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Marketer's Guide to Viber Messaging: Why is It Better than SMS?

Irina Podorvan
11 January, 2022

If you decide to read this article, you are probably considering adopting Viber as another channel to reach out to your customers. However, if your business is just at launch or lacks funding, you hardly know if it’s a needful investment.
People heavily rely on Viber in their daily lives. Seeing promo at such a personal frontier may be very annoying for a good many. Therefore, the first thing you need is your customers’ explicit consent to hear from you.
Read how Viber marketing software can boost your e-commerce and retail efforts.

What is the use of Viber?

Launched back in 2010, acquired by Rakuten for $900 million in 2014, Viber company keeps its basic functionality free, only the Internet connection is required. The service has become popular in the gaming industry, IT and online services, e-commerce, medium and small businesses, transport companies, finances, insurance, and retail.
The VoIP Viber Out feature makes it more about calling, including international. Here, we’re not going to walk through its interface ― its authentic Help Page comprehensively explains everything.

Safe To Use

Putting security first fosters trust. When a confidentiality breach occurs in an eye blink, people seek privacy protection. Viber is an end-to-end encrypted messaging app. Its server itself can never read anything sent out.
Viber is a GDPR-compliant confidential texting app: chats or calls are stored on its servers only while the message is being transmitted. Users can even delete anything they regret about sending out.

Popular

Viber is a channel still underrated by the marketers demonstrating exceptional growth. 820 million people actively use it monthly (compared to 260 million in 2019). Many of them, notably, under momentum call those conversations “Viber SMS” despite many differences between the two.
You can send bulk messages in Viber to over a billion registered users. They spend on average over 35 minutes in the app and send over 30 messages daily. Every single minute, over 7 million interactions.

Deliverability and CTR

Viber campaigns delivery rate comes close to 100% regardless of recipient’s OS. Almost 90% of messages are opened within 3 minutes of being received. Half of the recipients click through to the company’s website including 16% clicking Purchase. 32% spread an ad to the close ones.
Adopting Viber for business you combine the instant nature of SMS with the rich messaging, targeted links, and calls-to-action featured by bulk email.

A broad range of opportunities

  • Viber Communities create engagement and brand recognition. Having the Viber for Business Account, a company can build a fan page: invite new participants, amuse them with regular updates and vibrant creative content. People like to react with emojis and gladly share it with their friends. Polls feature is another great way to interact with followers.
  • Post-call ads. People enjoy free Viber calls, especially international. Short and concise Viber text ad after the call effortlessly grabs attention. When the user clicks to shop, they automatically become a part of your Viber Community. Other options include banners and desktop ads.
  • Promo Stickers are particularly popular among Gen Z who are now becoming the workforce thus gaining purchasing power. One-third of users send stickers every day. By downloading your sticker-pack people also join your Viber Community and you appear in their contact list. Creating branded and unique stickers, obviously, requires expanding your budget. They aren’t a strong lead-generator, but they raise your brand awareness.
Switch from SMS to Viber to boost customer interaction

Where do Viber users live?

Viber supports over 40 languages and its market covers 190 countries. It is actively utilized non-uniformly across the globe. But in the regions where it is popular, it definitely outperforms. Its audience is concentrated in Eastern Europe and Asia.

It has outpaced competitors in Ukraine, Greece, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Lithuania, Cyprus, and Albania in terms of downloads. It is also popular in Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, and Herzegovina. Asian countries where Viber is also picking up the steam include the Philippines, Myanmar, Libya, Iraq, and Sri Lanka.

But it is most popular in Ukraine ― a whopping 97% of Ukrainian Android users had Viber installed in the outgoing year.

So, if your customers are in some of those regions, you should really consider Viber to connect with them.

Alongside their location, we suggest breaking down your customers by:

  • occupation
  • purchase amount
  • items bought
  • key inquiries
  • date of birth (to congratulate them on birthdays), etc.

Thoughtfully arranged contact lists and subsequent messaging personalization might save you up to 46% of your marketing expenses.

Why is Viber better than SMS?

  • Affordable alternative

Compare Viber to regular text message service in terms of length. The latter has a tight limit: 160 Latin and 70 Cyrillic chars in one piece. Viber allows for 335 and 1000 respectively. But above all, SMS are charged piece by piece, while Viber requires only the Internet. And if for some reason the Wi-Fi connection is lost, the BSG corporate Viber service will forward a message to a conventional SMS!

  • Real-time

Trends show that customers choose to communicate directly and on the go. With standard SMS, there is usually a delay between receiving information and the answer, an asynchronous communication. While such conversations are more precise and extremely fast.

  • Exceptional appearance

Not only Viber fits in more characters than SMS. You are capable and really should enhance your Viber text message with clickable images, short URLs, emoticons, buttons, GES, and more aesthetic and convenient options. They will look identically across the board and give a pleasant overall feel. Insightfully visualized content of your business messages with Viber will spark consumers’ interest and motivate them to close a deal.

Viber for business

Best Practices for Businesses to Use Viber for Marketing

That being said, The Viber Business section may appear quite perplexing. It has two types of accounts and a bunch of unique marketing products: In-App Search, Scan Codes, integration with payment sites, etc. 

Viber Business allows businesses to send messages to the phone numbers, convenient for large companies dispatching thousands of transactional messages, like two-factor authentication or status alerts.

But Viber Business Messages basic functionality costs about 300 Euro which by no means every business can afford. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need neither to have a Viber Business Messages account, nor to even set up Viber

Here’s how Viber works when you delegate communications to BSG Mobile Virtual Network Operator.

What advantages will you receive with BSG?

  • Individual sender name increases loyalty to your brand.
  • Only actually delivered messages are charged.
  • Multichannel SMS fallback is provided for the case of Internet connection loss.
  • Clickable link or phone number allows your clients to instantly contact you or go to your website.
  • Adding UTM tags to business messages for conversion tracking.
  • In-depth analytics ― detailed reports on the campaign results.

Who can use the service?

Any legal entity who has signed an agreement and filled out a questionnaire for assigning the BSG official company account. 

Note that we provide Viber for business service only to the companies whose customers have explicitly agreed to receive information via short text messages.

What types of messages can you send?

1. Promotional:

  • promos
  • welcome
  • advertisements
  • messages combining greeting and advertising/promotional content
  • messages combining information about completed operations and advertising/promotional content
  • other messages (except for transactional), to which the subscriber has provided explicit written consent.

2. Transactional

Personal service and transactional messages of a non-advertising nature, conveying information about a specific transaction performed for a specific user. Users’ prior explicit written consent is also required. Examples:

  • order processing
  • delivery status updates
  • transactions with user accounts
  • messages about debiting/receiving funds etc.

How to launch the bulk Viber campaign with BSG?

  1. Register or sign in at BSG online platform.
  2. Our managers contact you to clarify details and conditions.
  3. You fill out a questionnaire, an agreement, and a letter of guarantee. All those are coordinated. At this stage, you choose the sending method: either via the BSG web platform or via our Viber SMS integration.

Viber messaging service provides for a mandatory minimum volume of delivered messages per month from each registered Viber ID. It depends on the recipients’ country.

  1. We sign the documents, and the manager sends your company name to Viber for registration.
  2. As soon as the name is registered and activated in your account, you can launch your first bulk Viber campaign with BSG.

Summing up

When you send a message with Viber via the BSG platform you occupy the most useful place to show advertisements ― customer’s Viber chat screen. 

Real-time conversations, chats, engagements, all interactive digital marketing things comprise the Viber marketing strategy. 

If it’s properly implemented, its results leave SMS marketing performance quite behind and build your both local and global presence.

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