SMS Marketing Trends to Know in 2024

Melanie Balke
September 11, 2023

Fans of email marketing, rejoice!

There’s another way to supercharge your business and manage valuable customer relationships. Like email, this channel can reach customers in seconds. It’s accessible, cost-effective, and outrageously underutilized.

This is SMS marketing, and I’m dedicating today’s blog post to its hottest trends.

Stick around! Scroll along to learn more about the ever-evolving world of SMS marketing.

Why You Should Love SMS Marketing

A German village with a large, decorated house. Overlaid text reads, “The Perks: Why You Should Love SMS Marketing.”

Now, before I begin, I want to take a minute to appreciate this lucrative marketing channel.

Many consider SMS and email marketing part of the same family. However, these digital marketing strategy essentials are not the same. Email marketing is the most flexible of the marketing channels, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. (Not that there are many of those in business!) For some, the humble simplicity of 130 characters can jumpstart a lucrative empire!

The Unrivaled Cost-Effectiveness of SMS

I may as well cut to the point: Text message marketing is unbelievably cost-effective. Personalized SMS marketing campaigns cost pennies to send, and your development team only needs to worry about landing pages and copywriting.

The Outlandishly High (But True!) Open Rates

And it gets better.

That low investment can yield a mountain of returns.

A 2019 study showed that 70% of consumers open text messages within the first 5 minutes after receipt. When you extend the window of opportunity to 30 minutes, that number goes up to 90%! And — as of 2022 — the average open rate of SMS campaigns is 98%.

The Power to Build Customer Relationships

Finally, few people leave their phones at home. Whether you like it or not, humans have developed an inseparable bond with modern technology.

Most SMS marketing strategies know this. More importantly, text message marketing embraces this facet of modern life. Clever marketing teams have learned that our technological codependence has made it easier than ever to develop enhanced business-customer relationships.

You become more than a nameless subject line in an email inbox. Now, you can truly connect with your audience.

Okay… But What Are the Trends?

A messy office. A black office chair is against a wooden desk. “The Trends: 3 SMS Marketing Tips for 2024.”

Right now, you may be saying, “That’s nice and all, Melanie, but how does that help me? And what are these ‘trends’ in text message marketing that you’re talking about?”

Those are fair points, and I have the answers to your questions.

However, I wanted to establish why this marketing strategy is so important. After all, a business needs a reason to take a risk and change its course.

The good news is that we’ve figured it out. We’ve seen SMS marketing work its magic. We know the power of personalized messages. Now, it’s time to dig deeper into the mobile messaging world. As we near the end of 2023, it’s time to welcome the latest trends and invite fresh perspectives to the marketing meeting.

I’ll start with one of the most complicated developments in modern SMS marketing, which is…

1. 10-Digit Long Codes (10DLC)

A nighttime cityscape. A large City Bank logo rotates atop a tower. “10DLC: A New Way to Verify SMS Marketing.”

The June 30 deadline to register your standard-issue phone number as a 10-digit long code(10DLC) has passed. The rates have already increased. But that doesn’t mean this trend has lost its meaning. In fact, if you have no idea what I’m going on about, this section is especially important for you to read!

I’ll start by emphasizing that the 10DLC standard is not a legal requirement. It’s the latest in a string of corporate-led pro-privacy and anti-spam measures. In this instance, it’s spearheaded by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Moreover, it does not apply to businesses using registered toll-free numbers (anything beginning with “1-800”) or shortcodes. It’s further limited by its scope, which only covers Application-to-Person (A2P) marketers sending over 3,000 promotional messages daily.

What Is This “10DLC” Stuff?

At its core, the 10DLC system is the mobile network operators’ (MNOs’) solution to increasing consumer complaints of unsolicited spam. In addition to its sponsorship by the aforementioned mobile carriers, 10DLC is publicly backed by Twilio, one of the largest business text messaging providers.

So, what does that mean for your business?

Well, if you meet any of the 10DLC criteria, you’re now expected to register with “The Campaign Registry,” an oversight group led by Kaleyra. During this registration, your business must provide the following information:

  • Your Business Name: The Campaign Registry will only approve 10DLC numbers for official businesses and organizations. During registration, your business’s name is considered your “brand.”
  • Your Advertising: Businesses must also provide explanations and examples of advertisements, known as “campaigns.”
  • The Fee: Finally, businesses must pay a $40 fee to The Campaign Registry.

Upon approval, MNOs will flag your 10-digit number as a 10DLC. As noted by Twilio and major mobile carriers, companies can keep their existing phone number by registering for a matching 10DLC.

What Are the Benefits of a 10DLC?

Aside from ensuring your brand’s mobile messaging campaigns reach customers, a 10DLC will have many other perks, namely:

  • Higher Messaging Volume: One of the biggest perks of a 10DLC number is its inbuilt ability to act as a high-volume A2P messenger.
  • Improved Deliverability: Verizon set August 31, 2023, as the deadline to switch to a 10DLC. After this, messages from non-approved numbers will be blocked.
  • Lower Marketing Budget: Verizon announced it would dramatically increase the price of sending promotional messages through “regular” numbers after June 30, 2023. Other carriers have similarly suggested that 10DLC users will receive hefty discounts.

Note, too, that 10DLC is meant to increase consumer trust. The vetting process may seem convoluted, but it’s one of many modern solutions to rampant spam and scamming. It’s another layer of protection, working in tandem with pre-existing shortcode and toll-free registries. This new system also requires affirmative consent, which many consumers prefer.

2. Text Messages as Customer Service

A street light in front of a sign for Hollywood Boulevard. “Chat It Out: SMS Marketing and Customer Service.”

Another SMS marketing trend is the ongoing use of SMS as a customer service channel.

It makes sense, too!

We’re always carrying our phones. Unlike other marketing channels — yes, even emails — texts are always available. Anyone with a basic cellular signal can send and receive SMS messages, and that accessibility translates to remarkable click-through rates.

So, why not use this powerful tool to your advantage? Turn the world’s most available communication device into an on-the-go helpline!

Using SMS Automation for Customer Service

One of the easiest ways to tap into SMS marketing’s customer service functions is to set up an automated chatbot. Much like its counterparts on other channels, an SMS chatbot follows a branching, predetermined path. After the first text message, users answer simple questions — usually “yes” or “no” — to narrow down their needs. Think of it as the modern solution to annoying robo-voiced phone calls.

Live Customer Support

Alternatively, you can use SMS marketing tools to craft a wholly personal live chat between customers and your support team.

Aside from the increased accessibility of SMS customer support, this approach gives consumers the confidence to make a purchase. The knowledge that their questions can be answered with a quick text message is a powerful tool, which can be leveraged to build brand loyalty and form meaningful connections.

3. SMS Marketing Will Still Increase Sales

People waiting at an uncovered train station. “Boost Sales: How Text Messages Pull In Profit.”

Aside from answering customer questions, SMS marketing is expected to hold its title as a top-earner for businesses. Your SMS list will be just as important as your email subscribers, and both can be bundled under an omnichannel marketing strategy to supercharge your income!

I’ve already touched on the relationship-building aspect of modern SMS marketing. So, this section is dedicated to the channel’s versatility. Like emails, SMS campaigns can be molded to fit countless purposes.

Those appointment reminders from your dentist are barely scratching the surface of mobile marketing. You can do so much more with your marketing messages!

Turn Customer Engagement Into Profit

One of the best ways to bump those conversion rates is via SMS.

Allow me to explain.

Text messages fall under an umbrella known as “conversational marketing.” Mobile users hold their contacts in high regard, and your SMS campaign will likely be sandwiched between texts from family and friends. This is particularly useful for ecommerce businesses, where familiarity often breeds success.

Every time someone opens your SMS message, they’re telling you they want more.

So, give your SMS subscribers what they want! Send them deals, coupon codes, and rewards! Satisfy their need for instant gratification.

Use Careful Data Collection to Personalize Content

What if you want to really push your content?

Well, then, you need personalized SMS marketing.

Text messages do more than fulfill many customer service functions. They even go beyond delivering timely reminders.

If you’re going for a hugely effective text messaging campaign, it’s time to break out your data. Take your conversational marketing to the next level by delivering triggered messages on important dates, such as birthdays or anniversaries.

Get the Most From Your SMS Marketing

Overlapping leaves. “Find a Pro: Turn an SMS Message Into Profit.”

I could keep talking about SMS marketing trends all day!

There’s a profit-boosting solution to fit every SMS marketing budget, but success takes time. You need a professional plan to maximize your investment. You need a partner who knows the ins and outs of SMS usage.

You need The Email Marketers.

Here, you’ll find a team of marketing pros. My team understands the interplay between multiple channels, and we’ll craft a plan to fit your needs. We’ll free you from the tethers of knowledge, allowing you to move beyond researching the latest SMS marketing trends. Instead, you can focus on your business. We’ll handle your marketing.

Interested? Schedule a free strategy session and see what The Email Marketers can do for you.