SMS stands for Short Message Service and is the most commonly used technology for mobile phone text messaging. Standard SMS messages are limited to 160 characters, which makes it a great medium for communicating short bits of information quickly.
SMS started gaining momentum in 2007 when Apple introduced the first iPhone. That year, Americans sent and received more text messages per month than phone calls. Improvements in smartphone texting technology such as spell check and predictive text have only exacerbated its growth. And by 2015, smartphone users were sending and receiving five times as many texts each day as compared to the number of phone calls. SMS is used so commonly now that texters have developed their own language—texting acronyms.
While SMS is most widely used for texting between friends and family, it has other uses as well. Within the past five years, SMS has become more common for business communications, such as billing alerts, appointment scheduling and reminders, sales inquiries, promotions and more.
What is SMS for business?
Zipwhip pioneered business-texting technology in 2014, when it became the first company to text enable a landline phone number. Zipwhip’s direct network connectivity, intuitive cloud-based software and an enterprise-grade API mean businesses can use any computer or mobile device to securely and reliably send and receive texts from their existing business phone number.
Zipwhip enables two-way texting, meaning businesses and consumers can engage in conversations. However, there are other types of business SMS that are one way. Short codes are 5-digit phone numbers that are used by businesses of all sizes to send mass texts to customers for things like two-factor authentication, alerts and special offers. They do not allow for responses, so businesses can’t use them to engage in real conversations with customers.
The advantages of SMS for business
The way businesses communicate with customers is changing. Seventy-six percent of consumers are already being texted by businesses, and 74 percent want to receive more texts from businesses. Texting, unlike phone calls, isn’t disruptive or intrusive. It allows consumers to respond when it’s most convenient for them. And unlike emails, text messages get read. Seventy-four percent of consumers have zero unread text messages at a given time, while only 17% say the same about email. Email inboxes are inundated with spam, making it difficult for consumers to identify what’s important and what merits a response.
Want to test out SMS for your business? Sign up for a free trial of Zipwhip, and start texting customers today.