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SMS Vs. Text: Is There a Difference?

woman holding her phone and texting

If you’re like 88% of people, you use your mobile phone primarily to send and receive text messages.

Texts are so ubiquitous in today’s landscape that most people probably send a quick message to their family, friends or even their healthcare provider and never stop to think that text messaging can do more.  

If you want to implement a marketing strategy in your business or improve the one you already have, you should consider SMS marketing, also known as text marketing. If you’re wondering why we’re using both “SMS” and “text” in terms of marketing, and if they are different, we will explain the difference below.

The Difference Between Texts and SMS Messages

The short answer is that there is no difference between the two. The two words are often used interchangeably because both refer to a text-only message sent between two mobile devices.

What is SMS?

SMS stands for Short Messaging Service. It is the basic message type that you can send and receive between mobile devices. It only supports text and cannot send images, audio, GIFs or emojis. It is also limited to only 160 characters; any longer messages will be separated into multiple texts. 

What is MMS?

MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service. Any message that you send with a picture, GIF or emoji is an MMS. It is not considered a “text message” because it contains other media. MMS messaging also has a much larger character limit of 1600, which increases the amount of information you can send.

What are OTT Messages?

OTT stands for Over The Top messaging. It sends and receives data over the internet without the need for a cellular network or a phone plan. OTT is not considered a text message because it is a messaging service within its own app that usually offers more features such as typing indicators and read receipts. Examples of OTT are iMessage, Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger. 

Why Businesses are Adopting SMS Marketing

Text marketing has become increasingly popular in recent years, and it is definitely not going away anytime soon. Businesses realize that using text messages to communicate with their customers is quick, effective and yields greater engagement. 

For starters, SMS messages have a 98% open-rate compared to email, which has only a 20% open-rate. SMS utilizes push notifications, which means that any new texts will pop up on the user’s phone screen regardless of what they’re doing. If a company is sending emails, the customer would have to log in to their email account to view them, so they aren’t viewed as often. 

Additionally, more than 60% of people read their texts within the first 5 minutes of receiving them. This dramatically increases the chances of customers seeing the marketing message and acting on it. 

Reach More Prospects With Texting Base

SMS and MMS are both valuable tools in text marketing campaigns. You can boost your sales and increase customer retention by sending a simple text. Texting Base offers a service that allows you to send customizable mass text messages to your customer database and reap the rewards.

Find out how much Texting Base can do for your marketing strategy by signing up for a free trial today!

GET STARTED TEXTING TODAY