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Why Are Text Open Rates and Response Rates So High?

Business Texting
3 min. read

We’ve publicized, both frequently and consistently, data about texting that makes texting the best communication channel ever.

The most notable of those stats are the 98% open rate, and 96% read rate. Specifically, that 98% of all text messages are opened and 96% are read within 3 minutes. These stats DWARF every other form of communication. The response rate for texts is far better than for email, far better than voicemail, infinitely better than direct mail, and is way better than phone calls.

The question though is why?

Why are emails only opened 12% of the time? Why are voicemails only listened to 1% of the time? And why are phone calls… so darn time-consuming?

In short, why does texting perform so much better?

Phone Addiction

The first and most obvious reason is that Americans—well, everyone really— are obsessed with our smartphones. We look at them over 1,000 times per day, we check them first thing when we wake up and last thing before we got to bed. Psychological studies show that we get a burst of dopamine when we get a new text (or a like on social media) and we can’t avoid checking each text we get.

It is nearly impossible to avoid looking at your phone when it starts giving you the little dinging sound indicating that you’ve received a new text message.


The other factor—probably the more important factor—is that texting is relatively non-intrusive.

Here’s what I mean..

If you get a phone call during a meeting, you silence your phone and turn it over. It would be impossibly rude and inappropriate to answer a call during a meeting. The same thing is true if you’re at dinner, if you’re in a plane preparing to take off, or if you’re talking to your spouse.

The same is NOT true of texting.

You can look at a text in a meeting, at a game, at dinner, or in most settings. Obviously don’t be the jerk that is looking constantly, but it isn’t as socially frowned on to check at text message as it is to take a phone call.


The most important reason that everyone opens and reads their text messages is because it is instant. You know that the sender physically sent the message mere moments ago. They know you can reply immediately, they can tell you’ve read the text.

For businesses and individuals seeking an IMMEDIATE touch, an immediately way to get things done, texting is the only way.

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