The power of SMS for UK businesses

SMS marketing

There is a significant growth in the popularity by UK businesses to using SMS (Text Messaging Services) as a most reliable means of promptly communicating a marketing or communication campaign whether it is for promotions, sales, alerts, confirmations, coupons or for reminders, just to name a few reasons. SMS are read on average within three (3) minutes of receiving the text message.

Any UK business needs to consider SMS as an updated and more effective version of an email. It is more succinct and has a direct effect on the reader, whether a customer, employee, client or stakeholder. Text Message strategies such as Bulk SMS brings a greater awareness, it is more disruptive and bring near immediate attention to the end-user.

Instant demand for information is a reality. UK businesses need to take advantage of SMS as their communication tool in an ever fast moving business world of ours.

Mobile users are ever increasing using SMS

Over 44 million consumers received a business SMS in 2018 in the UK.  It is very evident that consumers want to receive SMS from businesses as a quick and easy way of receiving information, an idea, about a product or a service.

At this stage in 2019, around 38% of UK businesses maximise their communication and marketing capacity by sending SMS and this is ever increasing 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 end-users.

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 expected in the next 5 years to 38.7 million (increase by 11%), hand-held mobiles have become a significant part of people lifestyle as a communication device.

That makes SMS the fastest growing messaging service in the UK.

When reviewing the top five service providers of mobile devices in the UK, it can be shown that SMS has the highest users, with over 54% engaged with text messaging for their businesses. This is followed by browsing the Net with around 25% clicking onto a web link and then followed by another 25% using Emails. Mobile camera and weather updates are less accessed but popular with mobile users.

Key benefits of using SMS by UK businesses

The key benefits of SMS distribution by UK businesses can be easily summarised:

  1. It is an immediate way to communicate – text messages are sent to mobile phones within seconds of the order to distribute. Great way for alerts, customer service, announcing a new product or service, customer service, confirmations, verifications, alerts, warnings, time-sensitive messages, reminders, deals and special offers.
  2. It has a direct and immediate effect – text messages are distributed directly to a specific mobile phone number thereby the business can be assured that it will be promptly seen by the end-user.
  3. It will be read – nearly all mobile users will open every text message they receive within 3 minutes.

More supportive evidence of the effectiveness of SMS

It has been shown from a business perspective, that 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 from 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 with contact or call centres preferring to use SMS as their best way of communicating with people.  According to Contact Babel 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. 

SMS is the fastest growing communication tool in UK

Text messaging is now recognised as the fastest growing communication vehicle in UK and this 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 it used for personal reasons, the data above also indicate that businesses are noticing the value of SMS as a reliable and effective communication source.

Instantaneous demands for information is a reality

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 and reliable communication tool available for business effectiveness and efficiency in UK now.

Author: A. Grossbard – SMS Comparison sites in UK – October 2019