9 reasons we still love SMS

Smartphones and their fancy apps get all the glory. But consumer and commercial use of the decades-old SMS channel is still rising, much of which is down to marketers realizing its adaptability and inclusiveness

Young people texting

[Original post on blog.gemalto.com]

We’ve already looked at how application-to-person (A2P) messaging is powering the humble SMS’s continued growth in the face of ever-more-popular communication formats such as over-the-top (OTT) messaging. In fact, text messages hit an all-time high of 7.7 trillion sent in 2014.

Much of this is being powered by marketing, which provides a rich seam of opportunity for this 23-year-old technology. You won’t wonder why once you’ve read our list of the reasons companies are still turning to SMS for their customer communications.

1. SMS is ubiquitous
Anyone with a mobile can use SMS – no matter what telco, operating system or country. You don’t even need a special app, and the most basic of handsets is capable of sending a text message.

2. SMS is always on
Text messages are transmitted over the telco networks, which for the most part reach across every inhabited location on the planet. The same can’t be said of OTT messaging or email, which rely on data connections that aren’t always available.

3. SMS is immediate
Mobile is the most personal of all media. So it’s no surprise that users open and respond to texts so quickly. They ping on to your screen and are hard to ignore.

4. SMS campaigns are easy to create
A text contains just 160 characters. Your marketing message can be distilled into its essence – as persuasively as possible, of course.

5. SMS messages can be targeted
Opt-in SMS marketing campaigns can be targeted at particular people. This avoids annoying customers for whom a particular message isn’t appropriate – important when building brand loyalty.

6. SMS is rich
There’s more to an SMS than just black text on a screen. A text can display a picture, a video or a hot link to a dedicated landing page.

7. SMS is responsive
Any good promotional campaign has a call to action. Including trackable reference codes proves the value of SMS to the bottom line.

8. SMS is premium
The premium cost of SMS actually makes it more attractive as a comms channel. People are more likely to open, read and keep a text.

9. SMS can be used for payments
A premium text message reverses the charge, so the recipient pays for it; the cost is simply added to their monthly mobile phone bill. This method is often used during charity appeals following natural disasters but has plenty of commercial applications to.

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