What is SMS in 2021? |

6 min

Feb 12, 2021

1 094

The first SMS was sent in 1992, and it didn't change much since then, though. The basics of text messages remain the same.

SMS is still relevant as a communication tool these days, and we'll tell you why it is. A marketing paradox has come to the force: the more means become available to reach people, the harder it gets to do so.

SMS returns as a reliable marketing channel

We run more and more ad campaigns on social media, sending emails creating more ad copies to reach out. For instance, Twitter users post hundreds of millions of tweets daily.

Customer acquisition costs money since there hasn't been a useful marketing tool created lately. Digital marketers use the same old techniques to reach people they had used a decade ago.

What about SMS? It's an old-school marketing channel. Companies have been sending ads via SMS since the early noughties. But it is becoming more and more popular these days. Companies search for some new ways of reaching their customers and eventually get back to text messages. The research shows that receiving a message or letter from a brand is something people expect for.

Let's figure out why it happens.

The use cases for SMS

SMS marketing. SMS is a sort of a versatile tool. Fintech companies use SMS to show their customers tips on saving money. There are millions of clients of such companies, hence millions of text messages.

So SMS can become a primary communication channel for some brands and generate big money for them. The reports show that more than half of companies will be heavily investing in their text marketing this year.

A large majority of companies will shell out on SMS marketing in 2021. So text messages don't look outdated now. It's like a recurring trend.

There are good chances that your customers have a mobile phone. Even though most people use their devices for calls and social media, some of them send and receive text messages from fake number.

Users don't ignore text messages. People get hundreds of marketing messages every day – be it Facebook or TV commercials. The ad fatigue grows, and it gets difficult for marketers to get their message across. But SMS messages are guaranteed to be read. An average SMS burner campaign gets a 45% of conversion rate. An average open rate tends to 100% to draw a comparison. CTR is about 20%.

But the drawback of email marketing is that SMS messages are short and only contain 136 characters per message. And you cannot pack a lot of information into it.

Text messages are used for account verification

Online companies, from Google and Facebook to Amazon, send text messages to confirm user registration via SMS verification messages.

They also use SMS for password recovery purposes. When people add their phone numbers to their accounts, online service then can send an SMS, should they forget their passwords.

It's a part of a two-step verification method along with a password. The codes users receive in SMS act like an additional layer of security. So, it makes your social media and email accounts more secure.

Some online platforms might use it to avoid bot activity. When you register an account on Google, the service sends you a code to make sure you're not a bot of a sort.

They also send confirmation codes to verify the identity, not allow a perpetrator to use your account. And avoid in this way stealing your identity and other data.

Text messages for transaction confirmation

Text messages are used for authorization of individual transactions. Payment services like Visa and Mastercard send customers messages when purchasing or paying for using some services. So, in this way, SMS is used as a way of protection. Financial services also use SMS for financial alerts.

1. There is a lot of evidence why SMS is still important

So, we've listed the factors that contribute to the importance of SMS. In terms of marketing, traditional marketing channels continue to decline. People are bombarded by ads on social media and other online places. That's why brands get back to basics: return to the tried and tested method of sending SMS newsletters to their customers. As already mentioned, another factor is security. Online services cannot do without SMS to confirm users. In turn, it's convenient for users to get back access to their accounts using text messages since their phones are always at hand.

2. Use virtual phone numbers for registration

You don't have to use your personal phone number to register another email on Google or a second user profile on Facebook. There are online services that allow you to register accounts using virtual numbers, sending and receiving text messages from fake numbers. One of the best services to do it is OnlineSIM. You can use this company's virtual numbers to receive an SMS for free for your second social media account, for instance. Use a free phone number receive text message.

Just copy a number you received in your account on OnlineSIM and paste it to the registration page on a social media app or another online service like Steam. Then you'll get SMS messages in your OnlineSIM account. Copy it to the registration page. And that's it. You are done. Now you can use your other account. There's no need to buy another SIM-card and pay a monthly fee.

OnlineSIM company has proprietary software with SIM cards, which allows its users to see confirmation codes in their accounts on the website. In this way, you can register on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, Yahoo, Gmail, Uber, Tinder, and the likes.

What about security?

When you select a country and a phone number, you can use it for some time, from 10 minutes to an hour; the exact time depends on the chosen country. This short-term phone number rent allows you to get an unlimited number of text messages and only from the selected online service. So, if somebody has registered on Facebook using a number in question before, you won't be able to register on the service using the same number again. You can get some other phone numbers.

There's also a long term number rent option, which allows you to use your virtual number for one day and more. You can buy a longer-term period. Using this option, you can get an unlimited SMS from any online service during a given time.


SMS is still relevant as a communication tool nowadays. It's an old-school marketing channel. Companies have been sending ads via SMS for many years. SMS returns as a reliable marketing channel, and text messages more popular for transaction confirmation. All your SMS can be protected if you choose an OnlineSim service. Find out why in our material.