previous icon Back to blog
Sep 13, 2022
6 minutes read

The Benefits of A2P Messaging for Business

Amid the thicket of technology TLAs with 2 in them (B2B, P2P, 2FA,...) are one of the simplest A2P messaging, or “Application-to-Person”. You may not be familiar with the acronym, but you've probably come across it several times in the messaging market. Let’s see why A2P remains relevant as a messaging technology today.

Often using plain-old SMS as its medium, A2P provides a way for machines to message humans, organizations sending you texts directly from their platform or app. If you’ve stayed in a hotel or taken a flight recently, the text message you received from your mobile phone confirming your booking, came from an A2P messaging provider.

What’s great about A2P is its lack of drama. It’s straightforward and cost effective, it reaches the device you’re always carrying, and it’s practically foolproof, making it a popular medium to receive relevant content.

According to ReportLinker, the global A2P messaging market will reach $77.1 billion by 2026 as SMS is a universal method to reach its end-users without access to data services. Like most technologies that do something simple but useful, A2P has found utility far beyond its original purpose of just sending messages.

From P2P to A2P: How Application-to-Person Messaging Works

You already know P2P: it’s the messages you exchange with your friends and family, with a human being at each end of the conversation. A2P replaces one party (the sender) with software, often connected to company databases and marketing platforms. 

While some countries classify A2P as any messaging sent by a machine (which would include WhatsApp and email!) most people understand A2P as an application of SMS. And that’s the main reason it works so well. 

Decades-Old, Still Working: The Benefits of SMS

SMS messaging works at the network level: the operator “knows” what’s happened to the message, with its status communicated back to the sender. There are four: SENT, DELIVERED, FAILED, and UNDELIVERED. Because of these standard responses, an A2P application can act on feedback and flag errors that keep the database of phone numbers fresh.

sms-gateway-analytics

SENT simply means the message is on its way. DELIVERED means the send was successful, with the message reaching the recipient’s phone; this helps to determine how many people were successfully reached (of course, that doesn’t mean they read it – but a very high number of texts are read within minutes).

FAILED is equally obvious: something’s gone wrong on the network, and your message can’t continue. While UNDELIVERED indicates the fault is at your end: usually an incorrect phone number or format, which prompts you to correct it. 

SMS Use Cases for Business Communication

Sounds simple? It is. And that’s the main benefit of using SMS: it’s crystal clear how up-to-date your database is. Today, A2P messaging is suitable for a huge number of use cases as it's an effective business communication. Let’s look at a few:

Notifications and Confirmations: Simple Updates, Sent Well.

The majority of A2P messaging today involves travel and transport. What’s the common denominator? All of them rely on someone or something being in a certain place, at a certain time. Airline tickets, hotel bookings, and package deliveries: all benefit from customers being able to see timely updates, appointment reminders, and confirmations. 

The useful part is that A2P can include a response mechanism, providing (for example) a number to call if a reservation needs to change. This simple trick can reduce unexpected no-shows—which cost the hospitality industry a lot. 

Post-Job Surveys: Gathering Customer Intelligence

The best time to survey someone about the service they received is straight after the job’s complete. Many service companies—from plumbers to delivery drivers—set up action pathways that send a survey SMS to a customer whenever the tradeperson leaves. Using A2P messaging means this happens automatically. 

Of course, SMS messages are simple and short, which boosts response rates. A popular survey method is the “Ultimate Question” of the Net Promoter Score, “Would you recommend us to friends and family?” The customer is asked to respond with a number from 1 (no) to 10 (definitely).

One Time Passwords or OTP

A huge and growing part of A2P text messaging involves security. Lost a password? The website will let you reset it—but you’ll need to enter a six-digit number texted to your phone first which is automatically generated. That message is generated by A2P.

And if you make an unusual bank transaction, the bank will frequently ask you to confirm your identity by doing the same. These are called One Time Passwords, or OTPs. 

one-time-password

This is another reason A2P using SMS persists in a world of many communications channels. People tend to keep their phones close at hand, 24 hours a day, and most are used only by one person. So texting an OTP adds a strong layer of security. And A2P can send them out in seconds, millions of times a day, without wasting the customer’s time. 

Emergency Alerts

Of course, A2P is timely. While at the network level SMS isn’t quite instant (and was never designed to be) it’s rare for one to take more than a minute; a few seconds is more normal. This means A2P has found great utility in emergency alerts of many kinds. 

In a hospital, emergency situations (such as a major car crash) have a prewritten response plan to bring the right people and resources together to meet and treat the arriving patients. This team effort is often coordinated by SMS; mobile users appreciate the short, sharp, automated messages telling them what’s happened and where to be.

Similar procedures enable aircrews, warehouse workers, and building services to swing into action in defined circumstances. A2P provides the simple messaging underlay to their roles. 

One-to-One Marketing Channel

Marketers, of course, use A2P messaging to send promotional campaigns and special offers to thousands of people at a time. The application is linked to the marketer’s database or other software, like CRM (Customer Relationship Management), and can personalize and customize messages, too—like including the recipient’s first name. 

Most countries have strong regulations around SMS marketing, with many requiring double-opt-in before you’re allowed to send a consumer a text. Fortunately, most companies obey such rules.

Competitions, Voting, and Charities

Mainstream “old media” like television has many uses for A2P messaging. Many talent shows, online competitions, and national events feature telephone voting; A2P lets viewers vote by sending an SMS, with the response recorded and a confirmatory SMS sent back. 

There’s another benefit of using A2P messaging, and it’s financial. Companies can charge consumers when they send an SMS, with the charge appearing on the consumer’s phone bill. It’s a simple way for users to pay small amounts and is heavily used in the world’s poorer regions for everyday payments. 

A2P Messaging Turns SMS Into Smart Messaging

If you see a role for timely, relevant, one-to-one messaging to customers in your business, why not explore what CM.com could do for you?

Discover Our Complete Portfolio of SMS Solutions

Was this article interesting?
Share it!
CM.com
connects tens of thousands of companies with millions of consumers via their mobile phone each day. Behind the scenes, from our innovative platform, CM.com makes sure companies can use these millions of messages, phone calls and payments to become part of people’s lives.

Latest Articles

whatsapp-business-platform-centros-educativos
Jan 28, 2024 • WhatsApp

What Is a WhatsApp Opt-in and Why Do I Need It?

WhatsApp has a number of policies in place to help them improve the overall customer experience and build a more positive relationship between consumers and online businesses. One such policy specifies that, before sending any messages to your customer through WhatsApp Business, businesses must first receive consent to do so.

WhatsApp vs Facebook Messenger
Jan 28, 2024 • Instant Messaging

WhatsApp vs Facebook Messenger: Which Messaging Channel is Best for What?

WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are both established messaging channels for customer engagement. But what are the differences? Which advantages does each channel have for what business use case? Let's dive into the details

messaging-fraud-and-prevention-for-businesses
Nov 16, 2023 • Instant Messaging

A2P Messaging Fraud and Prevention for Businesses

Safeguarding company data against security threats should be on the top of the priorities list for every modern company. Especially since A2P, or application-to-person messaging fraud is on the rise. Read all about the different types of A2P fraud and what steps you can take to avoid being the next victim.

hero-channel-advisor-blog
Sep 19, 2022 • Messaging

Why Engagement on the Right Communication Channels Is Key

Today’s consumers expect simplicity and convenience when communicating with a business. That means easy engagement and reachability when the customer needs it. Being present on the right communication channels can make or break the customer experience.

Chat Apps - Choosing Between Channels
Aug 25, 2022 • Instant Messaging

Chat Apps - Choosing Between Messaging Channels

There’s a plethora of messaging apps and mobile communication channels available worldwide. Various apps exist, native applications are growing and also standard SMS text messages are still widely in use. In what channel should you invest your resources?

cm.com blog live chat human woman laptop
Aug 08, 2022 • Mobile Service Cloud

Exceptional Customer Service Starts With a Chat (App)

If a person needed customer support, they might have previously picked up the phone. They might have even sent an email. But what if there was an alternative channel that could help them get their issue addressed almost instantly?

SMS Marketing Use Cases for B2B
Jul 11, 2022 • SMS

SMS Marketing Use Cases for B2B to Build Your Business

You’ve heard about SMS marketing campaigns for consumers, but what about SMS marketing for B2B? B2B text messaging is an effective way to communicate with your business clientele, enabling you to build relationships with decision-makers and offer information that helps them make buying decisions.

sms-email-leads
Jul 04, 2022 • Mobile Marketing Cloud

How to Get More Leads With SMS and Email Marketing

If you use SMS or email - or better yet, both - as marketing channels, you can set up your message, send it out to your target market and analyze the results. But how do you improve that message for better results the next time you send out your SMS or email?

Is this region a better fit for you?
Go
close icon