Why you need push notifications with SMS fallback

Senior Content Marketing Specialist

Martina Ivanović

Senior Content Marketing Specialist

Hyperconnectivity is the reality for most consumers and businesses today. It’s hard to imagine not being able to reach someone at any given time – or not being able to connect to your mobile data network or WiFi.

Still, it can happen. More often than we think.

With the internet so accessible, brands have begun to heavily rely on online communication channels to send transactional and promotional messages to customers. However, in cases when a customer can’t connect to those channels, it’s important for every brand to have a backup plan.

Here we share how setting up push notifications with SMS fallback can help you maximize reach for your customer communication – resulting in happier customers, higher satisfaction, and increased ROI.

Push notifications vs SMS notifications

If your brand has its own mobile app, it probably has push notifications set up. And if it doesn’t, it might have been considered at some point in time.

Push notifications are alerts that customers receive on their mobile phone – usually from an application. They pop up on the customer’s lock and home screens – and the goal, aside from informing customers of promotions or transactional events, is to bring them back to the brand’s app. In unique cases, brands might even set up geotargeted push notifications for customers passing by their stores. These are alerts that are received within a specified area – and the main goal is to increase foot traffic.

SMS notifications, on the other hand, are unrelated to a single app or website. Brands use SMS alerts for time-sensitive information such as delivery alerts, account top up reminders, or one-time PINs. Although business SMS messages come with character constraints – it’s one of the most reliable channels that isn’t dependent on an internet connection.

What is SMS fallback?

SMS fallback extends the functionality of a push notification by delivering your push messages as SMS messages instead. Businesses set up SMS fallback in cases when data traffic is unavailable.

For example, a customer places an order through your app and opts in to receive delivery updates. However, they decide to leave town for the weekend, and they turn off their mobile data to prevent unnecessary roaming charges. Luckily the brand they purchased from set up SMS fallback and the customer’s able to receive the real-time alerts on that channel rather than through push notifications.

Benefits of push notifications with SMS fallback

Although we’ve read about the benefits of both push notifications and SMS as standalone customer communication channels – here we highlight the benefits of using them together.

Higher deliverability

Push notifications, while engaging and time-sensitive, are not always the most reliable solution for getting important information to a customer. Combining the two channels will help you achieve higher deliverability in cases when a customer has their cellular data turned off.

Wider reach

Setting up SMS fallback can help you reach a wider audience. Not every customer will download your app and not every app user will opt-in to receive push notifications. Sending messages through one channel alone limits your reach. In addition, since every mobile device (smartphone or not) can send and receive SMS messages, your reach is sure to grow.

Customer loyalty

Growing customer loyalty is proving to be a competitive advantage in today’s noisy world. Push notifications with SMS fallback will help you stay proactive with your communication. Ensuring customers are always informed about their purchases, special offers, and your company updates will help you build a long-term relationship that they can depend on.

Better brand image

Brands must do what they can to meet (and often exceed) customer demands and expectations. SMS fallback can help you build a positive brand image by positioning you as a reliable and trusted brand. Giving customers the information they need more on time can result in positive reviews, higher customer satisfaction, and a higher NPS.

How to set up push notifications with SMS fallback

You can set up SMS fallback in a few simple steps.

  1. Create your push notification using Infobip’s online editor
  2. Set a specific time period in which you want your message delivered
  3. Mark SMS as your fallback option
  4. Edit your SMS message to fit within the SMS character limit if you want it to be delivered as a single message

To automate the entire process, we provide REST APIs. This means you can set up all of the steps above with just one API call.

Your push notification will be sent to all of your app users at a designated point in time. If the message fails to deliver, our system will keep retrying for the duration you configure.

When that period of time expires, SMS fallback takes over, and our platform sends an SMS to all app users who didn’t receive the push notification.

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Senior Content Marketing Specialist

Martina Ivanović

Senior Content Marketing Specialist