SMS vs Text: What’s the Difference?
Learn the difference between SMS and texting, and grasp how to incorporate SMS text into your marketing communication strategy.
SMS text is a powerful tool for growing (and managing) your contacts lists, sending promotions and discounts, scheduling reminders, and more, but what's the difference between SMS and text messaging? In short, nothing. It’s easiest to think of an SMS message as a text-only message sent from one person to another, though emojis may also be included in an SMS message.
of customers prefer to communicate with businesses by text
What Is SMS Texting?
When texting during your personal life, you may not ever notice the underlying rules governing SMS messaging, but SMS texts are limited to 160 characters per message and are the most frequently used text format on the planet. Most carriers today have the technology to chain SMS text messages automatically. This means that even if you send SMS text messages longer than 160 characters, the message will automatically convert to multiple SMS messages grouped together, or an MMS image message, which allows for up to 1600 characters.
When to Use SMS Text Messages?
Don’t overthink when to use SMS messaging. Text messaging’s superpower is that it allows for an asynchronous, personalized, conversational channel that fits our mobile-first lifestyles. It empowers your organization to speak like a human being with two-way texts. It’s fast and easy for your target audience to respond, especially when your communication feels personal and relevant. Text messaging allows you to market to specific groups with short bursts of personalized information, and mass texting applications also allow businesses to add security protocols to protect customers from potentially malicious activity.
Common examples of SMS texting include:
- Promotions and Discount Codes
- Sale, Event, or Appointment Reminders
- Delivery Notifications
- Communicating with Remote Teams
- Weather and Emergency Alerts
SMS vs. MMS?
MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service and is designed to send SMS messages that include images and brief videos.
Which texting strategy is right for your organization? When choosing between SMS vs MMS, ask yourself:
- Are you guiding them to a sign-up form or asking them to click through to a website? Concise SMS text message instructions might be exactly what your consumer needs.
- Is your product or service visually compelling (E.g., baked bread, jewelry, spa/beauty services)? Then a beautiful image and a gentle text reminding your customer of your brand might make more sense.
Regardless of which strategy you use, always gain subscriber permission. Like bad email marketing, no one wants to receive a spam text, so make sure your texts offer real value to end users. And just like email, compliance with texting guidelines is enforced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
EZ Testimonials: SMS Texting at Work
Dominos Pizza is a worldwide leader in pizza delivery. Ryan Swanson, Area Director for Prairie Pizza (Domino's Pizza franchise), used SMS texting to accomplish two goals: grow the franchise's Facebook group and sell more pizza. During his campaign, 10% of the 3,000 students contacted via SMS text responded within minutes, and another 5% texted shortly after, totaling 600 opt-ins. As a result, the Facebook group amassed almost 2,000 fans, with over 850 students enrolled in the franchise's SMS marketing list by the end of the semester.
"Most students are not going to jot down a website during a basketball game," admitted Swanson. "But, taking a couple of seconds to send and receive a text with the URL of the group makes sense."
Visit Domino's Pizza SMS Marketing Case Study for more information.
Thousands of industry-leading organizations across the nation partner with EZ Texting. You don't have to become a business SMS text messaging master overnight. Let our online resources available 24/7 guide you every step of the way.
Unlock the Power of SMS Text Messages
EZ Texting Customer Support Managers are ready to assist. Call (855) 854-3024 to learn more about our flexible pricing plans.
Did you know that 80% of consumers prefer to communicate with businesses by text? SMS ("Short Message Service") text marketing also offers the fastest, easiest, and most engaging way to reach your contacts instantly, no matter where they are.