What is Virtual SMS & What Do You Need to Know About It?

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Imagine a phone number that you can't call, but it can send and receive text messages. Learn what this looks like as we take a deep dive into virtual SMS.

The evolution of the phone has brought us from clunky wall-mounted monstrosities to cordless cradles. From car communicators to texting pocket computers. Fast forward to present day, and smartphones are slowly becoming the dominant medium for telecommunication.

According to studies conducted by Pew Research, around 77% of Americans have smartphones, a number that is up from just 35% in 2011. And with the rise of smartphones has come a surge in texting.

More than 26 BILLION texts are sent in the U.S. each day. Which brings us to the question— is anyone even answering phone calls anymore? As a business, is it even advantageous to have a dedicated landline?

No matter if you’re ready to ditch the landline or not, chances are you didn’t even know it was possible to have a phone that doesn’t “ring”.

And so it is with great pleasure we introduce to you, virtual SMS— the future and the next step beyond the smartphone.

What is Virtual SMS?

Think of virtual SMS like old school AIM chat. But instead of both parties being on the web, one is texting through a virtual phone number. You can’t call the 10-digit number like a landline, but it can both send and receive text messages.

Virtually every business uses some form of internet connectivity to run their operations. Virtual SMS is simply capitalizing on that fact and reducing the need for additional hardware for businesses looking to get into the SMS marketing game.

Aside from not having to purchase a cellphone to text with customers, there are some other big benefits virtual SMS offers:

  • With the ability to add multiple logins to your virtual number’s account, numerous staff can field communications from the same number at the same time!
  • With a dedicated business number, you no longer need to utilize your personal device for any communications, which can lead to mixups (not to mention a fiercely unbalanced work-life situation!)
  • Communicate in real time. Receive replies without delay, and reply immediately.
  • Ability to secure a local number and communicate with customers’ phones anywhere in the world.

Virtual SMS Facts and Figures

When it comes to virtual SMS some people know a little, others nothing at all. But most have a least some spammy misconceptions. To help clear all of that up (and make you the small talk king or queen of your next dinner party) we’ll give you some facts that’ll equip you with everything you need to know on the topic.

We’ll start by sharing that virtual SMS is most commonly used as the primary tool in text marketing. After all, it’s what gives businesses the ability to reach thousands of people in an instant. If you’ve ever received a text from an organization, the odds are very high you received a virtual SMS message!

With that in mind, it’s important to note that businesses don’t just have free rein to invade your personal cell space. Strict FCC guidelines state that businesses must receive express written consent for each recipient before sending out any kind of promotional material. And as a consumer, you can opt out of receiving these texts at any time you please.

But there’s a reason many organizations have elected over the last few years to reach their audience on their phones. Rich Communication Services (RCS) is estimated to be worth $74 billion by 2021!

The fact of the matter is, marketing messages are getting heard over mobile. There’s simply less competition for attention against other brands. Open your phone now and look at your last 5, 10, even 15 message threads. How many of them were friends, family, co-workers? How many were businesses? From that perspective, you can imagine this is a space any organization would be pleased to inhabit.

If you’re still not sold, here are some of the most prevalent virtual SMS statistics that might surprise you:

  • 80% of people use texting for business purposes.
  • More than 50% of customers prefer contacting support through text messaging compared to other channels.
  • 75% of people wouldn’t mind receiving an SMS text message from a brand (after opt-in).
  • The response rate of SMS text message marketing is 45% vs email response rates at 6%.
  • 90% vs 20% – Open rate of SMS compared to email open rates.
  • Over 35% of phone users in the world are best reached by SMS text messaging.

Virtual SMS is becoming a part of our everyday lives right before our eyes. And no matter if you’re a consumer or a marketer, the more you know about what’s happening, the more you can get and expect out of your favorite brands.

Have a specific business or organization you wish you could text? Send them our way, and we’ll happily show them the light!

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