WhatsApp marketing vs SMS marketing | Springwood
SMS vs Whatsapp - choose the best marketing channel
Marketing Communication
Want to connect with your audience with the most effective messaging channel?
A comparative study - WhatsApp marketing vs SMS marketing.

Without a proper channel of marketing communication, businesses often face customer churn and lack of stickiness and customer retention. Thus, choosing the most effective marketing channel becomes even more crucial for businesses. This article covers a comparison between SMS marketing and WhatsApp marketing

Want to connect with your audience with the most effective messaging channel? A comparative study - WhatsApp marketing vs SMS marketing.

Do you know that an average person uses their smartphone for more than 3 hours daily? 1 in 5 smartphone users spend an average of more than 5 hours daily on their device. Looking at the figures above, it is clear that cell phones play an important role in people's lives.

However, most businesses today need help knowing where to start or which direction to go. For this, they use WhatsApp and SMS messaging which help them to reach more customers. But the question is, which one should you use?

This article covers the basics of SMS and WhatsApp marketing, which is best for your business, which strategies are best suited for particular marketing use cases, and when to use it.

SMS marketing

SMS marketing promotes goods and services by sending transactional or promotional text messages. Initially, people used it to communicate and keep in touch with each other.

Businesses quickly realized the true potential of SMS to reach a wider audience and used it in their marketing plans. Unlike other channels, SMS marketing can only be initiated through a mobile device.

There are two different types of messages via SMS -

  • Marketing initiatives - These "one-to-many" mass communications disseminate information about events, news, notices, coupons, etc.
  • Ephemeral communication - These are "one-to-one" messages that are delivered immediately after an event. For example, a consumer receiving a text message to track their order after it is shipped.
  • SMS marketing

SMS marketing have the following inherent benefits by using SMS as a channel:

  • Easy access - SMS can reach users in every residential location with a mobile network. In addition, text messages can be obtained on any device with or without an internet connection.
  • It goes quickly - SMS marketing is instantaneous. Unlike social media and email marketing, no additional creative or content is required. And due to its short character limit, the communication becomes straightforward and to-the-point.
  • No need to download additional applications - SMS does not require installing a separate application. All phones come with a pre-installed SMS/MMS messaging app which makes it easier for marketers to reach out to their target audience.

WhatsApp Marketing

WhatsApp marketing is a fairly new marketing approach as compared to other marketing channels. WhatsApp has been previously used for the purpose of communication without any character limitation or SMS limit per day. It has now been used to foster relationships between businesses and customers. WhatsApp is becoming an essential communication tool in the marketing industry.

Whatsapp marketing

Let's see the main advantages of using WhatsApp as a marketing channel:

  • Business API for WhatsApp and automated messaging - Large businesses are recommended to use the WhatsApp Business API to connect with hundreds of customers simultaneously. Automated conversations are also possible if the customer support or marketing team is not able to respond to customers immediately.
  • Corporate identity - Businesses use WhatsApp to create and maintain their brand identity by setting up their business profile. Customers see a business/brand name instead of an unknown phone number when they receive your messages. As a result, it creates brand awareness amongst the users and becomes more personalized
  • Secure messaging - One of WhatsApp's most significant selling points is its end-to-end encryption. According to the WhatsApp website, end-to-end encryption is used for all messages transmitted between users on WhatsApp, including messages sent to or from work accounts. Therefore, only the sender and receiver can decrypt and read the messages on WhatsApp. This feature is essential for businesses and customers as it protects sensitive data and provides customer privacy.

Comparison: SMS Marketing vs WhatsApp Marketing

There are some differences between the two marketing methods, although both are used for more or less the same purposes.

When to use WhatsApp?

  • To actively interact and personalize your communication with the audience
  • To enrich your communication and marketing strategies with multimedia capabilities
  • WhatsApp can be used over SMS if you want to build your brand identity
  • To tap into a larger tech savvy target audience
  • WhatsApp allows you to track user activity after a communication is being sent to the user - like open rate, replies, click rate, etc.

When to use SMS?

  • To reach a wider audience that does not have internet access as SMS does not rely on internet connectivity. It provides a reliable delivery of messages.
  • To broadcast an important feature/release to all the audience at once as SMS allows mass messaging with higher open rates
  • SMS is a perfect channel to keep your users informed regarding important news or any promotional activity
  • SMS can help in providing real-time information to your customer base

Limitations of SMS as a channel:

  • SMS messages contain a maximum of 160 characters.
  • SMS does not support photos or other media rich content. For this, businesses have to use MMS, which is comparatively more expensive.
  • Users can activate ‘Do Not Disturb’ which will not allow any promotional communications to go through SMS

Limitations of WhatsApp as a channel:

  • The users can easily block the business account which can prevent reachability via WhatsApp
  • WhatsApp have lower open rate as compared to SMS
  • If your user is in a remote location without internet access then they’ll not be able to receive your communication
  • Users can uninstall the app in a single click and can stop receiving messages altogether

Whatsapp marketing

Which messaging platform is best for your brand?

The choice between SMS and WhatsApp for your brand depends mainly on the specific needs of your business. WhatsApp can be a valuable tool to help you reach your customers and engage with them through interactive communication. Whereas SMS can help your business to reach wider audiences.

Final Thoughts

In today's world, every business knows the importance of marketing. And choosing the most effective marketing channel becomes even more crucial for businesses. Without a proper channel of marketing communication, the businesses often face customer churn and lack of stickiness and customer retention.

Springwood marketing automation and growth strategy services can help you choose the best marketing channel for your business. The services also provide you with additional features of A/B testing and scientific experimentation to help you improve customer retention and in turn revenue. Connect with us to know more about these services.

Keywords - WhatsApp marketing, SMS marketing, marketing automation, customer data, customer engagement, customer retention

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