The Ultimate List of SMS Marketing Statistics [2023]

Did you know SMS marketing is one of the most successful marketing and communications strategies? It’s being leveraged by companies around the world for a multitude of factors proved by facts. If you’re curious to learn SMS marketing statistics, you’re in the right place.

We’ve compiled a robust list of research-backed SMS marketing statistics to answer questions like:

  • How big is the SMS marketing market size? 
  • What’s the success rate of SMS marketing?
  • Why types of companies use SMS to communicate?
  • How does SMS marketing compare to email marketing?
  • … and so many more!

Ready to learn all about these statistics? G2G, let’s start!

The top SMS marketing stats in 2023

  • The size of the SMS marketing industry is expected to grow to $12.6 billion
  • By 2023, the SMS marketing spend worldwide is estimated to grow to $339 billion
  • The average SMS marketing response rate is 45% 
  • Text messages have an average open rate of 98%
  • 91% of customers want to receive text messages from businesses 
  • Text message promotions have a click-through rate of 19% 
  • SMS marketers generate $71 for every dollar spent
  • Worldwide, 5 billion send and receive SMS messages every day 

What is SMS marketing?

SMS (short message service) marketing is simply using text messages as a communication channel to disperse promotional campaigns and timely notifications.

Typically, SMS marketing efforts revolve around time-sensitive offers, like short-term sales and promotions, or urgent updates, like appointment reminders.

Those who receive SMS marketing messages have consented to receive them from the business. Under the CAN-SPAM Act, the FCC has made it illegal to send unwanted text messages. It’s also illegal to send any message that isn’t clearly identifiable as an advertisement.

Now that you have a foundation, let’s get into the good stuff: real SMS marketing statistics!

SMS marketing market size

1. Worldwide, marketers spend $327.1 billion on SMS marketing

(Statista)

The worldwide SMS marketing spending is $327.1 billion with the US being the biggest market. This figure is expected to grow to $339 billion in 2023. The market size is expected to double by 2024.

2.  The U.S. accounts for 18% of the world’s total mobile capex

(CTIA) 

Just how big is the SMS marketing market? America only represents 4.5% of the world’s population, yet makes up nearly one-fifth of the planet’s mobile capital expenditure. Today, the U.S. wireless industry is larger than the hotel, restaurant, insurance and transportation industries.

3.  Worldwide, over 23 billion text messages are sent every day

(Forbes) 

Considering over 23 billion texts are sent daily, text messaging is one of the most widely used methods of communication. Approximately 270,000 texts are sent every second and brands are among these SMS messages marketing to millions. In 2020, SMS became one of the most widely used forms of communication and it is rapidly growing in market size year after year.

4.  2.1 trillion text messages were exchanged in 2019

(CTIA) 

Americans are using their wireless devices more than ever for calling, messaging, and browsing. An estimated 2.1 trillion texts were sent throughout the year 2019, an increase of 52 billion from the previous year. Time spent speaking on the phone was also up 30%.

5.  33% more people have access to mobile phones than to toilets

(Adobe) 

Yes, you read that correctly. An estimated 5 billion people send and receive SMS messages every day and over 6 billion have access to phones. That’s about 65% of the world’s population, meaning 33% more people can send a text than can use indoor plumbing.

6.  Over 80% of the total North American population uses text messaging

(Infocision) 

More than 8 in every 10 Americans send and receive text messages. That’s over 292 million people! This proves that SMS marketing may reach some of the largest demographics possible compared to other channels.

7.  Recent data shows 61% of marketers still don’t use SMS marketing

(SlickText) 

Gain an advantage over your competitors. Well over half (61%) of marketers don’t use SMS marketing in their current strategies. However, 73% of business plan to expand their budgets for text messaging marketing soon.

8.  Only 35% of brands have a formal SMS messaging strategy in place

(SlickText) 

Of the few brands are using SMS marketing, the majority doesn’t have a plan. 65% of brands admit that they do not have a formal strategy in place. This gap provides a huge opportunity for businesses looking to experiment with SMS marketing, especially since they can likely beat their competition.

SMS marketing growth

9.  The SMS marketing industry will be worth over $12.6 billion by 2025

(Grand View Research) 

Experts report that the United States’ SMS marketing market size is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.3% from 2019 to 2025. By 2025, it will be valued at $12.6 billion. This explosive growth is largely due to SMS marketing expanding to new industries plus new AI-enabled tools that make SMS services easier and more effective for brands.

10.  The media and entertainment segment is predicted to have a CAGR of 22%

(Grand View Research) 

Retail businesses make up the majority of brands who utilize SMS marketing (23%), however media and entertainment is a noticeably growing sector. Predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 22% from 2019 to 2025, media and entertainment messaging will be used to advertise movies, TV programs, events and more.

11.  SMEs are expected to exhibit a CAGR of more than 23%

(Grand View Research) 

Large enterprises make up the overwhelming majority of SMS marketing (over 65%). For example, Subway began SMS marketing in 2015 and by 2018, their campaigns reached over 5 million subscribers. But, reports show that small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are rapidly adopting SMS marketing displaying a CAGR of over 23%.

12.  About 33% of marketers expect to prioritize mobile loyalty program next year

(SlickText) 

SMS marketing is widely used for sharing coupons, events and other benefits as part of their SMS loyalty programs. Approximately one third of marketers plan to prioritize launching mobile loyalty programs sometime next year.

What is the success rate of SMS marketing?

13.  90% of consumers respond to a text with 30 minutes of receiving it

(EZ Texting) 

A survey revealed that about 9 in every 10 consumers respond to a text in just a half hour. Meanwhile, half of them respond within 3 minutes! SMS is highly successful compared to sales calls with a lead-conversion rate of 15% or cold calling at 1%.

14.  The average open rate for text message marketing is 98%

(Crazy Egg) 

Research shows that nearly every marketing text message sent is opened—but, there’s more. As many as 45% of people reply to SMS marketing messages, allowing brands to start a real-time conversation with consumers. For comparison, email marketing campaigns have an open rate of less than 20% (more on that later).

15.  Over 50% of consumers make a purchase after a marketing text

(Attentive Mobile Consumer Report) 

A remarkable 51% of consumers are more likely to make a direct purchase if they receive an SMS message that includes an ad, discount coupon, or QR code. SMS marketing messages that include images and media also convert higher. 33% of consumers don’t mind the nature of the SMS, as long as its content is relevant to them.

16.  96% of marketers report using text messages helped them drive revenue

(Attentive Mobile) 

A report revealed that almost 96% of marketers who leveraged SMS marketing said it has helped them drive more revenue. Meanwhile, almost 60% said texting has “significantly” or “overwhelmingly” increased revenue generation.

17.  Texted coupons are redeemed 10x more often than traditional coupons

(Adobe) 

A study showed that coupons sent via SMS are redeemed 10 times more often. This huge conversion rate is based on a survey that showed 32% of SMS recipients responded to SMS offers.

18.  SMS marketers generate $71 for every dollar spent 

(Attentive Mobile) 

Attentive Mobile, an SMS marketing company, reported that its customers within the retail and eCommerce industries generate an average of $71 for every dollar spent on SMS marketing programs. These same customer drive an average of 20.5% total online revenue as a result of SMS.

What percent of businesses use SMS marketing? 

19.  47% of businesses across sizes and industries use mobile messaging

(PWC Esendex Report) 

A survey conducted by PWC studied businesses of all sizes and industries across the globe. Their findings showed that 47% of survey respondents use mobile messaging. SMEs make up 39% while 58% of large enterprises use SMS marketing tactics.

20.  The top industry using SMS marketing is real estate at 17.9%

(SMS Comparison) 

Nearly 20% of real estate companies are using SMS marketing to reach their audiences. Other top industries using texts are agriculture (15.9%), entertainment (15.4%), construction (14%), energy (13%), and airlines (12.3%). 

Industry% of companies
Real estate20%
Agriculture15.9%
Entertainment15.4%
Construction14%
Energy13%
Airlines12.3%

21.  46% of finance/banking companies have increased their SMS marketing spend in the past 3 years

(PWC Esendex Report) 

A PWC study showed that businesses across all industries have increased their text marketing budgets in the past 3 years. Almost half of finance-related business have increased this spend, while 42% of retail, 45% of IT/communications, 34% of professional/administrative, and 36% of manufacturing have as well.

22.  25% of businesses use SMS marketing for its efficiency/effectiveness

(PWC Esendex Report) 

Why do businesses choose SMS marketing? One-quarter report they integrate SMS into their marketing strategies because of its efficacy. 22% use it for its ease of use, 21% for its low cost, 18% for its high reach, and 15% for its security.

Percentage of usersReason for using SMS marketing
25%Efficacy
22%Ease of use
21%Low cost
18%High reach
15%Security

23.  Coca-Cola spends 70% of its mobile marketing budget on SMS services

(SMS Global) 

Global brands like Coca-Cola are using SMS marketing and apparently allocating the majority of certain budgets toward it. These large companies know that the average smartphone user touches their phone on average 2,617 times per day and 85% prefer SMS as a customer service option, driving these large enterprises to use SMS marketing.

Do customers like SMS marketing?

24.  91% of consumers are interested in receiving texts from businesses

(Attentive Mobile Consumer Report) 

Over 91% of customers want to get SMS messages from businesses. Almost 56% already receive texts from businesses while almost 25% say they would subscribe for the right brand. Less than 10% of consumers are not interested in this form of communication.

25.  An estimated 64% of SMS subscribers feel “curious” toward new texts

(EZ Texting) 

How do consumers feel when they receive a text from a company? The majority of 64% report feeling curious about brand texts. Other emotions include 27% being happy, 23% feeling excited, 17% experiencing anxieity, and just 15% feeling annoyed. 

Source: eztexting.com

26.  58% of consumers want to hear from brands multiple times per week

(Attentive Mobile Consumer Report) 

The majority of SMS recipients want to hear from brands a few times per week. Over 18% report that they would be okay getting a message daily. Over 42% prefer SMS marketing texts 4-6 times per month while almost 40% are okay with messages 2-3 times per week.

27.  Most consumers (58%) of customers say texting is the best way to reach them

(Business Wire) 

Almost 60% of consumers think texting is the best way for brands to communicate with them. These consumers also reported that the most valuable types of texts received from businesses were appointment reminders (64%), shipment/delivery updates (48%), and discounts (29%).

28.  56% of consumers say “texting is a convenient way to reach me no matter where I am”

(EZ Texting) 

This number is up from 2021 to 2022, since last year just 47% had this same response. In 2022, 50% of respondents said “texting is a faster way to reach me,” and 43% agreed that “texting is a more efficient way to communicate.”

29.  77% of consumers have a positive perception of companies that keep them informed

(Mobile Marketing Watch) 

A study of US-based retailers found that 64% of their consumers prefer texting over a voice call and 81% are frustrated being on the phone or tied to a computer to reach a company. That’s why 77% of consumers have a positive outlook of brands who use SMS to keep them in the loop.

30.  90% of customers have gained value from SMS loyalty programs

(SMS Comparison) 

Why do customers like SMS marketing? 9 in 10 consumers report gaining value from being part of a texting loyalty program. Another 75% of customers want to receive special offers via SMS and 90% prefer text over direct calls or emails.

SMS vs email marketing statistics

31.  SMS marketing lists have 10x value over email marketing lists

(Mobile Marketing Watch) 

It turns out that having a customer’s phone number and opt-in permissions is 10x more valuable to marketers than collecting an email address. That means 100,000 SMS subscribers is equal to 1 million email addresses!

32.  SMS messages deliver an average click-through rate of 19%

(Text Republic) 

Information gathered by Text Republic revealed that the average click-through rate (CTR) on marketing text messages is over 19.3%. This is 15% higher than email, considering MailChimp’s average email marketing CTR is just 4.2%.

33.  SMS open rates average around 82%, while email open rates are about 21%

(Shift & Mailchimp) 

Recent data shows that text messages can yield an average open rate of up to 95%. According to one study, 82% of text message recipients read every single message they receive. Meanwhile, the average open rate for emails across industries is 21.33%.

34.  65% of consumers receive between 6-21 emails from businesses every day

(EZ Texting) 

What’s the daily volume of emails vs SMS marketing texts? 65% of people in a study report receiving up to 20 marketing emails every day. Meanwhile, just 5% of respondents receive a similar range (11-20) of brand texts each day. Just 39% of SMS subscribers get a text from a brand less than once per day.

35.  Fewer than 5% of SMS subscribers ever unsubscribe, while 20% of email subscribers leave each year

(Text Request) 

One study showed that less than 5 in every 100 SMS marketing subscribers ever opt out. Considering more than 20% of email subscribers leave every year, SMS marketing has a much higher retention rate than email marketing.

36.  Sending a text follow up to an email increased open rates by 20-30%

(Adobe) 

In many ways SMS performs better than traditional email marketing—but it can also enhance it. A report revealed that by sending the follow up text message, “Have you read our email?” it increased the email’s open rates by 20-30%.

37.  The average response rate for SMS messages is 45%

(SMS Global) 

SMS marketing doesn’t just share news, but it engages consumers to respond and interact with brands. There is a 45% response rate for SMS messages compared to just 8% for email. One use case of this high response rate is Time Warner, a debt collection agency, who increased late bill collections by 49% after implementing SMS strategies.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

How big is SMS marketing?

The worldwide SMS marketing spending is $327.1 billion with the US being the biggest market. This figure is expected to grow to $339 billion in 2023 and the market size is expected to double by 2024.

Is SMS marketing on the rise?

The SMS marketing industry will be worth $12.6 billion by 2025 with a CAGR of 20.3% over six years. The reasons are new AI tools that make SMS marketing more effective and that SMS marketing is expanding into new industries.

Conclusion

That’s it! That was a round-up of 2023’s SMS marketing statistics. Now, you’re prepared with research-backed data to enhance your marketing efforts and try this expanding and exciting communication channel.

Companies must evolve their marketing strategies as consumers’ behaviors change, and based on these statistics, SMS marketing is worth considering.

Which SMS marketing statistic was your favorite? Share with us below in the comments. 

SOURCES:

CTIA

Forbes

Adobe

Infocision

SlickText

Grand View Research

EZ Texting

Crazy Egg

Attentive Mobile Consumer Report

Attentive Mobile

PWC Esendex Research

SMS Comparison

Business Wire

Mobile Marketing Watch

Text Republic

Text Request

Shift & MailChimp

SMS Global

Statista

Further reading:

The Ultimate List of Mobile Marketing Statistics

The Ultimate List of Social Media Marketing Statistics

The Definitive List of Affiliate Marketing Statistics

About the Author

Luisa Zhou has helped thousands of students build and scale their own profitable online Freedom Business. Fun Fact: She's also a former International Space Station engineer.

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