Top SMS Trends to Watch in 2021
Short message service, otherwise known as SMS or text messaging, has come a long way since the 1990s. Indeed, back in those days, the technology was used primarily by mobile operators to alert subscribers to network issues, important service notifications, and eventually marketing promotions. The concept of the two-way messaging solution that we know and love today was little more than a glint in the eye of the telecommunications industry.
Nevertheless, SMS was always a promising technology; and despite its humble beginnings, it has since evolved into a dynamic and accessible communication tool with use cases spanning practically every aspect of daily life.
Now, we’ve dedicated this space to discussing the future of SMS before. But today, we thought we’d get a little more precise. In this article, we’ll look at some of the top SMS trends to watch in 2021 and beyond. These include SMS as a brand marketing channel, SMS as a customer service channel, the integration of SMS in over-the-top (OTT) messengers, SMS as a tool for personalized engagement, and SMS for Business-to-Business (B2B) communication!
Five SMS Trends to Watch in 2021
1. SMS as a Brand Marketing Channel
Here at Pareteum, we’ve proselytized on behalf of SMS marketing at length. Indeed, in a post we published back in July titled Eight Ways SMS Messaging Can Improve Your Business, we noted that with open rates and response rates surpassing those of voice, email, and Facebook messenger, SMS is a fantastic tool for bolstering marketing strategies.
Indeed, consider the following: SMS boasts open rates as high as 98%, while email marketing languishes in the 15-25% range. Moreover, it takes an average of 90 seconds for someone to respond to a text message, compared to 90 minutes for email.
So, whether you want to promote flash sales, limited time offers, “Last Chance to Buy” opportunities, or changes to dynamic pricing, SMS is the best and most immediate way to do so. And it should come as no surprise that over 60% of businesses already plan on increasing their SMS marketing budget.
2. SMS as a Customer Service Channel
For many of the same reasons, text messaging is becoming an increasingly important tool in the realm of customer service. It’s a great way to send order confirmations, delivery tracking notifications, appointment reminders, etc.
Indeed, by taking advantage of SMS’s exceptional open rates and response times, companies can streamline a wide variety of customer service processes. This goes a long way in bolstering customer engagement, satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.
Moreover, according to a report from the company EZ Texting, while a whopping 54% of consumers say they would like to receive promotions via text messages, only a paltry 11% of businesses oblige. This indicates that consumers would like to engage with businesses via text, but too few businesses have yet recognized the value of SMS as a customer service channel. This is what we in “the biz” refer to as an opportunity for differentiation. But you better act fast — companies are bound to figure it out before long. Especially with coronavirus expediting all manner of digital transformation.
3. The Integration of SMS in Over-The-Top (OTT) Messengers
OTT messaging solutions, including multi-channel and omnichannel messaging platforms, enable users to send messages via several different communication channels. This could be email, voice, or any number of popular Internet-powered solutions (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, iMessage, etc.).
The benefit here is clear. OTT messengers help organizations cover all their bases. They make them more accessible to more customers and help them control their branding and outreach strategies over a greater number of channels.
Of course, when OTT messaging apps like WhatsApp and Viber first hit the market, many commentators believed it spelled doom for SMS. But in fact, SMS capabilities make these solutions better and more well-rounded by expanding their reach.
4. Personalized SMS Outreach for Building Relationships
We touched on the utility of SMS for customer engagement above, but it warrants revisiting. More and more, businesses are using SMS to build relationships with their customers and partners. The reason being: SMS combines the ability to craft personalized messages with performance metrics that far outpace those of other marketing channels.
In addition, Application-to-Person (A2P) and Person-to-Person (P2P) messaging solutions are becoming ever more sophisticated, enabling personalized messages to be drafted and sent at scale.
5. SMS for Business-to-Business (B2B) Communication
Likewise, SMS continues to establish itself in the B2B communications space. Even though SMS was initially used by businesses as a business-to-consumer (B2C) solution, it has since proven to be such a versatile engagement tool that B2B marketers now increasingly use it to generate and nurture leads, obtain client feedback, send service updates, and much more!
What Is Pareteum Messaging?
Pareteum Messaging, which you can read about here, is a programmable, multi-channel, two-way application-to-person (A2P) messaging offering. This means it enables organizations and businesses to communicate with their clients, consumers, and employees across SMS, email, voice, and more.
Of course, we’ve written about the SMS solution rather extensively. So, we highly recommend that you check out some of our older blog posts:
- Pareteum Messaging | SMS Engagement That Gets Results
- Crisis Management A Pareteum Messaging Success Story
- How SMS Can Help the Travel Industry Navigate the Age of Coronavirus
- Eight Ways SMS Messaging Can Improve Your Business
Pareteum is an experienced provider of Communications Platform as a Service solutions. We empower enterprises, communications service providers, internet service providers, mobile operators, full MVNOs, light MVNOs, early-stage innovators, developers, IoT (Internet of Things), and telecommunications infrastructure providers with the freedom and control to create, deliver, and scale innovative communications experiences.
The Pareteum platform connects people and devices around the world using the secure, ubiquitous, and highly scalable solution to deliver data, voice, video, SMS/text messaging, media, and content enablement.