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SMS Messaging


SMS messaging, which stands for short message service messaging, is a text messaging service available on mobile phones, smartphones, and other mobile devices. It allows users to send short text messages to one another using cellular networks. SMS messages can contain up to 160 characters, including letters, numbers, and symbols.

SMS messaging is widely used for personal communication between individuals and also for various business and informational purposes. It is a convenient and quick way to exchange brief messages without the need for a stable internet connection. SMS messages are transmitted through the cellular network infrastructure, allowing users to send messages even when they are not connected to the internet.

Did you know that 85% of American men and women own a smartphone, and approximately 98% of women and 97% of men own a cell phone?

That’s the vast majority of adults in the nation. And based on a study from the Pew Research Center, those who communicate through text messaging send and receive 41.5 messages on average every single day.

Clearly, text messaging is still the main avenue to communicate with loved ones and colleagues alike. There are four types of message you can send with smartphones including in-app messaging and push notifications (which we’ll talk about later), but for now, let’s talk about a type of messaging that goes hand in hand with SMS.

What is MMS?

MMS stands for multimedia messaging service. MMS messaging is an extension of SMS (short message service) that allows users to send multimedia content such as pictures, videos, audio files, emojis, website links, and contact cards along with text messages. Unlike SMS, which only supports text, MMS can handle multimedia elements, making it suitable for sending richer content between mobile devices.

MMS messages can include a combination of text and multimedia content, providing a more dynamic and interactive messaging experience. Users can attach images or videos from their device’s gallery, record audio messages, or capture pictures and videos directly within the messaging app and send them to others.

MMS messages are sent over cellular networks and require a mobile data connection or a Wi-Fi connection, depending on the user’s mobile plan and settings. Keep in mind that the capabilities and limitations of MMS messaging might vary between different carriers and devices.

What is the difference between SMS and MMS messaging?

SMS and MMS messaging are two different types of text messaging services. SMS stands for short message service and is standard for sending text messages. SMS messages have a character limit of 160 characters per message and can only contain text. MMS is a multimedia messaging service and can include media such as images, videos, and audio.

The main difference between SMS and MMS messaging is the type of content sent. SMS is limited to text-only messages, while MMS allows for multimedia content. MMS messages can also have a much larger file size, allowing for sharing higher-quality multimedia content.

Another key difference is the cost of sending messages. SMS messages are usually included in a standard text messaging plan, while MMS messages sometimes incur additional charges. This is because MMS messages are more data-intensive and require more bandwidth.

SMS messaging is generally best for sending simple text messages, while MMS messaging is better suited for sharing multimedia content such as photos, videos, and audio clips. Not all phones and carriers support MMS messaging, so it is always best to check with your carrier before sending a message with multimedia content.

What is SMS messaging used for?

With SMS messaging being the number one way we communicate, businesses across the globe are using it in their marketing campaigns. SMS has a handful of benefits and use cases when used this way.

  • Instant communication: SMS messaging is quick and direct communication with individuals or groups. It provides a fast way to deliver information to a recipient and receive a response.
  • Customer engagement: SMS messaging is an effective way to engage with customers. It can provide timely notifications and updates, such as order confirmations, appointment reminders, and delivery notifications.
  • Marketing: SMS messaging can be used for marketing purposes. It allows businesses to send promotional messages, discounts, and special offers directly to customers’ mobile devices.
  • Internal communication: SMS messaging can be used for internal communication within a business and provide employees with updates on projects or other company-related information. 

Why is SMS messaging important for businesses?

As I’m sure you’re understanding, SMS messaging is a golden ticket to improve communication with your customer base. There are many reasons why SMS is important in marketing, sales, and beyond.

Here are a few:

  • It improves customer engagement: SMS messaging is a convenient and personalized way to engage customers. It allows businesses to deliver relevant and timely information to customers and build stronger relationships.
  • It’s cost-effective: SMS messaging is a cost-effective way to communicate with customers. It is less expensive than traditional forms of communication, such as phone calls or direct mail.
  • It increases sales: SMS messaging can be used for marketing purposes, allowing businesses to send promotional messages, discounts, and special offers directly to customers. This can lead to increased sales and revenue.
  • It improves customer service: SMS messaging can update customers on their orders, appointment reminders, and other important information. This can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Interested in how to improve the entire customer experience outside of just SMS messaging?

More and more, customers are opting to be reached via text message over email and other social channels. Why? This is likely because SMS text messages are shorter and people are checking their messages regularly anyway, which some can’t say for their email inbox.

A study found that 54% of consumers prefer to receive marketing promotions via text messages.

That’s a pretty substantial number. Want to take a guess at how many businesses are currently using SMS messaging in their marketing process? Only 11%. So if you haven’t at least started thinking about how to fold text messaging into your strategy, it might be a good time to reconsider.

At the end of the day, data shows that customers trust SMS more than emails and will likely engage with them too. All this information is well and good but how do you actually start using SMS messaging?

How do you apply SMS messaging to your business? 

There are a few ways you can start using SMS messaging with your customers. 

  • Incorporate it into customer communication: Use SMS messaging to communicate directly with customers, providing them with timely updates, information, and a better overall customer experience.
  • Fold it into your marketing process: Use SMS messaging to send customers promotional messages, discounts, and other special offers.
  • Tie it into internal communication: Use SMS messaging to update employees on projects or other company-related information.

SMS messaging is a valuable tool for businesses to communicate with customers and employees. It provides a fast and cost-effective way to deliver information and engage with individuals or groups.

Other types of messaging

As mentioned earlier, there are four types of messaging. The last two types are a bit different from SMS and MMS and serve different purposes. 

In-app messaging

In-app messaging is the capability to send messages or notifications within a mobile application or software platform. Unlike traditional messaging methods like SMS or email, in-app messaging allows developers to create interactive and personalized messaging experiences directly within their applications.

This allows in-app messaging to be contextual and displayed within the context of the application, making it relevant to the user’s current activity. This messaging can also be personalized based on user behavior, preferences, or demographics and communicates with the customer in real time. A support chat feature within an app enables users to ask questions and receive instant responses.

Push notifications

Push notifications are short messages or alerts sent by mobile apps, websites, or other online services to notify users about new updates, events, or other activities within the app or service. These notifications are sent to users’ devices, appearing on the screen even if the app is not currently in use. Push notifications are a direct way for apps and services to communicate with users, grabbing their attention and encouraging them to engage with the app.

Keep in mind that it’s important for developers and businesses to use push notifications responsibly, ensuring they provide value to users and do not overwhelm them with excessive or irrelevant messages. Properly timed and relevant push notifications can significantly enhance user engagement and overall user experience with mobile apps.

SMS messaging is also known as:

  • Text messaging
  • Mobile messaging
  • Short messaging service
  • SMS text messaging

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