A2P vs. P2P Text Messaging: One Texting Service to Reach Them All

Kevin D. Hendricks
A2P vs. P2P Text Messaging: One Texting Service to Reach Them All

With the astronomical open rates and response rates, plus the ability to reach mobile phones anywhere, text messaging is a big communication win. But once you get people to opt-in and share their cell phone number, texting works best when it’s personal. That’s why you need a peer texting platform instead of relying on bulk texts alone.

Make sure your texting service allows peer-to-peer text messaging: You want to respond to replies.

Bulk Texting vs. Peer-to-Peer Texting

So there are two types of texts? Yes. Let’s explain the difference between these two approaches to short message service (SMS) texting:

  • Application to person (A2P) text messaging is mass texting.
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) texting is one person texting another person.

So A2P text messaging is when you broadcast a message to a large group. It could be a political campaign doing broad outreach or a nonprofit doing advocacy work. It could be a bulk SMS reminder on election day to boost voter turnout, a school sending event reminders, or a shoutout from a nonprofit organization to increase event attendance and fundraising.

But P2P text messaging is a person-to-person conversation. They’re personalized messages sent in a two-way conversation. So in the example of political texting, it could be answering follow-up questions about a get out the vote message, giving specific details to an individual. For a school, it could be the parent/teacher organization coordinating volunteers. For a nonprofit organization, a P2P texting campaign might take RSVPs for an event, collect data for a contact list, or give reminders about fundraising goals for an upcoming 5K.

Note: Often A2P texting leads to P2P texting. You send out a mass text to your whole list (A2P) but then get replies and respond to each one individually (P2P).

Use a P2P Texting Platform

One of the challenges of text message marketing is that organizations will sometimes use two separate tools, one for A2P texting and one for P2P texting.

That’s a bad idea.

You want a texting platform like Rally that allows you to do both A2P and P2P in the same user interface. It’s way simpler, more user friendly for your team, and saves you from compliance headaches.

Problems with two separate tools:

  • Cost: Two different tools means two different bills. You’re paying extra for overlapping functionality.
  • Compliance issues: Two separate tools doubles the complication when it comes to compliance. You always want to follow the rules, whether it’s the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) or the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Separate tools means an opt-out in one must be opted out in the other, and you’ll need to make those changes manually.
  • No replies: If you’re using two separate tools, it’s because your A2P tool doesn’t allow replies. Why are you even texting if you can’t reply? It’s a conversational medium and you need to have two-way conversations.

Reply With Rally

It’s so important to reply in text messages because you’re building a relationship. Getting real-time responses can make a fan for life. You don’t need polling to know that ignoring someone is a bad idea and answering their questions will only help you. It’s one of our examples of how not to do text messaging.

The Rally platform can make replies even easier:

  • Our artificial intelligence (AI) can help spot replies that need a personal touch.
  • We can help you sort and filter replies so it’s even faster.
  • Rally can forward replies directly to your cell phone so it’s super convenient.

Here to Help With Peer-to-Peer Texting

Americans are ditching their landlines in favor of mobile phones, which is why we recommend a mobile first approach. But part of that mobile approach is recognizing the power of P2P. We can help your nonprofit organization put it to work for you, whether it’s understanding use cases, pre-written templates, or converting social media followers.

Reach out now and we can talk pricing, set you up with a dedicated number, and get you texting. Get started with Rally today.

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