At a glance:
- Customers prefer communicating with businesses via SMS and are seven times more likely to interact with SMS messages over email.
- At the same time, new regulations are increasing the complexity and cost of SMS.
- Enhanced Business SMS is a carrier-compliant, cost-effective way to send text and multimedia messages from your trusted business number.
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With a 98% open rate compared to email, SMS has become a secret weapon for communicating with customers.
Research shows that not only do most customers say they prefer to communicate via SMS with companies they do business with, they’re also more likely to engage with the messages they receive. Ninety percent view text messages within three minutes of receipt, and consumers are also seven times more likely to engage with SMS vs. email communications.
But increased mobile carrier, regulatory requirements, numerous fees, and delivery challenges add complexity and risk to this powerful medium.
That’s why we’re excited to introduce our new Enhanced Business SMS solution that helps organizations seamlessly send text and multimedia messages to clients and colleagues from any device using your trusted business phone number.
New requirements increase the challenge of using SMS
Like other types of marketing, such as email, SMS has become a heavily regulated channel. In the U.S., businesses that communicate with customers via text must be compliant with state and federal laws, as well as the guidelines of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA).
There are other regulatory requirements, too. For example, SMS sent by healthcare organizations need to be compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
With spam, spoofing, and fraud on the rise, the challenges and costs associated with using this highly effective tool are only increasing. Last year, U.S. mobile carriers established a myriad of new business SMS-specific regulations, including registration requirements, content policies, opt-in/opt-out requirements, and new fees. In other markets, such as Canada, costs and surcharges are also mounting.
These changes are making it more expensive—and also riskier—to use SMS. Violating these regulations, or even sending SMS over the wrong channel, can result in unexpected costs and significant fines.
A new way to deliver winning interactions
RingCentral’s Enhanced Business SMS meets the latest requirements for sending text and multimedia messages. To ensure high deliverability, RingCentral has worked with the carriers and The Campaign Registry (TCR) to make sure every customer’s use case is known and properly registered. However, even with proper registration, numbers are still at risk of being penalized—even blocked or fined—if they send the wrong messages. To help prevent RingCentral customers from being penalized, we’re building out numerous enhancements to catch these messages and help you stay compliant, potentially saving you thousands of dollars in fines, and helping to ensure your messages get to your intended recipient.
Along with working to ensure deliverability, we also focus on transparency. Admins can see SMS logs in the Admin Portal, and we are working to bring even more transparency and understanding to help you better communicate with your customers.
Why use Enhanced Business SMS?
How will Enhanced Business SMS improve companies’ ability to leverage this key communications channel? Here are some important benefits.
Use a phone number customers recognize
As spoofing and spam calls and texts become more common, customers are becoming less likely to trust inbound messages. But RingCentral Enhanced Business SMS allows you to send messages using your existing number—one that customers recognize, can easily verify, and know they can trust.
Avoid fines for non-compliance
While new SMS regulations are intended to improve trust and deliverability, they add potential risk and deliverability issues for businesses that want to communicate via text.
Enhanced Business SMS is carrier compliant. RingCentral ensures that all numbers are vetted and registered with TCR, and ensures that your SMS are sent over the proper carrier channel, eliminating the risk of a $10/message fine for non-compliance. Advanced intelligent systems also help prevent prohibited messages or messages the carriers are likely to flag, also helping prevent you from being penalized for your SMS messages.
Transparent, predictable pricing
Enhanced Business SMS marks a change to how messages are billed. With some other providers, new hidden SMS fees may come as an unpleasant surprise in the form of surcharges, cost recovery fees, or other costs—even charges for unused SMS!
Our Enhanced Business SMS solution makes pricing clearer, more predictable, and more affordable. Customers receive a set monthly allowance of messages and are only charged once that threshold is exceeded. To give our customers the most value, your allowance is pooled at the account level, meaning you’re not penalized for team members that use more SMS, and you don’t lose the SMS for those that use less. And once you’ve exhausted your pooled allowance, excess SMS are charged at a competitive flat rate of $0.0085 USD per message sent or received for U.S. customers and $0.0095 CAD for inbound and $0.019 CAD for outbound SMS for Canadian businesses.
More ways to reach customers
Enhanced Business SMS allows users to take advantage of RingCentral’s rich app ecosystem and APIs offerings to do more with their messages.
Whether using the RingCentral app, a third-party integration, or the API, voice, video, and fax are built in, providing greater functionality and more unified communications data. That means your customers can quickly respond using their preferred method, all from a single number with no additional setup or programming required.
Simpler SMS communications with more transparent billing
New regulations may be making it more complicated—and potentially costly—to communicate via SMS, but that doesn’t mean businesses should scale back this important channel.
With the introduction of heightened regulations, RingCentral is making managing SMS communications simpler, smarter, and more transparent. You can learn how to do more with SMS here.
Originally published Feb 14, 2022, updated Dec 30, 2022