9 prominent SMS marketing myths, debunked

When it comes to the digital marketing space, it can feel a little crowded. With increased saturation across most channels, it can be challenging for your business to stand out.

For concise, cost-efficient communication for your marketing strategy, business SMS is front of mind. And if it's not, it should be. According to the SMS Marketing 2021 Report, global business messaging traffic for mobile hit 2.7 trillion in 2020, 10% higher than in 2019.

Why aren't you utilising SMS marketing to its fullest potential?

Some of the top myths about SMS, while untrue, seem to affect marketing decisions when they shouldn't. Considering the simplicity of SMS, it can sometimes fall by the wayside when building your communication strategy. The many misconceptions around SMS marketing don’t help either.

In this blog post, we debunk 9 prominent misconceptions about SMS marketing:

1. It's difficult to track SMS campaigns

2. Only Millenials use SMS

3. SMS recipients need a smartphone or special software

4. Text message marketing is intrusive and spammy

5. Customers find SMS annoying

6. SMS marketing is limited to one-way

7. Bulk SMS and MMS is expensive

8. Business SMS only works for big companies

9. SMS marketing is complicated


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1. It's difficult to track SMS campaigns

When enterprise SMS first came onto the scene, campaign analytics were primitive. And thus, the myth around not being able to track SMS campaigns originated at this time.

Back in the day, SMS reporting solely relied on its status, whether each text message was sent or not. Nowadays, technology has advanced to provide more than a mere Sent or Failed SMS status.

Detailed SMS statuses are now trackable and include:

  • Delivered
  • Sent
  • Undelivered
  • No Credits
  • Invalid Number
  • Expired
  • Rejected

In addition to tracking text message status, SMS platforms track a variety of metrics and reporting.

  • Shortened URLs and link click-through rate (CTR)
  • Outgoing and Incoming messages
  • Opt-ins and Opt-outs
  • Filter reports by specific region, campaign, status and date
  • Individual contact history with MXT Conversation View
  • Additional communication features such as Voice

With easy access to all these metrics and customisable reporting, tracking SMS campaigns is no longer difficult. You can access all the information you need for your business text messaging in our SMS gateway, MXT!

Related article: How To Track SMS Campaigns In Google Analytics

Related article: URL Reporting

2. Only Millenials use SMS

Another misconception rooted in the past is the myth that only younger generations use SMS. Sure, mobile technology may have become popular with Millenials early on. But in today's digital age, it's rare to find someone without access to a mobile phone.

According to the Text Communication Report, most consumers wake up and check their phones within three minutes. Almost all consumers will check their devices at least every 30 minutes.

Yes, the report shows that younger consumers between ages 18 and 29 view their mobile devices significantly more than older generations—at least seven times per hour. Still, consumers over age 60 view their devices three or more times per hour on average.

While mobile users tend to use SMS for personal messaging, this has extended to business messaging over the years. The 2019 report showed that 69% of all consumers, and 75% under 44 years old, would like the option to contact a business via SMS.

3. SMS recipients need a smartphone or special software

Since 1992, when the first Short Message Service (SMS) was sent, it is now available across nearly all mobile phones with no additional software needed.

Smartphones have also been around since the 90s, starting out in the form of PDAs (personal digital assistants). Smartphones are defined as a device that combines computing technology with a mobile phone.

Today, all mobile phones include SMS. You don't need a smartphone or specific software to receive and send text messages. All you need is a means to send and receive the message (mobile device or SMS gateway) and a mobile number.

Related article: Top 10 Countries by Smartphone Usage and Penetration in 2021 [INFOGRAPHIC]

4. Text message marketing is intrusive and spammy

Depending on the location you are sending from and sending to, local regulations govern SMS usage. Most countries have anti-spam laws against sending unsolicited and fraudulent text messages.

On top of that, data protection and cybersecurity legislation restricts business communications. For example, mandatory opt-in procedures for SMS marketing have become the norm across the globe. Such regulations deter most businesses from sending spam texts and inundating recipients who haven’t explicitly opted in to receiving messages.

5. Customers find SMS annoying

As mentioned above, three-quarters of people below the age of 44 would prefer to communicate with a business via text message. SMS is one of the most common forms of communication, with many customers choosing text messaging over other communication channels.

On the flip side, most businesses will not purposely bombard their SMS subscribers with annoying text messages. With robust SMS reporting, companies can see which SMS campaigns were more successful by tracking link CTR and opt-out rates. More times than not, if a customer finds SMS annoying, they will immediately opt out of receiving that form of communication.

Related article: When Is The Best Time To Send An SMS?

6. SMS marketing is limited to one-way

A lot of traditional media and advertising has always been one-sided. Apart from one-on-one conversations in person or on the phone, two-way communication has only recently become popular with businesses.

With SMS, email, live chat, and OTT messaging, conversational support and two-way communication are now easily accessible. Two-way SMS may not be as blatant as other SMS marketing tactics. Still, it allows your business to nurture leads and communicate directly with your audience.

Use a business SMS gateway for a variety of two-way text marketing solutions.

  • Text-to-win campaigns
  • Reply for discount code
  • Keyword trigger responses and opt-ins
  • Text message support
  • And more!

Related article: Dynamic SMS methods to power up your bulk SMS campaigns

7. Bulk SMS and MMS is expensive

Like with most purchases, when you buy in bulk, it usually ends up being more cost-effective. Depending on your SMS provider, buying bulk could have you saving money.

MMS is slightly more expensive than a simple SMS. But when you consider how much more data it can hold than SMS, the cost balances out in the end.

SMS may be the most cost-effective channel for instant, reliable, and direct messaging for your business compared to other communication channels. And with free trial credits, you can even test it for yourself!

Related article: MMS [Explained]

8. Business SMS only works for big companies

Whether you are a big company or a small business, SMS works the same. It is a concise text message sent to your contacts to share your message.

Knowing your audience and sending them relevant SMS will play the most significant part in an effective SMS campaign, not the size of your business.

If anything, SMS marketing allows smaller businesses to compete with bigger organisations due to its cost-efficiency and easy to use nature.

Related article: 5 Small Business Strategies You Can Implement

9. SMS marketing is complicated to implement

Yes, you will need a communication strategy to initiate SMS marketing successfully. However, that doesn't mean your text message marketing campaigns must be complex and challenging to implement.

On the contrary, the more organised you are and the more targeted your strategy is, the easier it will be to curate messages and segment contact lists. Once you are set up with an SMS provider, you can start sending almost immediately.

Knowing your audience and how to provide the most value to them will allow you to personalise messages and create a positive experience. You can automate workflows, utilise bulk or two-way text messaging, integrate SMS into existing platforms, and track communication with an SMS gateway.

Related article: What MXT, our Online SMS Platform, can do for you [Part One]

Related article: What MXT, our Online SMS Platform, can do for you [Part Two]

Related article: What MXT, our Online SMS Platform, can do for you [Part Three]