The evolution of the humble text message

Topic:

As we celebrate the 25th birthday of the humble text message, there is debate within the industry as to the future direction of this much loved messaging service.

When the text message was first launched, consumers jumped at the chance to be able to contact friends quickly and easily from almost anywhere and at any time. As the benefits of the text message spread, so too did the number of users and soon, it became the communication channel of choice, for the masses.

It wasn’t long before businesses clocked on to the potential of this communication channel and so started the evolution of business SMS campaigns. Prized for its exceptional open rate and relatively limited abuse by spammers, SMS has been adopted for alerts, reminders and promotional messages across multiple industries worldwide.

SMS messaging examples

However, as technology advances, so too does consumer behaviour. With the launch of Over The Top (OTT) messaging platforms, such as Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger, customers were drawn to the functionality that these new messaging platforms could offer. Consequently, end users began to gradually move away from SMS in favour of the more advanced OTT messaging services. Group chat, video, image and emoticon sharing, all of this using an internet connection rather than relying on a mobile network signal; it’s easy to see why consumers began to favour this mode of communication.

As this trend continued, businesses needed to answer their customers demand for richer communication and so, the SMS landing page service was born. This new service meant that customers could access a personalised landing page from a brand, by simply clicking a link within a text message. This new landing page displayed tailored, rich content within a fully branded page template, offering a unique journey to the customer.

It’s a step forward – but what is the future of SMS?

There’s no denying that SMS is a fast growing market with the service constantly evolving and changing to match customer demand. So what is the future of SMS?

If you’ve read our recent blog post, you’ll know that Esendex has been accepted on to Google’s RCS Early Access Programme. Rich Communication Services (RCS) is designed to combine and improve upon the functionality offered by SMS and SMS landing pages. RCS allows businesses to send much more engaging content, akin to the Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger experience. The aim is to create richer, more interactive conversations between a business and its customers. RCS may also negate the need for companies to commission branded apps, with a recipient’s messaging inbox being the only form of communication required for the majority of interactions with a brand.

Furthermore, by integrating an intelligent chat bot, RCS will be able to manage basic customer service queries, leaving the customer care team free to deal with more complex and challenging problems.

Rich Communication Services conversation use case

For more information on how RCS can help your business, complete our contact form or call 0345 356 5758

Author Avatar
Amy Robinson

Hi, I’m Amy, Senior Brand Development Manager at Esendex, with a background in digital and international marketing. I love everything to do with digital technology and improving communication between brands and their customers. I also take great pride in combining digital optimisation with user experience.