Blog / Details

SMS Notifications vs. Push Notifications: What is the Difference?

Sms marketing, Sms marketing campaigns Take a moment to check your phone. How many unread notifications are clamoring for your attention?
Now, unlock your device. Notice the red notification badges dotting the corners of your apps?
This quick exercise highlights the relentless efforts of businesses, organizations, and apps vying for your attention at any given moment.
In an era of dwindling attention spans, breaking through this cacophony poses a significant challenge. Digital marketers must harness every available tool to captivate their audiences. Among the most potent tools are SMS notifications and push notifications.
Let's delve into what they entail, pinpoint the optimal scenarios for their use, and navigate the process of choosing between the two.

Understanding SMS Notifications

SMS notifications are alerts dispatched upon receiving a text message. These notifications are channeled through your native messaging app and typically do not necessitate permissions. They serve as message notifications triggered by an event or ongoing transaction elsewhere.
The acronym "SMS" denotes "Short Message Service." These notifications follow the same transmission protocol as standard text messages, often constrained to a 160-character limit. While SMS serves as a marketing tool, SMS notifications serve broader purposes, including time-sensitive and safety-related communications.

Benefits of Using SMS Notifications

Numerous businesses and organizations opt for SMS notifications due to their universal compatibility and reliability across all devices. No app downloads or software installations are necessary as nearly all cell phones support SMS reception. Moreover, customers exhibit a preference for text messages.
Imagine this scenario: a friend urgently needs to convey information. Would you prefer a swift text, a phone call, or an Email from them? For most consumers, the choice leans towards a text message.

When to Employ SMS Notifications

SMS notifications find application in various scenarios, including emergency alerts, feature updates, and promotional messages. Here are several prevalent use cases:
1. Announcing upcoming events
2. Disseminating internal messages to employees
3. Boosting sales and tackling cart abandonment through text alerts
4. Notifying patients about upcoming appointments
5. Soliciting funds or recruiting volunteers for nonprofit organizations
6. Confirming reservations and updating customers

Understanding Push Notifications

Often confused with SMS notifications, push notifications are pop-up messages that appear on mobile devices. These messages may display while users are actively on their phones or appear on the lock screen when the device is idle. The character limit for a push notification varies across devices but typically ranges between 100 and 200 characters.

Advantages of Push Notifications

The primary advantage of push notifications is their ability to reach users even when they are not using the app. App publishers can send these notifications at any time, and many users opt-in to receive them when they download an app. However, excessive push notifications can lead to user disengagement. Studies have shown that around 31% of smartphone users stop using an app when they receive six to ten push notifications per week.

When to Employ Push Notifications

Push notifications serve various purposes: urging users to take action, updating them about new features, and delivering promotions. Notably, users must have the app installed to receive push notifications. The key reason to utilize push notifications is to maintain users' awareness and engagement with the app, thereby potentially boosting retention rates.

Differentiating Push Notifications from SMS Notifications: 2 Key Factors

A push notification is the notification itself that can come from any app, and will appear on your phone’s lock screen. It is quite literally ‘pushing’ you to open your phone and read the notification.
SMS notifications meanwhile, are specific to your native messaging app. An SMS notification typically emerges on your lock screen, often displaying a brief excerpt of the received text message.
While push notifications and SMS notifications serve comparable functions, the platforms employed to transmit them diverge significantly.
When deliberating between the two, here are three crucial aspects to ponder:
  1. SMS Notifications Don't Require Apps

For businesses without a mobile app or those seeking a simpler approach, SMS notifications offer a viable solution. While incorporating push notifications into a web app requires knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, sending SMS notifications doesn't demand coding expertise. You can send your initial message within minutes, making it a straightforward process.
  1. Customers Can Respond to SMS Notifications

Push notifications are suitable for unilateral communication. However, if you aim to facilitate customer service interactions or enable users to respond with inquiries or requests, utilizing SMS notifications would likely be more appropriate.
Chat Free Trial