SMS Marketing: Why Do Consumers Trust It More Than Email?

Marketers are lost if they don't establish trust with their prospects. With the barrage of advertisements that people see every day, it almost becomes second nature to zero in on any little reason to disregard a message.

In the middle of all this noise, prospects tend to trust texts at least enough to open them. Gartner cited various sources claiming that SMS open rates are as high as 98%. Most email open rates pale in comparison.

So why do consumers trust SMS marketing more than email, and what best practices apply to the channel?

Cell Phone Ubiquity, SMS Accessibility

According to the most recent numbers from Pew Research Center, 96% of Americans own a cell phone of some kind, with 81% of Americans owning a smartphone. This means that mobile phone usage is incredibly widespread for Americans. While a substantial gap still exists between smartphones and more traditional devices, that gap is narrowing.

Smartphones enable email access for users, but other cell phones have limited functionality beyond placing phone calls and facilitating SMS. So, first of all, more people have regular access to SMS than email, increasing the frequency with which they check the former. Secondly, smartphones increasingly give users control over the types of push notifications they receive. Users may be reluctant to deprioritize SMS messages, since they rely on this service to efficiently communicate with people in their life.

SMS Marketing B2B and B2C Growth

In 2017, Salesforce reported that B2B SMS marketing efforts grew 197% over the previous two years. This is dramatic growth, second only to video. Meanwhile, B2C SMS marketing, which started out in a stronger position, still grew 92%.

The growing use of SMS marketing signifies that users will be increasingly accepting of it, even expecting to receive text message promotions and meaningful content from trusted brands. B2B marketers, who often work with larger contracts, will likely be able to leverage the medium better by offering quality resources to their partners instead of the one-time promotions so popular for B2C.

User Privacy Is Paramount

Marketers in the B2B and B2C spaces who want to roll out SMS marketing efforts need to follow a few best practices to start out on strong footing.

The first best practice is to make sure you cultivate your users' trust. You can do this by publishing a privacy policy that users can easily find, access and read. Make sure that people know how you will use and protect their data when they interact with you.

Consent And Opt-out Standards

Email marketers will be familiar with this legally required best practice. Users need to provide consent to be contacted over SMS by companies, and they need to be able to opt out easily at any time.

If you're providing value, and if you're not overwhelming your contacts with an overbearing frequency, text message marketing can be a great way to engage with customers and prospects.

Learn more about messaging best practices by downloading our eBook today.