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Texting 101

What are SMS notifications and how to use them for business

Alia Paavola
minute read
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In today’s information-rich and distraction-filled world, it can be tricky to grab the attention of your customers. But companies must find a way to cut through the noise to be successful. That’s where a communication tool like SMS notifications comes into play. 

With high open and engagement rates, businesses can use SMS notifications to ensure their messages are seen. In this article, we break down what is an SMS notification, how businesses can use them, and how they differ from push notifications. 

What is SMS notification?

SMS notification is a text message sent to a customer's mobile phone to inform them of a specific event or activity related to a business or service. These notifications can include a wide range of information, such as order updates, appointment reminders, promotions, and account updates.

To send SMS notifications, businesses typically use an SMS platform that allows them to create and send messages to a list of subscribers. 

SMS notifications vs. push notifications

While SMS notifications and push notifications both alert via a mobile device, there are several key differences. Here are five distinctions:

  • Push notifications require a mobile app. To get push notifications from a business, customers must first download the corresponding mobile application and allow push notifications from it. On the other hand, SMS notifications take advantage of native texting technology and don’t require this additional download.

  • Push notifications are one-directional. A mobile phone user can’t respond to push notifications. However, they can reply to SMS notifications.

  • Push notifications disappear. After a defined period, push notifications disappear from the mobile phone screen. On the other hand, SMS notifications stay in the message inbox unless deleted.

  • Push notifications are less regulated. Since users must download an application independently, push notifications are less regulated than SMS notifications which must comply with texting laws.

  • SMS notifications are more accessible. SMS notifications can send to any person with a cellphone, regardless of the type and internet availability. On the other hand, push notifications require users to have a smartphone and internet or cellular data. 

Benefits of using SMS notifications

SMS notifications are a helpful communication tool for getting real-time updates to your contacts. Here are a few reasons SMS notifications are beneficial to businesses.

  • Improved communication with customers. The average SMS message is read within three minutes, making SMS notifications a great way to communicate with customers quickly. Customers will appreciate the timely updates.

  • Increased customer satisfaction. Customers appreciate timely and relevant updates from businesses. This improved communication often equates to higher customer satisfaction levels.

  • Enhanced customer engagement. SMS notifications have a 98 percent open rate – significantly higher than email or social media – ensuring your message is seen. This makes the communication tool effective for capturing your contacts’ attention.

  • No outside app to download. Customers don’t need to download a separate app to get SMS notifications. That’s because mobile phones have a native texting application.

  • Easy to set up. It’s simple to send text message alerts with an SMS notification service. These platforms allow you to send these messages to many customers in just a few clicks.

  • Cost-effective marketing tool. Unlike other marketing channels, SMS notifications don’t have high costs like printing and postage. SMS notifications cost pennies per message, making them a great marketing tool for reaching large groups simultaneously. Additionally, on average, SMS marketing campaigns outperform email marketing campaigns. 

4 examples of using SMS notifications for business

SMS notifications are best used for sharing timely and relevant information. Here are a few examples of how other businesses do it and how you can follow suit. 

Emergency text alerts

Use SMS to notify contacts when emergencies arise. This could include weather alerts, public health risks, safety risks, or cybersecurity hacks.

An emergency SMS notification example.
An emergency alert text notification.

Account updates

Share essential updates about a contact’s account. For example, trigger a text message to send when an individual’s account balance is low, when a payment is due, or when a subscription is set to end.

An SMS notification example from U.S. Bank
An account update SMS notification from U.S. Bank.

Timely announcements

Use SMS notifications to send time-sensitive announcements. For example, nonprofit organizations could share volunteer requests, airlines could announce boarding information, and retail stores could share business hour changes. 

A timely SMS notification from United Airlines.
A timely announcement from United Airlines.

Proactive alerts

Share information with your contacts proactively via text to enhance communication and satisfaction.

Proactive SMS notification from a condo association.
A proactive alert from a condo building.

Send SMS notifications with Textline

Textline is the market's most secure and compliant SMS notification service. We make it easy to set up and send SMS notifications. Plus, with features like automated messaging, smart SMS, and scheduled texts, you can ensure your notifications send at the best time. 

Get started today with a free 14-day trial.

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