Report: Consumers Crave Personal, Conversational Messaging with Local Businesses

Podium’s 2021 Local Business Messaging Trends report highlights consumers’ latest expectations when it comes to messaging brands and the advantage local businesses have over online and ecommerce businesses when it comes to SMS marketing

Podium, the leading communication and payments platform for local businesses, today released its 2021 Local Business Messaging Trends report, exploring what messaging and consumer preferences currently look like for brands, particularly local businesses. The report highlights that consumers crave personal, conversational messaging and that local businesses are uniquely positioned to win against online and ecommerce businesses with SMS marketing.

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According to the data, it’s clear that people want the ability to hold conversational messaging with real people representing brands. Nearly three in four (74%) consumers reported that they would be more likely to text with a local business if they knew a real person was going to receive and respond to their message, as opposed to receiving automated messages. Furthermore, half (50%) of consumers report being more likely to respond to a text message from a business if the person behind the texts introduces themselves.

“Communicating with your customers – the single most important action to a local business – has taken many forms over the last few decades. But nothing we’ve seen has as much upside as using SMS messaging to connect with your audience,” said Neil PatelNew York Times best-selling author and co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. “Any local business trying to outpace competitors and win customers can’t afford to not read the 2021 Local Business Messaging Trends report.”

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Other key findings from the 2021 Local Business Messaging Trends report include:

Local businesses have an advantage

  • Consumers report being 21% more likely to opt into local businesses’ SMS marketing lists than major chain or big-box businesses and 45% more likely to opt into local businesses’ SMS marketing messages than online or ecommerce businesses.

The types of promotional messages consumers want

  • Incentives like coupons, discounts and promo codes (64%) are the No. 1 type of promotional messages consumers want to receive from local businesses, followed by loyalty offers and benefits (52%), back-in-stock notifications (35%) and invitations to upcoming events (28%).
  • 55% of consumers have redeemed an offer or promotional code shared with them via text message.

Consumers wanted to hear from their preferred local brands more than some might think

  • After opting into their promotional text message list, 16% of respondents would like to receive messages at least once per day, while 62% would like to receive them at least once per week.
  • There’s a fine line to walk, however; 75% would unsubscribe from a company’s promotional messages if they received too many.

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