Considering all of the different digital marketing options small business owners have these days to promote their business, you might assume that SMS marketing isn’t as effective as it once was just a few years ago.

That couldn’t be further from the truth. Nevertheless, SMS marketing campaigns still do surprisingly well in a world saturated with social media marketing.

Specifically, local businesses can reap the potential benefits of SMS marketing since there’s little personalization required for regional marketing.

While social media marketing hype is justified, SMS marketing has some surprising statistics that can’t be ignored.

With that said, SMS marketing has a broad scope today and in the future. Below, we look at the benefits of SMS marketing, particularly for small to medium-sized local businesses.

Why Tap Into SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing allows you to be right where your customers spend most of their time - on their phones. So it’s not only the most logical but also the fastest way to access your customers.

Experts at Forbes consider it the ‘tool of the future,’ here’s why:

Fast Engagement

On average, a cell phone user takes 90 seconds to respond to a text message. On the other hand, users take about 90 minutes to reply to an email.

While this alone is enough to demonstrate the efficiency of SMS marketing at getting instant engagement, marketers also need to consider the open rate.

Open rate refers to the percentage of texts or emails the receivers open.

Compared to a 20% open rate for emails, 98% of the receivers open their text messages, making the latter a quick way to reach your customers.

Let’s say you’re a local bakery offering customized cakes for the holiday season.

SMS marketing is the fastest way to inform your customers about this offer. Meanwhile, email marketing is a slower channel, and the customer may open their email after the holiday season.

SMS marketing can help boost your email marketing campaigns too.

According to a Smart Insights report, sending a follow-up SMS like ‘Did you read our email?’’ can increase the open email rate by up to 30%. So it’s a win-win for both sides.

High ROI

SMS marketing yields a 45% return on investment when used solely and up to 50% when applied in combination with other marketing channels like email or social media marketing.

It’s also great to funnel a customer through your omnichannel marketing approach.

For example, as a local spa, you could send an SMS to those who opted-in to receive notifications about upcoming specials on your massage packages.

The receiver will read your SMS and head to your website to get information about your services.

They’re also likely to visit your social media pages to read reviews and see user-generated content, such as pictures and videos.   In this way, SMS marketing can also help bring traffic to other channels.

Finally, they visit your business and signup for a massage. The trend is bound to continue since 63% of consumers still use their phone’s default texting app, and the number of people using SMS to stay in touch has increased substantially. Therefore, the growth will probably continue.

Considering this, 61% of marketers intend to invest more in SMS marketing in 2021.


If you’re a small start-up or a home-run business, you may not have the budget for email or social media marketing.

Fortunately, SMS marketing is an affordable alternative that gets an incredible response from customers without breaking the bank.

Many SMS marketing companies offer subscription packages costing $50 to $500, depending on the number of messages you want to send monthly and the keywords you wish to rent.

More importantly, you do not need to hire anyone to create graphic illustrations, shoot videos, or take pictures, as you would in social media marketing.

You can either write the SMS copy yourself or hire a copywriter based on your needs.

High Responsiveness

Most businesses prefer using SMS marketing since text messages incite a quick response. In addition, 26% of companies use text messages to inform customers about coupons and discounts.

Even better, they manage to reach 67% of the consumers, which is an impressive reach.

Another way local businesses can leverage SMS marketing is to allow customers to make appointments through text messages.

It has worked in the past - 44% of consumers schedule their appointments through SMS. So it’s bound to work in the future.

53.75% of marketers and business owners consider fast delivery the most significant benefit of SMS marketing.

The sooner local businesses jump on board, the better it will be for ROI and customer engagement.

Future Trends in SMS Marketing

In the coming years, businesses will focus on interacting with their customers through SMS. As a result, the concerning fact of marketing called conversational commerce is expected to come into play.

Conversational commerce refers to having one-on-one conversations with your customers.

For instance, you can let them ask you for sizing and product recommendations or compare product options through SMS.

Although it’s non-promotional, it helps generate revenue and bring more customers into the loop.

Links in SMS

Another upcoming trend is sending links through SMS. Again, the CTA is associated with the connection. For instance, you can send an appointment form to the customers through SMS if you’re a local hair salon.

Clients can fill in the form to book an appointment for any service. Similarly, businesses will send links for promotional offers, their social media pages, contests, and websites.

Rich Communication Services

Insert Maps

Rich Communication Services is a messaging technology that will allow businesses to add features like maps, videos, and chip lists into text messages.

For instance, like a local gym, you can send a map of your location to the target audience.

Similarly, local hotels and guest houses can send area maps to show customers the proximity of their business to nearby locations.

However, RCS is not forecasted to become a trend soon, as only 8.1% of the global mobile phone networks have adopted it.

Without a doubt, SMS marketing is one of the quickest and most effective ways to reach your customers. Moreover, it’s the best regarding return on investment and open rate.

To generate a high ROI and ensure a significant open rate, you should be writing the copy for your SMS marketing campaign right…now.