, ensuring the message is opened once delivered.

Try a shift to SMS across multiple customer demographics– Given that many businesses often opt to communicate with older customers via channels such as voice and direct mail, both of which are often associated with higher costs and time delays, we’d recommend businesses reevaluate the channel preferences of their audiences – there may be some surprising changes.

Evidence shows that the older demographic in the UK are becoming increasingly tech savvy. 80% of individuals aged 55-64 reported they personally use a smartphone and during the first national lockdown, over-65s were shopping online twice as much when compared to 2019.

Attracting the savvy shoppers – Consumers may be tightening their purse strings after Christmas, but everyone loves a bargain! January is the perfect excuse to offer some tempting discounts. Help spur up demand for your business by sending a quick text message with an exclusive promotion and a link through to your website. Gain the advantage of a 36% click-through rate on links sent via SMS and encourage online purchases.

Choose a good time – Make sure you are sending your messages at an appropriate time. Receiving your message at 4 o’clock in the morning isn’t going to impress customers if you disturb them from their sleep and is unlikely to have as much impact if they read it when they’ve just woken up. Aim to coincide with the time that most shops are open for business so that your message is then fresh in the mind of your customers. And if your brand is multinational, remember to schedule your message at different times to coincide appropriately with different time zones.

Check before you send – Before you schedule your messages, double check that you have included all the necessary information. There’s no point prompting clients to make the most of your offer if you haven’t included a voucher code, for instance. It’s also vital to check spelling and grammar as the smallest mistakes can instantly be unappealing to the recipient.

Laura Brown, Marketing Manager at TextAnywhere, comments: “People are finding it increasingly difficult to put their phones down, and as a result, our screen time is only going up! The pandemic has played a key part in this too, as we are even more dependent on our phones to stay connected with friends and family. Texting has given us the means to maintain our relationships when covid-19 has physically kept us apart.”

“For businesses, this rapid user engagement has opened up a whole world of opportunities. Tapping into SMS enables brands to speak directly to their customers in a space that they heavily occupy. Not only is texting fast, efficient and cost-effective for businesses, but it’s also an extremely personal way for companies to engage with their audience and open up a two-way conversation. SMS will continue to evolve but it’s important that companies start to catch on to its success, and find ways to implement it into their marketing activities.”

>>> Did you know we print Telemedia Magazine every quarter.  Free to qualified readers.  Essential reading for any buisness that wants to engage users, monetise content and drive sales of VAS and premium applications.  Download the current Issue.
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