5 Reasons to use SMS for Transactional Messaging

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There are lots of good reasons businesses are adding SMS to their customer communications. Surveys show that many people prefer to be contacted on their mobile device rather than their laptop or desktop. And email on their computer is actually considered by customers to be one of the slowest methods of getting information, which they no longer like.

Transaction related information is one of the primary touch points between customers and businesses. And like it or not, people have come to expect their information will arrive quickly.

For example, when I order from Amazon, I expect to see an order confirmation email within a few seconds. I expect to get notified via email and SMS when items ship and when they are delivered. If I don’t get a confirmation, I get nervous. Did I actually hit the “Place your order” button? Did I leave the items in my cart? I imagine many people are similar, though perhaps not as paranoid about their confirmations.

Transactional messages aren’t just retail and shipping related. The messages could be about any interaction your customer has with your business or services. The point is, SMS is becoming the best way to send these types of messages. Here are the top five reasons why.

1. People Check Their Phones 150-200 Times a Day

That’s according to Forrester. Other studies and sources say it ranges from 81-112 times a day. Using that information, it means people look at their phones every 7.2 -17.8 minutes (200 and 81 times a day respectively). At that rate, there isn’t much they will miss on their phone. Even if they don’t hear the little SMS notification sound, they’ll see your message within minutes on their notification screen.

Chances are, if they are waiting for information – order confirmations, bank balances, or OTP authentications for example – they will be looking even more frequently. SMS messages are delivered within seconds, and are the fastest way to get your customers their transaction related information.

2. Open Rates for SMS Messages are Over 90%

Receiving the message fast is only one part of the issue. The other one is whether your customer actually sees and reads it. SMS has the highest read rates, often quoted as high as 98%. Email, on the other hand, has open rates much lower. The average rate for transactional emails is around 45% (but can vary by industry). Some sources put the open rate as high as 72%, but that is still lower than 98%.

With SMS messaging, you’re almost guaranteed the message will be opened and read – fast.

3. It's Appropriate for All Types of Transactions & Businesses

While the most obvious use of SMS has been for retail and order related messaging, it can work for any industry and any type of transaction. Here’s a short list of examples:

  • Account deposit/withdrawal confirmations
  • Delivery notifications
  • Pick-up alerts for private hires
  • Claims processing for insurance or healthcare
  • Confirmations for car or home repair services
  • Scheduled appointment details/confirmations
  • Real-time alerts for time sensitive transactions

4. 70% of Consumers Want Service-Based Messages on Their Mobile

In a study by Education Research (ER) they found an overwhelming number of people wanted to get service-related or transactional information on their mobile. The 70% actually dwarfed the next closest option which was 12% for their laptop computer.

People’s preferences have changed thanks to the advent of mobile devices. Businesses need to take note, and take action by using SMS messaging.

5. Using SMS for Transactional Messages Impacts Consumer Buying Decisions

The ER study also revealed that 84% of consumers say “service-based messaging has an impact on their decision to choose one company over another”. I interpret that to mean sending these types of messages to a mobile device is a differentiator. If you can make things more convenient for the consumer by using SMS, then they are more likely to use your services, or to make a purchase from you.

It isn’t rocket science to understand why that is. Consumers want to stay informed and will choose companies that take the time to do so. Find out how easy it is to get started using SMS messaging for your transaction related communications by signing up for your free account. Click on the green Sign Up button or grab us on live chat. We’re happy to answer any questions you have.

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