Text Statistics | Text Messaging Facts, Stats and Insights

January 19, 2020

Top Texting Facts, Statistics and Insights:

  1. More businesses are engaging with consumers via text messages. 39% of businesses already use some form of text messaging to communicate with their consumers. Many more are expected to adopt the technology in 2020. Some 53% of marketers already use mobile messaging as part of their marketing strategy.
  2. Many concsumers already use their smartphones to send text messages to and receive text messages from businesses. 77% of the United States population owns a smartphone. 76% of consumers already receive text messages from businesses.
  3. Consumers seek conversational experiences but need more than chatbots. 74% of consumers prefer to talk to a real person over a chatbot. Millennials are twice as likely as Gen X’ers to reply to an unknown sender’s text message.
  4. Consumers prefer two-way, conversational text messaging. 3 out of 4 consumers get frustrated when they can’t respond or take action after receiving an automated text message. 61% of consumers think businesses should use the same number for calling and texting.
  5. Consumers often reply to missed calls with a text message. 58% of consumers have tried to reply with a text message after missing a call from a business. Consumers are 4 times more likely to respond to a text message than call back to a voicemail.

Global Text Message Statistics

5.1 billion people use mobile devices globally. The CTIA predicts there will be 31 billion connected devices by 2023. [1]

United States Text Messaging Statistics

99.7% of the U.S. population lives in areas covered by 4G LTE. [1]

From 2014 to 2017 the number of active smartphones in the US grew 31% to 273 Million. [1]

77% of Americans own a smartphone compared to 35% in 2011. [1]

In 2018, Americans connected another 21.5 million mobile devices for a total of 421.7 million devices. 284.7 million of those devices are smartphones - that’s 87% of the U.S. population. That means there are nearly 1.3 devices for every person in the country. [2]

Mobile download speeds have increased by 40% in the past two years. [1]

Wireless data traffic increased four times between 2014 and 2017 from 4.1 terabytes to 15.7 terabytes. [1]

In 2018 mobile data increased by 82% in 2018 to 28.58 terabytes from 12.89 trillion megabytes. [2]

In 2018, wireless use was up 82% across nearly every metric — from voice minutes to text messages, to data use. [2]

In 2018 smartphones generated an average of 6.6GB of data per month compared to 5 GB in 2017. [2]

Key Insights: The United States mobile device market continues to expand. More consumers are enjoying faster download speeds and sending more data. Amongst Americans, many own smartphones capable of supporting rich messaging experiences and over the top messaging apps.

2017 2018 change
Data Traffic 15.7 Trillion MB 28.58 Trillion MB Up 82.2%
Smartphones 273.2M 284.7M Up 4.2%
Combined Messaging Traffic (SMS + MMS) 1.8T 2.0T Up 15.8%

Text Message Marketing Stats

SMS text messaging is one of the top four most adopted mobile marketing tactics. [3]

Amongst marketers, 53% currently use mobile messaging to reach out to their prospects, leads, and customers. 31% plan on adopting the technology in the next 12 months. [7]

23% of marketers are planning on using AI to automate customer interactions over social channels or messaging apps. 57% plan on doing so within the next two years. [7]

68% of companies expect advanced mobile messaging apps to play a highly important role in online consumer marketing within five years. [4]

56% of organizations say their mobile messaging apps (SMS/MMS or advanced mobile messaging apps) perform well for improving customer engagement. [4]

Key Insights: Business text messaging is emerging amongst marketers as a great tool for offering contextual and conversational experiences. The rise of automated text message technologies and consumer preference for texting means that more marketers will look toward text messaging for use in marketing campaigns and regard it as an important marketing channel.

Business Text Messaging Stats

93% of consumers believe wireless messaging is a trusted communications environment. [1]

More than 8 out of 10 (85%) of consumers want to be able to send texts to and receive texts from businesses. [8]

82% of consumers keep notifications on for their native text messaging app. [8]

The average global opt-in rate for messaging apps is 77%. [8]

3 out of 4 consumers get frustrated when they can’t text a business back. [10]

76% of cconsumers have already received a text message from a business. [10]

74% of consumers prefer talking to a real person at a business instead of a chatbot. [10]

For appointment reminders and scheduling, 67% of people would rather text with a business than talk to them on the phone. [10]

Key Insights: Consumers enjoy the convenience and conversational experience of texting with a business using their native text messaging app. Many consumers already receive texts from businesses, but not all of these texting technologies allow consumers to text back. This creates frustration.

Why Customers Text a Business [8]

Reason %
Reply to order confirmations 60%
Reply to appointment reminders 55%
Give product or service feedback 49%
Reply to delivery status 47%
Learn about a new product or service 46%
Rate or respond to a survey 45%
Receive coupons or promotions 42%
Reply to flight delay notifications 40%
Get customer support 39%

Key Insights: Customers are already engaging with businesses over text and the practice is becoming more commonplace. Customers trust wireless messaging in business contexts. Text messaging should become a larger part of a business’s communications strategy.

Texting vs. Calling Statistics

In 2018 consumers spent 2.4 trillion minutes talking on their mobile phones. This is up 9.6% from 2017. [2]

The number of text messages exchanged in 2019 grew to 2 Trillion, up 15.8% from 2017. In 2018 that equates to 2018 5.5 billion texts per day and 63 thousand texts per second. [2]

58% of customers try to text back after missing a voice call. [10]

1 in 4 customers won’t listen to voicemails from unknown callers. [9]

76% of consumers don’t like talking to businesses on the phone. [9]

84% of consumers won’t answer a call from an unknown caller. [9]

94% of customers won’t respond to voicemails from unknown callers. [9]

Texts from an unknown number are 7 times more likely to get a response than a voicemail. [9]

3% of voicemails from unknown callers get a callback. [9]

Key Insights: When it comes to texting vs. phone calls, statistics indicate that consumers prefer texting. Because consumers are skeptical of unknown voice calls from unknown numbers, more are turning to text messaging. Consumers also don’t mind engaging with and opting-in to text messages for business communications.

Texting vs. Emailing Statistics

Open Rate [3] Response Rate [3] Spam Rate [1]
Text Messaging 98% 45% 3%
Email 20% 6% 53%

Suggested Article: "TCPA Compliance Guide & Checklist for Business Text Messaging"

Text Message vs. Email Open Rates, Response Rates and Spam Rates

The average person spends 25% more texts than emails. That’s an average of 15 texts vs. 12 emails per day. [10]

74% of customers have zero unread text messages on their phone while 17% of customers have zero unread emails. [10]

74% of customers respond to a text from a business within an hour vs. 41% via email. [10]

85% of customers respond to a text from friends and family within an hour vs. 38% via email. [10]

Key Insights: Amongst consumers and compared to email, text messaging is the most preferred and more important communications channel. For a quick response, consumer SMS text messaging is the way to go.

Business Texting Statistics Continued

61% of businesses don’t currently use text messaging to communicate with their customers. But 64% see the value of business text messaging. [10]

70% of employees at businesses see the value of business text messaging. But they don’t have purchasing or decision making authority when it comes to implementation. [10]

3.5 trillion business A2P messages will be delivered by 2023. This is up from an estimated 2.5 trillion in 2019. That's a 40% growth. [5]

88% of all A2P (application to person) business messaging traffic can be attributed to SMS. [5]

Suggested Article: Your Guide to Commercial A2P 10DLC Text Messaging

What Businesses Use Text Messaging For [10]

Use %
Scheduling and Appointment Reminders 56%
Customer Service and Support 54%
Sales 34%
Marketing and Promotion 26%
Billing Reminders and Invoice Collection 19%
Recruitment and Staffing 17%

Percentages of Industries that Use Business Text Messaging [10]

Industry %
Real Esttate 73%
Agriculture 65%
Entertainment 63%
Trades and Services 57%
Utilities 53%
Airlines and Aerospace 50%
Logistics and Support 50%
Nonprofit 50%
Automotive 48%
Education 47%

What Businesses Use Text Messaging For by Industry [10]

Customer Service and Support Scheduling and Appointment Reminders Marketing, Promotion, and Sales
Agriculture 28% 25% 19%
Airlines and Aerospace 25% 25% 25%
Automotive 27% 23% 23%
Support and Logistics 21% 18% 36%
Education 27% 18% 13%
Entertainment 29% 20% 16%
Nonprofit 31% 23% 15%
Real Estate 27% 23% 20%
Utilities and Energy 28% 20% 20%

Text Message Use by Company Size [10]

Company Size %
SMB 63%
Mid-Market 20%
Enterprise 18%

Types of Text Message Platforms Businesses Use [10]

Platform %
Texting Sofware or App 68%
CRM or Database 13%
Point of Sales (POS) System 6%
Other 14%

What Businesses Use Text Messages? B2B vs. B2C Text Message Use [10]

Segment %
B2B 21%
B2C 42%
Both 37%

Types of Text Message Numbers Businesses Use [10]

Text Message Number %
10 Digit Long Code (10DLC) 65%
Short Code 13%
Text Enabled Toll-free Number (TETF) 4%

Text Message Device Usage

Almost 96% of customers use their phones to send and receive text messages. 22% use a laptop or desktop to send a text and 16% use a tablet. [10]

Almost 51% of consumers use an Apple iPhone to text. 43% of consumers use an Android device and 6% use something different. [10]

Key Insights: While there is a fairly even split between iPhone and Android users, for text messaging customers tend to slightly favor Apple iOS devices.

Over the Top Messaging Platforms (OTTs) - FaceBook Messenger, WhatsApp, Line, etc.

The average consumer has 3 messaging apps on their phone’s home screen. [8]

The average consumer uses three different messaging apps per week and sends three messages per hour. [8]

OTT (Over-The-Top) messaging applications reached 3.4 billion users in 2019. That’s 40% of total messaging subscribers for the year. [5]

OTT business messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp for Business, will deliver 184 billion messages by 2023. [5]

61% of customers don’t want to install a new app or migrate to a new messaging platform just to communicate with a business. [10]

Suggested Article: How to Send A Group Text Without Reply All

What Apps do Consumers Prefer for Messaging a Business? [8]

Platform %
Natice SMS 47%
Facebook Messenger 21%
WhatsApp 18%
Other 6%
Line 6%
Snapchat 2%

Key Insights: Consumers use applications like FaceBook Messenger, WhatsApp and Line to talk with businesses. These applications have many rich features that enhance the messaging experience, but the overwhelming majority of smartphone users would rather text a business using their native messaging app. OTT messaging apps will continue to suffer from a fragmented user base across multiple messaging applications.

Text Message Demographics

67% of Americans value reliable wireless service more than affordable housing, good schools, and good commute times. [1]

72% of consumers said they would give up chocolate over their smartphone. 65% said they would trade TV. 63% said they would give up coffee. [1]

80% of Americans consider wireless service indispensable. [1]

89% of people can’t live without their smartphones and/or always have them within arm’s reach. [1]

Key Insights: Many Americans find their smartphones indispensable and can’t imagine a world without them. Mobile device usage is pervasive and has become a part of everyday culture.

Text Messaging by Generation

61% of Millenials think businesses should use the same number for calling and texting. [9]

3 out of 5 Millennials will reply with a text after choosing not to answer a phone call. [9]

Millennials are twice as likely as Gen X’ers to reply to an unknown sender’s text message. [9]

Millennials are 4 times more likely to respond to a text message than call back to a voicemail. [9]

Key Insights: As millennial consumers come to represent a larger part of the economy and increase their buying power, they prefer text messaging with businesses. For millenials business text messaging receives higher engagement rates and is a more trusted and convenient form of communication compared to voice calling.

RCS - Rich Communication Services

RCS traffic is expected to grow 290% over the next 4 years. [5]

RCS will account for 2% of all A2P traffic by 2023, reaching 56 billion A2P messages. [5]

Suggested Article: What is RCS? Rich Communication Services Explained

Sources:

  1. CTIA - 2019 Industry Data
  2. CTIA - Annual Survey Highlights
  3. Gartner - Digital Channel Survey
  4. Harvard Business Review - Mobile Messaging Blazes a Path to Consumers
  5. Juniper Research - RCS Business Messaging Will Disrupt the Messaging Landscape
  6. Pew Research Center - Internet Mobile Fact Sheet
  7. Salesforce - State of Marketing 5th Edition
  8. Twilio - Messaging Consumer Survey Report (2016)
  9. ZipWhip - Customers are Texting You A Consumer Survey (2016)
  10. ZipWhip - State of Texting 2019