WhatsApp has become the core of digital marketing as it offers a dynamic channel for businesses to connect with their customers and establish a personal bond. For decades SMS has been used extensively for digital marketing purposes but in recent times WhatsApp has taken over the center stage. While SMS has its own advantages in digital marketing, clearly WhatsApp is outranking SMS in recent times.
WhatsApp is currently the most popular messaging platform in the world and has most of its active users within the age group of 14-44 years. This age group is the main target for most businesses. WhatsApp provides a private and secure space for its users to engage with their loved ones. By connecting with their customers through WhatsApp, businesses have the chance to establish a close bond with their existing and future customers and understand them better provide a more reliable customer experience.
Here are 10 Reasons Why WhatsApp is Outranking SMS in Digital Marketing
1. It’s Free
Sms is a chargeable service and tariffs vary depending upon the recipient location. For most cases, SMS marketing is limited to local or national regions only as international tariffs can skyrocket a company’s marketing budget.
Whatsapp on the other hand is absolutely free of charge. It allows users to share text messages, multimedia files such as images, videos, gifs, audio messages, live locations, and even contact details. Users can exchange audio and video calls from any part of the world with any charges.
This is one of the main reasons WhatsApp managed to gain so much popularity among its users and is a favorable channel for businesses to carry out their digital marketing services.
2. Consent based communication
Sending SMS doesn’t require any permission or consent from the recipient. This has led most users to be a target of dozens of unsolicited SMS marketing messages which end up being unread and ignored by recipients.
WhatsApp prohibits sending messages to random numbers. WhatsApp requires that the sender has the contact details of the recipient saved in order to send a text message. On the other hand, it also allows the recipient to express their consent if they are interested in taking the conversation forward or block the sender otherwise.
Getting consent from the recipient gives the business the indication that the recipient is interested in the business or the product and would engage in future communications.
3. Two-way communication and instant response
Most SMS marketing messages are one-way communications that leave recipients no scope to revert back.
This is another reason why SMS gets lesser attention from its recipients.
WhatsApp creates a two-way communication channel, where the recipient can reply through the same chatbox and engage in a meaningful conversation. For businesses, WhatsApp gives customers a channel to contact the business directly and get an instant response as well. This creates a sense of trust among customers helps create brand value.
4. High message open and read rate
In current times, WhatsApp is Outranking SMS. SMS marketing has lost its value to some extent. In many, cases are never opened by recipients. SMS marketing lacks the personal touch and doesn’t really connect with the recipient emotionally.
WhatsApp on the other hand has a message open rate of 98% which makes WhatsApp a more popular channel for personal as well business communication.
5. Chats preferred over voice calls
We live a fast paces life where most people may not have the time or the right surroundings to attend marketing calls. Chats allow users to enjoy a personal space where they can engage in a conversation at their convenience. Chats also make it easier for both parties to pay more attention to the conversation and make it more impactful.
6. An effective way to provide customer service
Customer service has always been an important part of any business. Unlike SMS marketing, WhatsApp allows businesses to interact with customers on a personal one-on-one basis and address customer grievances on an instant basis. WhatsApp has helped businesses understand their customers better and provide a more efficient customer case experience and improve overall customer experience to a great extent.
7. Share product details and easy payments
WhatsApp allows sharing of multimedia content such as images, videos, and links. This makes it easy for businesses to share their product details, product demo, and creative advertisements with their target customers. For small businesses, WhatsApp can help in all stages of the sales funnel. It can help finding the right customers, creating product awareness by sharing product catalogs, and close deals with instant payment through WhatsApp pay.
One-to-one interactions help businesses cater to customers’ unique interests and requirements. This makes your message more relevant and authentic. That’s something that SMS marketing totally lacks.
If a clothing brand is connected to their regular customers with WhatsApp and knows their buying preferences, they can send messages and deals that are relevant to them, such as New Arrival – Summer Dresses for You!
9. Advertising through Status feature
WhatsApp status feature is a great medium for advertising and can help businesses gets more attention from customers. Status can be used in a variety of ways. Create short videos for product demos and share customer experiences. Businesses can display images about product information or use your status to humor your customers or share updates in real-time.
10. Group-based marketing
Groups on WhatsApp can be a great place for businesses to engage with customers of similar interests. Groups can be used to get feedback about existing or upcoming products, gain insights into their expectations from the business. It can even improve engagement through interactive conversations, polls, or games.
SMS marketing plays a significant role in digital marketing and has proved to be an effective marketing channel but WhatsApp outranks SMS in digital marketing with its dynamic user experiences and personalization features.