Top Reasons Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore SMS


SMS is maybe the most expensive channel you’ve ever heard, but these SMS Reports will make you think that SMS is worth investing in for startup or big company.

When you hear about SMS for customer support, maybe you will think twice to use it since it’s most expensive channel compared with email, social media, or instant messaging.

SMS is not a new technology. The first concept of SMS has been developed in early 1980s. Since then, SMS had a golden era in 2015 with 8.3 trillion in peak traffic.


Based on a reseach by Portio Research, in the next years of SMS growth are predicted will be in decline phase.

The mayor factor is people prefer to use instant messaging apps, like WhatsApp, Telegram, Messenger, or WeChat, since it’s free.

On average, you need to spend $0.02 per sms you sent, compared with instant messaging, you don’t need to pay for sending the messages.

Plus, Instant Messaging apps have rich features to ease people sending any kind of files, like photo, video, pdf, or even money.

SMS Reports

Yes, I know. The SMS reports above will make you think twice to use SMS as communication channel to your customers, but I want to show you that although you see SMS traffic will decline, but the stats will speak itself.

A study from Arc Applause show that only 44% people on earth connected through internet, while 95% people on earth can access a cellular network. It means that SMS is used by 6.7 billion people over the world. It’s still a monster.

According to a survey by RingCentral, the clear majority (72 percent) of people in US prefers SMS messaging to messaging apps for business communication.

The reason? It’s easier (according to 74 percent) and faster (56 percent). It feels more direct, private, and difficult to miss (or ignore).

So, that’s why from Startups to big companies, they still use SMS as one of their communication channels to customers. Here is some of them:


I’m not saying that SMS must be the only channel you need to provide for customer support. I mean, you can still use the others, including SMS.

A study published by eWeek show us that most (89%) of people expect different channels for customer support, so it’s important to know that SMS is a must have channel you need to provide, next to email, social media, instant messaging, or live chat.

In this post, we will explore the stats that will make you think twice about SMS, an expensive customer service channel that are worth investing in for startup or big company.

Good for Keeping The Existing Customers

I personally prefer SMS to phone calls when i get an issue over the service i subscribe

The reason is I hate when my call being placed on hold. While email is not instant.

Did you know that 78% of people expect that they could text the business? Maybe it’s because only 14% of calls made to businesses are answered without being placed on hold.

Phone calls are not so effective for customer support, based on my experience, we need to spend around 10-15 minutes to wait until the agent answer our call, with a record, if we are lucky enough, because they depend on how many agents the company have, remember one agent can’t handle more than one call at the same time. While texting and instant messaging are asynchronous.

Moreover, Phone call is also not always the most cost effective choice. Typically, you need to spend $6-$12 per contact.

Keeping the existing customers is about choosing the right platform. You need to choose the channel that make the most sense for your business and your customers. Go where your customers are.

Here is the global users for each channels:


On SMS Reports above, we can see that SMS is still number one in total users.

I agree that become the number one in total users doesn’t mean that it’s most effective channel. Effectiveness depends on what goal you want to target.

If your goal is the channel with highest open rate, the answer is SMS.

According to SMS reports from Mobile Marketing Watch, SMS has 98% open rate, while email has only 20%.

With high open rate, you can play with order status, marketing, appointment reminder, or any important notifications.

If your target is the channel with highest rated for customer support and satisfaction. Let’s see SMS reports from CFI Group:

Texting was the highest rated contact method for customer support and satisfaction out of all other customer communication channels. Text earned 90 out of 100 points, while phone earned 77 out of 100 and Facebook earned 66.

It’s a no brainer allowing your customers text your business.

Good Things from Email and Messaging Apps

SMS is a hybrid of email and messaging apps in a good manner.

SMS is a universal channel similarly to email. You can send the messages to over 6 billion people that’s not restricted to a platform. While email is not instant communication.

Unlike email, SMS is instant similarly to instant messaging apps. Instant means that assuming the people you want to target is online, the message will be received as soon as you send it. While messaging apps are restricted to platform, you can’t send people through WhatsApp, while they don’t have WhatsApp installed on their phones.

People like to answer the text as soon as they receive it.

According to SMS reports from CTIA, It takes the average person 90 minutes to respond to email, but only 90 seconds to respond to a text message.


SMS is good in open rate and response rate, while email is not. In some cases, you need to provide SMS over email.

I’m not saying that email is not good in general, we still need email in some cases, but again if you want a channel with high open rate and response rate, so i think SMS is the right choice.

Messaging Apps Won’t Kill the SMS

While people loses their mind about the phenomenon of messaging apps, and start wondering if SMS will be no longer the best choice for communication channel.

The stats doesn’t support that.

In fact, a survey from Statista show us that 68% of UK WhatsApp users prefer using SMS.


Perhaps people who assume messaging apps will kill SMS is the people who concern about pricing issue.

But, as today there are many mobile contract packages allow people to send unlimited text messages. So, i think people don’t need to worry about pricing anymore.

Furthermore, In developing countries people don’t have to worry about bad internet connection since SMS doesn’t require it.

According to report from Statista above, One of the most important advantages of SMS, 68% of those surveyed, is the ability to send SMS messages without an Internet connection.

So, I think it’s not true if messaging apps will kill the SMS.

Your turn

Good customer service is more valuable than acquiring ones.

Keeping the existing customers is about choosing the right channels. There are several reasons you should consider when choosing the right channel to your customers.

If you want a channel with highest open rate and response rate, based on SMS reports above, then SMS is the best choice you need to provide.

Stop worrying about messaging apps, they will not kill SMS. There are 6.7 billion people using SMS, while messaging apps has only 2.9 billion users.

Do you agree with it? Let’s discuss on the comment below

Rizki Aditya

Read more posts by this author.

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