SMS vs WhatsApp For Business – What Are The Facts?Jason Siddall
Do you remember in those old movies when the girl and the guy were “meant to be” but then the hip new kid came into the neighbourhood and she liked him more? And then, of course, it turned out he wasn’t all he was cracked up to be and she returned to her true love and they bought a car and a cat called Nigel and lived happily ever after. Well, the same can be said of the story of SMS vs WhatsApp. Minus the cat, perhaps.
WhatsApp has been all the rage for some time now, and for jolly good reason. It’s free (which is always nice!), it’s incredibly easy to use, we can send pictures, voice and files to friends and family across the globe, and we can open groups and gossip about our in-laws. Even Facebook invested in WhatsApp for a cool $19 billion, so it must be doing something right.
However, just like the new hipster in our story, sometimes the flashy new toy isn’t the best option for you. Or your business.
We’d like to weigh in on the SMS vs WhatsApp for business debate, and you can decide what the right option is for you.
SMS vs WhatsApp For Business
We have all seen apps evolve as they mature. For example, Facebook is widely accepted as a social platform, LinkedIn as a business platform, and Instagram for a combination of the two headed up by hippies, photographers and design fundis. The same can be said for WhatsApp: you expect to hear from your Mom and your child’s teacher, but not necessarily from your doctor or the accounts department at Mr Price.
Here’s why we love SMS for business:
Everyone has access to SMS
While WhatsApp is as popular as Boerewors at a braai, not everyone has it. If you’re using a messaging platform for business, it makes sense to stick to the one platform that everyone uses.
Best Open Rate
SMS can boast the highest open rate at a feisty 98 percent. Enough said.
No Internet Required
How frustrating is it when you want to send an urgent message, or you’re expecting one, but you’ve hit your data cap? As a business, you have no idea how much data your audience has, and if you are sending a time-sensitive message, the urgency may be lost once they get home and have Wi-Fi access again. Of course, then your message gets buried in a flood of the day’s news and activities! Making use of bulk SMS services for business gets your message to your audience whether they have data or not.
Not wanting to labour the point, but what happens when you find yourself in an isolated area with zero internet within a 30 km radius? Yep, you can still rely on SMS to get your message through.
No Smartphone Needed
As shockingly bizarre as it may sound (especially to Millennials), not everyone has a smartphone. Yes, some of those dinosaur cell phones are still around and are still working despite an opaque screen and the missing number 3. If the owner of this little device is your target audience, then he’ll get your SMS.
Don’t you just love data? Bulk messaging platforms allow you to track your messages and see what’s working and which messages may need tweaking. You enjoy simple access to two-way communication with your audience, and multiple automated reply offerings.
SMS = Short
SMSs are by their very nature, short. Generally at around 160 characters, people know that an SMS isn’t going to be a version of War and Peace, rather an informative message which gets right to the point.
Free SMSs Anyone?
Many service providers offer unlimited free SMSs on their contracts. What a bonus! This means that not only will they always receive your important message, but they can interact with you via SMS without worrying about what it is going to cost them.
Personalised messages have been proven to increase the open rate and the engagement of marketing messages to potential customers.
SMS Offers Faster Response Time
According to Digital Marketing Magazine, “On average, it takes 90 minutes for someone to respond to an email, but of course, some people might take hours or days to even look at it. With text messages, the average response time is 90 seconds. A lot of people will take their mobile phones everywhere with them and therefore are quite likely to see a text straight away. Not everyone checks their emails and even when they do, they might not be able to respond to it straight away. With a text, people can reply quickly no matter where they are.”
While this refers to SMS vs Email, the fact that SMSs are opened almost immediately and have such a high response rate is great news if you’re considering using this medium in business.
Yes, WhatsApp certainly has a place in our lives and offers some incredible functionality that we will continue to use more and more.
However, the numbers don’t lie. And the bottom line is; if you want to reach a lot of people with a concise message and enjoy the highest response and open rate of any communication service, then bulk SMS is the only option for your business.
The Cellfind messaging portal has all the solutions that you have been searching for in your SMS vs WhatsApp deliberation, and we’d love to work out the best communication options for your business. Contact us on 0860 105 774 today.