What Is A2P SMS? The Benefits of A2P Messaging

what is a2p sms

According to a recent report from Juniper Research, the A2P messaging space is forecasted to grow 55% by 2028, with an additional 1.2 trillion messages sent each year. 

But what is A2P SMS, what’s behind that predicted growth, and what does it mean for your business? 

In this blog post we’ll cover all the things you need to know to decide if A2P SMS is something you should incorporate into your messaging strategy, and how to squeeze more juice out of the channel if you’re already using it. 

What is A2P SMS? 

A2P messaging stands for application-to-person messaging and is the process of a business sending a text message to its customers or employees

Let’s say you sent a text to your customers telling them about an important product update or industry insight – that’s A2P SMS. 

Considering that almost 98% of text messages are opened, A2P messages offer a great way of getting your messages seen, read and actioned by your customers, but that’s just one of the benefits of A2P messaging… 

What are the benefits of A2P SMS? 

You may or may not be familiar with some of the main benefits of A2P SMS, so to recap, here are the main ones you need to know when deciding if A2P messaging is the right communication channel for your business. 

  • High open rates: It’s widely known that SMS generally has higher open rates than other channels like email, but that doesn’t mean it should be understated. The fact that more people are likely to see your A2P message is huge and increases the chances of your messages being acted upon. 
  • Instant reach:  A2P messaging provides you with the ability to reach your audience instantly. Whether it’s sending time-sensitive alerts, notifications, or promotional messages, the immediacy of A2P SMS ensures that your message is delivered and read promptly. 
  • Increased customer engagement: With A2P SMS, you’re able to engage with your customers in a more personalised and interactive manner which drives better engagement. From 2FA messages for added security to real-time updates on orders, the engaging nature of A2P SMS fosters a deeper connection with your customers. 
  • Cost-effective communication:  A2P SMS offers a cost-effective way for you to communicate with your audience en masse. Compared to other channels, A2P SMS provides a more budget-friendly option without compromising the impact that your message has. 
  • Automation for Efficiency: One of the main benefits of A2P SMS is how it allows you to automate your processes. Things that used to require human input like appointment reminders and shipping notifications can save your business time and money while also greatly improving the customer experience. 

How does A2P SMS work? 

Unlike P2P (Person-to-Person) messaging, A2P messages are sent from applications, systems, or software rather than individuals sending texts to somebody else from their phone.  

Those messages are then aggregated by A2P gateway providers, like Soprano, who will consolidate them to streamline the delivery process by using short codes or long numbers. 

We then route your messages through to mobile network operators like Telstra or AT&T who ensure your messages are passed onto your customers nice and quickly. 

Then, when their phone buzzes, they’ll see your message and hopefully take whatever action it is that you want them to take – your A2P SMS was a success! 

What are some use cases of A2P SMS? 

You’ll probably have been on the receiving end of many examples of A2P SMS, but just to jog your memory, here are some of the most commonly used: 

  • Marketing offers & promotions: This example is obviously super important if your business sells products or services. If you’re running a special offer or discount, by sending an A2P SMS, you can get your message sent to your entire customer list in minutes to generate more sales or bookings. 
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA): You’ve probably been sent a code to your phone when logging in to a website or app… 2FA helps safeguard sensitive transactions, user accounts, and confidential information – all helping to build trust amongst your customers. 
  • Appointment or booking reminders: If your business is reliant on appointments or bookings, then leveraging A2P messaging is essential. By automating your booking reminders, you can minimise no-shows, enhance customer satisfaction, and reduce your reliance on a human receptionist or booking agent. 
  • Order & delivery updates: There’s nothing more frustrating than missing a parcel delivery because you weren’t kept in the loop on its whereabouts! A simple automated A2P SMS removes all that customer frustration and provides a better, more transparent user experience. 
  • Emergency updates & alerts: For critical updates that need to be communicated instantly at scale, A2P SMS is your go-to. Quickly informing your customers of service disruptions, security threats or health updates helps to keep them safe and shows them you have their best interests at heart. 

What’s the difference between A2P and P2P SMS? 

As we touched upon earlier, the difference between A2P SMS and P2P SMS is just the messaging source. 

P2P SMS involves two individuals communicating with one another, whereas A2P SMS is businesses communicating with their customers, partners or employees on a larger scale. 

Just think of P2P messaging as sending a single text to a friend compared to A2P messaging where your business is sending an important alert or update to your entire customer list. 

Should you use A2P SMS? 

Deciding whether A2P SMS should be a part of your communication strategy comes down to how it’ll improve your customer’s experience with your business. 

Begin by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. What frustrations, limitations or challenges do they face with your service? What areas of your business could be optimised or streamlined with automated A2P messaging? 

If you can solve these challenges by sending a text message straight to their mobile, A2P SMS is going to add considerable value to your customer and therefore to your business. 

Maybe it’s introducing SMS 2FA to help your customers log in securely, or perhaps it’s appointment reminders that help reduce the number of no-shows you experience.  

Once you’ve identified how you want to implement A2P SMS into your business, then it’s time to choose a messaging provider to partner with that can help ensure your messages reach your customers quickly and securely, enter Soprano…  

Soprano’s A2P SMS solution 

At Soprano, we’ve helped 150+ Fortune 500 companies communicate better with their customers, many of which required an A2P SMS solution. 

Some used our CPaaS platform, Soprano Connect, as an SMS marketing platform while others wanted to set up tailored booking reminders for their unique, intricate customer journeys. 

What they all had in common though, was an area of their business they believed could be improved with the right communication software, they just didn’t always know if that was possible. 

If you’d like to discover whether A2P SMS could help solve the communication challenges you’re experiencing in your business, get in touch with us today and one of our solution specialists will walk you through exactly how we can help.