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Mar 04, 2024
5 minutes read

How popular is SMS in 2024? And how can it add value to your business?

While SMS is one of the oldest messaging services, the rise of instant messaging channels made a dent in its traffic. Why? Compared to the newer channels with rich features, SMS is relatively basic in its features, with plain text messages and a character limit of 160. Yet in customer communication, basic is often effective. So much so, that SMS is still one of the most impactful communication channels today. But how can it add value to your business? In this blog, we explore the popularity and key use cases of this ever-lasting channel.

Short Message Service (SMS)

Launched in the 1990s, SMS (Short Message Service) allows users to send and receive short and simple messages on mobile phones. The messages consist of plain text, without rich media, and each message has a 160-character limit. SMS is native to every mobile phone, which means that receiving SMS messages is already hard-wired into all mobile devices worldwide, and doesn't require any specific requirements; a valid phone number and a service plan to send and receive SMS messages are enough. This makes SMS a powerful tool for businesses to reach their audience.

How popular is SMS in the UK and beyond?

As of 2023, there were almost 8.9 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide and 111.8 million mobile subscriptions in the UK, SMS has become a powerful tool for customer communication. Research even predicts that by 2025, approximately 6 billion people will be able to send and receive SMS.

SMS boasts open rates as high as 98%, which means that messages not only reach your audiences but those messages will be read. This is further proven by the fact that 85% of surveyed people in 2023 admitted to prefer receiving SMS over email or phone calls. As many as 45% of people will engage with branded messages, or conversational marketing messages for that matter.

How to use SMS for business

SMS's high reach and engagement will enable you to reach your audience, but how exactly can you benefit from the channel? The most common use case of SMS for business is Application-to-Person (A2P) messaging, where messages are sent from an application to a person, rather than Person-to-Person (P2P).

A2P messaging is everywhere in our daily lives, from receiving order confirmations when online shopping to marketing messages about new product restocks. It is suitable for a huge number of use cases. Let’s look at a few.

1. Update and alert customers with SMS

High open and engagement rates make SMS a timely channel, ideal for sending out time-sensitive notifications, updates and alerts. Order confirmations via SMS with details such as a confirmed date, time and/or location will instantly provide your customers peace of mind after scheduling an appointment or purchasing a product online. (acquired by JustEat), one of Europe’s most popular food delivery services, uses SMS to update customers that their order has been received, removing friction from the customer journey. Read the case study.

Sending appointment reminders and tracking or delivery updates via SMS will help reduce no-shows by keeping the appointment or delivery top-of-mind for your customers. And even if your delivery runs a little late, these updates help inform your customers, effectively reducing the impact on your live agents. And because sending and receiving SMS messages rarely takes more than a few seconds, it is also a great channel to send crucial notifications in the event of important updates or disturbances.

2. Engage customers via SMS

SMS is a perfect tool for customer engagement, both in terms of support and marketing. You can use SMS to start two-way conversations with customers, helping them with their queries and assisting them in their customer journey. In fact, 97% of companies found they communicated with customers more efficiently after launching SMS initiatives.

Besides being a quick way to offer support, this more personal way of communicating with customers also builds trust and loyalty. 45% of consumers admit that the ability to send mobile messages is what could convince them to choose one brand, product or service over another. And as many as 66% of consumers say they would pay more for something if it was supported by a mobile messaging channel.

By sending out personalised offers and recommendations via SMS, you can entice customers to visit your website or product and give your sales a boost.

53% of consumers say they feel more positive toward a brand that uses mobile messaging to communicate

Use SMS messaging to send promotional campaigns and special offers to thousands of people at a time, but also make sure that the offer is relevant. By linking your SMS solution to your database or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) you can personalise and customise the SMS messages for an optimal customer experience.

Etam, the French lingerie market leader, sends personalised SMS messages monthly to its loyalty program members. As a result, it has a higher repeat purchase rate, both in number of visits and turnover. Read the case study.

3. Increase security with SMS

A growing use case of SMS involves security via Two-Factor Authentication. If a customer forgets a password your website can reset it for them— but they'll need to enter a six-digit number sent via SMS to confirm their identity first. If a customer needs to make a large payment, you confirm the payee's identity in a similar manner. Two-Factor Authentication via SMS messaging by sending One Time Passwords (OTPs), is a growing business use case. Juniper Research even forecasts that the total SMS traffic used for OTP use cases will reach 1.5 trillion by 2028, an increase from 1.3 trillion in 2023.

The added value of SMS

The rise of social messaging apps may have impacted the popularity of SMS, but its added value never diminished. Whereas the newer platforms are perhaps stronger in rich features, the strength of SMS shines through in its reach and reliability. So is it the best choice for your business?

Well, do you have to choose? SMS complements the newer messaging channels greatly. Reach out to customers via their favourite messaging channels and fall back to SMS to make sure you reach everyone. Use SMS to push your marketing campaigns or authenticate users on your platform, but also reach out to your customers on other socials to fully engage your target audience.

Check out's SMS Messaging solutions below and feel free to reach out to one of our experts to discuss the possibilities for your business.

Discuss the possibilities of SMS for your business with

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Christel Brouwers
Copywriter at Passionate about language and getting’s message out there. Shares content about CPaaS, Payments and more.

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