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Harnessing the power of SMS in business communication

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The mobile channel is fast becoming an important component of business communications strategies worldwide.

SMS or text messaging has become an effective tool for business communications because of its simplicity, ease of use and reach.

SMS is available on virtually all mobile phones and over all mobile networks, making it the world’s most pervasive communications technology.

According to Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) sector statistics report 2014-2015, local SMS traffic stood at 6.57 billion up from 6.55 billion messages reported previously. Similarly, the volume of SMS sent throughout the year grew significantly to 27.4 billion up from 24.4 billion messages sent during the previous year.

Advanta Africa Chief Executive Lawrence Muriuki says businesses worldwide are actively pursuing text messaging to enhance engagement and loyalty.

He said text message has stood the test of time and continues to play an important role in business communication, despite recent debates suggesting that SMS is dead in the face of instant messaging applications.

“Though consumers are ditching texting for over-the-top (OTT) mobile applications like Viber, Snapchat and Whatsapp, small businesses and large enterprises are turning to application -to-person (A2P) SMS messaging as a powerful tool to connect with their customers,” Muriuki added

A2P messaging describes the service used to send an SMS from an application to a mobile phone. A well-known example of A2Pmessaging is when your bank sends an SMS message to notify you of any transactions occurring on your account as they happen.

Muriuki gives us three important reasons why SMS is important in business.

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With a properly executed SMS program, enterprises can engage their audiences in a non-intrusive way.

SMS are used in business to build brand awareness, build purchase intent, promote timely offers, build customer loyalty, and improve customer service and decrease call center volume and costs.

Mobile phones offers a more personal way to contact someone compared to other means. Consider that when people give you their number, that is an indication that they trust you. So any communication via SMS is more private and it has better chances of getting opened and read.

SMS marketing allows you to send bulk messages with the click of a single button.

The text is sent and received almost instantaneously and unlike other types of communication, text messages tend to be opened pretty much straight away. You can spot the benefit here, since whatever you send will be read within few minutes.

SMS marketing is not only easy to set-up and use but also relatively cheap.

Small business owners with limited resources can benefit particularly because it is so affordable. Considering the high delivery and open rate, SMS marketing is a great opportunity for small business on a budget to up their marketing game.

“A2P messaging solutions will continue to become integrated into communication solutions across the globe, improving and aiding customer service and interception, client satisfaction, marketing campaigns and business processes,” Muriuki concluded.

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