ott-vs- bulk sms

WhatsApp, Viber vs Bulk SMS

There was an excellent article on LinkedIn this week from Horisen AG, a marketing technology group in Switzerland contrasting the use of hugely popular messaging applications like WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger (collectively known as OTT apps) and Bulk SMS as a marketing tool for business.

The article noted a number of important points for business owners;

OTT apps are great for P2P but not for B2C

Messaging applications like WhatsApp, Viber, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger have become widely adopted as consumers can send text, images and video over data channels and not incur additional costs. OTT apps are generally free (or close to free) and there is no per message tariff. It is very easy to see why they are so popular with Person to Person (P2P) messaging.

However, OTT messaging apps are not setup as well for sending marketing messages. WhatsApp for example lets you create lists of up to 256 people and you can broadcast to them all at once. Have you asked all these people for permission to market to them? Remember WhatsApp is popular for personal messaging not marketing messaging. Your message can therefore be very easily classified as a spam because of the “highly intrusive” nature. The suggestion is to use a Bulk SMS provider who will provide ways to get permission from your customers and advice on the frequency and content of your marketing messages.

See this question on for more information:

SMS is available on every mobile phone

There are many messaging applications available and some consumers prefer one over another to communicate with family and friends. The only application which is available on every mobile phone is SMS. The author contends that in order to reach all of your customers and prospects, Bulk SMS is a much better way as you can reach everyone using SMS. It is still the only feature common to all mobile devices.

SMS is a Mature and Familiar Technology

SMS has been around a long time and trillions of SMS messages have been sent since the start of SMS over twenty years ago. Billions of people around the world are familiar with the technology and it comes installed on all mobile devices. This is one of the main reasons why enterprises are deciding to use Bulk SMS to conduct their marketing campaigns and promote their products and services.

The article concludes by saying that the only to reach all your customers and prospects is by well timed, well written, permission based Bulk SMS marketing messages.
The full article can be read at

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