According to a report, 7 out of 10 companies believe that they are communicating effectively with their customers. However, only 2 out of 10 customers agree with this sentiment. Clearly, there exists a great business-customer communication divide that the organizations are failing to acknowledge. Such a grave statistic may make one question a lot about their marketing campaigns and strategies. More specifically, it begs businesses to wonder whether they are marketing over the right channels and at the right time?
When it comes to mobile marketing, push notifications and SMS have proven to be effective in their respective realms. Here, we will be comparing their performance and discovering where to use what.
Upon quick perusal, SMS text messages and push notifications may appear the same – they are both brief messages delivered across a one-way channel. However, that’s where the similarity ends. Let’s quickly go over the definitions of push notifications and SMS, along with their respective advantages and disadvantages.
Customers who have your mobile app installed on their phones can view the push notifications. These are pop-up notifications that appear on your phone’s lock screen. These are typically 100-200 characters long and can contain rich media. Businesses send push notifications through the OSPNS (Operating System Push Notification Service) to deliver the message to the device owner. Check out the benchmarks observed by MoEngage here.
SMS or short messaging service is your regular text message with a limitation of 160 characters (extendable up to 1600 characters). Since SMS delivery takes place over a mobile network, the recipient should have a SIM card with an active network status. Furthermore, since it requires knowing the recipients’ mobile number, you must have explicit permission to send text messages.
From the above list of pros and cons, you might have gained some clarity on when to send SMS text messages versus push notifications. In this section, we will explore further into when should you send push notifications and when to send SMS.
Push notifications are often successful in nudging a user towards a specific task. It could be anything from updating to the latest version of the app to completing payment or announcing a sale. If you wish to retain the push notifications permission, your messages should offer instant value. Fortunately, they are highly versatile, and you can use push notifications to transmit information related to:
Avoid sending push notifications for reference information that the customer may require access to later, messaging without any immediate value proposition, and lengthy messages.
SMS messaging is considered more personal and trustworthy as it involves the mobile phone number of the recipient. As such, you must use this direct channel very sparingly for marketing purposes. Since it addresses the receiver personally, you can use SMS campaigns to update the receiver regarding any information that may affect their health, finances, safety, or personal interests.
Ideally, SMS messages are more suited for transmitting information that is:
Avoid sending messages for long messages and reference materials.
Push notifications and SMS text messages are both useful in their respective domains. Hence, the efficacy of both primarily depends on who is receiving the message, the nature of the content, etc.
Based on multiple factors, here is a head-to-head comparison of how they perform against each other:
Push notifications can work in the case of mobile or desktop users, while SMS messages are suitable only in the case of the former.
As stated previously, text messages primarily contain textual matter and links. In contrast, push notifications can contain text material, links, buttons, images, music, GIFs, emojis, videos, custom CTAs, audio, etc.
SMS marketing promises long-term customer acquisition as sharing a number is a larger commitment. Push notifications are susceptible to a higher churn rate as the subscriber can sever the connection by uninstalling the application.
The delivery rates for SMS messages are nearly 90%, whereas the same for push notifications stands at around 75%. Is your push notification delivery suffering? Locate the possible culprits through this quiz.
At present, the CTR for SMS messages is 7%, while push notifications can register CTR as high as 35-40%!
Push notification packages start at $4 per month for 1,000 subscribers. On the other hand, SMS messages cost $0.02 per message.
Eventually, the decision to go with SMS or notifications only (or use a combination of two) lies with your audiences. You may find someone who pays more attention to push notifications, while others may be interested in receiving text messages. Hence, depending on how they respond to either communication, you will have to tailor your marketing campaigns accordingly.
Now that you know the advantages and limitations of both channels, you can find the technique that ticks with your audiences and harness it to your strengths! For best results, it is always wise to strike a balance of multi-channel marketing tactics for long-term engagement, higher conversion, and improve retention rates.
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