Today, businesses have multiple options for sending messages. The commercial messaging landscape has grown from SMS to include WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, RCS and others. Choosing the right platform isn’t as simple as just picking one. Businesses should define the type of message they plan on sending, and then choose a platform that best supports their needs.
We’ll walk you through some of the different platforms and highlight the advantages and disadvantages that they offer.
The original messaging platform, SMS is ideal for short text messages. There are several reasons you might use SMS as your messaging platform. Every mobile phone has an SMS application. As long as there is telephone service, SMS messages are capable of reaching their destination.
This makes it ideal for anyone sending one time passwords (OTP) messages, as well as for reaching out in an emergency situation. When electricity is down and the Internet is down, it’s comforting to know that your messages will get through.
SMS is also ideal for reaching large blocks of people. Since it is on every mobile phone, you can be sure that your customers will receive your message.
SMS can include links, and MessageWhiz supports 2-way SMS, so your recipients can respond to your message when enabled. 2-way conversations on SMS are particularly effective when a chatbot which can respond 24/7 is employed via the 2-way messaging dashboard.
However, SMS does not support like buttons, images, or video files. While those can be sent out over MMS, it’s less than ideal and is high cost.
Rich communication services (RCS) are more advanced than SMS. In addition to text, RCS allows you to share media elements, such as images and video. It also supports links, location sharing, calendar events, and a list of suggested replies. When sharing multiple images, RCS supports carousels, so recipients can scroll through multiple images. It also has selection buttons so users can respond to prompts with one click such as “Pay Now”, “Reserve”, Confirm Pickup”, etc.
RCS is intended to be the default messaging app on smart phones replacing SMS as the standard app, although SMS will still be available on non- smartphones. Google, the main proponent of RCS has been collaborating with mobile carriers to implement RCS and it will be available on all new Android phones within the next 2-3 years. At the moment, Apple iPhones do not support RCS. Businesses looking to reach customers with an iPhone, should be aware of this issue and send messaging to those customers on one of the other channels supported by MessageWhiz.
WhatsApp for Business
With over 2.4 billion users and an app available for nearly every phone, WhatsApp is one of the most popular business chat apps. Rather than messages, WhatsApp exchanges are viewed as conversations, and billing is typically based on exchanges within a 24-hour period.
WhatsApp supports media such as images, videos, audio files, and documents. Users can share locations and contact information. Additionally, WhatsApp protects user accounts with two-factor authentication.
WhatsApp also supports chatbots, making it easy to provide basic customer support through the app. WhatsApp support of bulk messaging is limited. Businesses are limited to 800 recipients per day.
WhatsApp is ideal for businesses trying to develop one-to-one relationships with the customers. They can use the platform to answer questions, share products, and generate sales.
Viber for Business
Viber is a highly popular messaging application in Europe and the Middle East. It’s used in over 190 countries, and has over 1B users.
Like WhatsApp, Viber supports sharing images, videos, and files. It also supports automated messages, such as account activation confirmations.
The platform supports business group chats, and makes it easy to track deliveries.
Telegram for Business
With 500 million active monthly users, Telegram’s user base is quite large. It’s end-to-end encryption and self-destructing messaging have made it quite popular, especially in Asia and Europe.
Telegram offers selection buttons and supports sharing images, videos, and files. Businesses can create channels for large groups of users, and set up auto replies for FAQs. Large discussion groups are especially popular on Telegram as it does not limit the amount of users on community boards of this kind
Talk to our experts to find the chat channel that’s right for youDownload spreadsheet