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15 Text Marketing Trends to Watch For (2023 Update)

Oct 31, 2022

As we near the end of 2022, customer expectations are changing. The desire for instant gratification and streamlining the customer experience dictate that marketers remain on their toes to provide new ways to inform and delight the people they do business with.

More companies are adopting text marketing to connect with users increasingly inclined to engage with mobile outreach. In 2023, these text marketing trends are poised to continue. 

To increase the effectiveness of SMS in your digital marketing strategy, consider these 15 SMS marketing trends for 2023 and beyond.

1. SMS as a Customer Service Channel

2. Customers Still Want You To Text Them

3. 10-Digit Long Codes (10DLC) Reign Supreme

4. Text Discounts Drive Sales

5. SMS Texts Drive Website Traffic

6. Cross-Selling With SMS

7. AI Conversational Marketing

8. SMS Plays a Key Role in Multi-Channel Marketing

9. SMS Texts Get Sophisticated

10. Advanced Targeting Through Trigger-Based Text Messages

11. SMS Remains a Top-Performing Marketing Channel

12. Demand for Personalized SMS Marketing Rises

13. Online Influencers Adopt SMS

14. SMS Relationships Are Where It’s At

15. SMS Isn’t Strictly For Marketing

1. Acceptance of SMS as a Customer Service Channel

Customer service continues to play a significant role in marketing departments by delivering on your brand promise and increasing goodwill. In addition, consumers prefer texting customer support reps over phone calls because of the convenience and flexibility texting offers.

SMS can facilitate many customer service functions, such as: 

  • Sending order pickup notifications and payment receipts
  • Providing delivery tracking information
  • Sending appointment reminders and rescheduling appointments
  • Responding to frequently asked questions
  • Asking for product and service feedback

The bottom line: Texting with customer support allows anyone with a mobile device to resolve issues quickly — without enduring long hold times and transfers. Shorter resolution times with SMS can also encourage consumer trust and help boost profits.

2. Customers Still Want You To Text Them

What’s easier than communicating via text? Not only will SMS texting continue to be effective in 2023, but studies also show that 75% of customers want to receive marketing offers via SMS. 

The bottom line: Receiving two-way communications and offers from businesses via text is fast and easy, paving the way for enhanced business-customer relationships and transactions.

3. 10-Digit Long Codes (10DLC) Reign Supreme

10-digit long codes, or 10DLC, are 10-digit local phone numbers used to send high-volume text messages for marketing campaigns and other communications. 

After mobile carriers phased out shared shortcodes for SMS marketing in 2021 due to security concerns, 10DLC took over.  

The bottom line: While dedicated short codes are still available, 10DLC is faster and cheaper and provides spam protection, improved deliverability and enhanced consumer trust.

infographic showing that SMS marketing has a high opt-in rate and drives sales and brand loyalty

4. Text Discounts Drive Sales

Around 49 million consumers opt-in to receive text messages from businesses. In addition, offering customers dollar-off discounts has shown to be the most popular incentive for signing up for SMS communications.

Beyond promotions, successful marketers leverage SMS marketing by incorporating cart abandonment offers, VIP programs and birthday or anniversary specials to boost brand loyalty.

The bottom line: Text marketing generates a significantly higher response rate than email, phone calls or social media like Facebook. Therefore, adding it as a promotional channel should be an obvious choice. 

5. SMS Texts Drive Website Traffic

Aside from generating revenue through sales and promotions, SMS helps capture visitors who may not be ready to purchase. 

This type of traffic is valuable to your website, as ecommerce businesses are increasingly focused on building the authority of their web domain (and their brand) within their industry. With competition running high online, this is more important than ever.

Smartphones account for almost 70% of all retail website visits, which means SMS marketing delivers a substantial opportunity for web traffic.

The bottom line: The more visitors your website receives, the more potential customers you will have. This translates to the number of opportunities a business has to make a good impression, turn those visitors into leads, and eventually convert those leads and establish a business relationship.

6. Cross-Selling Continues Through Transactional SMS Updates

77% of consumers positively perceive companies that keep them informed through text messaging. 

With increasingly cluttered email inboxes, more consumers are opting in to SMS to receive order updates. Text messages let companies provide instant value through transaction updates such as order confirmation and shipping/delivery notifications.

The bottom line: Sending status update text messages allows companies to cross-sell or provide discounts for future orders while customers are already engaged.

7. AI Conversational Marketing

SMS chatbots are a huge text marketing trend that will continue rising in popularity in 2023. Chatbots save time and effort by automating parts of the customer experience, and providing instant answers to common customer inquiries. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) breakthroughs have made the technology more pervasive in mainstream software products. These advances will continue to spill into SMS software. As a result, you’ll see more AI-powered chatbots stepping in to answer customer questions, complete tasks and facilitate orders with virtually no human intervention.

The bottom line: AI allows for greater personalization, enabling companies to customize messaging and create meaningful customer interactions at scale.

8. SMS Plays a Key Role in Multi-Channel Marketing

Multi-channel marketing helps businesses create opportunities to be seen and valued by their customers. However, before branching out into multiple platforms, ensure you craft a unified strategy that maintains your brand voice. 

The bottom line: Consistency across channels is vital in creating and maintaining customer trust.

infographic highlighting that MMS allows businesses to send images, audio files, video clips, and GIFs  

9. SMS Texts Get Sophisticated

Why limit yourself to text-only messages? Adding MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) allows you to embed rich media such as images, audio files, short video clips and GIFs into your communications.

The bottom line: While MMS texts cost more, using them strategically can help cement brand identity while spotlighting special promotions.

Read: MMS vs. SMS: Which Is Right for Your Marketing Objectives?

10. Advanced Targeting Through Trigger-Based Text Messages

Just as email automation has allowed marketers to scale communications dramatically, trigger-based messages (also called auto-reply texts) offer a similar benefit to text marketers. 

You can set triggers to celebrate milestones, notify potential customers of an abandoned cart or even request feedback. 

The bottom line: SMS also adds a personal touch to automation, so your audience is more likely to connect with the message and take action. 

11. SMS Remains a Top-Performing Marketing Channel 

Email is a legitimate marketing channel, with 73% of marketers claiming it’s their best source for return on their marketing investment.

However, compared to SMS, email marketing platforms can be expensive. And although email contact lists are often larger than SMS lists, engagement and conversion rates are much lower for email. 

The fact that SMS messages reach their intended recipients instantly is quite compelling. In addition, while most emails remain unread, customers’ mobile phones will continually remind them of their unread text messages, increasing engagement and conversion opportunities.

The bottom line: As more companies expand their SMS programs, they will quickly identify text marketing as a high-ROI digital marketing channel. 

infographic showing comparison between email marketing and sms markering

12. Demand for Personalized SMS Marketing Rises

According to SmarterHQ, 72% of consumers now only engage with personalized marketing messages tailored to their interests. And why not? If your customers don’t sense that you know their needs, they’ll find a company that does.

The bottom line: If your “vanilla” SMS messages have missed the mark, crafting personalized text messages makes your customers feel seen and valued. Adding a personal touch to automated messages makes your audience more likely to connect with your brand and take action.

13. Online Influencers Adopt SMS

A startup platform called Community, which allows fans to “text” their favorite celebrities, is gaining traction. Community enables influencers to answer questions, promote projects and send last-minute invitations to their followers via SMS. 

The bottom line: While Community doesn’t promise one-to-one communication, it offers meaningful and direct exchanges at a massive scale — all through texting.

14. SMS Relationships Are Where It’s At

Relationship building is a marathon, not a sprint. If you’re only communicating with your customers to sell them something, you’re missing opportunities to connect with them and build brand loyalty.

The bottom line: If you don’t know your customers’ birthdays, the holidays are the perfect time to express gratitude and heartfelt wishes. Sending SMS messages during the holidays helps you stand out from your competitors and pays dividends in increased sales and customer engagement. 

15. SMS Isn’t Strictly For Marketing

While highly useful in the marketing department, mobile messaging benefits other areas of your business too (like your HR department). For example, SMS allows your business to connect with employment candidates about their application status, reach employees in an emergency, and inform your team of important news and updates.

Hopping on this SMS marketing trend is a great way to expand the use of your texting platform and take advantage of its many applications.

The bottom line: We predict this “trend” is here to stay.

Capitalize on Text Trends With Textedly 

A successful SMS campaign begins with the right software. Whether you’re new to SMS marketing or want to employ recent mobile marketing trends in your 2023 strategy, Textedly offers the flexibility to accomplish your goals. 

Textedly provides simple, easy-to-set-up SMS solutions so you can start messaging your customers right away.  

Get started with Textedly’s free trial to kickstart your SMS marketing campaigns.

Start Texting Your Customers for Free With Textedly