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SMS vs. WhatsApp Marketing: Which is the best?

Published on June 30, 2023
Last modified on July 13, 2023
SMS vs. WhatsApp Marketing_ Which is the best_ - NeoDove

Once upon a time, in the digital realm, there lived two superheroes of marketing: SMS marketing and WhatsApp marketing. 

They were both on a mission to help businesses reach their customers, but they had different approaches. 

Picture this: SMS marketing was like the trusty postman, delivering short and sweet messages.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp marketing was like a versatile magician, captivating customers with multimedia wonders. 

Now, you might be wondering, what are the actual differences between SMS marketing and WhatsApp marketing? 

How can these two approaches help your business in different ways? 

In this article, let’s dive into the world of SMS marketing and WhatsApp marketing, and discover the differences between the two methods and how they can empower your business!

What is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing involves the use of Short Message Service (SMS) to deliver promotional messages to customers’ mobile phones. 

What is SMS Marketing - NeoDove

The traditional method of SMS marketing has been in use for years and is quite useful in reaching a wide audience. 

With SMS marketing, your business can send concise and impactful messages to customers. Furthermore, SMS marketing enables you to notify them about exclusive offers, discounts, or important updates.

What is WhatsApp Marketing?

WhatsApp marketing refers to utilizing the messaging application, WhatsApp, as a platform to connect and engage with customers. 

With over two billion monthly active users globally, WhatsApp allows your business to communicate directly with your target audience. Moreover, it allows you to do so in a more personal and interactive manner. 

Through this form of marketing, businesses can send text messages, images, videos, and even conduct voice and video calls. Thus, allowing for a versatile approach to engage customers.

Also Read: 5 Things To Know Before CRM WhatsApp Integration

The Differences Between SMS vs. WhatsApp Marketing

While both WhatsApp marketing and SMS marketing share the common goal of reaching customers, there are differences between the two channels.

The Differences Between SMS vs. WhatsApp Marketing - NeoDove

Some of the main differences between SMS marketing and WhatsApp marketing include:

1) Messaging Format

SMS marketing relies on text messages sent to customers’ mobile phones. These messages are typically limited to a maximum of 160 characters per message, making them short and concise.

In comparison, WhatsApp marketing utilizes the WhatsApp messaging platform to its full potential. It allows your business to send text, images, videos, and even audio messages to customers. The format is more flexible and accommodating, allowing for richer content.

2) Engagement and Interactivity

Marketing on WhatsApp provides a higher level of engagement. This is because it allows customers to respond directly to messages, initiate conversations, and even engage in real-time voice or video calls. 

However, SMS marketing, although effective for one-way communication, lacks the interactivity of WhatsApp.

3) Reach and Cost

SMS marketing allows messages to reach virtually all mobile phones, regardless of whether the device has internet connectivity. However, sending SMS messages may incur additional charges for businesses, depending on the specific country and service provider.

In comparison, WhatsApp marketing requires an internet connection. Not only this, but users must have the WhatsApp application installed on their smartphones. 

WhatsApp has a massive user base. But, you may face limitations in reaching customers who do not have the app installed or have limited internet access.

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    4) Privacy and Opt-in

    In most countries, SMS marketing requires users to opt-in by providing their consent to receive promotional messages. This opt-in requirement ensures that your customers are willing to receive marketing communications via SMS.

    With WhatsApp marketing, users can actively save a business’s contact number in their phonebook or initiate the conversation themselves. This serves as an implied opt-in, as users proactively engage with businesses through the platform.

    5) Integration and Automation

    Additionally, SMS marketing can be integrated with various platforms. This enables your business to automate message sending based on predefined triggers. This integration helps streamline marketing campaigns and saves time.

    When marketing on WhatsApp, WhatsApp’s API allows for integration with third-party systems. Thus, enabling businesses to automate certain aspects of marketing. 

    For example, sending personalized messages or managing customer inquiries. This integration facilitates efficient communication and enhances the overall customer experience.

    6) Personalization and Interactivity

    SMS marketing messages are typically one-way communication, with businesses sending information to customers. Moreover, personalization is limited to using the customer’s name or basic information in the message.

    Alternatively, WhatsApp marketing offers a more interactive experience. Here, your customers can actively engage with businesses, ask questions, and receive personalized responses in real time. 

    Two-way communication in WhatsApp marketing fosters a sense of connection and builds stronger customer relationships.

    7) Message Delivery Confirmation

    SMS messages usually provide delivery confirmation, indicating whether the message was successfully delivered to the recipient’s phone. However, it does not guarantee that the recipient has seen or read the message.

    However, WhatsApp messages display two types of confirmation: one tick for the message sent and two ticks for the message delivered and read. 

    This feature of WhatsApp marketing provides businesses with more reliable insights into message engagement and customer interest.

    8) Message Broadcasts

    Lastly, SMS marketing allows businesses to send bulk messages to a large group of recipients simultaneously. However, personalization beyond basic information becomes challenging with this approach.

    While WhatsApp does offer WhatsApp broadcasts, there are restrictions in place to prevent spamming. These restrictions ensure that your business maintains a more targeted and personalized approach when engaging with customers.


    5 Ways That WhatsApp Marketing Can Empower Your Business

    With its extensive features and capabilities, WhatsApp marketing has the potential to revolutionize your business’s marketing efforts.

    5 Ways That WhatsApp Marketing Can Empower Your Business - NeoDove

    Here are some ways in which WhatsApp marketing can empower your business:

    1) Direct Communication

    WhatsApp marketing enables businesses to establish a direct line of communication with their customers. This helps you foster personalized interactions, send promotional messages, and build stronger relationships.

    2) Real-Time Support

    With WhatsApp marketing, you can provide real-time support to your customers, address queries, concerns, and provide instant assistance. This enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty.

    3) Rich Media Content

    Through WhatsApp marketing, businesses can share rich media content. For example, product images, videos, catalogs, etc. Thus, providing a visually appealing and interactive experience to your customers.

    4) Automation and Broadcasts

    WhatsApp marketing platforms offer automation tools and broadcast features. These tools allow you to schedule messages, send targeted campaigns, and automate responses, saving time and effort.

    5) Customer Feedback and Surveys

    It can be utilized to conduct customer feedback surveys. This enables businesses to gain valuable insights and make data-driven decisions to improve their products or services. 

    Incorporating WhatsApp marketing into your business strategy can unlock new avenues for growth, customer engagement, and improved brand visibility.



    In a world driven by digital communication, WhatsApp marketing, and SMS marketing have emerged as powerful tools to connect businesses with their customers. 

    While SMS marketing offers a traditional approach and a wider reach, WhatsApp marketing provides a more interactive and personalized experience. 

    If you want to send bulk messages using WhatsApp, you can also explore NeoDove’s WhatsApp API. With WhatsApp API, you can effectively connect with multiple users from a single account. 

    Through NeoDove’s WhatsApp API, you can easily create leads on NeoDove, automatically schedule WhatsApp messages and drive 3x more conversions.

    By leveraging the unique features of each platform, businesses can empower their marketing efforts and establish meaningful connections with their target audience. 

    Thus, it is essential for businesses to understand the differences between WhatsApp marketing and SMS marketing, identify their specific goals and audience, and choose the most suitable channel to maximize their marketing potential. 

    5 Amazing Ways That WhatsApp Marketing Can Empower Your Business - NeoDove

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Absolutely! Many businesses adopt a multi-channel approach by integrating both WhatsApp marketing and SMS marketing into their strategies to reach a wider audience and cater to different customer preferences.

    Yes, WhatsApp marketing is suitable for businesses of all sizes. It provides a cost-effective solution for small businesses to engage with their customers and establish a strong online presence.

    WhatsApp marketing platforms offer analytics and reporting tools to track the performance of your campaigns, including metrics such as message delivery, open rates, and response rates.

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