What’s A2P and what does it mean?

July 31, 2015


Firstly, here are some definitions you’ll need to know, A2P refers to Application-to-Person, P2P to Person-to-Person and OTT to Over-the-top messaging.

Marketing allows a variety of ways to connect with prospective clients and retain existing customers having few limits although, there are some systems, which make more sense than others.

Business’s can connect with their customers in diverse ways and across many channels, however one of the most proven and effective means is through cellular communication. There are approximately 4.88 Billion mobile users worldwide – that means 4.88 Billion people have their phone on them at almost every moment of the day.

Quite a large percentage of these people would also have internet connectivity options – be it a data bundle, or connecting through wifi. Many people are now using their phones as their primary means of accessing the internet.

Internet connectivity has, over recent years, led to the development and specialisation of OTT applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, iMessage, and Viber. These work to provide easy and instant communication between people (P2P). That’s where the name over the top comes from – the application piggybacks onto the existing data at no extra cost to the user.

While OTT is great for P2P communication it’s debatable whether or not it’s useful for A2P communication. Some have gone as far to say that OTT messaging applications will bring about the death of A2P, but we don’t think so.

1. Not everyone has an internet connection

It’s true that many people have internet connection, but not everyone with a phone has data. So by using text messages you’ll be sure to reach the people you want to reach whether or not they’re online.

2. You will engage the majority of your consumers

The exact figure would be 98% – but that’s still pretty impressive! Especially as we don’t mean that you’ll reach 98% of your audience, because 98% is the open rate for text messages. That means that a high majority of your clients you send your text message to will read what you’ve got to say.

3. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel

The infrastructure for text messaging already exists you, won’t need to create anything. No need for fancy apps and systems – just use what’s already there effectively and you’ll quickly strike gold!

4. All you need is a mobile number

It’s that simple! As long as you’ve got a person’s mobile number you’ll be able to contact them. To your advantage you don’t need to educate them on the ins and outs of a new software, they’ve already got all they need and know how to use it.

5. The Return On Investment (ROI) is simple to calculate and understand.

Text messaging plans are cost effective. You already know how much it will cost you to send a message and since you’re not investing your money in a system such as an app, which may or may not work, you’re not running any risks of making a loss. It’s easy to set your rate of investment and easy to monitor how things are going.

6. You won’t have to combat app fatigue

App fatigue is defined by when people are no longer interested in apps. Basically they’ve been bombarded with a variety of apps, have downloaded them, tested them, and then left them abandoned. Eventually users will only have about 3-5 apps that they use on a daily basis and which are essential, all other apps get neglected and perhaps even deleted. By using text messaging you’re sure that you won’t have any of these issues.

7. A2P can support an App

That’s right, you can use A2P to support an app you might have, however you can’t do the reverse. So while you might be able to link to the download page of an app in your text message you can’t quite tell people to check their text messages when using an app.

After looking at this you might start to realise why A2P won’t be going anywhere for now and why it’s still highly relevant.

Whether it’s the text message you receive after every credit card purchase, the message alerting you of the latest sales, or the two step authentication process for logging into an account – A2P has proven to be useful over and over again. What’s more is that there are certain functions that cannot quite be replaced.

So a good A2P messaging platform paired with a strong and carefully planned messaging strategy can easily help boost your business’ campaigns and help them reach their full potential.

In a world that’s so clearly gone digital it’s sometimes useful to remember that the most basic means of communication, a simple text message, can be the most effective.



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