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SMS Marketing 2021

How Ecommerce, D2Cs, and Others Are Leveraging This Emerging Consumer Touchpoint

About This Report
SMS marketing has long remained under the radar. But several tailwinds will make sending text messages to customers a common practice in 2021.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

As one of the fastest-growing tools in a marketer’s arsenal, SMS can be a highly effective customer communication channel, but it also comes with its own set of challenges.

How big is SMS in the business world?

Business-to-consumer (B2C) text messaging is growing rapidly. According to Juniper Research, global mobile business messaging traffic hit 2.7 trillion in 2020, up 10% from 2019. Brands are using SMS in various customer communication applications, including marketing messages, customer support, transactional messages, and more.

What is driving growth for SMS marketing?

The pandemic undoubtedly accelerated adoption of SMS marketing, with cloud communications provider Infobip seeing 8.5% and 20% growth in SMS marketing messages in March and April 2020, respectively, compared with February. In January 2020, 51% of retail marketers in a CommerceNext survey sponsored by Exponea said they planned to increase investment in messaging or SMS marketing; that figure grew to 56% in June.

What are some of the challenges to SMS marketing?

Because customers open SMS marketing messages more frequently than emails, SMS unsubscribe rates are higher, according to experts we interviewed. SMS marketing messages are also regulated by federal law, and marketers should be aware of brand safety issues when using shared short codes.

How should marketers prepare for SMS marketing in 2021?

Marketers must develop or audit their SMS marketing strategies, including figuring out what types of messages they will send, determining frequency and length, and embracing tactics that will allow their marketing lists to grow.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report discusses the business applications of SMS messaging, the pros and cons of SMS marketing, its relationship to email marketing and live chat, and best practices within the discipline.

KEY STAT: Pre-pandemic, 51% of US retailers planned to increase their investment in messaging and SMS platforms; by June 2020, that figure had jumped to 56%, above all other technologies.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

18expert perspectives

Insights from industry and company leaders.

    Table of Contents

    1. Executive Summary
    2. How Businesses Use SMS Today
    3. Pros and Cons of SMS Marketing
    4. Properly Executing an SMS Marketing Strategy
    1. What’s Next for SMS Marketing in 2021
    2. Key Takeaways
    3. Insider Intelligence Interviews
    4. Read Next
    1. Sources
    2. Media Gallery

    Interviewed for This Report

    Zack Abbell
    Tula Skincare
    Vice President, Digital and Commerce
    Interviewed December 11, 2020
    Benjamin Benichou
    Co-Founder and CEO
    Interviewed November 12, 2020
    Andrew Bilinsky
    Co-Founder and CEO
    Interviewed November 10, 2020
    Norman Guadagno
    Interviewed December 3, 2020
    Norman Happ
    EZ Texting
    Interviewed December 10, 2020
    Alex Jennison
    Mad Engine
    Ecommerce Marketing Manager
    Interviewed December 18, 2020
    Ross Kramer
    Co-Founder and CEO
    Interviewed September 21, 2020
    Janna Land
    FarmFoods, Inc.
    Co-Founder and COO
    Interviewed December 23, 2020
    Brian Long
    Co-Founder and CEO
    Interviewed December 7, 2020
    Amanda Nelson
    Vice President, Ecommerce
    Interviewed December 22, 2020
    Zak Normandin
    Iris Nova
    Founder and CEO
    Interviewed January 5, 2021
    Jason Scoggins
    Chipotle Mexican Grill
    Director, Loyalty and CRM
    Interviewed December 21, 2020
    Sam Shames
    Embr Labs
    Co-Founder and COO
    Interviewed December 7, 2020
    Massimiliano Tirocchi
    Co-Founder and CMO
    Interviewed October 1, 2020
    Ryan Urban
    Co-Founder and CEO
    Interviewed November 23, 2020
    Oscar Werner
    Interviewed January 5, 2021
    Gregory Zakowicz
    Director, Content
    Interviewed November 6, 2020
    Suhail Rivera
    Alkaline Herb Shop
    Interviewed December 29, 2020


    Jeremy Goldman

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