SMS marketing trends: What’s hot for 2024

Topic: SMS Marketing
SMS marketing tips for Black Friday

SMS marketing trends for 2024 – find out what’s hot – and not…

SMS has become a go-to marketing tool in recent years – and there’s no sign of its popularity diminishing any time soon. In fact, experts have predicted that the global SMS marketing industry is expected to reach $84.9bn in the coming years.

But what makes SMS so effective? A big part of it is that customers are more connected than they’ve ever been before. Globally, there are around 7.33bn smartphone users – with just over 60% of the world’s population now owning one. This gives marketers a huge audience, especially when you consider the high opt-in rates for SMS.

SMS marketing is already a popular tool for businesses and it’s set to become even more valuable this year. As well as being a clear, direct and engaging form of communication, it’s also budget friendly. Prices start from as little as 2.2p, and automated SMS services improve efficiency so your money can go further. 

Advanced business messaging platforms, like the one available through Esendex, are fuelling trends like personalisation, rich content messaging (RCS), conversational commerce, integration with artificial intelligence (AI) and interactive campaigns – all of which we explore below.


Research shows that 72% of customers will only engage with personalised messaging, making it an essential tool for SMS marketing. Marketers who incorporate names into messages, or offer personalised offers and recommendations can improve customer experience and build loyalty. 

Here’s an example:

text message on a phone that says "Hi Claire, great news, an item you have on your wish list is now in our SUMMER SALE!"

Relevancy is critical for customers; as many as 72% expect businesses to recognise them as individuals and know their interests. 

To learn more about how your business can use personalisation to get more from your SMS campaigns, read our Guide to Sending Personalised SMS.

Rich Content Messaging (RCM)

Incorporating multimedia content like GIFs, videos, images or maps into communications provides a modern, interactive and engaging experience for customers. Operating systems like Android are already compatible with RCS, while Apple, which has sold more than 1.5bn iPhone’s worldwide, is set to introduce it this year (2024).

gif showing an interactive booking confirmation message on a phone from an energy provider

Customers increasingly want the branded and immersive experiences that RCS can provide. This could explain why RCS has some impressive conversion statistics with some industry case studies highlighting rates of between 10 and 34%.

RCS is expected to gain traction in 2024, especially as it is opened up to iPhone users.

Conversational marketing

Conversational marketing means one-to-one interactions, which could be across multiple channels. For example, a customer may ask an online chatbot a question and then get passed onto an advisor for a phone call.

Today, chatbots are present on many websites and they can solve queries without additional human input. This can be integrated with mobile messaging for a seamless interaction with the customer:

chatbot showing an SMS conversation between a business and a customer

Businesses can create an authentic customer experience with two-way conversation on chatbots and then convert this into leads. Our own research shows that customers are increasingly impatient and expect a response from businesses within 24 hours, while 20% of us expect it within an hour.

Some 67% also prefer a self-service option and think this is more convenient. Chatbots mean you can respond quickly, and cut down high call volumes by only sending complex cases to contact centres. 

Conversational tone is also critical. While customers want immediacy, they also want the conversation to be personal. Adopting a conversational tone can lead to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty, and research shows 70% of consumers purchase from companies who offer seamless conversation. 

Learn more about conversational mobile messaging via our online SMS platform.

Artificial intelligence (AI) 

From content creation and data analysis, to conversational marketing, AI is saving businesses significant time and resources. 

We’ve already seen more sophisticated chatbots using a conversational tone to answer customers’ queries. Thanks to AI, and in particular to natural language processing (NLP), these tools offer fast response times and are programmed to learn.

This technology can improve customer satisfaction with quick responses, personalised communications and 24/7 customer support. From a business perspective, it can save costs and improve efficiency. 

AI can also help streamline data analysis in SMS marketing. It can segment customers into groups so you can drive personalisation efforts, identify customer habits, predict trends and send messages at the right time. 

Multi-channel approach 

According to research, 73% of customers now use more than one channel and spend an average of 9% more, when four or more brand channels are chosen.

A multi-channel marketing strategy helps to support this, and you can convert leads through SMS and WhatsApp. What’s essential is a partner who has the infrastructure to send large volumes of messages globally and at rapid speed. 

Esendex can help you manage routing in the territories where you operate, and navigate both new and existing regulations so your messages are successfully delivered into your customers hands.

Consumer habits are constantly changing and expectations have never been higher so you need to do everything you can to stay ahead of the competition. Your communications need to be relevant, timely and personalised – but also engaging which is where personalisation and RCM come in.

As Chris Gorman, Head of Professional Services at Esendex, puts it:

“SMS marketing is becoming increasingly popular and for good reason. With big players like Apple set to introduce RCS and the rising popularity of Whatsapp for Business, it’s time for all brands to get on board to stay competitive. 

“It’s essential that your communications provider has the experience and credentials to manage increasing complexity like regulations, routing, GDPR – at an in-country level. We are seeing smaller players fall behind in this space because they can’t keep up with the pace of change in the industry. At Esendex we work with both established and new technologies so we can offer the right solution, or combination of solutions, to each and every customer.”

Esendex is a global messaging provider with over 20 years of experience and the infrastructure needed to send thousands of messages at a time – and at speed. It is also ISO27001 certified meaning your customers’ data is protected to the highest standards. 

Want to get started?

Read our SMS marketing guide next to find out more or see our business SMS solutions to get started.

Author Avatar
Mary Henry

Mary has extensive experience in communication, PR and journalism - most recently across SaaS businesses. A keen researcher and storyteller, Mary is highly skilled in making complex concepts accessible, and in putting customers at the heart of her communication. She has supported all kinds of businesses to tell their brand, product and people stories - from global multinationals to start-ups across retail, travel/leisure, banking/finance, government and educational institutions.