We all spend way too much time on our phones. It’s why savvy marketers are investing more in mobile marketing channels.
The top two that often come to mind are WhatsApp and SMS.
Text, or SMS marketing, is the text message-based marketing channel that businesses have come to know and love over the past few years as more people spend more time on their phones.
WhatsApp is the most popular of the mobile messaging platforms (like Facebook Messenger and Instagram messages). It’s generated a lot of interest lately, in part because it’s relatively new.
Which leads brands and their marketers to ask, “Is SMS or WhatsApp right for my business?” Choosing between the two can be tough.
You’ll get a lot of opinions all over the Internet, but today, we’re going to take a deep dive into both SMS and WhatsApp marketing to help you make an informed decision.
Let’s start out with a look at the important numbers behind SMS and WhatsApp marketing.
When looking at SMS marketing, the key factor is growing demand from smartphone users. Take a look at these texting statistics:
Now that we’ve taken a look at SMS, let’s see how WhatsApp compares.
Numbers alone don’t always tell the full story. Let’s dig a little deeper.
First off, why did we choose these specific statistics for each platform?
When you’re trying to choose a marketing tool, it helps to look at a few main factors:
It’s clear that both platforms attract large audiences, cater to mobile users, and get a lot of traffic.
So, what’s the difference?
Simply put, SMS stands on a more solid foundation than WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is experiencing a popular moment right now because it’s useful for communication across different countries and because Facebook owns the app.
Texting, however, remains the messaging go-to for both businesses and individuals (as you can see from the percentage of people who use it daily).
It’s also worth noting that social media platforms move in and out of popularity based on shifting factors like politics, controversial moves by the brand, and how cool the next new platform is.
Texting is free from a lot of those unpredictable influences, and it’s still the default way to communicate year after year.
Now that we’ve got an idea of how many people use both texting and WhatsApp in their business, it’s worth digging into how each platform works.
Although texting from a cell phone is familiar to most of us, businesses often work their SMS marketing strategy a little differently.
While you can certainly send marketing messages from a personal device, many brands choose to use an online SMS platform.
Online platforms like these allow you to send out messages to potentially thousands of contacts at once without the impersonal feel of a group text.
You can also manage replies and conversations from one central inbox and keep track of how your messages are performing.
Unlike texting, WhatsApp functions on one application.
Once you download the app, you’ll set up your business profile. Then, you can send mass blasts to large groups of contacts, manage replies, and schedule messages.
With WhatsApp, you can set up AWAY messages and automatic replies for your frequently asked questions to save time.
Here’s a quick comparison of the two tools:
|No need to download an app||✅|
|Can set up automatic messages||✅||✅|
|Can send mass messages||✅||✅|
|Multiple numbers available on one account||✅|
|Different number types available||✅|
Deciding between SMS and WhatsApp for your brand comes down mainly to your business’ unique needs.
If you’re a business that operates in Europe, WhatsApp might be a useful tool to help you reach your customers since it’s popular there.
That said, there’s one big reason we generally recommend SMS, and that is its near-universal use.
It’s 2021, and everyone texts now. Businesses text, internal departments text, even your Great Aunt Ruth texts. That’s not going to change anytime soon.
The numbers we mentioned earlier show us not only that texting is a part of daily life, but also that people are overwhelmingly interested in receiving marketing texts.
If you choose to use SMS for your marketing, you have a vast, eager audience ready and waiting.
Ready to get started with SMS in your business? Give SimpleTexting a try for 14 days, totally free.
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