Why Use SMS Notifications For Your Business?

Oct 22, 2021
SMS Notification

In this article, we will look at SMS notifications and why businesses need to use them.

Before we find out what SMS notification is, let’s start with the basics, shall we?

What is SMS?

SMS stands for short message service. It’s a text messaging service that’s been used since the early 90s.

Over the decades as SMS gained more popularity, it has become a go-to communication method for many businesses and solopreneurs worldwide.

According to recent statistics, the open rate of SMS is over 98%.

The text messaging service enables mobile devices to exchange short text messages. SMS can also be used for:

  • Reminders
  • Authentification
  • Alerts
  • Notifications
  • Customer services
  • Marketing purposes

What is an SMS Notification?

Let’s think about the open rate of 98% for a second. You can use this fact to your advantage as a business or brand or a solopreneur that has a clientele base.

So, what is an SMS notification?

The traditional SMS Notification meaning goes as follows: a method of communication for businesses with their clients to deliver any message desired and ensure that the majority of the recipients will pay attention to it.

Whether one client or an infinity, you can send notifications for any news, promotions, or campaigns with the thought of a higher open rate.

One of the reasons is that since SMS is more of a personal channel of communication, people pay more attention to SMS notifications.

It helps businesses improve the quality of their services and cater to the news faster and more conveniently.

And, here we come across personalization that plays a key role. The more personalized and customized your message is, the more conversion rate it will serve.

Here are a few business text messaging statistics:

  • More than 80% of the customers prefer to reply to text messages from businesses and engage in conversation.
  • Almost 90% of the customers would like to use SMS to connect with businesses.
  • 47% of consumers said they would not prefer a company that didn’t offer SMS as a communication channel.
  • 67% of respondents want to receive service-based messages from Banking/Financial Institutions.
  • 79% is the rate of marketers who implement mobile-specific tactics and use SMS.
  • More than 50% of customers favor communicating support through text messaging as opposed to other ways of communication.
  • 75% of companies noticed that they reached their customers more effectively after using SMS as a communication channel.
  • 85% of consumers prefer to receive an SMS over a voice call or an email.
  • 82% of text messages received from businesses are read within 5 minutes.

SMS Notification Service

The SMS notification service, however, does come with a list of disadvantages.

Let’s have a look at a few of them:

  1. It has a low CTR of only 7%. So, if you are keen on the trail from messages to websites, then I wouldn’t consider this option.
  2. Wrong timing can divert the user from further engagement. So, you can use it for service notifications, banking, travel alerts, something that the user will want to pay attention to later, hence will check their inbox when the time is right for them.
  3. It has a character limit of 160, so if you use more of it, you will be charged for two messages.

You can solve this issue by using various common abbreviations that will immensely shorten your text, hence you will notice that the 160 character limit isn’t that small of a number after all.

Push notifications, which we will discuss later on, also comes along with several disadvantages as well, including:

  1. Depends on the availability of the internet.
  2. The receiver can see it on the browser, only if they open it.
  3. The character limit depends on the device and can range from 65 to 240 characters.

There is no Shangri La when it comes to choosing the right one, the decision needs to include business goals and marketing strategy factors, and the target demographics.

However, the ease of use for SMS notifications comes with the several SMS Notification Systems that are in place.

WooCommerce SMS Notification

Let’s have a look at WooCommerce SMS notifications and how they can be helpful.

It’s the most popular, e-Commerce plugin that has features and tools in place to help businesses converse with clients more conveniently and with automation.

Luckily, there is a free SMS automation tool called AutomateWoo that can send SMS notifications and is a complete marketing automation suite for WooCommerce.

AutomateWoo can help you in many ways including:

  1. Select triggers
  2. Write custom messages to be sent when as trigger goes off
  3. Email customers at set intervals for reminders
  4. Send notifications about wishlists, orders
  5. Send personalized coupons
  6. Offer discounts
  7. Send OTP
  8. Send messages based on a product’s inventory level

How to set up SMS Notifications in WooCommerce?

  • Download the extension from your WooCommerce dashboard
  • Go to Plugins > “Add New” > Upload and select the ZIP file you just downloaded
  • Click “Install Now” > “Activate”

The most popular SMS Notifications plugins for instance, include:

1. WooSMS By Bulkgate

2. SMS Alert Order Notifications – WooCommerce By Cozy Vision Technologies

3. YITH WooCommerce SMS Notifications

4. WC – APG SMS Notifications

5. MoceanSMS

And now what are WordPress Plugin SMS Notifications?

As the largest CMS, WordPress has millions of users in place, so businesses can use the WordPress plugin SMS notifications for their communication methods.

WordPress is used by 41.4% of the top 10 million websites and is one of the most popular content management system solutions in the world.

The amazing thing here is that you can use automated SMS notifications, schedule everything in advance and let the system converse with customers on your behalf with notifications.

Furthermore, the plugins have a functionality that allows you to check the status of each message. If for some reason the message wasn’t sent to a particular recipient, you will be able to see and re-send it directly to the customer.

This helps not just with keeping track of your messages sent but, also helps with troubleshooting.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin?

While plugins are installed in the same location, there are a few approaches to how you can go about:

Approach #1

How to Install a WordPress Plugin From WordPress.org?

  • Login to your admin account
  • Go to Plugins section > Click on “Add New”
  • Search for your preferred one

Approach #2

How to Install a WordPress Plugin From a Third-Party Site?

This approach may be a bit limiting as you can find only those plugins that are available within the official WordPress directory. So,

  • Download the plugin as a zip file
  • Go to “Install Plugins”
  • Upload the zip file
  • Click on “Install”

Push Notification vs. SMS

Before we look into the differences between push notifications vs. SMS, let’s firstly look at them separately.

Push notifications are a helpful tool when it comes to businesses and enterprises.

The top 3 benefits that using the latter can bring, are:

  1. Get higher click-through rates
  2. Send cross-device compatible notifications
  3. No user information required

What can push notifications do for you?

  1. Send out time-sensitive notifications and updates
  2. Bring back customers with custom discounts, coupons

There are several plugins for push notifications. Some of the options include:

  1. OneSignal
  2. WonderPush
  3. Push Notifications for WordPress
  4. PushAssist
  5. Beamer

To add these notifications to your site, follow the steps below:

  • Install and activate plugin > go to plugins > Add new > Select preferred option
  • Enable automatic notifications > Click on platforms
  • Add notification opt-ins

Furthermore, you can add browser notifications as well.

So what are browser notifications?

These are push notifications all the same and they push notifications automatically to your device or browser.

You can set browser notifications with WordPress with the steps below:

  • Download and Install plugin
  • Go to plugins in WordPress
  • Go to Plugin Site to connect with WordPress
  • Create account
  • Set up the WordPress site on the chosen plugin
  • Confirm configuration in WordPress plugin settings panel > Click Save
  • Customize your popup message
  • Customize your notification icon
  • Send notifications from your WordPress

And, Last But Not Least - Push Notifications vs. SMS

Opt-in & Receipt

Push notifications: Since it’s a strategy associated with smartphone app technology, it’s considered a less intrusive marketing tactic. Businesses don’t need opt-in consent to send a push notification, because the user has already opted in per se, by downloading the app. As the recipient downloads the app, they are already opted-in to receive notifications.

SMS Texting: If a user turns off the push notifications of an app, they will not get it. So SMS texting can be used to communicate with users who have both downloaded the app and didn’t. In this case, the user needs to opt-out to stop receiving the text. For the recipient to opt-in, they need to text a specific phrase to a specific number. It can be useful if a business is looking into building a high-value text marketing list.

Audience

Push notifications: These drive the users to one single app. It improves target communication about a specific product within the existing customer base. So you can use the subscriber database for segmentation and improve your marketing strategy. It can be sent to mobile and desktop devices, however, if the recipient doesn’t have WiFi or a data plan, your push notification won’t be delivered.

SMS Texting: It’s used to drive the users to any page on the mobile web. It can be used to promote social content, landing pages. The audience is both smartphone users and non-smartphone users.

Content

Push notifications: These alert users of updates, new messages, accounts, issues, likes & comments, and anything specific to the app. Furthermore, they can include discount offers, greetings, anything that can direct the user’s attention to the app.

SMS Texting: These can send any offers, promotions, discounts, reminders, updates, and notifications. Keep in mind that SMS, is a well-established technology, whereas, push notifications have been in the game only in the last half a decade.

Delivery & Visibility

Push notifications: It’s delivered to the user’s desktop or mobile device (and the app doesn’t need to be open). If there are many push notifications, some of them might get missed and just removed aside. However, if a push notification is viewed, the user can no longer go back to that message.

SMS Texting: It’s delivered straight to the user’s inbox and they can access it at any time. When firstly received, the message will pop on the phone’s locked screen. If the message is swiped aside from the lock screen, it will still remain in the user’s inbox. It ensures nearly 100% deliverability no matter where the user is located and where you are sending it from.

Pricing

Push notifications: The pricing depends on the provider and can start from 4USD per 1,000 subscribers.

SMS Texting: There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to SMS pricing. The final quote depends on the destination country and the number of recipients. And, you don’t need prior commitment to send SMS. You determine the price and you make the payment as you go along.

SMS is a generic text message that gets transmitted as a binary code from cell tower to cell tower.

What does it mean? It means that you don’t need a WiFi connection or a data plan to send and receive an SMS.

In conclusion, what is the best option to choose?

That strictly depends on your marketing strategy and the outcome you want to achieve not only with your existing customers but the targeted ones as well. So give it some thought, ensure which one is more in alignment with your strategy and you will be able to make a decision that will go best for you. You never know, maybe you need both.

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