SMS marketing helps you engage with your customers on a more direct, personal level. There are many different strategies to consider when developing your SMS messages. One thing you’ll need to decide is whether you want to use two-way SMS or one-way SMS messages. Both have their advantages and disadvantages – here’s what to think about when putting together your SMS strategy.

Key Differences Between One-Way and Two-Way SMS

With a one-way SMS, you’ll send a message directly to the recipient, but won’t be able to accept replies from them. Some one-way SMS messages give customers the choice to opt out of future messages by clicking a link, or by sending a specific response back. This is usually the extent of one-way SMS.

If you already have a basic SMS campaign in place, chances are you’re using one-way SMS. Many businesses like one-way SMS because it’s simple and easy to set up. One-way SMS can be effective for specific purposes, but there are limitations on what it can do.

Two-way SMS allows the recipient to respond to your text message. There are a few different ways you can use two-way SMS. You can allow the user to respond however they want and have a customer service team respond directly. This creates a feeling of authenticity, but can also be very time-consuming.

With modern SMS services, you can automate aspects of your two-way messages. For example, if you run a restaurant and want to confirm a customer’s reservation, you can send them a text with the option to confirm, reschedule, cancel, or contact the restaurant with further questions. With this type of message, you will only need a customer service team to manually handle specific questions – most responses are automated.

Benefits and Downsides of One-Way SMS

While one-way SMS messages are simple, they can be effective if executed correctly. The biggest benefit of one-way SMS is that it is very easy to implement, and you don’t need a customer service team to monitor them. You can write the text messages ahead of time, and put them in a queue to send out automatically. If you’re a growing business with limited time, this is a significant advantage.

Another benefit of using one-way SMS is that it is very affordable. One-way SMS messages are particularly cost-effective if you’re only including text and links and don’t need to include any photos or videos. If you have a limited marketing budget, this is a great place to start.

The downside of using one-way SMS is that it doesn’t offer the same flexibility or opportunity to interact with your clients that two-way SMS does. If your recipients want to ask questions or share information with you, they won’t be able to respond directly, and would need to find another way to contact you instead. For most growing businesses, one-way SMS messages can quickly become very limiting.

Benefits and Downsides of Two-Way SMS

Two-way SMS messages offer plenty of benefits for growing businesses. They are very effective because they create a sense of authentic conversation with the recipient. By allowing your recipients to respond, it shows that you value them and want to create a more simplified experience for them.

Giving your customers an easy way to communicate with you streamlines the customer service process. You can address any customer concerns or issues much more quickly with two-way SMS. Busy customers value speed when it comes to customer service, so two-way SMS makes it easy to create a good impression. In fact, over 60 percent of people read their text messages within 5 minutes of receiving them – and they often expect that kind of speed from others as well.

On top of this, two-way SMS makes it easier to monitor engagement in your text message campaign. With a one-way SMS campaign, the only way for the customer to engage is by clicking a link. If the customer isn’t ready to take action, they might opt not to click that link – but it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t interested. With two-way SMS, customers can engage in a number of ways.

The two biggest downsides of two-way SMS are that it can take time and effort to run, and it can be more expensive than one-way SMS. However, the payoff that two-way SMS provides is often worth the extra investment upfront. Additionally, bulk SMS services like SMSGlobal make it easy to automate many aspects of your two-way messaging to streamline the process.

When To Use One-Way SMS

There are times when it makes sense to use one-way SMS. The primary example of this is if you need to send an important piece of information to a large group of people that doesn’t require any response or interaction.

Educational and government institutions often use this type of text messaging. For example, if your school wants to announce a special event, one-way SMS is likely the most effective way to do so.

When To Use Two-Way SMS

Two-way SMS marketing is incredibly effective for any kind of e-commerce vendor, regardless of what is being sold. This is because it gives your customers the opportunity to ask questions about your product or service before moving forward. They don’t have to make a snap decision based on one text message – instead, the sales process can be a real conversation.

This approach also makes it very easy to handle customer service issues after a purchase has been made. Because two-way text messaging feels more personal, customers feel like you really care when you handle their customer service problems in this way. You can be more responsive and handle their problem quickly. Many people prefer to communicate with businesses via text message because it can happen on the go – they don’t need to visit a brick-and-mortar location, or stay on hold for long periods of time.

Additionally, two-way SMS is one of the best ways to manage appointments or reservations with your customers. It makes it easy for your customers to confirm, cancel, or reschedule just by pushing a few buttons.

SMSGlobal offers a variety of SMS marketing services, including two-way SMS. Contact us today to learn more about the power of SMS for your business.