A2P messaging (Application-To-Person)- refers to SMS (Short Message Service) messages that are sent to a person through a software program; as opposed to P2P (Person-To-Person) messaging, which is when one person sends a text message to another person.
Some simple examples of A2P messaging, that you've likely experienced, are text notifications from different services you use, or verification codes being sent to your phone when trying to log into one of your online accounts.
Unlike P2P messaging, A2P is a one-way messaging system. This means that the recipient has limited, or no interaction with the application that is messaging them. The purpose of A2P messaging is to send quick, simple, and small amounts of information to a consumer base.
Businesses can use A2P messaging to have fast and immediate interactions with their customers. You can use it to offer them extra account security, keep them connected to services they are using, and provide them with relevant information.
What Does The A2P Market Look Like In 2019?
In the last few years, A2P messaging has been gaining further traction with businesses as an affordable and effective way to reach customers. According to a study by Juniper research, the expected number of enterprise A2P messages to be sent in 2019 is more than 2.5 trillion, with 3.5 trillion estimated to be sent by 2023.
A2P is also expected to have broad use across all different sorts of sectors. For example, RCS (Rich Communications Suite) messaging - which is popular among marketers and retail - is predicted to grow by 290% each year for the next four years - and that only accounts for 2% of all A2P traffic predicted to take place between 2019 and 2023.
A2P is expected to grow more than just about any other kind of means of customer engagement. Already consumers are interacting with A2P messages more than company apps, and SMS messages have a 98% chance of being read by the recipient.
A2P Messaging Predictions
The biggest challenge of A2P messaging at the enterprise level is fragmentation within the market. Because SMS is sent across cellular networks, sending these messages at scale across the world can be difficult without a global cellular provider.
Despite these challenges, traditional SMS is still predicted to be the most effective way to engage with customers for the foreseeable future.
RCS - an alternative to SMS - only represents roughly 56 billion of the 3.5 trillion A2P messages expected to be sent over the next four years. Similarly, OTT - which includes instant messengers like WhatsApp - will only make up around 7% of A2P messages within this timeframe. This means that more so than any other form of communication, SMS is expected to reign supreme in A2P.
A2P messaging is expected to play a role in giving businesses faster and simpler ways of interfacing with one another. This means that even for businesses that don't interact with the general consumer base, A2P could still play a significant role in the future of their company.
Aside from a fragmented market, SMS spam and phishing are expected to affect the effectiveness of A2P messaging slightly by bringing down the credibility of SMS messages in the eyes of consumers. This is already starting to create new needs within the telecom industry, pushing service providers to look at new ways of keeping messages secure and authentic.
The Benefits Of A2P Messaging
The most important benefit of A2P messaging for businesses is its high engagement-rate, especially when compared to other means of consumer outreach. Emails, for example, are only opened by the recipient 20% of the time, meaning that 80% of what a business invests into email marketing is likely going to waste. SMS messages, on the other hand, are opened 98% of the time, providing companies with a substantially higher ROI.
OFFERS BENEFITS TO CUSTOMERS
SMS messages also have a lot to offer for a business's customers. They can be used to increase security, provide simple updates on their account status, and offer unique deals, experiences, and recommendations.
EASY TO REACH CONSUMERS
While SMS messaging can be difficult without a global provider, it's the most flexible way to reach consumers. Individuals can receive SMS messages regardless of what brand of phone they have and don't have to have a smartphone to interact with them.
SIMPLE AND SAFE
For consumers, SMS messages are one of the simplest ways to stay in touch with a service. They're fast and only contain a small, easy to understand the amount of information. Not only that but for the most part, SMS is extremely safe. While SMS fraud is on the rise, it pales in comparison to malicious email practices, giving consumers a high level of trust with this kind of business outreach.
Enterprise A2P messaging is one of the fastest growing and most promising ways for businesses to engage with consumers. When implemented correctly, it is one of the simplest, most efficient ways to reach customers, and it's only expected to grow from here on out.
To help you better understand the A2P messaging market, we created a short infographic comparison between the two possible messaging channels. Download to learn more.