SMS Turns 27

Happy Birthday, SMS! On December 3, 1992, engineer Neil Papworth sent the first text message by typing “Merry Christmas” into a computer and sending it to the cell phone of Vodafone director Richard Jarvis. While text messaging has changed significantly over the past 27 years, it has remained a powerful tool that connects people.

As businesses have become increasingly digital with the adoption of mobile, messaging is now standard practice for brands to send notifications and updates to customers. To celebrate SMS turning 27, here are 27 stats on the popularity of texting and how effective it is for brands.

How Popular is Texting?

  • 98% of text messages are read within two minutes.[1]
  • People interact with their smartphone 2,617 times a day.[2]
  • 8x higher engagement rate than email.[3]
  • It takes the average person 90 seconds to respond to a text message.[4]
  • Americans send roughly 26 billion text messages every day.[5]
  • At least 97% of smartphone owners text regularly.[6]
  • 70% of smartphone owners say messaging is one of the top 5 uses of their device.[7]
  • The average response time for a text message is 60X faster than email.[8]
  • 89% of people always have their smartphones easily accessible.[9]
  • 8 trillion texts are sent every year.[10]
  • The average person spends 55 minutes per day on texting.[11]


How Effective is Texting for Businesses?

  • 95% of texts from businesses are read within three minutes of being sent.[12]
  • 75% of consumers prefer to receive offers via text.[13]
  • 58% of consumers indicated they would view a business more positively if they offered SMS capabilities.[14]
  • 96% of marketers rated mobile welcome SMS as “very effective/effective” or “somewhat effective.”[15]
  • 69% of US consumers appreciate getting texts or emails from healthcare providers.[16]
  • 60% of consumers say they’d redeem a mobile coupon they received via text message within a week.[17]
  • 75% of people wouldn’t mind receiving an SMS text message from a brand (after opt-in).[18]
  • Coupons delivered via SMS have redemption rates 10x higher than those of printed coupons.[19]
  • More than 50% of customers prefer contacting support through text messaging compared to other channels.[20]
  • 80% of people use text messaging for business.[21]
  • 78% of US consumers say receiving a text message is the fastest way to reach them for important service updates and purchases.[22]
  • 58% of consumers said they’ve tried to reply to a missed call via text.[23]
  • 77% of customers spend about $10-$50 more when they’re redeeming a mobile coupon.[24]
  • The average SMS campaign conversion rate is 45%.[25]
  • 67% of people would rather text with a business about appointments and scheduling than by email or phone.[26]
  • 77% of consumers said they opted into a brand’s text messages to receive coupons or deals.[27]


More than 25 years after its launch, texting is a platform that is still vastly used around the world, and consumers are looking for more engagement with brands through text messaging. Contact us to learn more about how to make SMS messaging a critical part of your marketing strategy.

[1] RetailDive

[2] Business Insider

[3] RetailDive

[4] GSMA

[5] Business Insider

[6] Pew Research Center

[7] Axway, MarketingCharts

[8] CTIA, HubSpot

[9] The Wireless Industry Data by CTIA

[10] Domo

[11] Emarketer

[12] Forbes

[13] Digital Marketing Magazine

[14] Flowroute

[15] Salesforce

[16] Kentico Global Survey

[17] CodeBroker Mobile Coupon Survey,

[18] MarketingProfs

[19] DSIM

[20] SmallbizDaily

[21] Rebrandly

[22] Transactional Messaging Consumer Report

[23] State of Texting Report, 2019

[24] ReadyCloud Suite

[25] Salesforce

[26] State of Texting Report, 2019

[27] Salesforce Mobile Behavior Report