What are SMS notifications: Benefits, use cases, and best practices

Get familiar with what SMS notifications are and how they can be beneficial for you in our comprehensive blog post.

Are you looking for a new way to reach your customers? SMS notifications are an effective, but often overlooked channel with one of the highest open and engagement rates. Businesses use SMS to attract customers, promote their services, and keep people up to date with offers, sales, and alerts. 

If you look at your other channels such as email, social media, or in-app notifications, you might have noticed it’s getting more difficult to reach people and capture their attention. But SMS notifications can turn your marketing and communication efforts around.

In this article, you’ll find:

We’ll also share some of our clients’ best practices that helped them grow their results with SMS communications.

What are SMS notifications?

SMS notifications are short text messages sent directly to a phone number. Businesses and the government use SMS notifications to alert and inform people. As a part of your outreach campaign, you might use SMS to send promo news, best offers, or personalized deals for specific customer segments. 

The best thing about using SMS notifications in your business is that they go directly to a customer’s phone number. Instead of relying on apps, email access, and an internet connection, SMS notifications reach people any time, anywhere.

SMS notifications vs push notifications

If you open your phone right now, you’ll probably find at least one or two push notifications. They come from apps you have installed on your phone. For example, Instagram sends push notifications to remind you to watch the stories of your contacts to encourage you to visit the app more. 

Marketers use push notifications to notify customers about app updates, promotions, and new deals. Push notifications show up even if the customer isn’t using the app. 

However, SMS notifications have an advantage. To enable push notifications, your customers must download your app and have a stable internet connection. Even then, they still need to grant you permission to send them notifications.

On the other hand, push notifications are cheaper because you don’t pay mobile service costs. You also don’t need a customer’s phone number and other personal data to send push notifications, allowing you to reach more in-app users.

How can businesses use SMS notifications?

You may think that SMS notifications are only useful for large  businesses. But many companies use SMS to communicate with their customers, inform, and alert them. 

Our clients that use SMS  come from diverse industries and sectors such as travel, banking, news and media, healthcare, eCommerce, and many more.

You can find countless uses for SMS notifications, You just need to align them with your strategy.

SMS notification use cases to try in your business:

  • Spread the news about your new offers and promotions.
  • Send reminders about sales and sale expiration dates.
  • Remind shoppers about their abandoned carts.
  • Send personalized deals for particular customer segments to invite them to visit your web or physical store.
  • Confirm sensitive information for two-step authentication (codes, passwords, etc.).
  • Confirm successful registrations, orders, and delivery tracking updates.
  • Send birthday wishes to personalize your service and show appreciation to your customers.
  • Send customer service updates to notify users about their request statuses.
  • Confirm bookings.

How you use SMS notifications in your business depends on your creativity, marketing strategy, and your customer needs.

Why are SMS notifications important for businesses?

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes to think what you would rather open – yet another email or a direct SMS notification? Most people react better to text messages because they come directly to their phone numbers. There’s also a trust factor. As other communications channels are flooded with more spam every day, SMS remains one of the most trusted ways to communicate.

Other benefits of SMS notifications:

  • Fast results: The majority of SMSs are opened and read within 3 minutes of receiving them.
  • No need for an internet connection: As long as your customers have phone reception, they’ll receive your messages.
  • Higher open rates: The SMS notification open rate is 98%.
  • No need for apps: Your customers don’t need to download apps for you to reach them.

Our clients who try SMS notifications in their business, quickly notice these benefits. Makro, a large supplier of wholesale goods, started using SMS notifications with the help of Infobip’s Moments solution. 

Makro integrated SMS marketing to send coupons to their customers. Before that, the company used to communicate through email or printed materials, which was expensive and often less effective. 

Soon after implementing SMS notifications, they increased conversion rates from 30% to 60%. Keeping all their campaigns and data in one system also allowed them to track everything with 100% accuracy.

Another client, Avon Morocco, one of the largest cosmetics and beauty companies, used SMS notifications to reach their representatives. As the company sells their goods directly through agents, they need to have reliable channels to communicate with them. With our SMS marketing solution, they managed to reactivate 50% of representatives and help them boost their sales.

What are the best SMS messaging practices?

Even though SMS notifications are an effective strategy, you have to adhere to rules and respect your customers for the strategy not to backfire. 

Here are some of the best SMS notification practices and things to keep in mind:

  • Your customers have to give their consent for you to use their data. In many countries and regions, using personal data such as phone numbers without consent is punishable with hefty fines. Not to mention the damage to the brand from sending unsolicited messages.
  • SMS notifications have a character limit of 160, so keep them short and to the point.
  • Make sure to send notifications within the appropriate hours. In most regions, you can send SMS notifications between 8 AM and 8 PM. You don’t want to anger your customers by sending an SMS and waking them up at 3 in the morning.
  • Make it easy to opt out of the SMS list.
  • Don’t spam your customers. Make sure you’re not sending SMS notifications every day. Most experts suggest sending a few SMS notifications per month to see how your customers react.

What are Infobip SMS notifications and how can you start using them?

SMS notifications can be a great addition to your communication strategy.

SMS notifications can help you:

  • Reach more people
  • Increase your open rates
  • Increase conversion rates
  • Improve communication with customers
  • Keep your customers up to date with the latest deals and information

For SMS marketing to bring the best results, you should choose a trusted service provider. Infobip has been working with businesses like Makro, Avon, Spoon Radio, and other successful enterprises to help them attract more customers. 

We make sure that your SMS notifications reach the right people and don’t end up in the spam folder. You don’t need to worry about data protection rules, because we comply with different regional laws and requirements across the world to ensure the best SMS notification practices.

If you also want to try the benefits of SMS notifications, we invite you to learn more about our SMS marketing solution for businesses.

Try Infobip for free to see if we’re the right fit.

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See for yourself how effective SMS notifications are for your business.

Feb 9th, 2024
6 min read