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The Power of SMS

Background

SMS (Text Messaging) is a breakthrough communication medium as evidenced by growth year after year. As of January 2006, over 8 billion text messages are sent every month – and that number has grown by 250% each year for the last two years. To validate the future growth within the channel, over the next 2 years, Verizon Wireless anticipates the number of text messages sent by their users on their network to grow nearly 5x from 400mm per month (in July 2005) to over 2 billion per month.

SMS is also the only universal mobile platform for the masses. It does not require special equipment as it is already available on 95% of all cell phones.

Vital statistics on SMS usage throughout in the U.S. and throughout the world

  • Over 8 Billion Text Messages are sent every month in the U.S.
  • Median age of a Text Message user and Internet home buyer is 38 yrs old- it’s the same client
  • Of 25-34 year old mobile users, 50% use SMS, and 34% of mobile users between the ages of 35 to 49 use SMS.
  • As of Sept. 2005, more than 89 billion SMS messages sent monthly worldwide
  • SMS has twice the reach of the Internet!2
  • 57% of 18 - 25 year old mobile owners are SMS users4
  • Click through rates of 10% compared to 0.5% for Internet conversion rates
  • 41% of European adults use SMS as compared to 30% who use Internet / e-mail3
  • 44% of worldwide mobile users are willing to pay for content via mobile phone5
  • Response rates for mobile marketing campaigns are 40% compared to 3% for direct mail and 1% for Internet banner ads7

US Mobile Content Market = 68.7 million text users

  • 79% of the US owns a mobile phone
  • 184mm mobile phones users
  • 182mm text enabled handsets
  • 31.2mm text & web enabled phones

US Mobile ‘Text Message’ User

  • Age 18-24: 19%
  • Age 25-34: 24%
  • Age 35-54: 22%
  • Age 45-54: 19%

SMS growth in the United States

Every 6 months since the launch of the CSCA (June 2003) SMS traffic volumes have increased at least 37% in the U.S. It has quickly changed the way people communicate and access information. Currently over 8mm text messages are being sent each month and experts project it to grow to 80 billion a month in 2008.

SMS Statistics Chart - CSCA 2005


       

References:

  1. GSM Association Membership and Market Statistics Feb 2004
  2. Computer Industry Alamanac
  3. Gartner as reported in Intellect Report Dec 2003
  4. NOP World
  5. ATKearney
  6. Mobile Marketing: The message revolution. Kogan Page
  7. (Analysts Frost and Sullivan 2003)
  8. MDA UK Business Survey