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SMS vs WhatsApp Marketing: What's Best For Your Business?

SMS vs WhatsApp Marketing: What Works Better for your Business?

For over 100 years, people could only speak to each other over phone calls unless they were meeting in person. Not long ago, its text equivalent—SMS came to the fore, thanks to Neil Papworth who sent the world's first text message—a Christmas wish to his boss at Vodafone. Little did he know then just how popular texting would become and that it would give rise to messaging apps that are used by millions across the world today.

WhatsApp is now the most popular instant messaging platform used by billions with over 100 billion messages getting exchanged on the platform every day. The channel may soon reach a massive 500 million monthly active users in India alone.

WhatsApp messages enjoy a 99% open rate and the messages are read within the first 5 minutes of it reaching the recipient’s phone. Active users of the app would rather receive marketing content on WhatsApp than on any other channel.

Come to think of it—it's only the service providers who use the SMS to send one-time passwords. WhatsApp has taken the lead over SMS in terms of cost, user preference, and functionality. The best part—WhatsApp allows you to send messages containing rich media in the form of images, videos, documents and locations.

Though SMS has taken a back seat when it comes to personal communication, it continues to be an effective marketing tool for businesses. In this post, we are going to delve into what the two types of messaging options are, their advantages and their core differences. So, let’s get straight to it.

What is SMS marketing?

SMS marketing refers to the use of text messages to send promotional campaigns or transactional messages for marketing products or services. It was initially used by people to chat and keep in touch with one another.

Soon businesses started realizing the true potential that SMS could reach larger audiences and started including it in their marketing strategy. Unlike other channels, SMS marketing can be activated only via mobile phones.

There are two types of messages that you can send using SMS:

  1. Marketing campaigns: These are “one-to-many”  bulk messages used to communicate event information, updates, alerts, discount coupons, etc.
  2. Transactional messages: These are “one-to-one” messages that are sent out as soon as an event takes place. For example, when an order is shipped out, an SMS is sent to the customer notifying them that their package is on its way.

Advantages of SMS marketing

While there are a lot of benefits associated with SMS marketing, we will look at it in comparison to WhatsApp marketing.

Runs on cellular networks

One of its top advantages is the fact that it works using cellular networks. It does not need an internet connection or active data packs to function. You can send messages via SMS marketing even when your internet connection is faulty.

Smartphones are not required

In a world where smartphones have become an integral part of our lives, there are still a good number of those who do not have a smartphone. There are two categories of people who may not own a smartphone, they are—senior citizens who have trouble getting into the nitty-gritty of using it and those with lower incomes who can’t afford to get one.

Does not require an extra app

SMS Vs. WhatsApp—SMS does not require an app to operate. All phones come with inbuilt messaging capabilities. You don’t have to download it as an app to operate on it.

What is WhatsApp marketing?

WhatsApp marketing involves promoting a brand through WhatsApp. It is fairly a new concept when compared to SMS marketing. Though it has not been around for much, WhatsApp has been immensely successful in connecting businesses with its customers. WhatsApp is a must-have communication tool in your marketing arsenal.

We have covered the advantages of SMS marketing. Let's now find out how WhatsApp marketing fares Vs. SMS–in terms of its top benefits. 

Advantages of WhatsApp marketing

Here are a few of the many benefits that WhatsApp as a channel has to offer:

Multimedia messaging capabilities

Though it is deemed as an instant messaging communication tool, WhatsApp has a lot more to offer its users. For one, you can include emojis, images, audio and video files to make your messages more engaging.

Rich messaging features

The ability to share live location, contact info and different kinds of files along with rich media capabilities make WhatsApp a force to reckon with.

A highly secure platform

One of the biggest reasons that make WhatsApp the go-to communication platform is the fact that it offers end-to-end encryption on all messages. This simply means that only the sender and receiver can know what was exchanged between them. Even WhatsApp has no access to the conversations. This is vital for both businesses and customers for sharing confidential information, billing details, personal details, etc.

Massive popularity

WhatsApp has gained immense popularity over the years. Everyone you know is using the app. Your customers are on it. So why not connect with them on a platform they check in on several times a day?

The basic business version of the app can be easily set up by downloading it from the Google play store or the App Store if you own an Apple device. To get started with WhatsApp API integration, you need to approach a Business Solutions Provider (BSP) such as DelightChat who will get you onboard seamlessly.

SMS vs WhatsApp - Key differences

We've prepaired a table to make it easy for you to read through the key differences between WhatsApp vs SMS marketing.

We've also done a study of Email vs WhatsApp Marketing. Read the in-depth guide to learn what's best for your business.

SMS vs WhatsApp Marketing: The final word

We have laid out the core difference between SMS and WhatsApp marketing before you. Choosing either of the two to upgrade your marketing efforts should entirely depend on the needs and type of your business. 

That said, WhatsApp is a more scalable option as it can offer what SMS Marketing can plus a whole lot more! WhatsApp business poses an excellent opportunity for your business to promote its brand, engage in real-time communication with customers and improve customer loyalty and sales.

Moreover, the official WhatsApp Business API made available by the likes of DelightChat has advanced capabilities that enable you to grow your business. If you are looking to improve your marketing effort, sign up on DelightChat and reach out to 1000s of opted-in customers.

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