SMS 101

SMS Messaging 101: What Is It & How Does It Work?

We all SMS and text constantly in this age of smartphones and mobile devices. But wasn’t quite so long ago that text messaging wasn’t even a possibility for mobile devices! Before the advent of text-based cellular communication, we could only communicate with voice calls using our mobile phones. While technology existed for callers to leave a simple message with someone, there was no way to send messages like SMS via cell networks like today. Let’s go back to SMS 101.

So what does SMS mean

Short Messaging Service (known as SMS) is a message that contains only text (no pictures or videos) of 160 characters. Originally, SMS was built for the GSM standard in the 1980s, which defines what information is sent in a text (text characters) and how information is sent between devices. In other words, SMS is a protocol and GSM is its specification.

How does text messaging work

The process to send an SMS message is very simple and straightforward. When you send an SMS message, it goes to your service provider where it sits, waiting in the outbox before it gets delivered to the recipient. A unique ID number is assigned to each message, which is then sent to the recipient through the cellular network. When the message arrives, a delivery report generates and is sent back to your SMS service provider. This indicates whether or not the message has been delivered in near-real time.

Why choose SMS messaging for your business

SMS vs. OTT messaging apps

The main difference between SMS messaging and Over-The-Top (OTT) instant messaging are: 

It works anywhere and everywhere: Although regulations regarding content may vary by country, SMS features are generally the same. You can create bulk texts to send to customers and clients anywhere in the world with a single platform like Tall Bob’s web portal, API or integrated partners.

Easy to use and persistent: You don’t need an app! Amazingly, more than 70 percent of apps downloaded get deleted within 90 days. You don’t need an app or software to receive SMS messages. Better still, you don’t need to have a smartphone to be able to receive a text – that trusty old Nokia or Motorola brick still works!

SMS supports a wide range of use cases: SMS supports all types of external and internal communications.

We help with workplace comms, marketing, operations, retail, service industries, training, SMEs and more. Send your customers a link, code, coupon, order confirmation, appointment reminder, map location and more – all in our one platform or customise with APIs. Using multiple different apps to communicate with your audience or customers can sometimes create an irritating and disjointed customer experience when they prefer the simplicity of SMS.

SMS vs Email

SMS is more personal and less intrusive than email, which means it’s all about respect. Consider how we link our mobile or cell numbers directly to our everyday life, but why we link our email to work, personal or even ignored. This means that you can build a trusted relationship with them over the course of time and provide them with highly relevant updates that they’ll appreciate. Email is not the same – many people simply consider mass email as low cost, heavily automated and impersonal.

Unlike email, we read our SMS messages within minutes (sometimes under 5 seconds). The speed makes this technology ideal for time-sensitive communications, fast-action marketing messages and personalised updates. Research also shows that SMS open rates are as high as 98%, compared to just 20% of all emails.

On average, it takes someone 90 seconds to respond to a text message, whereas they can take up to 90 minutes to respond to an email. This very immediacy of SMS has made it a key tool in customer acquisition, engagement and retention, as well as internal communications.

Harness the power of SMS for your business

SMS is a powerful tool for businesses in virtually every industry. This is because text messaging is the most used mobile engagement channel for consumers, with 90 per cent read in 90 seconds. 98 per cent of text messages opened and read within three minutes of receiving them. Below are just a few examples of how different industries use SMS:

  • Retail: Keep your customers in the loop about new season releases, latest deals, upcoming sales, loyalty coupons and product announcements.
  • Marketing: Run launch promotions, win-back campaigns, subscriber special events, surveys and mobile coupons.
  • Service businesses: Send appointment reminders, booking confirmation links, locations, your website and contact information.
  • Restaurants: Send reservation reminders, daily specials, special event promotions and loyalty rewards.
  • Educational institutions: Send automated reminders for application deadlines or emergency changes to scheduled classes.
  • Not-for-profits: Send a text-to-donate keyword or link to give donors an easy way to contribute or share information on important initiatives.
text messaging is the most used mobile engagement channel for consumers, with

Tall Bob can help you connect and communicate easily with your customers

Tall Bob makes it easier than ever to send out your message in bulk. Our easy-to-use platform provides you with peace of mind as we provide you with the tools you need to make a huge impact on your business. We can help you:

  • Reach out to your customers by sending bulk SMS messages
  • Share important announcements or updates in a way that cuts through the clutter
  • Gain insights and analyse your SMS campaign performance easily
  • Know who has read your message, interacted and converted

We make it easy for businesses to create SMS campaigns. In addition, we offer powerful APIs that allow developers to integrate our services into custom solutions.

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