You may not be familiar with the word A2P SMS, but it is very likely that you have been contacted by this means. Those of us of an age can remember how we communicated via SMS with our friends and family. That all changed when instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram or Facebook Messenger came along. We started to use these free apps, with no character limit and which offer instant and more fluid communication. However, SMS never disappeared, in fact it is still more alive than ever in the professional field as SMS AP2. In fact, different studies and statistics indicate that the number of SMS and revenue generated will continue to increase.

Difference between: A2P SMS, P2P SMS and P2A SMS

  • By A2P (Application to Person) SMS we mean a text message that is sent from a web application or SMS gateway to the mobile phone of an individual user. These applications may be integrated into a CRM or ERP business services software, or they may be stand-alone.
  • P2P (Person-to-Person) SMS are text messages sent from one mobile phone to another mobile phone. They are sent between SIM cards. This is the type of messaging we used to do with each other before the advent of instant messaging apps.
  • P2A SMS (Person-to-Application) is a text message that a user sends from their own mobile phone to an SMS software.

Professional SMS

As we said, SMS has become more professional and a good example of this is A2P SMS. Many companies use this channel to optimise communication with their audience. If you are wondering how this is possible, here are the following data:

  • SMS has the highest conversion rate: around 96% of text messages sent are read in less than 3 minutes. This makes it the channel with the highest open rate, ahead of email or even other instant messaging apps.
  • Direct and personalised channel. Users are more willing to receive offers via SMS than having to download applications on their phones. On the other hand, it is an ideal communication channel to send promotions, offers or cutomized reminders.
  • Less intrusive than other channels. One of the reasons why SMS has become more professional is because it is less intrusive than messages sent via instant messaging apps. When it comes to a brand, it is considered indiscreet to send promotional information to a person on their own app. In fact some of these apps ban advertising use.
  • Less SPAM: We are less likely to receive this type of content via SMS than Email. As long as it is well used and sent to a legal database. This is not to say that there are no phishing attempts. Although compared to the number of malicious emails they are much lower.

What types of companies rely on A2P SMS and what uses do they make of it?

Many brands and organisations make use of A2P SMS. Anyone with a customer database, from SMEs to multinationals, make use of bulk SMS platforms. They span different sectors and their uses can be very broad. To mention just a few examples, we will look at the following:

  • Public administration: here we find different institutions that send appointment reminders by SMS, SMS alerts, whether changes or modifications to user data.
  • Banking: One of the main uses of SMS in this sector is for security protocols through SMS OTP (one-time password) and SMS 2FA (two-factor authentication). Both are verification procedures by a user to whom the app or software sends a password to check that it is really the user who is trying to access their account and not an intruder or hacker.
  • E-commerce and Marketplaces: Online shops usually send us an SMS to inform us of the status of our order. Normally this text message is accompanied by a final url so that we can click on it. In this way we can keep track of the status of our order, the date and time of delivery, and modify it if we wish.
  • Health centres and dental clinics: Health centres often send SMS notifications and/or SMS appointment reminders to their patients. This is an efficient way to have a more fluid communication with the user.
  • Leisure centres and clothing shops: Here we can find the best example for SMS Marketing. When we talk about leisure centres, we are referring to cinemas, restaurants and sports centres, among others. Along with them, clothing shops also send promotional SMS, such as offers, discount vouchers, sweepstakes, etc.

How to make good use of SMS

If we want to make good use of A2P SMS, it is necessary to take into account the following aspects:

  • Send messages to a legal database. In other words, users who have given us their prior consent to receive text messages.
  • Do not send SPAM. We must be careful about the content we send. If we are going to send to a foreign country, we must be aware of the regulations that exist when sending content.
  • Choose the right time to send. There are times when it is more likely that a user will see the message immediately. Conversely, there are times of the day when we should avoid annoying.
  • Web links or urls are a good idea… as long as your audience knows you and knows that the link you are sending is not malicious.
  • Write the offer or promotion in capital letters and grab the user's attention. For example, "FREE", "2X1 ON ALL PRODUCTS", etc.
  • Learn how to interact with your customers using SMS. Invite them to follow your profile on Social Networks or your website.
  • Personalisation is always a good idea. Making a customer feel special is a good idea. Instead of saying something like "Dear customer", write their particular name.

Still not using SMS?

As we have seen in this article, SMS is one of the most efficient communication channels at a professional level. All brands and companies that want to develop a good marketing and communication strategy should include this type of actions or SMS campaigns.

If you are not using a service like this to communicate with your audience, you are missing a great opportunity.

At Afilnet we work with brands and organisations from all sectors, providing them with an efficient A2P SMS messaging platform. That's why if you need a service like this, we'll be happy to advise and help you.

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