New survey shows: 88% of Israelis read advertisements in SMS

If you thought that the multitude of digital marketing channels will weaken the status of SMS messages, you were gravely mistaken. Just before 2022 ends, SMS retains its position as an effective and cost-effective marketing tool. This is according to a new survey conducted by Active Trail, a company specializing in automated mailing systems and building clients journeys, based on users’ actions.

The survey, conducted by ifocus, was done with 500 participants that represent sample of the Jewish population in Israel (not including the ultra-orthodox population). According to it, 98% of Israelis still make sure they open the SMS application on their smartphone, and 88% of them read them regularly. The survey also revealed that 79% of Israelis open messages at least once a day, and 20% read each message they receive.

In recent years, since WhatsApp became almost the only channel for interpersonal messaging, SMS has increased its power as a source of receiving marketing and operational messages from businesses, sales sites, customer clubs, packages tracking and sending coupons and purchase confirmations. And indeed, the survey clearly proves this: 77% of Israelis believe that the messages they receive in SMS are attractive to them, and 62% of them believe that receiving advertisements and marketing messages via SMS from businesses is legitimate.

When looking at age distribution, the survey found that amongst 40 year olds and above, 88% open SMS messages at least once a day, and about 50% of them read all or most of their messages; compared to 35% of those aged 18-39. Women are more involved regarding their SMS messages: 83% consider them attractive, and 45% of them open all or most of the messages they receive.

According to Naor Mann, Active Trail’s CEO, these are particularly gratifying results for businesses that regularly market via SMS. “There’s no doubt SMS marketing is one of the most effective tools available to marketing managers. With the ongoing decline in the effectiveness of advertising on Google and Facebook, and the increased costs of these channels, knowing that in every SMS campaign the clients show real involvement, teaches us that investing SMS campaigns will bear fruit in 2023 as well.”

98% of Israelis still make sure they open the SMS application on their smartphone. Naor mann, Active trail CEO

Email Marketing: 8 billion reasons to send emails

The survey revealed that e-mail marketing is also on the rise: in the past year there was a 14% increase in the amount of marketing e-mails sent in Israel to 8 billion accounts. At the top of the list of organizations using emails to advertise, are organizations in the fields of fashion, hospitality, insurance, tourism and sports; with new comers the major e-commerce sites such as KSP, Walla Shops and the like.

Israel is, of course, not alone: the growing trend in email marketing activity is reflected globally. According to data from the Financesonline website, in 2022 approximately 333 billion emails were sent worldwide every day, and by the end of 2025 the number is expected to jump to 376 billion emails per day.

According to Active Trail data, the average rate of opening marketing emails in Israel has reached 21% – an increase of 3.5% compared to 2021, and at the top of the list are organizations from the following fields: e-commerce (34%), government and public sector services (32%), financial services and banking (32%), non-profits and donations (28.5%), retail (26%), tourism (25%), health (23%), real estate (22%) and manufacturing (20%).

All indications show that in 2023 the email marketing strategy will remain high in annual marketing plans, with an expected increase of 15% in the number of emails sent in Israel.

58% of businesses: this year we will also advertise on WhatsApp

Although advertising on WhatsApp is still in its early stages, it seems that in 2023 there will be a significant turning point, with more and more advertisers using the largest messaging application in the world. According to Active Trail’s survey, 58% of businesses intend to advertise on WhatsApp in the near future, after WhatsApp – owned by Meta Group (Facebook) – recently approved sending marketing messages under strict regulatory rules. So, advertisers who want to implement the new service will be required to comply with these strict rules, such as, receiving approval from WhatsApp on the content of the messages before sending them, sending messages gradually to a limited number of users and more. WhatsApp announced that they will punish advertisers who do not comply with the rules, from blocking a user on WhatsApp to blocking business pages on Facebook.

Naor Mann concludes: “This year, many businesses understood that building automations and marketing and customer retention funnels based on the customer’s behaviors, are the cheapest and most efficient way to increase sales turnover and effect profit margin. Email, SMS and WhatsApp channels proved this year, more than ever, their tremendous return of investment, compared to PCC channels on Google and social networks. This is why plenty of budgets will be diverted next year to these channels, as well as smart, data-based marketing.”