It would be an understatement to say that American consumers love their smartphones. According to one survey, nearly 70% of Americans report sleeping with their smartphone in arm’s reach. According to another survey, nearly all Americans check their smartphone within 15 minutes of waking up. Cumulatively, Americans will check their smartphones 9 billion times each day.

What do these mobile-phone obsessed people do while on their phones? Primarily texting. Americans spend an average of 26 minutes a day reading and responding to text messages, more than they spend on any other mobile phone-based activity. The average person will send 5.3 text messages for every phone call they make. With so many people using smartphones to send and receive text messages, it’s no wonder that many businesses are turning their attention to using text service to communicate with their customers.

Customer-business text interactions are on the rise

Millions of Americans prefer texting to talking on the phone and customer-business interactions reflect that interest. Approximately 62% of smartphone users report using their phone to inquire about products or services from businesses and 36% reported that they communicated with a customer service representative via text before making a major purchase like a car or home appliance. Customers prefer texting to phone calling for many reasons: there are no awkward silences to think about what to say or how to phrase something, messages can be sent at the participants’ convenience and ignored when there is something more pressing, and text messaging creates a written record of the conversation that participants can look back on.

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Small businesses should cash in

Though virtually all major companies are using text messaging to interact with customers, many smaller businesses aren’t. In fact, it remains one of the least utilized methods of communication despite the fact that it is the most preferred by their customer base. Here are a few reasons small business owners should consider getting in on the text message marketing craze:

  • Text messages get noticed. Approximately 98% of all text messages are read by recipients, that’s 95% more than email. Furthermore, an astonishing 90% of text messages are read within three seconds of being received
  • They’re immediate, but not annoying. Because the majority of Americans have their phones set to notify them upon receipt of a text—either through a tone, vibration, or wearable tech notification—they’re likely to get the message near-instantaneously. It makes SMS the preferred channel for sending time-sensitive information. Though phone calls are similarly immediate, people are more likely to view them as an intrusion and many screen their calls
  • It’s easy to use. Enterprise mobile messaging has come a long way in recent years thanks to the growing interest in using text service to communicate with customers. It’s now easier than ever to send professional-looking texts by using custom templates and multimedia features like images or video. Nearly all customers will have a mobile phone and will be familiar with how to use text messaging

If email or phone marketing efforts are falling short, it may be time to give text services a try.