Reaching your customers through various touchpoints is essential to a robust multi-channel communication strategy. To optimize their marketing operations, businesses should consider solutions that offer real-time triggers with high levels of engagement, catching the customer’s attention at the right time.

SMS text alerts are the perfect tool for this — allowing for speedy text message delivery with enhanced automation capabilities. SMS marketing is currently one of the leading methods of communication for businesses, enabling them to successfully interact with their customers with an excellent open rate of 98%, per Startup Bonsai.

Let’s take a deeper look into SMS text alerts, their functionality and how businesses can utilize them to  enhance their customer engagement.

What are SMS Text Alerts?

The abbreviation SMS stands for short message service and it’s how text messages are sent to a cell phone or other mobile device. In the same way people text each other person-to-person (P2P), businesses can text registered members of their marketing campaign. This is called application to person (A2P) and it’s crucial that recipients opt-in before receiving texts from a business.

SMS text messages are supported by mobile carriers, as opposed to WiFi connections, and they can appear in several places on a mobile device, including their message inbox, lock screen and notification banner. SMS messages are quite similar to push notifications — but try to avoid confusing these two methods of communication.

SMS Text Alerts vs. Push Notifications

You may be familiar with the push notification channel. Although similar in notification functionality, they are very different from SMS text alerts for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the key differences to note when comparing SMS text alerts and push notifications:

SMS Text Alerts

  • Doesn’t require an internet connection or data services.
  • Requires a mobile signal and a carrier.
  • Customers must opt-in to receive these communications.
  • Drives mobile users to a website.
  • Content usually includes discounts, special offers, reminders and updates.
  • Can only be delivered to mobile devices with no capacity for desktops.
  • Once opened, customers can access the message as many times as they wish.

Push Notifications

  • Requires a WiFi connection or data services.
  • Requires mobile signal but not a carrier.
  • Customers don’t need to opt-in to receive these communications.
  • Drives mobile users to an app.
  • Content usually notifies users of updates, issues and app-specific alerts.
  • Can be delivered through mobile devices and desktops.
  • Once opened, customers cannot re-open a push notification.

Though both channels are great options for real-time communication, they have different purposes and capabilities. Push notifications are more specific to driving traffic toward mobile apps, while SMS text alerts are more suited to sharing discount codes and reminders as they offer re-opening capabilities.

How Businesses Can Utilize SMS Text Alerts

There are numerous ways in which businesses can benefit from text message alerts, and with an SMS campaign in place, businesses have the ability to automate their text messages for optimized efficiency. Here are some ways to utilize SMS text alerts to support businesses, customers and internal stakeholders.

Driving Leads
SMS automation methods let you send pre-written messages to individual customers based on specific triggers, enabling you to drive leads. For example, if a registered customer abandons their basket, this can trigger the action to send an SMS message that reminds them of their basket and encourages them to execute their purchase.

Appointment Reminders
If a customer or business partner is scheduled to attend an important meeting with your organization, a text message reminder can be sent to their device well in advance, ensuring they’re aware of their booking and reducing the chances of a no-show. Automated services will generate reminders based on inputted template and trigger delivery at a set time — for example, 48 hours before the appointment.

Emergency Alerts
Although SMS text alerts are great for SMS marketing, they also function as an excellent way to contact internal stakeholders in emergencies, such as natural disaster or cyberattacks. When faced with an emergency situation, mass text alerts allow you to efficiently contact all of your employees stakeholders in immediate timing, maximizing response time for everyone involved.

Two-Factor Authentication
One-time passwords (OTPs) provide security for stakeholders associated with your organization. Two-factor authentication (2FA) methods verify the identity of a user by sending texts that contain a short code to a phone number. The user then confirms their identity by inputting the generated code into the relevant system. With 2FA, staff can gain access to sensitive business information and customers can access their accounts securely. 

Order Updates
SMS text alerts are great for updating customers on the latest information regarding their order, notifying them of order confirmation, dispatching, delivery time and package arrival. This method is unintrusive, straight-forward and improves visibility as email notifications may go unnoticed in a busy inbox.

The Benefits of an SMS Text Alert System

With such extensive capabilities, it’s no wonder so many businesses are taking advantage of SMS communication. The benefits of an SMS text alert system include:

Unlike other channels, such as social media, you don’t need a large budget to share content with your customers. There’s also no need to worry about advertising schemes to promote brand visibility. Instead, setting up with short code or long code (10DLC) are cost-efficient methods that will be enough to effectively reach your customers and have a notable impact, no matter the size of your business.

With a text message alert system in place, your organization is able to save valuable time by sending texts quickly and efficiently. There’ll be no need to continue producing outdated and time-consuming materials, like promotional flyers and leaflets. Instead, marketing methods evolve into modernized solutions.

Wide Customer Reach
With nearly 6.8 million smartphone users reported worldwide, per Statista, SMS messaging creates a major opportunity for businesses to broaden their customer reach. With text message capabilities, your business can expand its market by connecting with more diverse audiences for both age and location.

Automating your text message services takes you a step further, eliminating manual processes, optimizing communication techniques and enabling your teams to focus on important business goals elsewhere.

Support Your Business Growth

Reap the benefits of SMS business communication and watch your business flourish. At Swift SMS Gateway, we provide companies with global coverage through 800+ carriers, and with our well-established, superior platform, we can create automated solutions for your organization, streamlining your processes and boosting customer satisfaction.

Want to get started? Get in touch or sign up for our free demo today!