SMS Vs Push Notification: What Should Your Mobile App Use and When?

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SMS Vs Push Notification: What Should Your Mobile App Use and When?

SMS Vs Push Notification: What Should Your Mobile App Use and When?

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Are you struggling to communicate your message to the desired target audience and increase customer engagement? Do you find it hard to evaluate which communication technique serves useful and caters best to the requirements of your audience? If you answer affirmatively to these questions, you’re at the right page! 

Email, SMS, and push notifications are some of the most effective communication techniques but discerning which one to use when sounds tricky. Believe us, it’s not that hard! You obviously wish to maintain a balance between delivering the right information at the right time without sounding spammy and clingy. And, you can easily do it and provide value to users in regard to your message which will compel them to come back to your app more often. Read on to find out how! 

When to use SMS?

Did you know approximately 90% of SMS are read within the first three minutes of delivery? Considering the criticality of this communication channel, you must use it to deliver business-related critical information and provide a superior experience to your customers. For example, the leading transport services company, Uber sends an SMS notification to its users when their ride requests are accepted and also when their ride has arrived thereby providing a valuable experience to them. Moreover, users are also prompted to browse the app to see the driver’s current location, number plate of the car, driver’s photo, and others such. 

Apart from this, a two-way communication between service providers and users can be enabled via SMS APIs where they can interact with each other in a hassle free and convenient environment. By providing a channel which is familiar to users, companies can attract high engagement rates. Moreover, SMS today has become the most trusted tool for user authentication and number verification is one of the prime use cases of it. With this, once the users receive a code they can input it at another channel and successfully confirm their identity. 

However, brands must ensure that they are not sending across crucial information like receipts or confirmation codes which need to be referred later over SMS. It is ideal that any information which needs to be consumed or utilised within a shorter span of time must only be sent across via this channel. Containing a maximum of 160 characters, SMS must communicate information which compels the user to take an action such as notifications, alerts, two factor authentication, and others alike. 

When to use push notifications?

Push notifications are usually the messages received by users either on the notification center or status bar of their smartphones and is the default way of communication. As compared to SMS, these are considered to be less intrusive as they don’t interrupt the users’ ongoing activity anyhow. It provides an advantage to app developers as users automatically opt in to receive push notifications while downloading a particular application. 

Unlike SMS, push notifications should be used when an event or activity occurs within the app which requires users to take an action on it. For instance, online shopping websites notifying users of the sale commencing two days later or informing them about the availability of the product in their wishlist. On the other hand, elearning businesses notifying learners of the ongoing discounts on various courses or new in-app content. 

In contrast to SMS, push notifications should be used to communicate a time-sensitive piece of information which is action-oriented. As push notifications are the easiest medium where users can delete the information conveniently, one must not use it for communicating information which needs to be referred anytime in the future. Moreover, it should also not be used to promote third party products even ones that partner with your app as it seems very intrusive and irrelevant. 

Where’s the difference?

The advantages of SMS and push notifications are innumerable. This applies for all uses and business sectors that require audience engagement. For example, an industry that is based on audience engagement is the eLearning sector. Hence, it’s easy to say that are crucial for a successful outcome.

While SMS and Push Notifications are quite similar in nature the ultimate difference lies in timing. It plays the largest role for distinguishing the two marketing channels from each other. If you are trying to communicate information about your product to existing customers, push notifications are the way to go. However in the case of larger audience reach, timeliness, and delivery of important information, you must opt for SMS as it has become the go-to marketing tool amongst users as well as marketers during urgency. It also guarantees to provide a valuable experience to users by arming them with the desired information at the most precise time.

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Author: Firdaus

I work as an IT consultant in the Toronto area and I love to write blogs about a variety of subjects. My passion for writing stems from the desire that everyone should have access to meaningful information. Whether it is a blog about society, culture, technology, or social media, I don’t want to miss the opportunity of sharing my thoughts with my friends and audience. Since I believe in mutual exchange of ideas, I am always on the lookout for a feedback on my writings.

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