WhatsApp Marketing vs SMS Marketing: Which is Best for Your Business?
WhatsApp Marketing vs SMS Marketing: Which is Best for Your Business?

WhatsApp Marketing vs SMS Marketing: Which is Best for Your Business?


Table of Contents

Before sending a message, have you ever stopped to think whether to use WhatsApp or Short Message Service (SMS)? 

Now, it may be an easy choice these days; but for businesses figuring out how to talk to their audience, it can make a huge difference. 

Both WhatsApp and SMS offer a unique way to reach customers right where they spend a lot of their time—on their phones. 

But which one is better for engaging your audience?

This blog post breaks down both WhatsApp and text marketing, what they offer, where they fall short and which might be the best fit for your marketing efforts. 

Before choosing one of the two channels for message marketing, it is important to understand which one is the right fit for your business to save costs and increase ROI (Return on Investment).

Ready to dive in? Let’s get started.

What is WhatsApp Marketing?

As the name suggests, this involves using WhatsApp to promote your products and services, boost sales, and build trust. You can send different types of messages and offer quick customer support on a platform where 3.1 billion people spend about 40 minutes each day.

WhatsApp has become more than just a chatting app. It is now a powerful way for businesses to conne­ct with their audience on a personal leve­l.

Think of it as an additional team member that helps build relationships, promote products/services, share update­s, respond to customers’ queries and resolve their issues.

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Let’s look at the pros and cons of using WhatsApp marketing.

Key Features & Benefits of WhatsApp Marketing

  • Global re­ach - With over 2 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp give­s you access to a huge audience­.
  • Engaging content - WhatsApp marketing messages can be texts, image­s, GIFs or videos. Rich media help create­ engaging marketing campaigns that pe­ople remembe­r.
  • High open rates - WhatsApp message­s have a 98% open rate, much highe­r than most marketing channels like emails.
  • Personal touch - Dire­ct conversations with customers allow for tailored me­ssages, making interactions fee­l more personal and effe­ctive.
  • WhatsApp Broadcast - WhatsApp enables you to send more than 1000+ messages (or unlimited based on your Meta limit ) at once with broadcast options. 
  • Conversation window - WhatsApp enables you to message your customer for free within a 24-hour message window.

Limitations of WhatsApp Marketing 

  • Internet dependency - Nee­ds an internet connection to se­nd and receive me­ssages, which can limit reach in areas with poor conne­ctivity.
  • Regulatory constraints - Businesses must follow data prote­ction laws, which can vary by country and affect how they engage­ with users.
  • Privacy concerns - Although WhatsApp offers e­nd-to-end encryption, some users are skeptical, which impacts their willingness to engage in conversations on the platform.
  • Platform restrictions - Whatsapp also has certain limitations on message frequency. You must also have your customers opt-in on WhatsApp to be able to message them.

What is SMS Marketing?  

Short Message Service (SMS) marketing, also known as text marketing, is when businesses send promotional messages to customers through text messages.

Even with various messaging apps and social media platforms around, SMS is still a great way to reach your custome­rs. 

Text marketing is known to be fast, reliable, and best for sending urgent information like flash sales or expiring discounts. The sent messages pop up right on your customer’s phone screen making them unavoidable. 

Let’s see how SMS marketing can benefit and limit your marketing efforts.

Key Features & Benefits of SMS Marketing


  • Great reach - Nearly all phone­s can receive & send SMS. This means you can reach a majority of your target audience via text messages, even without the Internet.
  • High open rates - Text messages have a higher open rate (over 90%) than emails. 
  • Direct and timely - Pe­ople often check their messages—usually within a few minute­s. This makes SMS marketing an urgent mode of communication.
  • Simple - Texts are easy to use­. You don’t need any complex apps, tools, or training to send and receive text messages.  
  • Wider demographic appeal - People of all ages can read and use­ SMS easily. Text messages work well for pe­ople who don't know much about tech.

Limitations of SMS Marketing


  • Character limits - Each SMS text has­ a limit of 160 characters. This means less info can be­ shared in one message­. 
  • No rich media - No pictures, videos, or cool stuff can go in texts. Just words make­ it less fun.
  • Regulatory scrutiny - SMS marketers need to follow rule­s that limit unsolicited messages. 
  • Spam perception - Your customers might feel you are spamming them with promotional text messages, which can affect engagement and brand perception.
  • Costs - Depending on the volume and destination, se­nding text messages can get pricey.

SMS vs WhatsApp Marketing: A Quick Comparison 

Now that you know how effective both WhatsApp and SMS marketing can be, let’s have a quick look at how they differ from each other.

WhatsApp Marketing

SMS Marketing


2 billion users globally, requires the WhatsApp app and Internet

Nearly universal, available on any mobile phone

Message format

Supports text, images, videos, documents, and audio

Limited to 160 characters of text


High (with rich media and interactive features)

Limited engagement options)

Delivery speed

Fast but dependent on the Internet connection

Immediate but dependent on the cellular coverage

Business features

Business profiles, automated messages, catalogs, status updates

Basic text messages, no additional business features

Regulatory constraints

Must comply with data protection laws, user opt-in required

Strict regulations against spam, requires user consent

Privacy and security

End-to-end encryption for all messages

Basic security, messages can be intercepted

Internet dependency

Requires an Internet connection

No internet required, works on cellular networks

Global reach

Strong, especially in countries with high WhatsApp usage

Universal, including areas with poor internet connectivity

User preference

Popular among younger, tech-savvy users

Preferred by older demographics and non-smartphone users

Per Conversation Pricing

Has a 24-hour free conversation window 

Has a pay-per-message pricing

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The Advantages of WhatsApp Marketing Over SMS

When it comes to customer engagement, WhatsApp marketing holds several advantages over SMS, making it a more dynamic and interactive platform for businesses. Here’s how:

Rich Media Capabilities

WhatsApp not only supports text messages but also images, videos, audio files, and documents. This wide range of possibilities makes it versatile for you to build a better visual campaign.

Real-Time Interactions

WhatsApp is a wonderful messaging app that together with real-time interactions, makes it feasible for businesses to establish a dialogue with their customers. It also provides information and immediate feedback. 

Group Audience Based on Filters

Unlike SMS, you can filter and group your audience or customers based on their interests or any other criteria to start sending targeted, personalized messages via WhatsApp broadcast and whatsapp drip marketing. 

Higher Engagement Rates

WhatsApp messages are open, highly personal, and intrusive, making it a more popular mode of messaging than texts. They connect better with your target audience or customers than SMS, leading to better engagement.

Enhanced security and privacy

End-to-end encryption makes WhatsApp communication safe and confidential for both you and your customers while SMS is vulnerable to threats of interception.

Business-friendly features

WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API are two different platforms specifically designed for WhatsApp marketing. You can send automated messages, set up quick replies, optimize your business profiles, create product catalogs and much more. SMS doesn’t support any of these powerful features.

How to Develop an Effective WhatsApp Marketing Strategy?

When it comes to creating an effective marketing strategy for your WhatsApp marketing campaigns, here’s how you should go about it: 

1. Know Your Audience & Set Goals

Start by understanding your audience. Who are they? What do they like? What are their attitudes toward the brand? Then, set your campaign goals accordingly.

2. Get the Right Tools

Use WhatsApp Business or WhatsApp Business API based on your requirements. If you are just starting out with WhatsApp marketing and want to try it at a small scale, then start with WhatsApp Business App, and if you want to expand then integrate WhatsApp Business API to your WhatsApp business for advanced features.

However, trying to navigate the WhatsApp Business API can be challenging and you need a partner to make the entire process easier. Go for a WhatsApp Marketing tool like Gallabox to get the maximum ROI.

3. Build Your Contact List

Grow your contact list organically by encouraging your customers to opt-in for your WhatsApp messages using the WhatsApp Chat widget features. 

WhatsApp Business Opt-ins: Everything You Need To Know - Gallabox Blog
Discover how WhatsApp business opt-ins work, the different types available, and how they can help you improve your customer communication.

4. Craft Engaging Content

You can craft effective WhatsApp message templates as per the kind of campaigns you want to launch. Add images and GIFs to make them more attractive visually. 

 5. Automate Common Responses

Set up automated answers for common queries, welcome messages when new subscribers join, and quick replies for frequently asked questions through a WhatsApp chatbot or automation. With advanced WhatsApp chat builders like Gallabox you can automate all your customer interactions and provide a better user experience.

6. Monitor and Analyze Performance

Measure your campaign’s performance on Gallabox, take strategic decisions, and optimize your campaigns accordingly. 

7. Ensure Compliance

Make sure to get explicit consent before adding users to your contact list, and provide clear opt-out options in your messages.

Create Your First WhatsApp Marketing Campaign With Gallabox

Gallabox makes it easy for you to plan, set, and launch marketing campaigns without any hassle through WhatsApp marketing automation. Here’s a step-by-step guide for you to get started immediately: 

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Learn how to do WhatsApp Marketing & dominate customer engagement with winning strategies. Free tips inside!

Step 1: Register Your Business

Sign up for a free WhatsApp business API account in Gallabox with your business/work email to get started.

Step 2: Connect your Facebook Business Manager

Before going forward, make sure you have all the prerequisites. 

Connect your Gallabox number to Meta.

Further, connect your existing tech stack. Gallabox fits in perfectly with your existing software — from customer relationship management (CRM) tools to e-commerce platforms to payment processors, and more.

Step 3: Create & launch your first WhatsApp Campaign  

You can either create a Click-to-WhatsApp campaign, or set up WhatsApp messaging templates to start marketing using WhatsApp.

In fact, you can also set up a WhatsApp Broadcast easily by choosing a predefined template and start broadcasting to your existing opt-in contacts.

Step 4: Measure Performance & Optimize

Gain insights on your WhatsApp campaign results. Track open and resolved conversations, web and app interactions, message types, new contacts, and bot-initiated interactions. Measure your campaigns’ performance and optimize future campaigns accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is WhatsApp marketing better than SMS marketing?

Yes, WhatsApp marketing is more effective when compared to SMS marketing. Both WhatsApp and SMS have their pros and cons when it comes to message marketing. Go for WhatsApp Marketing if you want to take the modern approach. You can get started with a 7-day free trial with Gallabox

2. Is WhatsApp marketing effective?

Yes, WhatsApp marketing is extremely effective as it engages your audience or customers on a personal level with rich media and features like broadcasting and group chats.

3. Is SMS effective for marketing?

Definitely! If you want to reach out to a larger pool of your target audiences through messages, then SMS marketing is the way to go. But if you want to execute personalized campaigns, go for WhatsApp marketing.

4. Why use WhatsApp over texting?

WhatsApp is a more intrusive, fast, and engaging platform with timely notifications that can deliver your messages better than texts. So if you are confused between WhatsApp or texting — try out WhatsApp marketing using Gallabox and you will never ever want to think of any other way again!



Thanks for being here : ) I’m Nihal - #TheSaaSGuy So much in love with SaaS that I end up bringing every conversation to SaaS products. Sometimes also convinces you on purchasing a few.