Notification fatigue: How to connect with your customers via SMS

Go ahead, look at your phone right now. Odds are good that you have a bunch of notifications sitting there at the top. There’s probably a calendar notification or two (get to that meeting already!), an update on your favorite sports team’s latest acquisition or release, maybe a news notification, some social media updates (you’ve gone viral!), the latest deal from Starbucks, and some text notifications.

You’ve probably been ignoring most of those notifications all day. Well, most of them. I bet you’ve checked those text messages as soon as they’ve come through. Whether you check them on your phone or on your smartwatch, as soon as you see you’ve got a text, you check it, ignoring everything else.

Guess what. So do your customers.

The zero downloaders

Smartphones make it easier than ever for businesses to reach out to their customers. Since we’re carrying around our main form of communication, connecting with us through these devices is critical for engagement.

Lots of businesses have taken the growth of the smartphone as a reason to create their own apps. The logic behind it is solid — you bring your customers into your ecosystem and provide yourself a means of learning more about them, sharing information with them, and prompting them to spend more time (and money) with you.

There’s just one problem. People aren’t downloading apps like they used to.

The idea of “an app for everything” hasn’t necessarily gone away, but the desire of your customers to download and install those apps, especially if they’re only going to use them once or twice, is at an all-time low. 51% of people download zero apps in a given month.

If you’re relying on an app to get in touch with your customers, you may be out of luck, and even if they do install your app, we all know how easy it is to ignore or just swipe away a notification without paying attention to it.

Bypassing app notifications

Alright, so if your customers don’t want to download apps, and even if they do they’re prone to ignoring them, how are you supposed to get in touch with them? Phone calls? Email? Smoke signals and carrier pigeons?


Hear me out; when was the last time you ignored a text message? I don’t mean a text from your ex, or somebody you weren’t talking to anymore. When was the last time that a text came through and you didn’t check it almost immediately?

Chances are, it’s been a while. How do I know? Because SMS has a 98% open rate; 95% are opened within 5 minutes of them getting to your phone. So not only do people open text messages at a nearly unanimous rate, they do it quickly.

That’s good news for your business, and it’s how you can connect with your customers.

Make a connection

You know you prefer to interact with people via text. So do your customers. Sending them a text message not only allows you to engage with them, it gives you the chance to get real-time feedback since they’re likely to see your communications quickly.

There are plenty of different options (toll-free SMS, local SMS, short codes — all of which we talked about last week), but the important thing to remember is that every one of them ends up in your customers’ text inbox, and they don’t have to download anything to receive SMS messages (in a lot of cases they need a text message to activate their phones).

Start the conversation

Ready to connect with your customers? Ready to have them actually respond? Get started with texting! Learn more about enterprise-grade business SMS that’s supported by 24/7 human contact.