SMS: How the No Frills Text Message Can Crack the Cut-Through Conundrum – UC Today

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Direct and immediate deliverability empowers enterprise communication
Last Edited: July 27, 2023
Simon Wright
Technology Journalist
Modern communication can be a complex business, but sometimes simplicity is king.
Sometimes organizations just want to land a message. No frills, no fuss, no problem.
Do they look to the smart app? Maybe it’s email? Or even a voice call?
In fact, in many cases, it’s the SMS to which they turn.
The simplicity of the SMS has of course been adapted and leveraged to respond to the modern demands of today’s enterprise environment; personalisation, automation, and mass deliverability smarts all combining to great effect.
However, it is the instant and direct cut-through of an SMS which, for many organizations, means it wins out over all of its more recently-disruptive cousins.
Indeed, recent research suggests that 90% of SMS text messages are opened by recipients. No brainer, right?
“It’s about simplicity, immediacy, and convenience – a person’s phone pings with an SMS and they just tend to open it,” says Jimmy Nimo, Senior Software Developer Manager at Amazon Pinpoint, which enables the sending and receiving of billions of texts a year.
“If it needs action, people tend to take that action right away. That’s a level of effective two-way engagement that is almost impossible to achieve via any other communication channel.”
Crucially, because texts are sent to specific mobile phone numbers, senders can be confident that they are communicating directly with their intended human recipient. They are also operating system, device and screen-agnostic, meaning texts are always displayed in an entirely standard format. And, crucially, Amazon Pinpoint ensures that messages are sent in a way that complies with the rules of recipients’ countries or regions.
All of that represents a significant engagement opportunity for organizations and enterprises that either need to communicate important calls to action or want to catch consumers’ eyes with marketing messages and/or share web links.
For example, in the case of Amazon Pinpoint customers in particular, they are able to send campaign-based messages to targeted groups as well as direct messages, such as appointment confirmations, order updates, and one-time passwords.
Messaging routes are optimized for the highest deliverability in more than 200 countries and regions around the world; dynamically picking the best route to each destination number, and automatically switching to different routes if delivery failures occur.
Delivery receipts inform the sender of messages’ status, automatic opt management functionality enables recipients to reply with the word “STOP” if they do not wish to receive messages in the future, and a Phone Number Verification feature corrects data entry errors and cleans up customer phone number databases.
“Our customers sometimes just need to let people know something is happening and that an action is required, such as a delivery person being at the front door or a flight departure gate changing,” says Nimo.
“In healthcare, the SMS is fundamental for communicating appointments and other instructions because everyone is familiar with text messaging; even the older generation which has no appetite to learn how to use an app.
“For two years, my dentist was using automated voice calls for appointment reminders but switched to SMS and saw a huge increase in the number of patients who showed up when they were expected.”
So why not go the mobile app route?
“You need six to 10 developers to build your own app, you need it to support multiple mobile phone brands, models and screen configurations that are constantly being updated, and you need it in multiple app stores in order to achieve global reach,” says Nimo.
“The SMS is just there for everyone; in the palm of their hand, wherever and whenever. That kind of simplicity can be an extremely potent force for good.”
To learn more about how AWS Amazon Pinpoint can help your and your customers’ businesses leverage the power of the SMS, click here.
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