SMS Benchmarks
For United States Startups

Don’t be misguided by the rant about that channel you might google. This channel’s performance might be not what you would expect.


Open Rate


Click-Through Rate


Click-To-Action Rate


Cost Per Mille


If you google “SMS marketing in the US” you might find a plethora of re-posts about its dominant attractiveness in comparison with email marketing. Don’t be misguided by that statistic: most of the data comes from engagement and retention campaigns, not from user acquisition. One does not simply use cold SMS to mold a UA/sales funnel - not in the US.

SMS marketing in the United States falls under the jurisdiction of The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulator. Text messages fall under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which is the main anti-telemarketing law in the US. You might have to pay $500-1,500 per each marketing text that you send without getting permission from the recipient. Be smart; don’t spam.

How did I get those numbers? As I’ve been doing marketing since 2000 I’ve had a chance to accumulate big and small data from corporations, small ventures, own startups, open Google crawlers and API’s, white- and gray-hat marketing communities, helpful insights from colleagues. The final actual numbers for the metrics you see are the results of qualitative research. That means, first, I have an average (mean quantitative) values, and then manually match it with expert numbers (median qualitative). If both data fit - we’re good. If expert numbers go out - I adopt Bayes' law and Daniel Kahneman’s methods to balance the data.

Bear in mind, all those marketing benchmarks and startup metrics below relate to the United States market only. Though they can be applied to other T1 countries (US, UK, CA, AU, NZ), these metrics don’t represent traction benchmarks for startups and companies in T2 and T3 regional markets.

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