SMS For Your Business: Benefits And Use Cases

2020-09-29 06:50:33
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To reinforce customer trust in your business, it is important to regularly communicate with the audience of your brand. SMS messaging is an affordable and quick way to inform customers about important news, to promote products and services or simply stay in touch. Here’s why personalized text messaging is a highly effective method of communication.

What Is SMS (Text Messaging)?

SMS (stands for Short Message Service) is the most widely used type of text messaging. It is a popular communication channel among companies that effectively interact with clients, creating comprehensive customer experience by using a combination of channels. 

With SMS, you can quickly deliver personalized information to the customer and know for sure whether they received it or not.

Important: Sending promotional text messages is not equal to spamming. Spamming is sending advertising or other messages that customers never agreed to receive. For example, bulk-sending text messages to a random list of numbers is spamming. Another thing is when users subscribe to SMS messages on their own and can unsubscribe at any time. 

Differences Between Messengers (WhatsApp, Viber etc.) and SMS

  • Messengers and SMS use completely different protocols to send messages, and each has different platform and network requirements;
  • Messengers require an internet connection to work, while SMS needs a mobile network connection;
  • Messengers have to be downloaded by users from app stores (such as Google Play for Android or App Store for iOS), while SMS is supported by all modern mobile phones by default.

The main advantage of SMS is that nowadays it's a universal technology supported by every single mobile network and device. To send a text message via SMS, all you need is another person’s phone number. This makes SMS a popular channel for businesses to communicate with customers — because it’s a quicker way to deliver your message than email, and it doesn’t require any additional app downloads.

You can never know for sure what messenger is the right way to reach your customer — someone could be using WhatsApp, but someone else could only have Viber installed. In this case, no matter what messenger you choose, you won't be able to reach both of these people at the same time. SMS, on the contrary, would allow you to do that.

However, messengers often have more features, like media attachments, group messaging, audio and video calling. And most importantly, unlike SMS, messengers are free to use.

A2P For Bulk SMS

When a company needs to send bulk SMS, it suddenly faces a big problem: carriers can block text messages, because each country has its own rules and limitations for mass text messaging campaigns. These regulations are made to protect regular users from spam attacks. However, for businesses there is a way to comply with such regulations — it can be achieved by using the A2P service

A2P (or application-to-person) services allow companies to send bulk text messages to customers and avoid the risk of getting blocked by carriers. Rather than sending messages individually, A2P uses automated computer-based services.

Voximplant provides customers with an A2P API that can send up to 20 text messages per second.

Difference between A2P and P2P

P2P

SMS originally appeared as a Person-to-Person (P2P) service meant for messaging between 2 individuals. In most cases, P2P involves responses going back and forth. You can send a message from a Voximplant number to a specified user and wait for an HTTP webhook callback with any response which you can then relay back to the sender or otherwise process.

A2P

SMS has gained popularity worldwide, and now companies are using it as an effective way of communicating with customers. Instead of sending large numbers of messages to users individually (which requires a lot of unnecessary work and can lead to getting blocked), they use automated, computer-based services that meet all of their bulk messaging needs. SMS works very well for delivering service notifications, emergency alerts, event announcements and promotional information. Even though customers can respond to these text messages, most of them don’t, because they know the message has been sent automatically. This form of messaging is known as Application-to-Person or A2P.

When to use A2P instead of P2P?

Why not just send all messages via the P2P method? It simply may not work if you’re planning to deal with large volumes of messages. Besides, it creates certain risks. Not only SMS carriers have send rate limits, they also use a lot of SMS spam prevention methods. 

In general, you should use A2P instead of P2P when:

  1. You are sending more than 10 to 20 messages at once;
  2. You want to use a short code;
  3. You want to use an alphanumeric sender;
  4. You want to ensure the highest delivery rate possible.

The Benefits Of Using SMS For Business Communication

Did you know that text messages have much higher open rates than other forms of communication — up to 90% of messages are read within the first 3 minutes. No wonder SMS is so popular when it comes to customer engagement. With SMS, you can achieve the following:

  • Drive sales
    Since SMS helps to quickly notify customers about new products, promotions and sales. This motivates many recipients to repeat purchases.
  • Retain customers
    With the help of SMS, the business constantly maintains communication with the client - this strengthens consumer confidence in the company.
  • Collect feedback
    The company may ask to rate a product/service or leave a review. Customers' wishes help to analyze the company's performance and make further business decisions.
  • Increase customer loyalty
    Personalized messages, reminders, holiday greetings - all of this shows customers that the company cares about them.

When to comes to different industries, the most popular use cases are:

  • Online stores: informing customers about new products and sales;
  • Banks: notifications about transactions, service updates or changes in interest rates;
  • Restaurants and cafes: messages about menu updates, discounts and new offers;
  • Travel companies: notifications about changes in tariffs, last minute trips and more;

The fact that text messages can be personalized, just like emails or push notifications, makes SMS an even greater communication channel for various business needs. Unlike emails, text messages provide the opportunity to reach customers as fast as possible, since people do not check their inbox as often as their phone. 

Types Of SMS Campaigns

Depending on your business goals, you can use different types of SMS campaigns:

  • Informative
    Text messages containing important information about changes in the service or products of your company;
  • Welcome messages / onboarding
    Messages that customers receive after creating an account or signing up for receiving newsletters;
  • Advertising
    Messages containing promotions, discounts and special offers;
  • Service messages
    Automatically delivered text messages containing account details (such as balance, recent transactions, subscription plan etc.);
  • Personal messages
    Birthday wishes and personal offers;
  • Research-oriented
    SMS campaigns used to collect customer feedback (conduct surveys, encourage customers to leave reviews, find out opinions on product and services of the company);

A2P Pricing

Pricing varies by country, so please visit our pricing page to see A2P availability and rates for a given region. For example, A2P pricing for the United Stated starts at $0.0125. Consider that Voximplant may also be able to provide you with a short code rental or Alphanumeric Sender ID depending on your country. You can contact support@voximplant.com or your Voximplant sales representative for details. Together, we will find the perfect solution for your needs.

If you have any questions left about using SMS for business communications, we are always here and ready to help:

Sign Up for a free Voximplant developer account or talk to our experts

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