What Is the Difference Between a Text Message and a SMS Message?

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by Nick Brems | Last Updated: Mar 30, 2023

All Short Message Service (SMS) messages are text messages, but not all text messages are SMS messages. The term ‘text’ is often slang for anything sent or received in a text messaging app.

What Is SMS Message?

Short Message Service, better known as an SMS, is what we think of when we think of standard text messaging. These messages have a character count of 160 per message, and if we go over that limit, then the message will be delivered in segments of no more than 160 characters.  SMS messages require cell towers and cellular data to be transmitted. SMS messaging is the most popular form of text messaging today. As a matter of fact, there are 18.7 billion text messages sent per day, 6 billion of which are SMS messages. With 98 percent of all SMS messages being opened compared to the 20 percent open rate of emails, it’s obvious why SMS has become so popular for mobile marketing campaigns.

What Is the Difference Between a Text Message and an SMS Message?

All SMS messages are text messages, but a text message is not necessarily an SMS message. An SMS message is part of a particular messaging protocol that allows users to send short messages to one another, while a text message can be anything from SMS, Multimedia messaging service (MMS) or even rich communication services (RCS.) A ‘text’ or ‘texting’ is considered a slang term for all types of text messaging, including SMS. 

What Are Two Advantages of Using Text Messaging?

Brands are including messaging efforts in their marketing strategies with more regularity. Why? Because they work. Marketers are meeting consumers where they are and where they want to communicate. Brands that are using messaging to connect with their consumers are seeing high open rates and more engagement. There are many advantages and disadvantages of text messages in business, but the reality is that prospective customers are much more likely to interact with your content through a text message rather than an email or phone call.

Should I Use MMS or SMS?

SMS and MMS can both be useful at times. SMS messages are perfect for brief messages, such as confirming an appointment or notifying customers a package is out for delivery.  MMS messaging is required for sending photos, gifs, or short videos. It is also necessary for sending messages longer than 160 characters in one message.  Marketers have learned to take advantage of SMS more than MMS for mobile marketing campaigns. With SMS marketers can reach customers with promotional codes, coupons, call to actions for new product launches, alerts, and notifications, to name a few. The possibilities are endless in generating hype around marketing campaigns with SMS. SMS messages are short and sweet which is why users love text messages over emails, and it’s why marketers have gravitated toward messaging. In 2021, mobile users in the United States sent roughly 2 trillion SMS or MMS messages. While SMS messages might not be as flashy as other text messaging protocols, marketers know that SMS is where things get done.  Lumavate’s messaging functionality allows customers to build opt-in forms and Lumavate takes care of the required double opt-in for all new subscribers. Lumavate customers can then segment subscribers into audiences and send instant or scheduled messages to these groups.  You can continue to grow your audiences but utilizing the mobile opt-in template For more information on how Lumavate’s mobile messaging could benefit your business take a tour of our mobile messaging solution today!

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