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SMS Still Propels Businesses to Success

SMS Still Propels Businesses to Success

SMS Still Propels Businesses to Success

Business-related publications still spill a lot of ink over mobile marketing. In-app advertising, peer-to-peer promotion (think of how Audible.com prompts listeners to send friends a free audiobook over their mobile devices), in-game marketing for casual entertainment apps, and ringless voicemail get plenty of press. But what form of mobile marketing consistently receives short shrift? You guessed it: the humble, hardworking SMS message. To many marketers, SMS is a nigh Stone Age medium, a form of communication that proved important in ages past, yet has little practical importance today. It’s an understandable sentiment. SMS is old. SMS is familiar technology. And SMS is facing increased competition from a suite a free communications applications.

But according to James Lasbrey, Telefónica’s Global Head of Messaging, it’s also an entirely wrongheaded idea.

In a recent article posted on Telecoms.com, Lasbrey pointed out that SMS reaches “99.99% of handsets globally,” boasts “an impressive 90% read rate in minutes,” and “is a trusted, secure and effective messaging channel for business.” There’s no safer, faster, more effective, and more respectable way for your business to get its message out to consumers than through an SMS campaign. But those aren’t the only reasons to board the good ship SMS. Lasbrey sees increased potential for text-based programs in application-to-person (A2P) space.

Fraud prevention is a prime usage of A2P SMS functionality. Consider your primary email account, the number of people it connects you to, the degree to which it’s linked with your day-to-day business. Now mull over all of the chaos that could ensue if a malicious third party took control of it. If you’ve ever had such a thing happen, then you know what kind of headaches it can cause. Fortunately, SMS-powered fraud protection can keep your email secure—as well as any other number of online-based activities. Lasbrey notes that these safeguards have “become the norm for companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, PayPal and LinkedIn,” which means that SMS has even more room to grow.

What’s more, Lasbrey discovered through in-house studies that businesses, non-profits, and governmental entities have put SMS to work in non-marketing related areas in the A2P space. Call them quality-of-life communications if you like, but their main thrust is to improve both firms’ and constituents’ lives through up-to-the-minute contact. Congestion notices for rail lines during rush hour. The status of prescription refill requests or medical notices. Solicitations for accounts of customer satisfaction. These “new” SMS usages have little to do with promotion, but they still employ the same technology used for marketing purposes.

So, yes, SMS marketing may be a bit long in the tooth, seem familiar to consumers and businesses alike, and prove unlikely to turn the heads of either editors or reporters. But such seeming stodginess could become a boon both in terms of effectiveness and innovation. Older technologies can find new uses, and familiarity breeds a sense of security. SMS still propels businesses to success, and its tenure isn’t anywhere near its end.

Josh Vallera

I am the founder and owner of UltraSMSScript. With over 14 years experience in multiple facets of enterprise level software development, my software engineering background led me to start my own business in the SMS marketing field. Realizing that there are nearly 5 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, I knew there was enormous opportunity for businesses to start utilizing SMS in their overall marketing strategy.

While there are many SMS marketing *services* out there, I wanted to build something where my clients could install SMS software on their own servers for whatever domain name they wanted and not have to rely on expensive markup to send permission-based SMS. My goal was to provide a self-hosted platform, at a 1 time cost, linked directly to the SMS gateways and provide wholesale pricing from the start!

View Josh Vallera's profile on LinkedIn

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