Growing your customer base

SMS vs WhatsApp marketing: why not both?

December 29, 2022
2 min
The world is shifting away from email and toward the convenience and efficiency of instant messaging, such as SMS and WhatsApp. So, where can you start? What are the first things you need to do to kick-off your SMS or WhatsApp marketing?
SMS vs WhatsApp marketing: why not both?

The world is shifting away from email and toward the convenience and efficiency of instant messaging, such as SMS and WhatsApp.

Email metrics aren’t encouraging, with email open, reply and click-through rates averaging 20%, 5%, and 6%, respectively. In contrast, messaging metrics offer a fantastic opportunity to connect with your audience, with an open, reply, and click-through rate of 98%, 45%, and 36%, respectively.

Messaging is a powerful tool for marketing your business business, as it allows you to communicate directly with your audience in a personalised and convenient way. This can help to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, and can also be an effective way to drive sales and conversions. Did you know that if you switched to sending promotions by text rather than email, you could generate over 6 times more revenue?

So, where can you start? What are the first things you need to do to kick-off your SMS or WhatsApp marketing?

Where can you start?

Effective message marketing requires a strategy to build your subscriber list, while keeping in mind what needs to be done to stay GDPR compliant.

The first step involves collecting the phone numbers of your visitors and customers. The next (important) step involves getting their consent for either SMS marketing, WhatsApp marketing, or both.

Here are some ideas to start collecting phone numbers:

  • Include a phone number field in a website popup, with a checkbox to allow customers to opt-in to receiving marketing messages (via SMS, WhatsApp, or both)
  • Offer a discount or incentive in exchange for signing up for SMS or WhatsApp communications (e.g. 10% off the first purchase)
  • Include WhatsApp newsletter QR codes on your website so that people can autonomously sign up and provide consent through a text (e.g. SUB)
  • Collect information and consent during the checkout process whenever a customer completes a purchase
  • Add a mandatory “phone number” field on general website contact forms, as well as the SMS or WhatsApp marketing consent checkbox
  • Encourage customers to share their contact numbers and consent during physical store visits
  • Ask customers to share their details and consent during customer support calls or conversations with chatbots, or when getting in touch through webchat widgets

Whichever method you take, make sure to clearly explain how their information will be used and obtain their explicit consent. Check our these articles on staying GDPR compliant with SMS marketing and WhatsApp marketing.

If you plan to adopt multiple channels, you’ll need to keep in mind that omni-channel opt-in is legal only when all the communication platforms are clearly specified. Read more here!

What are the differences between SMS and WhatsApp marketing?

While both SMS and WhatsApp marketing send crisp and effective messages to the palm of your audience, there are a few nuanced differences. It’s important to understand these differences to make the most of both efforts, or to choose which one to pursue if you only have the resources for one of the two.

SMS marketing takes place exclusively on mobile devices and is usually used to promote products and services to potential buyers. One of the unique benefits of SMS marketing is the use of cellular networks, meaning that messages are delivered despite the quality of the internet. SMS messages can be sent to all mobile phones, regardless of whether the device is a smartphone, and the audience does not need an app to receive messages.

Nevertheless, there are a few limitations with SMS marketing. SMS messages aren't end-to-end encrypted, it is not possible to know whether a message was read, and SMS messages are limited to text only and 160 characters.

WhatsApp marketing uses the WhatsApp messaging app to promote and market products or services to customers. This can be done through one-on-one conversations with customers or by sending mass messages to a group of individuals. Unlike SMS marketing, WhatsApp offers multimedia message options and richer features, such as sharing live locations, different file types, and contact information. There is no character limit, and it's possible to know whether a message was read by the recipient.WhatsApp also offers encrypted messages, which safeguards sensitive information. The platform is more popular and quick to set up, and it allows for visual integrations with other apps such as Instagram and Youtube.

Two is better than one

Both SMS marketing and WhatsApp marketing offer a wealth of potential, and the good news is that you don’t have to choose one or the other. Businesses that adopt a multi-channel approach reap the benefits of both SMS and WhatsApp marketing.

Some of these benefits include:

  • Reach more people, both WhatsApp and non WhatsApp users!
  • Tailor the brand message to the channel
  • Test and compare the effectiveness of messages across channels (tips on A/B testing here!)
  • Improve customer experience by getting in touch with contacts via the channels they prefer

The best news is that you don’t need to separately manage multiple platforms to stay on top of customer communication. An omni-channel platform like Fuzey allows you to manage both SMS and WhatsApp marketing from a single, unique inbox - while also giving you the chance to manage all your enquiries and inbound messages from one place, no matter where they come from!

WhatsApp and SMS marketing can be effective channels for reaching and engaging with customers, but it is important to use them responsibly and in accordance with relevant laws and regulations. A multi-channel approach, which combines multiple channels such as email, WhatsApp newsletters, and SMS marketing, can be particularly effective for reaching a wider audience and tailoring your message to a specific channel and segment.

Find out how Fuzey can help you leverage mobile marketing to grow your business by booking a demo today!

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