Q: We hear a lot about SMS and apps. What do you suggest for the small- to medium-sized business?

First, let’s make clear that apps are not for every business. In fact, unless an app is your business, I would not recommend making a stand-alone app for your business.

Yes, the majority of time spent on a mobile device is inside apps. But that time is dominated by the major players in the space, Facebook, Instagram, and the Weather Channel.

It is hard to build an audience for a new app.

If you want your app to work on both iOS and Android phones, you’ll need to create two versions of it.

Quality production of an app is expensive. You can easily spend over $10,000 on app development. If you decide to use a turn-key app, expect only a few downloads,  and low monthly active users because people really only use apps that add value to their lives or their social relationships.

SMS on the other hand is a great solution for a majority of businesses. It’s relatively cheap and as long as you stay consistent, your engagement levels will remain high. SMS works like this. Your audience gives you permission to text message them. You tell them up front what content to expect from you and then you deliver that content. Just make sure that if you are pushing out links to content on your website that it is optimized for mobile screens.