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SMS preferred channel for both Gen Z-ers and Baby Boomers study finds

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A survey of 1000 UK consumers carried out by Yotpo, an ecommerce marketing platform that helps brands strengthen their relationships with consumers, finds that half (53%) of over 54 year olds find SMS from brands useful, exactly the same percentage as the number of their Gen Z counterparts (aged 18-24) who find SMS to be a useful medium for communicating with brands.

Overall, across age groups the survey highlighted how almost half of consumers (45%) now find SMS to be one of the most useful channels for receiving information from brands. It also found that over a third of people aged between 25 and 53 said they engaged with the SMS messages received from brands, however baby boomers (42%) and Gen Z (43%) were found to be leaders in the field when it comes to engagement.

Yotpo’s study found that the pandemic has led people to be more receptive of SMS marketing with almost four out of ten (37%) UK customers and almost half of Gen Z (49%) today engaging more with SMS than they were two years ago. This finding tallies with the results of a further study run by Yotpo on 200 marketing professionals in the UK, which found that 58% of brands frequently communicate with customers via SMS. The study also revealed that six out of ten (61%) marketeers think SMS is a good channel to build loyalty with customers and that they consider it the third best channel for engaging with consumers (34%) after email (55%) and social posts (41%).

Interestingly, marketeers were found to be acutely aware that SMS can be regarded by customers as intrusive with six out of ten (60%) acknowledging this. The type of SMS interaction is therefore very important; brands can choose to send out blanket communications to all customers or send personalised messages based on the information customers wish to receive. Critically, 80% of marketeers said their customers were happy to share personal interests with them for marketing purposes, thus allowing marketeers to send relevant and targeted information to customers and reducing the scope for SMS marketing to be perceived in a negative light.

Overall the influence of SMS communications was found to be encouragingly positive with with well over a third of all people (37%) admitting they are more inclined to make a purchase from a brand after having received an SMS, although once again is it Gen Z who were found to be the most inspired to buy on receipt of a marketing text (40%). Indeed, marketing departments appear to have acknowledged the growing engagement via SMS by consumers in recent years with over half of marketing departments saying they will increase their use of SMS marketing over the coming 2-5 years.

Talia Shani, Director of Marketing at  Yotpo says: “Privacy changes from the likes of Apple and Google means that marketers need to find new ways to engage with customers. Step in SMS.  It may be an old technology, but it is a new, untapped frontier for brands. This research shows that in these uncertain economic times, UK marketers are showing a hesitation to SMS marketing that is unwarranted. There is clearly an appetite from consumers of all ages to engage with brands via SMS.”

She adds; “The brands that embrace SMS marketing, with relevant content that reflects the interests and preferences of each consumer will reap the rewards. Failing to capitalise on this opportunity, will see brands miss out, at a time when it’s never been more crucial to find new ways to engage with shoppers.”

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