A quick scroll through the multiple SMS alerts on your mobile phone will show you just how much businesses have been using SMS to reach out to their customers. Whether it is sending promotional messages, transaction alerts, OTPs for security, or personalized messages like a birthday discount on products, businesses have been using SMS to connect with the customers. This type of SMS is called Application to Person (A2P) messaging and it has become a go-to tool for businesses.
Unlike social media channels, paid ads, or emails, A2P messages are more personalized and engaging as they communicate directly to the customer. 98% of SMS messages are opened as compared to 20% of emails. The click-through rates are 19% as compared to 2% for emails’. Businesses have been constantly increasing their adoption of A2P SMS. No wonder the A2P SMS market is touted to be a $77.1 billion market by 2026.
Every business is looking for a cutting-edge A2P SMS platform that can help them reach out to their customers better and improve their conversions.
However, to be considered effective, the A2P SMS platform must possess the following features.
Must-Have Features A Cutting-Edge A2P SMS Platform Must Possess
Rich communication services (RCS)
Conventional SMS’ are plain texts. However, instant messaging platforms paved the way for media-rich communication. Businesses realized that using media-rich messages can help them capture the customers’ attention and engage them. They can send website links, QR codes, images, ticket or boarding passes, product carousels, etc., through A2P SMS. This helps businesses to build long-term customer engagement and create a unique identity of their brand. RCS support is one of the first things that businesses must look for in an A2P SMS platform. The platform must support all types of rich communication. The platform should allow businesses to share geo-targeted texts, photos, and video notifications to customers. The platform should also allow businesses to have a two-way interaction with their customers through interactive functionalities such as chatbots, quizzes, and polls. The objective is to help businesses build an effective and direct communication channel with their customers.
An A2P SMS API enables businesses to connect to a reliable SMS gateway so that they can send bulk promotional and transactional messages to their customers around the world securely. These messages are sent and received through applications, webs, or systems. Businesses prefer API connect as it helps automate the messaging process. So, businesses don’t have to send messages manually to every platform. They can automate this task so that thousands of messages are automatically sent within seconds. This is especially useful when businesses do SMS campaigns. API connect also offers integration with CRM, so businesses can receive and maintain customer data efficiently. They can produce regular reports on how each integrated platform has generated traffic or met business goals. This enables the business to gauge each platform’s effectiveness and create data-centric campaigns. The flexibility and effectiveness make API connect a must-have feature in an A2P SMS platform. Businesses prefer it as it eliminates hard work and enables them to manage the campaigns efficiently.
Uses direct routes to send messages
Most often, businesses unknowingly send A2P messages through grey routes. So, when a business sends a message to a customer residing in the same country, it bounces across different global carriers and then sent to the recipient. In the process. it tries to hide the source of the message to the mobile networks. The stated aim is that the message is transmitted for a much-reduced cost. The attraction of the low cost encourages the businesses to send more bulk promotional messages. However, grey routes have their limitations. To begin with, it is unethical. It can also expose the recipient of the message to malicious attacks and expose the receiver to unnecessary risk. Secondly, there are no delivery receipts in grey routes, so businesses will have no trace of whether the messages were delivered. Finally, if a host network identifies a grey route, they will shut it down, and all the messages that were intended to be sent to the customer will never get delivered. Although direct routes may be comparatively more expensive, they are ethical, secure, and can quickly transmit a high volume of messages to customers. The A2P SMS platform must offer a direct route to transmit messages. They should be compliant with the wholesale roaming agreement. This will enable the businesses to send messages to their customers knowing that they will get delivered.
A2P SMS termination
A2P SMS termination presents a great opportunity for revenue growth. Businesses normally lose millions due to lost termination fees. It occurs because of the prevalence of grey routes that don’t charge transparently for message transmission or delivery outcomes. The business can be safeguarded by partnering with global OTTs, and A2P aggregators. Businesses can ensure that the SMS termination happens directly with them, so they can earn revenue from it. That’s why the A2P SMS platform must have direct interconnection with carriers and operators worldwide.
As we have understood by now, businesses are keen to use A2P SMS more frequently to communicate with the customers. Hence, it’s essential to keep pace with the changing ecosystem of A2P messaging and include these must-have features in the platform they choose. This will not just help in meeting the business needs, but will also keep them safe.
At Globe Teleservices, we offer international messaging services that provide businesses with a competitive advantage. We offer:
- API connect for A2P bulk SMS campaigns
- Direct interconnection with 100+ carriers and leading operators in more than 35+ countries for direct SMS termination
- Direct routes and high-quality routes to safely send the messages to customers
- Flexibility to send rich-media messages to customers