SMS: Engaging Consumers Through Richer Communication

Desmond Chong

In today’s digital era, we are no longer satisfied by looking at a plain message on our SMS—simple text messaging using SMS is a thing of the past. Checking Facebook and Instagram and sending pictures and videos using our favorite messaging clients have already become part of our lifestyle.

How is SMS being used?

Enterprises still rely on traditional SMS messaging to send out OTPs (one-time passwords) and verification codes (to confirm the authenticity of the users), squeezing 160 characters worth of promotional content into a single message to their customers.

Clearly, SMS is the best and the most efficient way to reach a single person who owns a mobile phone of any kind. SMS can reach anyone with a mobile phone, whether it’s a traditional candy-bar phone to the latest and most advanced smartphone.

With OTT (Over the top) messaging clients providing a much richer user experience in terms of multimedia, voice conferencing, online status, and more, use of traditional SMS is decreasing. Savvy users might even consider SMS “old-school” technology.

MMS: the richer SMS

MMS has revolutionized the way we communicate by allowing users to include images, audio, and video in messages. Meanwhile, Whatsapp, WeChat, Facebook, and others are still trying to gain their foothold into “smarter” phones.

As fun and interesting as it is to send images and videos, adoption of MMS has been slow. This is in part because many users were hesitant to send images due to high costs (with no data plan). Many consumers remain generally wary about sending images or multimedia files through MMS, and enterprises are not willing to pay the high costs associated with driving MMS marketing campaigns to their customers.

While sending promotional images or videos to customers might seem like a clear path to engagement, some worry about being charged for downloads. In addition, there are no reliable ways for enterprises to measure the success rate of MMS marketing strategies.

Rich communication using traditional SMS

Using URLs in traditional SMS messages can deliver a richer customer experience: With hyperlink preview functionality, available in iOS and some newer Android phones, URL links in message content can display as an image, much like an MMS message.

What does this mean for advertisers? They can drive marketing campaigns through conventional SMS with the sexiness of MMS. Offering URL previews that render as images in message content boosts customer engagement.

In addition, enabling customers to click directly on URLs helps companies track click rates and SMS open rates to better measure campaign effectiveness.

Traditional SMS need not be limited to text. Smarter use of native SMS capabilities can enrich your company’s marketing communication and increase customer engagement at the cost of sending an SMS.

Place messaging at the heart of your enterprise customer communications. Learn how mobile messaging can improve customer acquisition, service, and retention, increase revenue and loyalty, and reduce costs. Read this SAP Digital Interconnect whitepaper.

Desmond Chong

About Desmond Chong

Desmond Chong is the Product Owner for Enterprise Messaging in SAP Digital Interconnect. Desmond is passionate about helping enterprise customers to reach the last mile of their engagement with their customers. Prior to SAP, Desmond led the product portfolio on Postpaid and Prepaid with a local mobile operator in Singapore for more than 8 years.