What Is Text Messaging?

Leigh Hamer Picture

by Leigh Hamer | Last Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Chances are you have received a text message from a company or brand. Restaurants are adopting text messaging to alert customers when their table is ready. Event venues use text messages to deliver digital tickets. Consumer brands are implementing text messaging programs to streamline customer support requests.

Companies large and small are turning to text messaging to improve the customer experience. Consumers are driving this change as they seek more asynchronous brand communication. Asynchronous conversations are exchanges between two parties where there can be gaps in time between responses. Examples include email, Slack, text messages, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. You send a message through one of these channels to a friend. You don’t expect a response in seconds. You know they’ll respond in an hour, or maybe a day. 

Asynchronous conversations are used in non-urgent situations. Simple customer questions are a prime example.

According to a survey, 75 percent of Millennials avoid phone calls because they are time-consuming. Since 40 percent of customers choose a channel based on the complexity of their issue, it’s unsurprising that customers would want to text simple questions. “When will my package arrive?” or “Where should I park for my appointment?” are simple questions that don’t require a phone conversation.

What Is Text Messaging?

Text messages, or texts, are electronic notes sent over Wi-Fi or cellular-data networks between two or more connected devices. Also known as mobile messaging, text messaging examples include text-based messages, meaning written words. Multimedia content can also be shared over text messaging, including images, videos, gifs, and audio files.

Why Is Text Messaging So Important?

Text messaging is an important communications channel because smartphones are always within reach.

Consider for a moment these stats on smartphone owner behaviors:

Where is your smartphone right now? If you’re not reading this on your smartphone, chances are your smartphone is in your pocket or within arm’s reach.

The vast majority - 97 percent - of text messages are read within 15 minutes of delivery. That’s something email, direct mail, and paid channels just can’t match.

Twilio is one of the most respected customer engagement platforms with more than 130 billion messages sent and received annually. The company proves the engagement value and conversion power of text messaging, by reporting:

Implementing a highly targeted text messaging program requires brands to properly capture and store zero-party data. Lumavate’s messaging solution takes care of the required double opt-in for mobile messaging subscribers.

Once implemented, brands will find that there are numerous advantages of texting that make it a must-have channel. First and foremost, text messaging can be applied through every stage of the customer journey

If your brand is seeking ways to improve customer engagement, explore the benefits of text messaging.

What Are the Different Types of Text Messages?

There are two main types of text messages: SMS and MMS. SMS stands for Short Message Service. MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service.

In October 2011, Apple introduced iMessage with the release of iOS 5, a new type of secure messaging for Apple users. 

Most Americans own an iPhone, with an Android coming in second, according to Counterpoint Research. If you’ve ever sent text messages on an iPhone, then you have likely seen the difference between an iMessage, MMS, and SMS first hand.

On an iPhone text messages are color coded. iMessages can only be sent between Apple device users (i.e. iMac, iPad, or iPhone). iMessages appear blue when you send a message to another Apple device user, and your friend’s reply will appear gray.

If you receive or send messages that appear green, that means the text is being sent as an unencrypted MMS/SMS. Messages will always appear green when texting an Android user, or when you are not connected to the Internet.

What is SMS vs MMS Messaging?

SMS is one of the oldest technologies, as well as one of the most frequently used, according to Twilio. As the name suggests, MMS messaging is used to send multimedia files, such as photos, voice memos, videos, and your favorite gif (or giphy, if you prefer).

Comparing MMS vs SMS, both SMS and MMS messages are sent over a cellular network. SMS restricts senders to 160 characters per message. Messages that exceed this are separated into segments of 160 characters each. 

Fifty-one percent of consumers say they’re more likely to make a purchase if they receive text messages with images and media, while 33 percent say they don’t have a preference between SMS or MMS as long as the message contains relevant information.

Everything you need to know about MMS meaning:

Schedule a demo to see how Lumavate’s text messaging solution can meet your needs.

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