Usage and Ubiquity of Messaging

We all have bosses and no matter how much you might believe in testing messaging campaigns, you’ll probably need to convince one other person to provide resources in order to make that a reality. I think that I’ve created some really gangbusters case studies that show amazing results if messaging is done right. But it’s always the dumb, simple ubiquity stats that pointy haired bosses glom onto. With that in mind, here

Messaging is simply the most ubiquitous and most used communication channel in the world. Messaging has characteristics similar to email, snail mail and phone calls as it’s a direct communication channel. But it’s simply much bigger than any other channel out there. Messaging has 4 Billion Monthly Active Users (MAUs). That’s more than social media, email and even browsers.

There are more messages sent everyday, compared to email. 90% of emails are spam and for messaging the fast majority are real and either opt-in or from actual people.

Text messages have a 99% open rate and the average text is read in 90 seconds. There is simply not another channel like it.

As an organization is evaluating the case to start messaging, they’ll eventually start to think about their target demographic’s use of messaging channels. I have experience selling messaging capabilities for over a decade. As an organization is investigating the channel they will ask a question like, “We know that messaging is very popular, but we’re trying to reach an older crowd (like 35 year olds), do they text?”

The answer to questions like this is, “Every demographic text messages more than they do everything else. So new retirees between 63-70  text more than they email, call or write letters and 19 year old incoming freshman send messages more than they email, call or write letters.” The overall volume differs, but for every cohort, messaging is their #1 channel. 

Messaging volume aligns with communication volume. Do 95 year olds text?  Probably not, but they don’t use any communication channels. At one extreme messaging isn’t a great answer, but it’s the best possibility. On the other end (think teenagers) messaging is the only channel. 

When a decision maker uses both the stats and their personal experience, messaging becomes an obvious channel to try. I’ve been in many meetings where a middle aged manager is stuck to email. I’ll ask if their teenage kids would ever respond to an email from them (the parent). That question usually gets a laugh. The follow up is to ask why someone else’s kid would respond to their email. That drives the point home. 

If you’re reading this and thinking about how to get buy in from your team, that anecdote will help. 

Finally, people that aren’t tied to their computers, do more messaging and the messaging channel is more primary in their lives. The fewer channels that are used regularly, the more important messaging becomes.

Obviously high school and college kids without jobs don’t use email and they use more messaging. Believe it or not, retirees are in the same boat. Think about it, without an office job they aren’t going to sit on email all day. Underserved populations, Spanish speakers and people that live in rural areas all also over-index for messaging/SMS usage.