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How SMS Marketing Addresses 2023’s Top Marketing Trends

Be prepared for 2023's marketing trends and learn how to incorporate SMS marketing into your strategy for the coming year.

Group of young people looking at their phones with the word Trends written on the wall behind them.
December 26, 2022
Adam Houghtaling
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Reading time about 5 min

It’s that time of year again, when marketing maestros and wunderkind CEOs gaze into their crystal balls to predict the trends and topics that will shape your marketing in the new year.

Studying the forecasts, it’s been hard not to notice how directly and powerfully text marketing speaks to a number of 2023’s buzziest marketing trends. From personalization to zero-party data, here’s how you can stay on top of this year’s hottest marketing trends via the most convenient and engaging channel available — text marketing.


This Year, It’s Personal (Again)

Personalization will continue to be at the forefront of marketing trends in 2023. Writing in Forbes, Roshni Wijayasinha, CEO and lead strategist at Prosh Marketing, says “not only are people more likely to pay attention to content that’s addressed to them and customized to their needs, but they are also more likely to engage with it and react favorably to it.”

In fact, according to a recent study conducted by SmarterHQ, an undeniable 72% of consumers say they “now only engage with marketing messages tailored to their interests.”

Thankfully, personalizing your audience messaging is easy with text marketing. Personalization tokens or triggers enable you to increase engagement by including first and last names — a good first step. Next, add birthdays and conduct brief text surveys and polls to gain deeper insight into your audience preferences.

The better targeted each message is, the more ROI you’ll see with every send!


Boost Customer Retention with Rewards

A survey conducted by KPMG in the summer of 2022 showed that “an overwhelming majority of customers surveyed agreed that customer loyalty can be improved, and 75% of them said they would switch brands for a better loyalty program.” That sounds like reason enough to start a loyalty program or investigate whether your current loyalty program is all that it can be.

Zhenya Thornhill, Sr. Partner Marketing Manager at Acquia, writes at The Drum: “[B]rands that offer loyalty programs can build personalized offers based on customer data, which serves as a retention strategy to encourage customers to continue buying their products or using their services.”

In-store promotion sign

Text marketing is tailor-made for mobile loyalty programs. You’re meeting your audience where they are — on their phones — to send your best promotions, specials, and insider offers to your most loyal customers. Personalize your messages and send periodic reminder texts about rewards and points to drive your contacts to action. You’ll see revenue pop as your customer experience improves.


Focus on Simple & Clear Communications

Krista Neher, CEO of Boot Camp Digital, writes in Forbes that “businesses have a bigger challenge than ever” in overcoming withering attention spans. “Businesses must be able to communicate in short, quick soundbites to earn attention on mobile devices,” she concludes.

Only a few mediums truly excel at conveying short and sweet soundbite marketing. One of them is skywriting. Another, arguably more affordable and effective channel, is text marketing.

The basic SMS message is 160 characters or less and can include a link. Over three-quarters of all consumers prefer to hear from businesses via text messaging. It’s wildly convenient for audiences, and with a whopping 98% open rate, there is no other marketing channel that comes close to the engagement offered by text marketing.


Is 2023 the Year That Breaks the QR Code?

Mobile phone scanning a QR code

Emerging from years of marketing purgatory during Covid-19, QR codes have been used widely in recent years for everything from viewing menus at restaurants to checking into events. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Kathleen Stockham, Chief Marketing Office at South College, writes in Forbes that the QR code “has emerged as the new preferred method to reach the young and those who are less inclined to type out a URL to find you.”

QR codes are widely used in Asia and Australia, and broader adoption in the U.S. seems inevitable, which is great news if you’re considering an investment in text marketing. QR codes provide the most immediate way to drive new contacts to a sign-up form. QR codes also offer an extremely low-friction path for sharing short bursts of critical information and mobilizing audiences to important sites.

So, while you would have been hard-pressed to find a QR code in the wild during 2019, in 2023, you’ll notice them everywhere.


Text Is a Leading Source of Zero-Party Data

Though Google has delayed its announced transition away from third-party cookies, which allow businesses to track aspects of an individual’s digital life, the desire for more data privacy will drive a move toward collecting more data directly from audiences themselves.

Zero-party data is information that an audience freely provides to a business through sign-up forms, surveys, polls, and other means. The information collected can be everything from how an individual prefers to be recognized by a brand to personal context for purchasing decisions. A recent piece from Digital Journal lays out the case:

quotation mark

Zero-party data is considered to be the most accurate and valuable form of data that businesses can collect, as it comes directly from the source and is given with clear knowledge and consent. As data continues to play a crucial role in digital marketing campaigns, zero-party data is expected to become increasingly important in the future.

No marketing channel allows for the collection of zero-party data as efficiently and conveniently — for both you and your audience — as text marketing. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Look for a text platform offering audience opt-in features to help collect valuable zero-party data from the very first interaction with new sign-ups.
  2. Deploy text polls or surveys to learn more about your most engaged audience.
  3. Group contacts according to their responses for better targeting and improved outcomes.
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