Do you know about RCS? The "SMS of the future!"

About ten days ago, I met Mary-lou RAULT and Julien Bruant of the company MTarget.

MTarget is a French company that exists since 2006. They are mobile solution providers and manage channels such as SMS, voice, email and whatsapp. They offer these channels for classic marketing uses (push promotions, point of sale traffic generation), transactional and conversational.

Speaking of the conversational issue, we got to talking about whatsapp and RCS... the what??

The RCS is the SMS 2.0, the SMS of the future... or even... the AMP of the SMS version of email!

RCS. This acronym stands for Rich Communication Service.
For the timeline:

  • First there was the good old 160-character SMS.
  • Then, the enriched SMS with the possibility to insert a short link and to send to a mobile landing page.
  • And now there is the RCS!
    Well, the RCS technology is not new at all, it has been around for 10 years... but the market launch is now! (in France, because in the US it is already on the market)

So, what does the RCS look like?

With the RCS, there is no need for a short link.
You can integrate visuals, videos, carousels, directly inside the SMS.
Recipients can directly interact with the brand by clicking on buttons and end up buying without leaving the SMS. (that's why I say it's theAMP of the email SMS version ;-))

Visual of
  • MTarget has made a small video to see what it can do:

Benefits of RCS:

  • Already it's interactive, it's alive, it's beautiful !
  • It is the same opt-in as the SMS ! so if you already have SMS opt-ins, it's easy
  • For Android owners, just update the SMS application (no need to download anything)
  • It is even more memorable than a classic SMS (already a SMS can be very effective if it is well used)
  • the conversion rate is 1.5 times that of a classic SMS campaign.

Brakes to date:

  • The RCS is currently only eligible on Android (starting with the lollipop version), so you need to measure the share of your contacts who have this equipment (in your routing toolsyou must have this information)
  • Telecom operators have yet to unveil their pricing. The first operators to have unveiled their pricing have set the price of the RCS at 1.5x the price of the SMS (hum...not stupid).

Conclusive tests!

MTarget has been selected by Google to join its Early Access Program for the deployment of RCS in Europe.

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So, MTarget is currently running POCs with its customers, including Domino's Pizza.
To measure the power of the RCS, they perform the traditional A/B test :

  • A population of contacts receives the Pizza offer via classic SMS
  • Another population of contacts (RCS eligible), receives the same offer via RCS.

Just imagine.
You receive a Dominos Pizza SCR, with a promotion on your favorite pizzas.
You see these tempting pizzas scroll by in a carousel.
Just below, a button "I order".
It is noon.
Your stomach is rumbling.
You press.

The transformer is, it seems, bluffing compared to a classic SMS.

Tomorrow, RCS will become eligible on more versions of Android (and, who knows, maybe Apple). We can only imagine the power of this channel. The cost of RCS is not negligible. But if the investment is worth it, RCS could well become the SMS of the future! (And it's quite possible that operators will lower their costs in the years to come!)

So you want to test the RCS on your CRM database?

The set up is not very long. Count 3 weeks/1 month to be large. Like SMS, you have to go through a solution aggregator partner who will make the RCS declarations and will take care of the routing of the RCS to each operator (you have to declare your logo, the name of your brand, the phone number, your website, etc...).

So potentially, there is still a way to test for Christmas!

If you want more info, do not hesitate to contact us !

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