Bulk sms service - The Complete Guide to Bulk SMSby Bhavitra TechSolutions Web Design Company In Bangladesh
Bulk SMS can be one of the most powerful communication channels for marketers.
Bulk SMS, despite being more than 25 years old and extremely basic, is likely to continue to be a major force for customer communications in the future.
Although there is a lot of information, the majority tends to be focused on one aspect.
We thought it would be helpful to gather as much information as possible about bulk SMS in one place.
1. What is bulk SMS?
Bulk SMS is simply a catch-all term to refer to any SMS communication that is sent out to more than just a few people.
Bulk SMS campaigns are often sent via web-based SMS software, rather than an SMS API or email service.
The user logs in to their account and uploads their mobile numbers. They can also compose a message and set the date/time of their campaign.
SMS credits are used to send the campaigns. The SMS provider usually offers discounts on larger blocks.
Bulk SMS refers to SMS marketing messages, not alerts or notifications. Bulk SMS is not used to refer to SMS campaigns that send reminders to multiple recipients.
A text message offering to customers at a local pizza place would fall under bulk SMS.
2. What is the difference between bulk SMS, an SMS API or bulk messaging gateway?
Bulk SMS campaigns are normally sent from a dedicated piece of SMS software, whereas SMS sent via a bulk SMS API are sent via an integration with a separate piece software.
Most people receive reminders via text message for appointments with dentists and doctors. These reminders are automatically sent by the software at a time that is convenient for you.
Nobody has ever logged in to a bulk SMS platform and manually sent reminders.
Bulk SMS campaigns can be used to send marketing messages. Texts sent via bulk SMS gateway are not usually non-marketing and 'transactional'.
3. Which industries send the largest bulk SMS campaigns?
Most industries use SMS marketing n some way but the heaviest users tend to be in the leisure sector.
Many of us were overwhelmed by claims and PPI texts several years ago.
These nuisance texts are now, largely due to the new SMS regulations and, more recently, the GDPR.
The following breakdown of SMS usage by industry is based upon texts sent using bulk SMS platforms and not messages sent via API.
4. Comparison table of bulk SMS features and price
Over the past 20 years, since the industry first started, there's been an explosion in bulk sms providers.
In 1998, bulk SMS was offered by 8 companies. There are now well over 100.
A few notes on the bulk SMS price comparison table
None of the SMS companies below use SMS grey routing to send their traffic. They would have similar reliability.
This price is in UK pence, and does not include VAT.
This price is the cost per text to purchase a block with 1000 text credits. It excludes any introductory offers.
This table does not contain every provider on the market.
Bulk sms companies may not quote their pricing on websites.
Companies don't always mention whether credit expires, so this information has been omitted.
We had to dig hard to find SMS credits that have expired. This information is usually found deep within the terms and conditions page.
The average price per sms ranges from 2.9 pence per text up to 10 pence. There's still a huge range of pricing available.
The average text price is 5.0 pence.
There are no bulk SMS services offered by companies.
Many providers have seen their prices drop over the last few years, and some are still quite expensive.
Bulk SMS UK prices starting at 2.9 pence (from the companies that we found) are the lowest.
Even more variable is the cost of reply numbers. There was a wide range of prices, from as low as PS2.50 per monthly to as high-end PS50 per months. The monthly average cost was PS17.70.
We found that 53% of bulk SMS companies had deleted SMS credits within 12 months.
While most companies require SMS replies for at least three months, some allow up to 12 months.
This bulk-sms cost comparison tool makes it easy to compare bulk SMS costs.
To compare SMS costs monthly and annually, you can use up to 10 suppliers. The green highlight indicates the lowest cost provider.
You can save, download and print your results for later reference. This makes it easy to compare providers.
5. What are the main differences among bulk SMS companies? And what should I be looking out for when selecting an SMS provider
Thankfully the business SMS industry is reasonably reputable.
15 years ago, there were many disreputable companies who would send SMS messages through very low quality grey routes.
This could lead to poor delivery and long delays.
Nearly all of these companies are now gone or buried on page 10 Google for any SMS-related search. It's unlikely that you'll stumble upon them.
Before signing up for bulk SMS websites, there are a few things you should check.
1. Are they using SMS grey routes?
Although it is unlikely, it is worth asking. You should ensure that the SMS company you choose uses tier-1 direct-to-network connections and uses well-reviewed SMS aggregaters.
This will ensure that you receive the most secure and speediest bulk SMS delivery.
2. Do SMS credits expire?
Surprisingly, many companies will cancel your SMS credits if you don't use them. These details are often hidden in terms and conditions, so they may not be obvious.
3. Are you liable for undeliverable texts?
All of the companies in our table will charge you for any failed text messages, even though they have not been charged.
You won't be able to choose for the moment.
Undeliverable texts will not be charged by SMS Works bulk SMS platform. We will notify everyone when it is available.
4. Clear SMS pricing
Many SMS companies still make pricing confusing and unclear.
Many companies offer texting at a very low price per customer. Prices increase drastically after you make your second purchase.
The use of SMS credits is another area of confusion. Many SMS providers offer a low rate for SMS credits, but you will soon discover that sending a message in your country requires more than one SMS credit.
You should know how many SMS credits you will need to send a message.
Check the international SMS rates carefully. While sending SMS internationally is cheaper than sending local SMS, it can sometimes be a good deal.
5. Support and documentation
How much support can bulk SMS suppliers really offer? It is important to understand. It is not a good idea to wait for hours to get a quick answer to a simple question.
How does bulk SMS documentation compare? It should be simple, clear, and understandable by anyone who is not a technical person.
6. What are the rules for bulk SMS sending?
Since May 2018 and the introduction of new data protection laws under GDPR, the rules surrounding bulk SMS have been significantly tightened.
The new rules are generally beneficial. The number of SMS spam messages has dropped to almost zero for consumers, and the rules have been made clearer and more sensible for organisations.
The Information Commissioner's Office can impose huge fines on companies that break bulk SMS rules.
The changes are dramatic for marketers and anyone who wants to continue using bulk text to communicate.
According to the ICO website, the core principle is as follows.
You must not send marketing messages or text messages to anyone without their consent. You can only send marketing emails or texts to your customers who are not your current customers. This is often known as the soft opt in.
Marketers must establish the reason or basis for consent, and then provide evidence to support it.
Fortunately, the ICO has published a complete guide to direct marketing under the new regulations.
7. Do I need to opt out of my bulk SMS messages?
These are the rules. It is important to clearly and easily indicate how you can opt out of receiving marketing messages in the future.
The opt-out must be provided using the same communication method. You cannot ask someone to unsubscribe by sending them a text message.
According to the ICO,
Organizations should not make it difficult for customers to opt out. For example, they shouldn't ask them to fill out a form or confirm by writing. It is a good idea to let the person respond directly to the message
An unsubscribe instruction typically asks users to text STOP or an SMS shortcode (e.g. 88440) to receive either a virtual number that looks like a regular 11-digit mobile number or to stop receiving messages from them.
An example instruction is the following.
... To opt out, text STOP at 88802
You can find the number of a person in many ways. You shouldn't assume you can send them text messages just because they have given you their number.
8. Why is bulk SMS so efficient?
Bulk SMS has been around since the mid-nineties. Despite being incredibly clunky and basic, the humble text message is still devilishly effective at making us sit up and listen.
SMS is long past due for retirement, compared to modern messaging apps such as Whatsapp or Imessage.
Why is bulk SMS still so efficient and why are people still using it?
1. SMS is short for text message.
Every phone has the ability to send and receive SMS.
There is no app you need to install or download, and you don't have to share your choice with your contacts about which messaging app you'll use.
SMS is the only true universal messaging platform.
Despite the popularity of messaging apps such as WhatsApp, business SMS volumes have continued to increase despite this.
Juniper Research predicts that SMS volume for business will rise by 7% between 2019 and 2020 , to 3.2 trillion to 3.35 trillion messages.
This is despite the positive impact of Covid 19 in the global economy.
2. Bulk SMS has the highest response rates of all marketing channels.
If you are extremely lucky, the open rate for SMS is 98% and email only 12%.
MobileSquared reports that 90% of text messages can be read in less than 5 minutes.
Cellit claims that SMS response rates can be up to 6 times higher than direct mail.
These statistics sound plausible, but when was the last occasion you ignored a text message?
3. Bulk SMS Spam has fallen
Bulk SMS spamming has fallen because of the threat to large fines for those who ignore GDPR rules.
We used to get dozens of texts per week. Now we rarely have to deal with them.
Spam has fallen by more than 90% since GDPR was implemented.
4. It is easy to track ROI
You can monitor clicks from text links and calculate the sales resulting from your campaign and it will also increase brand awareness.
5. Bulk SMS campaigns are quick to deploy
SMS is the fastest and most flexible marketing tool available.
Once you have your numbers, it is easy to compose your message, upload your data, and set a date.
In minutes, your SMS campaign can be delivered to customers' phones.
6. Bulk SMS is very affordable
SMS credits are very affordable and don't require a minimum order.
SMS continues to be a valuable tool, regardless of whether it is targeted at a few hundred or hundreds of thousands.
9. Bulk SMS Campaign Checklist - Four things you should check before sending your campaign.
1. Message length
160 characters are the standard text, including spaces. Your text will not exceed the character count. If it exceeds this limit, more than one text credit will be used. Your opt out instructions will be 25-30 characters.
2. GSM character set
Bulk SMS companies typically use the HTML3_ GSM character sets HTML3_ to send their messages. This standard set of characters covers the most commonly used letters and characters.
You can use any other characters to send the message in unicode format. This reduces the text's length to 70 characters.
Do not copy and paste Word. There are characters that appear correct, but are not standard.
Pay attention to the hyphen and the apostrophe.
3. Test yourself and your colleagues
Before your bulk SMS campaign goes out, make sure to send the text to yourself and a few other people.
Verify that all links work correctly and that the landing page for mobile devices works on all handsets.
You should make sure you have connected the landing page to Google Analytics or any other analytics package.
Did the user experience have any rough edges or snagged elements?
4. Are you GDPR-compliant for bulk SMS campaigns?
Are you able to get the consent of the people you want? Do you have proof?
Have you included an opt-out in the text? It should be clear and simple to use.
Do you protect and manage the data?
It is better to have all of this covered before you go. (Information Commissioner's Office).
10. A perfect bulk SMS marketing message
This SMS MOT reminder that I received from Kwik Fit was so good I had to share it.
Although it's simple and straightforward, it contains all the necessary elements to make a persuasive campaign.
Needless to mention, I booked my car as soon as I got it.
Six personalised pieces of information were merged into the SMS campaign. It was almost impossible to miss.
- Name of the customer
- Make and model of vehicle
- REgistration number
- Type of test (e.g. MOT)
- Due date
- The nearest test center
11. Avoid these 5 mistakes in bulk SMS marketing
Bulk SMS marketing is more popular now than ever.
Despite the growth of new channels such as RCS messaging, SMS is still the most responsive channel.
UK Research company Mobilesquared revealed that 1.67 billion business SMS messages were sent worldwide last year. This number is expected to reach 2.8 trillion in 2022.
This represents a 68% increase in business-to-consumer texts over a 4-year span.
Despite the rise in bulk SMS, companies still make simple bulk SMS errors with their campaigns.
1. Failing to use an opt-out
This is a common mistake, despite the fact that you could be in serious trouble with the ICO if you don't use an opt-out on bulk SMS campaigns.
The GDPR clearly states that you must have an opt-out
" Both when you first collect the details and every message thereafter.
2. Mobile-friendly landing pages are impossible to create
Bulk SMS messages usually contain a link inviting customers to click through to a website to respond to the offer.
Many campaigns don't use a mobile optimized landing page. This results in a frustrating user experience.
This type of shoddiness will make most people very upset and they will quickly move on.
If your landing pages don't deliver an amazing experience, your bulk SMS campaign will fail.
3. Send confusing text
It's tempting to overload the 160 characters you have available to you. This is almost always a mistake.
Keep it simple and stick to one offer. The overall response rate to your offer will drop if you confuse or make people think.
4. Use "text speak"
While some people may be fine with text-speak in bulk SMS marketing messages, others aren't.
This can make it seem casual and unprofessional.
You won't alienate any sections of your audience if you play it safe and use complete sentences and words where possible.
5. You can send text too often
Your customers will unsubscribe faster than if they are bombarded with bulk SMS messages.
It might seem natural to send follow text messages shortly after a successful campaign, in order to recreate that success.
This usually leads to diminishing returns and an ever-growing list of unsubscribers.
It is best to be less than you think.
12. Statistics on bulk SMS marketing
If you ever need to convince your company to get involved in bulk SMS, here are some compelling stats that will help your cause.
96% of marketers rate mobile welcome SMS as "very efficient/effective" or "somewhat successful - Salesforce
77% of consumers indicated that they opt in to receive text messages from a brand to receive coupons and deals - Salesforce
90% of text messages can be read in 3 minutes or less - Venture Beat
60% of consumers said they would redeem a mobile coupon that they received by text within one week. Code Broker
If they use SMS marketing strategies, mobile marketers are 79% more likely than others to use other mobile-specific marketing techniques. Gartner
90% vs. 20% - SMS open rate compared to email open prices - Sage
75% of people would not mind getting an SMS text message from a company (after opting in) - Marketing profs
13. Bulk SMS marketing templates and examples
It is difficult to create the perfect bulk SMS message with 160 characters.
It takes a small amount of space to accomplish the following.
- Grab the attention of the reader
- It is important to clearly state who the message is coming from
- Make it a tempting offer
- Give them a clear, simple call to action
- Offer an option to opt out
All of this can be accomplished with charm and a bit of humor.
We have compiled a complete collection of 34 Bulk Marketing Templates to help you get some inspiration and ideas.
These are broken down by industry, but you can still read them all. An industry-specific approach may work for you.
14. What could replace bulk SMS
SMS is ridiculously basic.
It is amazing to think that 160 text characters are still used in our daily lives and that it is still so effective.
There must be more. There is.
RCS is Rich Communication Services. RCS is the long-awaited alternative to SMS.
It promises to eliminate bulk SMS by providing all the features we've come to expect from messaging apps such as What'sApp or IMessage.
You can send audio, video, and image files using RCS. RCS supports location sharing, typing indicators, group chat and typing indicators.
It can completely transform the way businesses communicate with customers.
However, RCS has issues. RCS may never take off due to these big problems.
This list is alarmingly long, and RCS will not gain traction with marketers if it does not address all of them.
- RCS is unlikely to be adopted by Apple. Any Iphone owner will not be able receive RCS messages, thereby wiping out a large portion of the market.
- It's complex. It is difficult to set up an RCS campaign.
- Pricing for RCS has not yet been established. It is unknown how much it will cost for an RCS message to be sent.
- RCS messages can be hacked because they aren't encrypted.
- Already, there are reports of RCS spammers and fraudsters trying to phishing with RCS
- Except for a few case studies that are encouraging, almost all RCS software integrations are not possible.
Tim Green, Mobile Economic Forum, suggested that:
RCS is, at the moment, a classic form of 'vapourware'. It is something that could take off... in the future... but we aren't sure when.
It seems unlikely that bulk SMS will be replaced by RCS messaging anytime soon, given all the problems.
15. Is The SMS Works able to offer bulk SMS services online?
No, not yet! But we will be.
As you read this, we are hard at work. We'll bring together all the tools that you would expect to find in one platform, based on our 20-years of experience in bulk SMS.
It is planned to offer bulk SMS platforms that include these core features.
- Copy, Paste, Send - Write your message, select a time, and then send.
- Import contacts - Schedule campaigns and upload contacts at any time.
- 2 Way SMS - Receive replies to your online mailbox
- Address Book - Manage all your contacts.
- Combine data - Personalize bulk SMS campaigns by merging up six data fields
- Include links - Use our URL shortener for mobile-optimized web pages
- Send long text - Send messages up to 918 characters
- Message Library- Up to 100 message templates can be stored
- Staggered Delivery - You can set a start time and an end time so your messages are staggered
- SMS delivery report - Download Delivery reports to manage all your SMS campaigns
- Payments flexibility- Purchase SMS credits by card, or BACS.
- Low credit alert - Send low credit emails to those whose credit scores fall below a certain level.
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Created on Jul 25th 2022 00:15. Viewed 312 times.