Thread or Dead – Part One


November 12th, 2014

In the first part of our blog series, we explore how – in almost every industry and every company – SMS can be used to transform processes, drive efficiencies and enhance the customer experience.

As a modern Mark Twain may once have said: rumours of the death of SMS are greatly exaggerated. With more than six billion global users and revenues of around $135 billion each year, SMS is now so ubiquitous that it’s expected to remain the industry standard messaging channel for the next decade. Yet despite this, prophets of doom are still preparing to issue it the last rites as it trails in the perceived wake of ‘OTT’ mobile applications like iMessage, WhatsApp and Blackberry Messenger. But one statistic alone provides sufficient reason to halt the funeral: the average open rate for an SMS message is a whopping 98%. In today’s fog of online, social and digital noise, the quiet simplicity of a text message clearly shouts the loudest and cuts through. And, as our email inboxes expand with unread correspondence and our Twitter feed melts in a haze of hollow hash-tags, it’s a fundamental reason why our modern Mark Twain was right. Rumours of the death of SMS are, quite ironically, OTT.

But hold the phone. Why is it that, despite overwhelming evidence of its impact as the ultimate in interruptive communications, few businesses are leveraging the rich potential of SMS messaging? Indeed why is it that many are prepared to believe the hype around new innovations, and potentially discard the most penetrative media of our time? The answers may lie in the common limitations that have characterised the historical use of SMS as a promotional channel.

Traditionally, whilst SMS has provided companies with cost-effective and instant mass messaging capability, the approach has been hamstrung by an inherent inability to correlate multiple outbound messages with specific responses. This in turn prevented the messaging from having any integration with – or impact on – associated business processes.

But these limitations have been laid to rest by the introduction of innovative ‘threading’ technology. Threading means that every inbound message can automatically be matched to outbound messages, accurately and reliably. And because the technology integrates seamlessly with organisations’ existing IT infrastructure, it means that associated business processes can also leverage the opportunity and drive operational gains.

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