There are now 80 million active mobile phones in the UK. According to a white paper by Textlocal, a leading UK SMS marketing platform, 37 million consumers have opted for SMS as their preferred choice for receiving notifications from businesses.
However, only 50% of the businesses surveyed currently have a SMS marketing strategy in place.
The company estimates that the number of consumers opting in to receive business communications will rise to 48.7 million in 2020. If accurate, this will make SMS the fastest marketing channel in the UK.
UK regulatory body Ofcom estimates that 93% of the UK population now own a mobile phone.
Jason Palgrave-Jones, Managing Director of Textlocal, said:
“Britain is fast becoming a ‘mobile first’ society as mobile phones are often the first and last thing people engage with each day. By their very nature, mobile phones are to hand and provide an unrivalled platform for brands to communicate directly with their audiences.
“These are exciting times for those involved in the mobile industry as the benefits to businesses and consumers are realised.”
SMS marketing occupies a fairly unique place in the marketing cannon, in that its very medium ensures a high degree of visibility.
The white paper estimates that a massive 98% of branded or business-related texts are opened by the recipient. 90% of these are opened within 3 minutes of receiving them.
Now granted, the vast majority of these texts will be ignored or deleted once they have opened. We have all been there, getting the giddy rush of receiving a text message, only to discover it is your local pizza takeaway offering you 2-4-1 on large pizzas.
There is a significant response rate though. The report highlights that fact that of the 7 billion texts sent by businesses in 2017, 23 million consumers responded.
Rachel Aldighieri, MD of the Direct Marketing Association, said:
“It’s clear that mobile marketing and SMS is set to rise as UK consumers remain intrinsically linked with their phones.
“The medium is already widely used for sending marketing messages, however as technologies grow we expect to see an exponential rise in its use amongst businesses and consumers.”