Open rates are the key to measuring an essential component of your marketing success. They keep you on track by outlining what channels grab customers’ attention and what platforms are missing the mark.

In this article, we’ll discuss what open rates are, which platform achieves the most and how open rates have the power to drive leads.

What Are Open Rates?

Open rates are a traditional marketing metric that measures how many recipients make the initial interaction of opening a business communication, such as an email or text message. By measuring the percentage at which an audience interacts with these notifications, businesses gain insight into how effectively they’re engaging with their audience.

Online marketers keep a close eye on this metric so they can assess changes in interaction volumes over time and alter their engagement strategies where necessary. Businesses should measure their own open rates as well as overall statistics to evaluate trends in ever-changing markets.

Customer Engagement Statistics

Before text message marketing became a prominent channel, email marketing was the main go-to for businesses, and although it’s still widely used today, its success in open rates has seen a rapid decrease.

For an email to count as opened, the following must occur:

1. The email fully loads for the customer — including images.
2. The recipient opens the link provided in the email.

This stops customers who scan through their inbox from counting towards an open rate. Unfortunately, 2023 statistics have shown that email open rates are as low as 17% with a click-through rate (CTR) of 10%, per Smart Insights.

On the other hand, SMS open rates are reaching a breakthrough of up to 98%, according to Gartner. Even with the lower SMS open rates at 45%, text messages still achieve over double what emails do. With such a significant difference, it’s difficult to deny that text message marketing might be the next best thing to happen to digital marketing.

Why Customers Are So Receptive to Texts

SMS messaging is fast, filtered and easy to manage which makes it the perfect platform for business-customer interaction. With email marketing, it’s near impossible to unsubscribe from every company you accidentally sign up for. This has led to more and more people creating specific throw-away emails just to avoid businesses’ intrusive communications.

SMS on mobile platforms is much easier to monitor and maintain, only requiring a simple ‘UNSUBSCRIBE’ text to halt communications completely. By letting the customers come to you, you can form a much closer and more meaningful relationship through text. 

Simply put, email marketing has become so oversaturated that businesses will struggle to cut through the noise, but SMS marketing empowers the customer by giving them more control over the communications they choose to have with organizations.

Do SMS Open Rates Translate to Conversions?

SMS open rates can translate into conversions, however, it’s completely dependent on your text message marketing strategy. On average, the conversion rate for SMS is around 29%, according to Xtreme Push. To successfully drive sales using SMS, you first have to ask yourself:

  1. Are you personalizing your text messages?
  2. Are you making the most out of your customer data?
  3. Is the language you use direct and approachable?
  4. Are customers benefiting from your SMS campaign?

If you follow these steps, you will observe more results from your SMS marketing.

Best Practices for Your SMS Marketing

Despite text messages taking the lead in open rates, it’s still important to carefully plan out your SMS marketing strategy to ensure the best results in terms of conversion and customer retention. Here are a few things you can do to make the most of your text message initiatives.

Nail SMS delivery: Make sure your texts align with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulations. This involves establishing your company from the get-go, providing clear opt-out options for your recipients and avoiding the use of link shorteners. Following these rules, as well as ensuring your U.S. SMS campaign is fully registered with The Campaign Registry, will prevent disruption to your SMS text message deliveries. To learn more about SMS delivery obstruction, check out our comprehensive article here.

Adopt a catchy tone: Using friendly and approachable language will go a long way in retaining customers. If your text communications are eye-catching and exciting, subscribers will feel more inclined to engage with your content. You can fulfill this by incorporating emojis, forming unique opening statements or considering MMS capabilities — try to stand out from the crowd.

Motivate your audience: Try to ensure your marketing isn’t just about checking out new products and services. Give back to your customers by offering exclusive discounts and special offers so they gain something from subscribing to your campaign. If consumers know there are benefits in store, they’re more likely to interact with your communications.

Make it personal: Marketing automation can influence the way a business connects with its loyal customers. You can contact hundreds of thousands of customers in a single moment while addressing them all by their first names. Personalizing your SMS not only encourages them to open their texts shortly after receiving them, but it also builds a more personal relationship between your brand and its SMS subscribers.

What Is a Good Open Rate for SMS?

To measure your own SMS open rate, you have to take the number of opened text messages and divide it by the number of delivered messages. With SMS open rates of 45% being at the lower end of the spectrum, we would recommend a good open rate be around 60-65%. This should mean that you capture the attention of over half of your recipients, which will help drive leads and effectively convert sales. But to really master your SMS strategy, aim to improve conversion rates. Anything above 29% is above average and a success for your business.

Start Your SMS Integration

If you’re thinking about getting started with SMS marketing, you’ll need to utilize the services of an SMS provider. SMS providers will provide you with the most up-to-date capabilities that business text messaging has to offer, but it’s important to note the difference between a good SMS provider and a great one.

A great SMS provider should offer a robust yet easy-to-use platform so you can plan your text marketing initiatives with no struggle. At Swift SMS Gateway, we ensure your integration is as smooth as possible with support teams on hand to help you when you need it. With our wealth of expertise, we can implement a system that specifically suits your needs.

Get in touch to find out more about our services, or put them to the test by signing up for our free demo!