SMS Marketing in the USA A Comprehensive Recap of 2023.png

As 2023 fades into the rearview mirror, it's time to reflect on the year's marketing trends and strategies. For SMS marketing in the USA, 2023 was a year of continued growth, rising engagement, tighter compliance and evolving best practices.

The Power of the Ping:

Let's start with the big numbers:

SMS open rates in the USA averaged 98% in 2023, meaning nearly 98 out of every 100 SMS messages sent to customers will be opened, compared to just 20 out of every 100 emails highlighting the undeniable reach and immediate attention this channel commands.

Click-through rates (CTRs) for SMS marketing campaigns reached an average of 36%, showcasing the effectiveness of text messages in driving desired actions.

SMS marketing revenue in the USA is projected to reach $10.2 billion by 2026, demonstrating the continued investment brands are making in this powerful tool.

2023 Trends that Defined the Landscape:

SMS Marketing in the USA A Comprehensive Recap of 2023 (2).png
  • The Power of Personalization: Generic blasts are out, tailored messages are in. By providing personalized, real-time engagement with customers, businesses can increase conversion, satisfaction and loyalty. Consumers crave relevance, and 2023 saw businesses leveraging data and segmentation to personalize their SMS marketing,

  • Connecting the Dots: SMS is no longer a siloed channel. Seamless integration with other marketing platforms, like email and social media, created a cohesive customer journey, boosting brand loyalty and overall campaign effectiveness.

  • Conversational Texting: From polls and quizzes to two-way chat functions, businesses embraced interactive elements in their SMS campaigns and texting has become one of the primary ways we stay in touch. In fact, 90% of people today prefer to communicate over text—and this figure holds true for personal relationships as well as business relationships. And with the rise of conversational texting, companies should leverage this technology to stay competitive in 2024.

  • Rich Media Enhances the Message: Gone are the days of plain text! Images, GIFs, and even videos became commonplace in SMS marketing, adding visual interest and boosting engagement.

Text Message Compliance became tighter in 2023.

New compliance rules were introduced for text messaging between businesses and individuals to improve delivery quality, lower filtering risks and to ensure that the genuine messages are reaching customers. These changes will also protect against spam and unsolicited messages.

New SMS and Branded Caller ID regulations rolled out in Q2 2023 that have massively changing how brands can use these tools. The new regulations require that every company register their sms campaigns and Branded Caller ID campaigns before being allowed to send texts or brand calls. Organizations that do not comply will face disruptions, fees and legal action.

What is Branded Called ID?

Branded Called ID is a new technology that allows companies to display their name and logo on their customers cell phone when making outbound calls. Branded Caller ID helps companies increase their brand recognition and increases answer rates.

Stringent Verification Process on A2P 10DLC numbers?

Verification 10DLC.png

Until recently there was little compliance on what was sent via A2P 10DLC, but starting September 1, 2023, all companies must register (and get approved for) their SMS and MMS campaigns by demonstrating how they capture TCPA consent and what messages they will send. Messages sent in the US from unregistered A2P 10DLC numbers will be blocked.

10DLC Verification Process Changes:

  • Stricter Scrutiny: Carriers significantly tightened regulations for obtaining and utilizing 10DLC numbers for business texting. This involved stricter vetting processes, brand reputation checks, and increased emphasis on consumer protection.

  • Campaign Registration: Many carriers implemented mandatory campaign registration programs for businesses using 10DLCs. This involved pre-registering campaigns with detailed information about the sender, message content, and opt-in mechanisms.

  • Compliance Headaches: Navigating the increasingly complex and nuanced 10DLC landscape presented compliance challenges for many businesses. Failure to adhere to carrier guidelines could result in penalties, service disruptions, and reputational damage.But those that do not comply will face disruptions, fees and legal action.

Shifting Landscape:

  • Toll Free Number Verification Process Changes: All US and Canadian businesses using Toll-Free Numbers (TFNs) for SMS must have their numbers “verified” to continue using SMS. Starting Jan 31, 2024, messages sent from Toll-Free phone numbers with Pending Verifications will be blocked and subject to higher messaging fees
    Elevated carrier fees: Unregistered messages cost more than registered texts for all carriers, meaning you’ll be spending more than necessary.
  • Consent is the key: The TCPA requires companies to gain formal consent from customers before they’re permitted to communicate with customers through SMS. This act aims to empower mobile users by letting them hand-pick the companies they associate with and protect them from receiving copious amounts of promotional text messages.
  • Clear opt-in Process: Opt-in is the process of receiving consumers' permission to send them text messages. Before texting your audience, It’s not enough to have a customer’s phone number, you need to get their permission this is also called express written consent.

SMS Opt-in involves two steps:

  1. Opt-In Method, how to collect a mobile number?
  2. Call to Action (CTA), how to ask the user for a mobile number?

Impact on Businesses and Remedy:

Businesses had to face suspensions and account terminations for failing to align with the evolving regulations.

It's advisable for the Businesses to adapt quickly and do the proper due diligence and adapt to these changes wholeheartedly as it’s good for customers and the brands that are complying. These changes will result in fewer spam calls and texts, resulting in an improved customer experience and better results for companies that navigate the changes correctly.

Looking Ahead

  • Continued Evolution: Expect carrier policies around 10DLCs to continue evolving in 2024 and beyond, with a focus on further protecting consumers and maintaining a healthy SMS ecosystem.

  • Focus on Compliance and Best Practices: For businesses, prioritizing compliance with carrier regulations and employing best practices for ethical texting will be crucial to secure and retain 10DLC access.

  • Potential for Industry Consolidation: The stricter regulations may lead to consolidation within the business texting industry, with established players with robust compliance infrastructure gaining an advantage.

Remember, staying informed about the latest changes and adapting your business texting strategies accordingly will be key to success in the ever-evolving landscape.

The RCS Factor:

Apple Joins the RCS Party:

Apple says that, in 2024, the iPhone will add support for RCS messaging.

Apple Spokesperson Jacqueline Roy says, RCS Universal Profile will offer a better interoperability experience when compared to SMS or MMS. This will work alongside with their iMessage, which will continue to be the best and most secure messaging experience for Apple users.

The iPhone adopting RCS could enable support for encryption, read receipts, typing indicators, high-resolution images and videos, and more, when sending texts between iPhone and Android devices. However, RCS adoption, especially for business messaging, is still in its early stages, and SMS will likely remain dominant for the foreseeable future.

Looking Ahead to 2024:

The future of SMS marketing in the USA is bright, with exciting trends on the horizon:

  • AI-powered personalization: Expect to see artificial intelligence play a bigger role in crafting personalized SMS campaigns, ensuring every message resonates with individual customers.

  • Chatbots for enhanced customer service: Chatbots will become more sophisticated, offering instant support and answering customer queries via SMS, improving brand accessibility and satisfaction.

  • Focus on privacy and compliance: With data privacy regulations evolving, businesses will need to prioritize building trust and ensuring compliance, fostering a secure and ethical SMS marketing environment.

Key Takeaways for Your Business:

As we embark on 2024, here are some key takeaways for your SMS marketing strategy:

  • Personalize, personalize, personalize! Tailor your messages to individual customers to stand out and drive engagement.

  • Integrate with your overall marketing ecosystem for a seamless customer journey.

  • Embrace interactive elements and rich media to make your messages more engaging.

  • Stay ahead of the curve by utilizing AI, chatbots, and focusing on privacy and compliance.

By capitalizing on these trends and staying true to best practices, you can leverage SMS marketing to reach your target audience, build stronger customer relationships, and drive success in the years to come.

Remember, SMS marketing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Experiment, find what works for your brand and audience, and keep your pulse on the ever-evolving landscape. Happy texting!

Stay connected.png

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
about SMS Marketing in the USA

Ready to get started 🎉

Contact us or sign up for a free trial now.

By using this website you agree to our privacy policies

Cookie Settings

We use cookies to improve user experience. Choose what cookie categories you allow us to use. You can read more about our Cookie Policy by clicking on Cookie Policy below.

These cookies enable strictly necessary cookies for security, language support and verification of identity. These cookies can’t be disabled.

These cookies collect data to remember choices users make to improve and give a better user experience. Disabling can cause some parts of the site to not work properly.

These cookies help us to understand how visitors interact with our website, help us measure and analyze traffic to improve our service.

These cookies help us to better deliver marketing content and customized ads.