Smartphone with cloud of application icons

It’s now two decades since the inception of the SMS message and despite constant calls of its demise, it’s still growing. According to research even mature markets are registering growth – something that counters claims that app based messaging systems are taking over and SMS has had its heyday.

For business and marketers the SMS message is still a strong base for contacting potential customers and spreading brand messages. Though IP based messaging providers have eaten into revenues, it seems that the growth in this area allows SMS to continue to thrive.

Whatsapp and Viber

Whatsapp, Viber and other similar applications surely have a huge impact on SMS, especially when we talk about individual users but these kind of messaging services are sometimes limited.

Their usage is down to data usage limits, if these are surpassed or can’t be connected to, then the messaging of this kind doesn’t necessarily work.

Of course, another issue is that the sender and receiver must both have the specific app on their smartphone. If all those competing messaging apps somehow find a way to work with each other, so that we  could send a message from Whatsapp to Viber, it would eliminate the problem.

Smart Phone Limitations

We also have to consider the simple fact that not all people use Smart phones or have these apps on their phone. Though smart phone ownership is set to rise to 70% of the UK population by the end of 2013, it doesn’t mean that all of this 70% are using these apps. It also omits around 30% of all users – around 15m+ people in the UK alone.

Conversely SMS doesn’t suffer from such an issue – it offers people a universal platform to connect on, with out of the box functionality.

Let’s take for example older generation who do not use these kind of messaging apps and people who are constantly travelling have limited access to internet on their Smart phone. So again sending a text message seems to be more reasonable if the case is urgent.

Marketing

Opening rates are also high, especially when compared to email. According to a report from Frost and Sullivan, email opening rates are around 22% while SMS has a 98% rate of opening. Another report has suggested the CTR of URLs included in texts is 19% as opposed to a 4/2% CTR for the alternative message.

SMS it seems is still a basic and highly engaging way to communicate and also remains highly effective and also is very engaging. Its reach is among the highest there is and it is also one of the highest reaching forms of communication.

Among individual users apps are definitely gaining more popularity but when it comes to business users, SMS is still one of the best tools to reach customers.