74% of Consumers Prefer Texting with Businesses if a Real Person is Texting Back


Almost three-quarters of consumers prefer texting as a means of communicating with businesses, providing a real person is texting back.

This was the finding of the communication and payment for local business providers, Podium’s, 2021 Local Business Messaging Trends report.

Consumers Favor Real-Life People Responding to Texts

The report involved Podium surveying 1,004 consumers across the US and Australia. Out of the consumers surveyed, 74% said they would be more likely to respond to a text from a business if they knew the person on the receiving end was real.

Half of the consumers said they would be more likely to respond to texts if the person they were communicating with introduced themselves.

21% of consumers report that are likelier to opt into local businesses’ SMS marketing lists than major chain or big-box companies’ lists.

The findings of the report provide some important insight for small businesses. They show that consumers value text messaging as a form of communication with small, local businesses. Furthermore, the findings confirm the value of SMS communication and SMS marketing campaigns being handled by real people opposed to automated or robotic responses.

Connecting with Audiences Through SMS

Neil Patel, author and co-founder at Neil Patel Digital, reiterates the importance of text messaging as a way from brands to connect with audiences.

“Communicating with your customers – the single most important action to a local business – has taken many forms over the last few decades. But nothing we’ve seen has as much upside as using SMS messaging to connect with your audience.

“Any local business trying to outpace competitors and win customers can’t afford to not read the 2021 Local Business Messaging Trends report, Patel added.

Type of SMS Content Consumers Want

The report also analyses what type of promotional messages consumers want to receive via text. The leading type of marketing messages is related to promotions. 64% of those surveyed said they want to receive incentives like discounts, promo codes and coupons from local businesses.

This was followed by loyalty offers, with 52% of respondents saying they would like to receive SMS messages about loyalty offers and benefits. 35% of consumers said they would like to be sent ‘back in stock’ messages from local businesses. 28% put invitations to upcoming events as the type of content they would most like to receive via text from local businesses.

Frequency of Text Message Preferences

The survey also explored how much consumers would like to hear from local brands via text. 16% of respondents said that after opting into a business’s promotional text message list, they would like to receive texts at least once a day. 62% said they would like to receive messages at least once a week. However, three-quarters of consumers admitted that they would unsubscribe from a business’s promotional SMS list if they received too many messages.

The key takeaway from Podium’s report is that consumers are responsive to text messages as a form of marketing communication, particularly if the responses come from a real-life person. Local businesses should however avoid bombarding subscribers with an overload of messages, which would run the risk of customers and prospectives unsubscribing from SMS promotional campaigns.

Image: Depositphotos

More in:

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".