Bulk SMS Marketing: The Complete Guide to Successfully Launch Your First SMS Texting Campaign
The first text message was sent in 1992. At that time, there was no suggestion that it would become not only a method of communication but also a convenient marketing tool.
Our goal is to understand how to work with SMS bulk sendings and what goals can be achieved. Don’t forget, in capable hands, everything works as it should.
Let’s take a look at how to reach thousands of customers in a short amount of time without violating their personal space and the Law.
What is bulk SMS marketing?
To define in simple words, bulk SMS marketing is sending a large number of messages to cell phones. But this statement is not entirely competent. Sending out offers to random users is inefficient and dangerous to your reputation.
Bulk SMS meaning is that you only send it to people who want to receive such messages. Due to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), it is forbidden to send advertising messages or call people’s cell phones without their consent to process personal data.
So take care beforehand to collect the contacts list and keep your brand innocent.
Bulk SMS marketing benefits
Regardless of why you need an SMS platform, it will bring you these bonuses:
- Fast informing of clients. The text creation process does not take much time. In a matter of minutes, a person will receive important information, right after the start of the campaign. According to statistics, people view an incoming SMS in the first three minutes. Therefore, a person will definitely see the information.
- High return on investment. Among the pros of SMS marketing is its price. The cost per message is much lower than advertising on social networks. The text stays on the person’s phone while information from web pages can get lost.
- Large audience coverage. The popularity of some messengers is higher than others, but almost everyone uses a smartphone. Statistics show that almost 7 billion people have cell phones.
- Lower competition. More than 82% of businesses attract customers through social media. But only 25% send bulk SMS to customers. Use in conjunction with email marketing for the best effect.
How businesses and governments are using bulk SMS?
Whether you have a small or large business, you can apply the text as a branding tool. Let’s review how other companies have done it already.
U.S. luxury department store chain Nordstrom has implemented a bulk SMS business strategy. This retailer uses simple messages to run its ‘TextStyle’ program. People can get product advice and purchase something with a text message.
As the Covid-19 pandemic began, the U.K. government sent out messages to its citizens and residents advising them to stay home. Sometime later, everyone received another message informing them about the NHS Test and Trace Covid-19 App. This is how the government demonstrated an interest in the safety of its citizens.
The Ukrainian government has sent messages to people in war zones asking them to share their experiences. Thus, statistics will be gathered from real stories.
What is an SMS gateway?
We have already figured out what SMS bulk texting is for. Now let’s talk about how this system works. To send texts to a large number of people without a phone or obstacles, you need an SMS gateway.
An SMS gateway is an interface. It can be used to send messages to cell phones over the Internet. It is needed to convert the data from one SMS center into the data that will be understood by the other. Thus, the gateway acts as a “translator”.
How does an SMS gateway work?
An SMS gateway allows a computer to send and receive SMS text messages to and from an SMS-enabled device over the global telecommunications network (usually a cell phone). The SMS gateway translates the sent message and makes it compatible for delivery over the network so that it can reach the recipient.
SMS gateways route SMS messages to telecommunications networks through an SMPP interface, which the networks provide either directly or through an aggregator that sells messages to multiple networks.
SMPP, or Short Message Peer-to-Peer, is a protocol for exchanging SMS messages between short message service centers (SMSCs)or external short message organizations (ESMEs).
PCs can connect to SMS gateways in several ways:
- Through the REST API, where software developers send and receive text messages through the HTTP REST API.
- Through a web page or software where customers upload their messages and list of phone numbers.
How do you send bulk SMS text messages: a step-by-step guide
For launching your first bulk SMS campaign, you need three basic elements:
- a list of subscribers;
- a branding strategy;
- a secure bulk SMS message service.
The first thing to do is to gather fans of the brand or those who would like to test the company’s products.
This is one of the most important steps to further promotion. If you don’t already have a list of contacts to send out, gather the contact information of your customers. The emphasis is not on the number of recipients of advertising but on the quality.
If a person doesn’t want to hear about the benefits of your products, then don’t bore them. Such a subscriber will not leave a good review of the company and will not recommend the company to his friends and acquaintances.
Creating a strategy
After collecting contacts, determine the ultimate goal of the bulk SMS advertising. Write out the main objectives that can be achieved through alerts. This could be to increase loyalty, sales, or conversions. Write down specific metrics.
After you’ve gathered enough subscribers and defined your bulk sending goals, it’s time to get down to the implementation tools.
When choosing a service, there are three main factors to consider:
- the number of providers the platform works with,
- bandwidth (how many messages the service can send in a minute),
- the availability of technical support.
For example, the BSG communication platform for business works with 1,800 operators around the world. Every message will be delivered in minutes. And the technical support guys will advise you on any day and at any time of the day.
5 beginner tips to launch a successful SMS marketing campaign
Now let’s figure out how not to ruin the campaign at the beginning.
One SMS can hold 160 characters in Latin and 70 in Cyrillic. All you can do is the text without pictures. Do not make the message into a large canvas of text. Describe the main benefits and add your contact information (link to the official website or manager’s phone number). Use URL Shortener to keep the link from taking up too many characters.
Don’t write to subscribers every day. The occasion must match the real benefit. Two messages a week is enough. Don’t forget to ask for service feedback on the quality of the product.
It’s not just about the name. Divide your audience into small segments based on gender, age, city, and purchase history. Offer people complementary products or services.
Use more than one communication method
To achieve a greater effect, messages alone will not do. Combine text sending with Viber bulk messages. In the first case, keep the information short. In the second case, you can add beautiful media files and describe the offer in more detail.
Pick the right schedule
Send messages at a time that is appropriate for the person. If you have an entertainment business, it’s a good idea for the subscriber to get the message before the weekend. For food deliveries, at lunchtime or in the evening. Also, consider time zones if you have an international company. It will be unpleasant to get a promotional SMS at night.
Things to avoid when sending mass text messages to customers
Now we should discuss the bad practices of marketers. So, what things you shouldn’t do.
Mistake №1: Ignoring Opt-In
No one likes to receive promotional messages that they haven’t signed up for. Before you start a mass campaign, make sure you actually have permission to do so. Also, follow state and local carrier rules so that messages are accurately delivered to your recipients.
Mistake №2: No greeting
Let’s say you have a new subscriber – now what? It’s one thing to get new customers, but it’s just as important to keep their attention. A common SMS marketing mistake is that you don’t lay the groundwork for future communication. Make the first step as friendly and non-intrusive as possible. In the first message, thank them for subscribing and outline how often you will text the person.
Mistake №3: Lack of a clear call to action
It is important to understand the client, and why you text him/her. Without a clear call to action, SMS marketing will be in vain. A call to action pushes customers to complete a task. Whether it’s signing up for your mailing, entering a contest, participating in a sale, or answering a survey.
Start your first bulk SMS camping with the BSG communication platform
You don’t have to be a pro and a marketing guru to start your first bulk SMS campaign. You just need to follow simple instructions and rules.
The white label SMS platform from BSG will help you with everything else. Stay connected and get more useful information from an experienced team of like-minded people.