SMS Click Through Rate (CTR) Benchmarks & Insights

Jul 30, 2021 - By Adomas Sulcas

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No one has to be convinced about the effectiveness of email marketing these days.

After all, it’s one of the primary marketing channels for both B2B and B2C businesses. SMS marketing hasn’t been as lucky in many industries.

However, as we have mentioned in many previous posts, the effectiveness of SMS marketing campaigns is absolutely tremendous. Not only does the channel have one of the most impressive read and open rates, the SMS click-through-rates are nothing to scoff at either.

In this article we’ll go through the power of SMS and its associated statistics and the ways the channel can be optimized for maximum success.

Why SMS Marketing is So Powerful

Global reliance on smartphones has been increasing yearly. Most people check their phones several times per day and often the first thing in the morning. While most people have Wi-FI or mobile data enabled on their phones at all times, they are still more likely to check SMS first over email. Simply put, SMS has a quicker reaction time than most other channels.

Additionally, as we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, SMS has incredible open and read rates. Once 20 minutes pass, the read and open rates can reach up to 99%. When compared to the 20-30 percent open rates optimized emails receive, SMS simply blows them out of the water.

Unlike emails, there is very little optimization needed to reach the maximum open and read rates for SMS. People are simply bound to check their phones and the messages they have received. Yet, we should note that optimization is important for conversions.

However, the most powerful feature of the SMS channel are the incredible click-through and conversion rates they deliver. According to research, SMS response rates can reach up to 45%. Of course, the campaigns have to be fully optimized to deliver such SMS click-through-rates.

Furthermore, SMS marketing is one of the lowest cost ways to market. When compared to such options as online ads, SMS marketing is dirt cheap. Additionally, they have an incredible reach that expands through nearly all demographics.

Finally, not only do the SMS click-through-rates reach sky high numbers, but the result also makes it a very cost-efficient marketing method. Since SMS messages themselves cost very little and the associated software isn’t expensive either, the overall spend is low. However, the ROI can reach incredible heights, with a success story reaching up to 680%!


How To Increase SMS Click Through Rates (Best Practices)

Just like with email, there are numerous ways to optimize the SMS channel. However, the first question to be asked is what is the end goal of any SMS marketing campaign. The channel is incredibly flexible – it can be used to deliver news, serve as follow-up for other marketing methods, be used to deliver sales, etc.

However, before any marketing can even begin, there’s the question of GDPR and associated laws. It is likely that the incredibly high open, read, and click-through-rate is a result of opting-in. Due to certain industry regulations, all SMS marketing recipients must first have agreed to be sent those messages. Otherwise, a whole host of troubles can arise.

Therefore, the first step is to create a dedicated customer base that can be reached through SMS. According to industry best practices, fully ramped up websites should have 3-4 opt-in options.

There’s a wide variety of ways to get subscribers. However, the most effective one, regardless of industry, is collecting them through keywords. In short, certain keywords (e.g. SUBSCRIBE) can be rented out and if they are texted to a particular number, an automated action can be performed. In this case, that would be adding a subscription.

Additionally, acquiring subscribers through keywords might have other benefits. An industry benchmark report done by Postscript has shown that keyword subscribers have up to 30-40% higher click-through and conversion rates! Clearly, investing a little into keyword rent is worth it.

Outside of using SMS marketing templates as a foundation for effective campaigns, there are several important factors to keep in mind. First, just like with email, text messages have the best delivery times. In most cases, they will even out with email marketing, however, SMS do have more leeway for effectiveness.

Second, while follow-ups are worth the time, they shouldn’t be the first thing to start with. While they’re incredibly easy to automate and deliver good results, for some businesses there are even more effective areas. For example, ecommerce businesses should first begin by setting up abandoned cart SMS. These messages work incredibly well regardless of industry.

Moving on to things like small discounts, referral offers, and loyalty programs is the next step. While these may be effective for nearly all businesses, low-ticket item ecommerce shops are likely to benefit the most. Only after these first two options are exhausted should a business think about sending out follow-ups through SMS.

Finally, remember that SMS have no natural spam filters (outside of obscene cases). People aren’t too used to marketing through SMS either. That means that sending out messages daily or even weekly may cause backlash and a large amount of unsubscribes. Only send out messages that are either triggered events or through campaigns that have a lot of thought put into it.

SMS Click Through Rate: Conclusion

SMS marketing is more effective than nearly any other channel right off the bat. Even unoptimized SMS campaigns can net you a better result than some of the best email campaigns. Even if you have to jump through a few hoops to get subscribers, they’re definitely worth it.

With some optimization and right timing, SMS can blow everything else out of the water. However, you have to keep in mind the channel’s restrictions and respect the customer. Just like with any other channel – if someone perceives your messages as spam, your marketing efforts are dead.

Want to find out how our products can help you get the most out of your marketing efforts without spending thousands per month? Check out the Sender blog for more details or register to our email marketing platform directly for free!

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