SMS for marketing: engagement rates up across all age groups

Survey of UK consumers finds that SMS marketing is equally well received by Baby Boomers and Gen Z

More than half of UK consumers aged 54 and over find SMS from brands useful, an identical percentage to those aged 18 to 24.

The survey of 1,000 consumers from e-commerce marketing platform Yotpo found that across all age groups SMS is gaining in engagement, with 45% saying they find SMS to be one of the most useful channels for brands to send them information.

More than one-third aged 25 to 53 said they engaged with SMS from brands, but this increased to 42% for Baby Boomers and 43% for Gen Z. And just over a third of all those surveyed admitted to being more inclined to buy from a brand after receiving a SMS.

Talia Shani, Director of Marketing at Yotpo said: “Privacy changes from the likes of Apple and Google mean 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.”

The impact of the pandemic has meant a boost in SMS engagement, said the study, with almost four in 10 consumers saying they engaged more in SMS than two years ago.

More than half of brands use SMS to stay in touch with customers

A further study from Yotpo of 200 marketing professionals in the UK found that 58% of brands are regularly using SMS to communicate with customers.

Six in 10 said they believed SMS is a good channel to build loyalty. SMS was rated the third best channel for customer engagement after email and social posts, and more than half of marketing departments reported that they will increase their use of SMS for marketing over the next five years.

Despite this, 60% of marketers acknowledged that SMS can be seen as intrusive, even though 80% said their customers were happy to share their personal interests with them for marketing purposes to ensure they were sent targeted and relevant messages.

Shani added: “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.”