SMS Marketing 2021

How Ecommerce, D2Cs, and Others Are Leveraging This Emerging Consumer Touchpoint

Executive Summary

As one of the fastest-growing tools in a marketer’s arsenal, SMS can be a highly effective customer communication channel, but it also comes with its own set of challenges.

How big is SMS in the business world?

Business-to-consumer (B2C) text messaging is growing rapidly. According to Juniper Research, global mobile business messaging traffic hit 2.7 trillion in 2020, up 10% from 2019. Brands are using SMS in various customer communication applications, including marketing messages, customer support, transactional messages, and more.

What is driving growth for SMS marketing?

The pandemic undoubtedly accelerated adoption of SMS marketing, with cloud communications provider Infobip seeing 8.5% and 20% growth in SMS marketing messages in March and April 2020, respectively, compared with February. In January 2020, 51% of retail marketers in a CommerceNext survey sponsored by Exponea said they planned to increase investment in messaging or SMS marketing; that figure grew to 56% in June.

What are some of the challenges to SMS marketing?

Because customers open SMS marketing messages more frequently than emails, SMS unsubscribe rates are higher, according to experts we interviewed. SMS marketing messages are also regulated by federal law, and marketers should be aware of brand safety issues when using shared short codes.

How should marketers prepare for SMS marketing in 2021?

Marketers must develop or audit their SMS marketing strategies, including figuring out what types of messages they will send, determining frequency and length, and embracing tactics that will allow their marketing lists to grow.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report discusses the business applications of SMS messaging, the pros and cons of SMS marketing, its relationship to email marketing and live chat, and best practices within the discipline.

KEY STAT: Pre-pandemic, 51% of US retailers planned to increase their investment in messaging and SMS platforms; by June 2020, that figure had jumped to 56%, above all other technologies.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

18expert perspectives

Insights from industry and company leaders.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. How Businesses Use SMS Today
  3. Pros and Cons of SMS Marketing
  4. Properly Executing an SMS Marketing Strategy
  1. What’s Next for SMS Marketing in 2021
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. Insider Intelligence Interviews
  4. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Zack Abbell
Tula Skincare
Vice President, Digital and Commerce
Interviewed December 11, 2020
Benjamin Benichou
Co-Founder and CEO
Interviewed November 12, 2020
Andrew Bilinsky
Co-Founder and CEO
Interviewed November 10, 2020
Norman Guadagno
Interviewed December 3, 2020
Norman Happ
EZ Texting
Interviewed December 10, 2020
Alex Jennison
Mad Engine
Ecommerce Marketing Manager
Interviewed December 18, 2020
Ross Kramer
Co-Founder and CEO
Interviewed September 21, 2020
Janna Land
FarmFoods, Inc.
Co-Founder and COO
Interviewed December 23, 2020
Brian Long
Co-Founder and CEO
Interviewed December 7, 2020
Amanda Nelson
Vice President, Ecommerce
Interviewed December 22, 2020
Zak Normandin
Iris Nova
Founder and CEO
Interviewed January 5, 2021
Jason Scoggins
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Director, Loyalty and CRM
Interviewed December 21, 2020
Sam Shames
Embr Labs
Co-Founder and COO
Interviewed December 7, 2020
Massimiliano Tirocchi
Co-Founder and CMO
Interviewed October 1, 2020
Ryan Urban
Co-Founder and CEO
Interviewed November 23, 2020
Oscar Werner
Interviewed January 5, 2021
Gregory Zakowicz
Director, Content
Interviewed November 6, 2020
Suhail Rivera
Alkaline Herb Shop
Interviewed December 29, 2020

Access full deck

View a slide-show representation of this report’s key insights, where carefully vetted data is combined with industry trend analysis, included at no extra cost.
Download PPTX















Access All Charts and Data

Gain access to reliable data presented in clear and intelligible displays for quick understanding and decision making on the most important topics related to your industry, included at no extra cost.


Jeremy Goldman