10 Statistics That Prove Customers Are More Responsive to Texts Than Phone Calls and Emails

Man on street texting

It would be easy to say that business texting is more effective than phone calls and emails when communicating with customers, but it would be more compelling to cite actual statistics. To prove this point, Zipwhip recently conducted two consumer surveys (details below) to learn how customers feel about their communication choices when interacting with businesses.

The reasons that businesses text with customers can vary depending on the industry, but the most common use cases involve scheduling appointments, sending reminder texts to prevent late arrivals or no-shows and sending sales and marketing offers. Texting’s rapid-response messaging platform is also helpful for handling customer service issues, especially those that can escalate quickly and potentially spill into the social media realm where the details can go viral, and not in a way that a company wants.

More reasons for customers to weigh in

We also sought feedback from consumers on how often they check their email accounts or answer the phone, especially when it’s from an unknown caller. And we wanted to know if individuals prioritized one method of communication over another. Not surprisingly, texting was viewed as fast and easy to use, but also one of the most convenient ways for consumers to connect with the businesses they trust.

Likewise, businesses found that texting offers benefits that save their employees time with productivity tools that improve their daily workflow and streamline communications. Business texting offers several features that aren’t available when texting from a personal cell phone, such as Auto Replies, Templates, Dynamic Fields for personalizing texts and Scheduled Messaging. Business texting also allows employees to have easy access to conversation histories within a customer’s contact details.

Consumers are highly receptive to text messages from businesses

Texting is used for more than communicating with family and friends. Consumers now see the value in texting with businesses because they can get a faster response and a more personal level of service. For evidence of this, check out the 10 key statistics below. The data was gathered from surveys we conducted when writing the following popular e-books. Click the images below to download a PDF of each e-book.

email ebook cover

Click the image above to download a copy of the e-book.

Phone ebook cover

Click the image above to download a copy of the e-book.

Here are 10 reasons why texts are more effective than emails and phone calls

1. 77% of consumers said they use texting more than other messaging tools

Having easy access to a message makes it more likely that a consumer will be aware of it. Smartphones have made seeing text notifications simple, which is one of the reasons consumers prefer texts over other messaging tools. And with a 98% open rate, businesses are finding that customers will respond to a text faster than when the same message is conveyed by email or phone.

2. 83% of consumers reply to text messages from a business within 30 minutes

Being made aware of a message plays a key role in determining how fast it will receive a response. Because a text gives a visual and audible alert, depending on the user’s phone settings, the consumer is aware of the text immediately. And because texts contain short messages due to their limited character count, consumers know they can read it quickly and respond in kind—often in a matter of minutes.

3. 74% of consumers said they have zero unread text messages at a given time

As mentioned above, due to the shorter length of text messages and the ease of accessing them on their smartphones, most consumers read texts shortly after they’re received. For the majority of consumers in our survey, this means that they have zero unread text messages at any given time.

4. 91% of respondents said they have received a text from a business

Our survey found that 68% of businesses use some form of texting today, which is a 20% growth over last year. Of the consumers who said they text with a business, 35% do so anywhere from once a day to once a week. Further, 43% of consumers said they proactively texted a business to start a conversation.

Image comparing email to text message inboxes

Emails are perceived as a less urgent method for communicating, which leads to cluttered inboxes as messages remain unread

Emails tend to be longer forms of communication, which means an employee puts more time into creating them. Texts, by their nature, are short and faster to compose. Texts can also be scheduled in advance to be sent at the most opportune time. Texts can be read quickly, unlike emails that can sit unread in inboxes until the receiver reviews each subject line to determine if it’s worth opening.

5. The industry-reported open rate for business emails is only 20%

That means only one out of every five emails a company sends is opened. Some industries see higher open rates and others see lower, but the overall rate for an email message to be opened is less than ideal. Part of the reason is consumers receive so many emails they don’t take the time to read all of them.

6. 56% of consumers receive anywhere from 25 to over 100 emails a day

It’s easy to see why emails are often ignored if individuals are receiving up to 100 new messages a day. Experience has taught consumers that not all email messages are urgent. In fact, many are considered spam or are low-priority messages that don’t even require a response. Our survey found that nearly 50% of consumers read between zero and five emails per day. That leaves a lot of ignored emails.

7. 60% of consumers said their email provider sorts valid email into their junk folder

Many businesses may not realize that their emails are being sent directly to junk folders. Email spam, often called junk mail, is unsolicited email that’s typically sent in bulk. If your business’s emails are mistakenly being flagged as spam, don’t expect most of your customers to see them. And according to our survey, 55% of consumers said they never or rarely check their spam folder.

Phone calls and voicemails are often ignored by consumers

Due to the abundance of political calls and the increase in telemarketers and phone scams, answering the phone can feel like navigating a mine field. Robocalls have become such an issue over the past few years that the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has begun a nationwide crackdown on them. It’s no wonder consumers have turned to texting in greater and greater numbers.

Graph showing reject phone calls

8. 97% of consumers reject or ignore calls from a business or unknown number

As technology evolves, so does the way we communicate with one another. Telephone calls were once the primary method businesses used to connect with customers. Today, a vast majority of consumers choose to ignore them. While not every call is ignored or flat-out rejected, enough are that it’s worth noting here. Of the 97% of consumers who reject calls, 87% said they do it often to very often.

9. 96% of respondents find phone calls to be disruptive

During a busy workday, the last thing people want is to be distracted. But interruptions throughout the day can be difficult to avoid. Phone calls are no exception. Our survey found that 68% of consumers said they find phone calls to be disruptive sometimes, 28% said they’re disruptive always, and a smaller percentage said phone calls are occasionally disruptive but acknowledge that they can still be distracting.

10. 77% of consumers experience some degree of anxiety when talking on the phone

As an increasing number of consumers choose digital devices as their preferred way to communicate, opportunities to speak on the phone have become more limited. In fact, many millennials and members of Gen Z have developed an aversion to calls. They expressed feeling anxious when talking to someone on the phone, instead preferring to text because it offers a comfortable buffer of time and space for them to collect their thoughts before responding. This trend is likely to continue in the years ahead.

Are you ready to learn more about texting for your business?

Today, 68% of businesses use some form of texting to reach their customers. Companies realize that in order to stay competitive they need to use the communication tools that consumers prefer. And more consumers are texting instead of calling or emailing businesses.

Business texting is affordable and easy to implement. There are several options to fit your company’s needs. Check out our pricing plans and sign up today!

Survey methodology: In May 2019, Zipwhip partnered with SurveyMonkey to poll 500 consumers to learn how sentiment toward phone calls has shifted. In May 2020, Zipwhip partnered with SurveyMonkey to poll 600 consumers about email usage and preferences.

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