Mobile Marketing: Bulk SMS vs Whatsapp
To reach the right consumers with the lowest cost possible has always been the ultimate goal of all marketers alike. However, running a business is more than just managing cost. When sourcing for marketing solutions, it's crucial that the solutions are sustainable, easy to manage and scalable, which is what bulk SMS - otherwise known as SMS marketing - is known for.
However, there's always the question: "Why not Whatsapp? It's free." Indeed, Whatsapp comes at no cost, - other than the internet connection or mobile data required to run it - but the app wasn't made for marketing, to begin with. Furthermore, Whatsapp paid marketing isn't available at this point of time.
When in need of a mobile marketing solution with a proven track record, one can always depend on SMS marketing. Here's why:
Effectiveness, Efficiency and Immense Reach
When compared to other mobile marketing channels like Google and Facebook, SMS marketing is superior in terms of effectiveness, efficiency and reach. For starters, Google and Facebook is notorious for being cluttered with ads. Secondly, less than 50% of people who search on Google or surf Facebook have the intention to purchase or convert. Most importantly, unlike all the mentioned channels, an SMS pops up on the phone without any interference or clutter. In other words, it plays on its own terms. Furthermore, for businesses to acquire a customer's mobile number, there will be a form of consent. This means that the user is more likely to respond or react positively to your marketing material(s).
Whatsapp's only available pseudo-marketing feature, Broadcast List, is leaps and bounds behind bulk SMS, mainly because your contacts (intended recipients) can only receive your broadcasted message if they have already added you to their address book. Even if you have their mobile numbers in your database, you might never really reach them. Furthermore, when you receive Whatsapp messages from multiple users, your smartphone will not specifically show your broadcasted message via the notification, and will instead show a '32 messages from 2 users' notification.
As SMS marketing has been around for the longest time, a majority of bulk SMS service providers already own an arsenal of easy-to-use tools to be offered as a value-added service. These tools usually come in the form of user-friendly management software with functions that make your marketing efforts easier. These functions include, but not limited to 'selecting your types of audiences' and 'easy scheduling of date and time'.
Apart from Whatsapp's Broadcast List, there are no other forms of marketing features or functions available. This will prove disadvantageous to marketers, as marketing efforts are already extremely time-consuming, to begin with.
Platforms like Facebook and Google offer a wide range of methods to reach consumers, with the most affordable one being 'impressions'. While the cost per impression (CPI) may be cheaper than a single SMS, the return of investment (ROI) is not even close, as people scroll through search result pages and news feeds very quickly. In layman terms, it's like walking past a billboard with hundreds of advertisements, where nobody actually stops to take a look. This demonstrates the importance of cost effectiveness.
Fortunately, SMS marketing is quickly becoming one of the most affordable mobile marketing solutions in the market. Paired with its immense reach, effectiveness and efficiency - it is easily the best mobile marketing solution out there. Furthermore, if Whatsapp launches a marketing feature or service, it will most likely cost more, if not as much as a Facebook ad, given their ties.
When it comes to choosing a mobile marketing solution, there's more to it than just affordability. Do take into account the cost effectiveness, efficiency and scalability, as these can make or break your marketing campaigns. All in all, when it comes to choosing between bulk SMS and Whatsapp for your marketing efforts, the tried and true method is definitely the former.