OpenMarket – July 14, 2016
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rotary phone for the past decade, it should come as no surprise that people love mobile phones. More specifically, millennials have a love affair with their mobile devices and messaging platforms. From a marketing perspective, understanding exactly why millennials go mad for mobile messaging is very important.
A Glimpse at the Numbers
If there’s one thing your average millennial can’t live without, it’s their smartphone. You can frequently find them clutching these devices in their hands or burying their faces in the small screens. If they aren’t currently using their smartphones, then you can bet they’re nearby – in a pocket or a purse. But just how much do millennials love their smartphones? Consider the following statistics as gathered by Zobgy:
- 87 percent claim their phone never leaves their side
- 80 percent report reaching for their phone first thing in the morning
- 78 percent spend more than two hours each day using their smartphone
So, it’s clear that the millennial obsession begins with a dependence on smartphones. But it doesn’t end there. What do millennials use their smart phones for? The broad answer is mobile messaging. More specifically, they’re using SMS and MMS to communicate with friends, families, and, businesses.
According to another study of more than 23,000 participants, 91 percent of millennials send mobile messages on a weekly basis. This is the second most popular smartphone activity, coming in just behind talking at 92 percent. This means texting is more popular than mobile browsing, email, social networking, apps, and games.
“Businesses will ignore this at their peril,” says James DeBello, CEO of Mitek, the company that commissioned the Zobgy study. “If you don’t have it, you’re considered old-fashioned, out of date, and not a company I want to do business with.”
5 Reasons Millennials Love Mobile Messaging
But why exactly do millennials have such a strong appetite for mobile messaging? It’s hard to make generalizations about such a diverse segment of the population, but here are a few of the top reasons:
- Highly Personal
For starters, mobile messaging is extremely personal. Millennials subconsciously view their smartphones as extensions of themselves. Thus, when messages are sent to their phones, it’s like something was personally delivered to them. Email doesn’t have this same effect.
Along these same lines, SMS is very private. It’s a safe, secure mode of communication that takes place between two devices. Unlike social media posts or email with BBC capabilities, an individual knows exactly who’s on the other end of a message.
Millennials check their phones an average of 43 times per day. Assuming the average person is awake for 17 hours, this equals 2.5 times per hour. In other words, millennials always have their smartphones. This ubiquitous nature means SMS has become the preferred method of communication.
- Fear of Missing Out
Want to know one of the biggest driving factors of mobile messaging? Believe it or not, it may be FOMO – or the fear of missing out.
“FOMO, aside from sounding ridiculous, is a real source of anxiety among millennials,” says Oisin Lunny, Senior Market Development Manger here at OpenMarket. “All of their friends are connected, and they don’t want to miss out by stepping away from their devices. Whether millennials would admit it or not, FOMO is the number one lure to mobile technology. It’s what brings them back for more.”
- Convenient and Simple to Use
Quite frankly, the simplicity and convenience of SMS keeps millennials coming back. They are very picky about which technologies they’ll use and tend to place a high value on functionality. Whereas email is known for spam and delivery failures, SMS is virtually immune to these issues. Millennials know this, and keep coming back to mobile messaging because they can trust it.
- Freedom to Respond
Whereas a phone call forces an individual to either answer or ignore within a matter of seconds, mobile messages can be opened and then left alone. The ability to delay a response, consider a question, or ignore altogether makes this mode of communication much less stressful than other forms.
Tips for Developing a High Returning Marketing Strategy
Now that you know millennials are obsessed with mobile messaging, how can you develop a marketing strategy that’s cost effective and high returning?
Here are a few ideas:
- Know When to Use SMS
While you can’t ever go wrong by sending a mobile message, our OpenMarket research clearly shows that SMS is better in certain situations than others. The data shows that 75 percent of millennials believe receiving texts for appointment reminders, promotions, deliveries, payments, and surveys are very helpful. Roughly two-thirds like receiving coupons and product offers, while more than 50 percent say messages related to order alerts, account activity, and general reminders are helpful.
- Focus on Establishing Trust
Trust is the most important factor in SMS marketing. If you lose the trust of your customers, they won’t want you anywhere near their personal devices. Aside from only sending relevant messages on an occasional basis, ensure there are adequate opportunities to opt-in and opt-out. Not only does this enhance trust, but it’s also ethically commendable and legally required.
- Customize and Personalize
If there’s one thing millennials love, it’s personalization. If you can find ways to tailor the message to the recipient, then do so. Small details like this can go a long way towards enhancing your mobile messages.
Contact OpenMarket Today
At OpenMarket, we understand just how critical of a component mobile messaging is in the marketing mix for millennial consumers. Millennials don’t just use mobile messaging…they go mad for it. Once you recognize this fact, your marketing strategy will fundamentally change.
As a business that’s looking to connect with the growing millennial audience, mobile messaging needs to be part of your communications plan. Contact us today and we’d love to tell you more about our mobile messaging solutions and how they can help businesses like yours connect with customers in cost-effective and convenient ways.