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SMS usage skyrocketing: Pew Internet study

HBO taps SMS to build database during Mayweather-M

Hipcricket recently powerered an HBO SMS campaign

A study released by Pew Internet found that text messaging usage among adults in the United States is extremely high, indicating the marketing possibilities using the channel are endless. 
The findings of the study show that text message-based marketing campaigns are an efficient way to reach masses of consumers quickly, concisely and frequently, due to the stifling number of individuals already attached to their mobile phones.

The report indicates that more than half of U.S. adults use text messaging in their daily lives.

Many brands are already reaping the benefits of SMS marketing: Target, Walgreens, Steve Madden and Macy’s.

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Yet, some are still slow to jump on board.

Let the numbers speak for themselves
According to the report, 73 percent of adults with mobile devices use SMS on their phone at least occasionally.

Text messaging users send or receive an average of 41.5 messages per day, with the median user sending or receiving 10 texts daily.

It is clear that text messaging is being used regularly as a means of communication among consumers. Marketers need to follow consumers.

The SMS channel is specifically engineered to make contact directly, swiftly and personally, which makes it the perfect platform for marketing campaigns, according to the Pew report.

The Pew Research Center is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to alerting the public about important trends and information The nonpartisan organization focuses on Internet-related news and how it effects Americans at home, work and school.

In addition to the verification that text messaging is a commonplace communication medium, the study shows that the number of avid text messagers has substancially increased since late 2009.

Furthermore, the information shows that the numbers from 2010 have been maintained through the following year, showing no signs of dropping.

According to the report, about 83 percent of U.S. adults operate mobile phones, and a whopping three-quarters of mobile phone owners have said to use the text messaging function.

With such a high percentage of reported SMS users, it becomes clear that companies must revert to the small screen for faster, personalized marketing campaigns.

Forever young
The study also provides that young adults, between the ages of 18 and 24, far surpass the average amount of text messaging for other adult age groups.

The report states that this age group exchanges an average of 109.5 text messages in one day, which adds up to more than 3,200 text messages per month.

These facts are pertinent to companies interested in marketing to young adults, as it appears they spend a significant part of their day attached to their mobile phones.

The Pew Internet report has made it abundantly clear that text message-based marketing holds enormous potential.

According to the report, active SMS users are much more likely to prefer texting to calling.

Approximately 45 percent of texters who send or receive 21-50 text messages per day say that they prefer it when people contact them using SMS, while a majority of those who send or receive more than 50 texts per day (55 percent) say that text messaging is their preferred mode of contact.

Only 27 percent of these users prefer to be reached by voice call.

The facts suggest that it only makes sense for brands to contact consumers in the way they prefer to contact each other – through text messaging.

Gabrielle Kalika is an intern at Mobile Marketer. Reach her at kalik100@mail.chapman.edu.

Related content: Research, SMS, mobile marketing, Pew Internet, mobile, text messaging

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Comments on "SMS usage skyrocketing: Pew Internet study"

  1. Caro Kingsley says:

    October 11, 2011 at 8:24am

    I have to wonder: 1. what on earth do people have to say in 110 texts/day, and don't any of them have a job? 2. How many seniors did they interview in their research; as a seventy-something year old, if I send 10 texts in a month, it's a lot! Yes, I prefer calls, but even those are few and far between. Most seniors I know, fall into this category with me, opting for an SVC phone specifically because it means we can have the benefits of a cellphone, but can also have the benefit of the under $10 cost that comes with low usage.
  2. Maxime Seligman says:

    September 22, 2011 at 6:15am

    There is a good application for facst typing : Snapkeys.com, let's try it !