RCS or SMS, what does the future of digital messaging look like?

With RCS already becoming more mainstream for consumers, businesses are asking themselves, is there room in the future of digital messaging for SMS?

Businesses have been using SMS to connect with their customers for years and with unrivalled results. Here at Textlocal, we have always been advocates of the channel for its direct, yet diverse applications and we’re pleased to say that SMS is by no means redundant it is however evolving.

What is RCS?

RCS builds on the successful foundations of SMS. This latest digital messaging channel transforms the standard content of SMS into a more interactive and engaging way of communicating. So, what exactly can RCS do that takes it above and beyond SMS?

These are just some of the key features that RCS has to offer to businesses already using SMS as a marketing and communications tool. RCS creates a more interactive customer experience, one that appeals to modern consumers who actively seek out seamless digital service.

Why RCS?

RCS presents brands with an opportunity to engage with their customers like never before, using richer content and media. Within just four years, industry leaders estimate that 70% of handsets will be RCS enabled, creating a wider audience of more connected customers.

In addition to this, 74% of consumers say RCS messaging would make them more likely to want to communicate with a brand. The main reason behind the appeal is the ease of use, customers can use quick action buttons to confirm appointments or swipe through image carousels to select their desired product- all within the message itself. 

To use a recent example, an RCS promotion by Subway was tested among a set of their customers last year. Subway reported a 144% increase in redemption rates from RCS promotions compared to the same offer sent via SMS. 

One of our existing customers also benefited from similar results when comparing RCS and SMS campaigns. These are just two examples that prove how the enhanced features and engaging media offered by RCS can have a real impact on conversions.

The future of customer communications

The future of digital messaging isn’t a choice between SMS or RCS, it’s a combination of both. RCS is simply an upgrade to your existing communications, there is no question of either or.

As the next evolution of digital messaging becomes more widely available across newer smartphones and devices, both businesses and consumers will reap the rewards of richer messaging. 

In the meantime, businesses are able to send SMS to those who have yet to adopt or gain access to the web-messaging experience of RCS. By using a combination of both channels, businesses can guarantee their customers receive the right message, at the right time, until RCS is officially rolled out as the native messaging application across all mobile phones. 

If you would like to explore the potential of RCS in more detail you can download our latest guide here. Alternatively, if you have any questions or want to know more about our early adopter program, get in touch with the team today. 

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Over 98% of the text messages sent from our SMS tool are opened and read. That’s unmatched communication power for your business. Try it for yourself.