A Rebirth of SMS Messages: +6% sending volumes

03 September 2019Reading time: 6 min.

Thanks to the fundamental driving force of promotional and transactional SMS messages, 4.2 billion text messages were sent in 2018. Let’s take a look at the business objectives beneficially impacted by SMS Marketing.

Do youremember all the times we talked about the longgoodbye of SMS messages? First, the messagingapps, then especially WhatsApp, were supposed to get rid of them. Noneof this happened. Rather, a new season of SMSgrowth opened up.

The researchdata conducted by the Mobile B2C StrategyObservatory of the Polytechnic University of Milan’s School of Management,together with Doxa, tell us that 4.2billion SMS messages were sent throughout Italy in 2016. The result is a 6% increase from 2017.

A Skebby study also confirms this trend. It states that SMS use for promotional and transactional purposes is increasing.

How companies view SMS

If large companies have already grasped the potential of SMS marketing, then small and medium-sized enterprises now also look to this channel as an important launch pad to promote activities and services for expanding their business.

But what areSMS messages used for? Text messages are used for informing customers aboutongoing promotions, closing periods, schedule changes, and more. We recentlydiscovered that SMS messages for transactionalpurposes are also highly valued by professionalssuch as lawyers, accountants, and doctors, who use them mainly to confirm,move, or remind clients of appointments. Even non-profit organizationsappreciate these types of SMS messages.

How people view SMS messages

The Skebbyresearch shows that 79% of people appreciatenotifications and reminders. In fact, this is the preferred channel forreceiving reminders and other typesof alerts (32.2%), followed bye-mails, and then WhatsApp. Only 0.96% of interviewees appreciate theold-fashioned phone call.

On the otherhand, when it comes to age, among 25-34year olds, an outstanding 46.8%,prefer SMS messages for reminders and notifications.

SMS uses

Promoting collections and products

Thisinvolves strictly commercial and promotionalsendings. SMS is the most direct channel for advertising the arrival of a new product or a collection, especially to loyal customers with the highestinvolvement.

Moreover, nothing spreads flash or limited-time deals better than an SMS: coupons and so-called flash sales require delivery speed and immediate opening. Understanding how SMS textuality is more effective than any other channel in guiding customers to the online or nearest store is easy.

Managing transactional communications

As we haveseen, during the purchase and post-salephase no other channel is more appreciated among customers than the SMSchannel in receiving:

  • Order confirmations;
  • Purchase codes;
  • Access codes (user and login);
  • Receipts;
  • Service information, such as item shipping;
  • Appointment confirmations, changes, or cancellations;
  • Appointment reminders.

When itcomes to appointments, SMS provides the best reminder for confirming meetings, avoiding unforeseen circumstances, andmaking the customers feel that we arealways on their side.

Moreover,for event organizers (tourism, transport,and many others), SMS messages offer the most agile and immediate ways tomanage last-minute emergencies and program changes (i.e. notification of aflight boarding gate change).

Not only that – transactional SMS messages leave companies some wiggle room for restarting a dialogue and accompanying the customer to a new order. For example, a particularly interesting e-commerce situation involves taking advantage of a simple notification, like a springboard to a new offer.

Managing communication with citizens

Public institutions and service providers for citizens take a fundamental advantage of SMSuse. When it comes to the world of Utilities, here’s a perfect example: a few months ago, we involved Lario Reti Holding, the operator of theIntegrated Water Service for all the Municipalities of the Province of Lecco.They told us how they use SMS messages in their communication with citizens.

Lario Retineeded to manage unplanned interruptions,meaning all those service suspensions in certain areas of the province causedby urgent reasons and force majeure, such as: sudden leaks, broken pipes causedby third-party works, technical problems at plants, lack of electricity,drought, etc.

Theseinterruptions heavily affect the company’s reputation. Therefore, in order toprotect its image and business, Lario Reti opted for transparent and immediate communication with citizens through SMS messages.

Theintegration between the proprietary database and the sending platform allowsLario Reti to report about emergenciesautomatically and in real timeto all inhabitants of the affected areas.

Informing and offering support

SMS is afundamental tool to integrate customercare activities. It enables customers to get in touch with companies,receive answers about their doubts and uncertainties, and be supported andinformed in case of urgent news.

A study byOvum and Tyntec revealed that 56% ofconsumers would choose text messages to communicate with companies. A poolof a thousand respondents in the US and Germany revealed that consumers’priorities involve getting in touch with the companies quickly (80%) andfinding answers to questions just as quickly (74%).

SMS is afast and effective channel for customers to ask questions and get prompt answers. For the most part, questionsconcern easily identifiable issues that can be organized into precise andcircumscribed themes.

Bothcompanies and people will benefit significantly from the implementation of anefficient customer care service via SMS.

To sum up

Doing all this is pretty simple. Just rely on a sending platform like MailUp, which puts all the tools for creating, sending, tracking, and automating SMS campaigns at your disposal. These may be oriented according to the aforementioned purposes.

Our advice is to request a free trial and begin to test the real advantages of SMS Marketing.

Try MailUp'

Notes:

(1) Messaging apps: WhatsApp is used by 22 million Italians (while worldwide it has 1.2 billion active users per month); Facebook Messenger is used by 15 million Italians (1.2 billion active users per month in the world). On the other hand, Telegram is used by about 3.5 million Italians. The most active users are those in the 15-24 age range. This group uses it because of its privacy characteristics (it was the first to introduce end-to-end encryption) and for the presence of BOTs. Torna su

(2) Flash sales: Flash sales are time-based online sales promoted by individual brands or by dedicated portals. The products are sold for a limited time period, at very discounted prices (further, offers are for members only). This is a widespread practice, especially in the clothing and accessories sector.Torna su

(3) Utilities: the utilities sector includes companies operating in the field of supplying services, such as water, electricity, and gas. These are public service companies that supply essential goods and services to the community under a monopoly or quasi-monopoly regime. They are, therefore, subject to particular regulations by the public authorities, both in terms of management and the setting of tariffs.Torna su

This article was written by

Andrea Serventi

Andrea Serventi

Editor

I was born in 1986 in Milan, where I graduated in Modern Literature and started writing for online newspapers, magazines and TV news programs. Having now converted to marketing and the digital world, I am a Content Editor at MailUp: I read, listen, collect ideas, and write about what email marketing is and how to use it strategically.

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