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Bandwidth Messaging Survey Has Meaningful Messages for Customer Experience

In the past few years, we’ve lived through a messaging renaissance, a reformation, and a restructure. For 2024, Brad Roldan, GM/VP of Product, Programmable Messaging at communications platform provider Bandwidth, what’s to come this year is summed up in his introduction to the company’s 2024 State of Messaging report: “I’m calling 2024 a Rich New World of Messaging because of the deeper, more colorful use cases we’re seeing.”

The report, based on a survey of 1,600 consumers and businesses, was aimed at helping companies determine their messaging strategy for 2024. One astounding figure jumped out: According to CTIA (as quoted in the report), in the last year, consumers exchanged more than 2.1 trillion text messages—6% more than the previous year.

What follows are some takeaways from the report, including the reasons marketers love messaging, how messaging is transforming healthcare and fintech, as well as a look at texting around the world.

More options for messaging

The State of Messaging report notes that there is now more than one path between text message provider and carrier. While once saddled with limited options -- using direct-connect aggregators (DCAs) Syniverse or Sinch for person-to-person messaging or ZipWhip for toll-free messages, providers are now forming direct connections with the carriers. The report notes, “More providers with DCA status means there will be more options to choose from if a direct path to the carrier is high on your buying list priorities.”

In addition, there are more ways to work with The Campaign Registry. From the report: “Brands can choose to go straight to TCR, or partner with providers like Bandwidth for support with registering with the TCR. Often, going directly to TCR is still the most efficient method, but it’s not the only game in town anymore.”

Chock full of data

The report is full of great data nuggets. Let’s go through some here about respondents’ state of mind, regulation, deliverability, and the future:

  • Changing messaging regulations caused 49% of respondents to face higher costs.
  • Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they’re either more optimistic of felt the same about the regulatory ecosystem in 2023 vs. 2022. The report doesn’t specify exactly what that means, but we speculate that respondents are seeing simpler regulation. 
  • Deliverability is a critical issue in choosing a provider for 52% of survey respondents.
  • Global messaging is a priority in 2024 for 66% of those surveyed.
  • Asked about the future of texting, 71% of respondents say they’re somewhat or very optimistic.

As far as text usage goes, there are some interesting trends for using appointment setting and other examples in healthcare, education, and retail.

  • Although global texting increased 6% last year, survey respondents were overachievers, sending an average of 36% more text messages in 2023.
  • Senders who use texts for appointment confirmations report a 54% average click-through rate.
  • Text confirmations can reduce cancellations by 20%, according to 67% of healthcare and other appointment and reservation-based senders.
  • When customers opt in to messaging around energy use, 65% of energy/utilities report more efficient usage from the opt-in group.
  • SMS messaging can also result in purchases, with 81% of retail and e-commerce respondents saying it results in more purchases, and 23% say there is "much more purchasing."
  • Similarly, 78% of retail and e-commerce respondents report that MMS messages result in more purchases, and 23% say there is “much more purchasing.”

Key takeaways

We didn’t really need confirmation that messaging is consuming the world. But this report provides it in spades. It’s great to see the options that have risen in recent years—a kind of democratization of messaging. And it’s great to see the engagement rates.

It will be interesting to watch in the coming year—and in subsequent years—whether people will tire of the messaging onslaught. If that happens, we’ll all be left to wonder what’s next.

For now, let’s just focus our eyes on our screens and keep on messaging.