There have been a number of claims in recent years that SMS messaging is dying, and that other forms of messaging will supersede SMS in the future. The main driver behind these suggestions has been the huge growth of instant messaging applications such as iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, BBM, Snapchat and the like.
It cannot be denied that in some countries the use of person-to-person (P2P) SMS messaging has actually started to decline (meaning SMS is being used less for individual people to contact each other), but at the same time there has been a global increase in the use of application-to-person (A2P) SMS (where SMS messages are sent from an application – for example a website – to an individuals). this is because more and more businesses are realising the benefits of being able to contact their customers discretely and efficiently via SMS. Being able to reach any customer vie their personal handset is still a huge benefit for businesses that provide services and applications to their customers. And SMS of course, does not require access to data services or the latest model of smartphone, it is an universal method of communication, with open rates higher than any other.
SMS messages still remain one of the best ways for businesses to broadcast a written message to large client bases. Customers who receive a text message with information regarding a product or service are almost four times as likely to open it than they are an email with the same content. SMS marketing, particularly bulk SMS is an effective method of gaining the immediate attention of large audiences. Although other channels of instant message communication are often used by customers with mobile phones, these applications frequently fall short at supporting only P2P communication and are not yet appropriate for commercial use.
Text messaging is available as a standard on every mobile device, and because it’s been around for decades it comes naturally to users as means of communication. Applications such as BBM and Kik often require pins or usernames in order to identify users whereas mobile phone numbers are often more freely offered by customers as the majority of people are able to recall their own from memory, which for a business, makes SMS much more useful.
SMS also provides businesses with the invaluable opportunity to keep customers updated if a service is interrupted and mass text messaging services can be particularly beneficial when other forms of communication aren’t available due to faults or if for instance a company relies on being online in order to function.
Though many recent instant messaging applications have grown to become the initial method of text communication for a number of users, for businesses requiring a method which is familiar and truly dependable to communicate with their customers, SMS is still by far the best option.