How do you reach large numbers of customers, employees, group members, or other audiences when emails are ignored and social media posts go unseen?
One answer: bulk SMS.
Because one thing is true of our current age—we love our phones.
85% of Americans own a smartphone and a whopping 97% of Americans own a cell phone of any kind. People spend on average 4.5 hours per day on their phones (not taking into account time spent speaking with others via phone). According to a survey from Reviews.org on cell phone usage, 89% of Americans check their phones within 10 minutes of waking up, 75% check messages within 5 minutes of receiving them, 75% use their phones while on the toilet, and 60% sleep with their phone at night.
What better way to reach someone than with a notification they see directly on that phone to which they’re so attached?
So how can you send bulk SMS? What service should you use? (Hint: you should use Mobile Text Alerts. 😉) And how does bulk SMS work?
This article will dig into those questions for you so that you can take full advantage of bulk SMS for your own situation.
“SMS” stands for “short messaging service,” which is another way of referring to text messages.
Although “SMS” technically refers to text-only messages (not picture messages or multimedia messaging/MMS), the term can sometimes be used for the concept of text messaging as a whole, particularly in a business environment.
“Bulk SMS,” then, refers to sending multiple SMS at once. Bulk SMS is typically done as a way to promote some kind of product, service, or event, or as a way to notify a large number of people of important pertinent information.
Unlike traditional one-on-one text messaging, which involves sending individual messages to each recipient, bulk SMS streamlines the process by allowing businesses, organizations, and individuals to send a single message to multiple recipients at once. This makes it an invaluable tool for disseminating time-sensitive information, promotions, alerts, updates, and other relevant content efficiently.
Launching a successful bulk SMS campaign involves careful planning, strategic execution, and a focus on delivering valuable content to your audience. Let's walk through the steps to effectively engaging your recipients by sending bulk SMS.
1. Determine Objectives
Before hitting the send button, define your campaign's objectives, target audience, and key message. Consider the following:
- Goals: Determine what you aim to achieve with your campaign. Are you promoting a new product, offering a discount, or sharing important updates?
- Target Audience: Identify the recipients who will benefit most from your message. Segment your audience based on demographics, behaviors, or previous interactions to ensure relevance.
- Message: Create a concise and compelling message that aligns with your campaign's goals. Your message should engage by providing clear value to recipients.
2. Choose a Bulk SMS Platform
Select a reputable bulk SMS service provider that aligns with your campaign's needs. Look for features such as:
- User-Friendly Interface: A platform that’s easy to navigate and use, even for those with minimal technical expertise.
- Delivery Speed and Rate: Ensure high delivery rates and fast delivery times to reach your recipients promptly.
- Scalability: Choose a platform that can handle the growth of your campaigns as your audience expands.
- Analytics and Reporting: Access to data on delivery rates, open rates, and click-through rates helps you measure the success of your campaigns.
Mobile Text Alerts offers the features and user-friendliness that you need to get started.
Your contact list is the foundation of your campaign's success. It's important to have an opted-in, permission-based list to avoid being labeled as spam. Consider the following:
- Opt-In Process: Obtain consent from recipients before adding them to your contact list. This can be done through sign-up forms, website pop-ups, or keyword-based opt-ins.
- Segmentation: Organize your contact list into segments based on relevant criteria such as location, interests, or purchase history. This allows for more targeted messaging.
4. Compose Your SMS
Once you have your goals, message, and contact list ready, it's time to create your SMS content:
- Message Length: Keep your message concise if you can, usually within 160 characters, if you want to save money by ensuring the message is sent as a single text (otherwise you might be charged for more messages).
- Clear CTA: Include a clear call-to-action (CTA) that guides recipients on what to do next, whether it's clicking a link, making a purchase, or visiting your store.
- Personalization: If your bulk SMS platform allows, personalize the message with recipient names or other relevant details.
5. Schedule and Send
Choose the optimal date and time for sending your bulk SMS:
- Timing: Send messages during times when your audience is most likely to be receptive, avoiding late nights and early mornings.
- Frequency: Avoid overwhelming recipients by spacing out your messages. Respect their preferences and avoid sending too frequently.
Here’s how it works to send within the Mobile Text Alerts online platform:
- Log in to the web platform or mobile app.
- Type out your message.
- Select the date/time you’d like your message to be sent or to be put on a text repeater. OR set up an automated drip texting campaign or create automated replies.
Get a Free 14-Day Trial with Mobile Text Alerts
6. Review and Test
Before sending to your entire list, conduct a review and test phase:
- Proofreading: Double-check your message for errors in grammar, spelling, and formatting.
- Test Send: Send a test SMS to yourself or a colleague to ensure it appears as intended on different devices.
So what are the best ways to go about your texting efforts?
Here are some strategies and best practices we’ve seen…
For List Building
- Load in your existing lists
- Take advantage of multiple opt-in methods, including text-to-join keywords and SMS opt-in forms
- Connect with your other software or existing sites so that you can automatically add contacts to your SMS database
- As with any other marketing lists, use valuable incentives to help convince people to sign up to receive your texts:
- Free items
- Raffle entries for a grand prize
- Use your other marketing channels (email, social media, physical materials) to promote your SMS list
For SMS Campaigns
- Find the right timing—don’t send too often (2–4 times per month may be all your audience can handle)
- Send messages triggered by certain actions your subscribers take—the obvious example would be things like abandoned cart notices
- Send content that’s really valuable—don’t just be promoting yourself all the time
- Follow compliance guidelines—you’ll see the best delivery results if you make sure to…
- Pre-register your brand
- Only send to people who have opted in
- Make sure people know how to opt out
- Refrain from sending objectionable content
- Send relevant messages based on personalized segments—whether those segments are created based on your subscribers’ activity, preferences, demographics, or anything else
There are several benefits to using bulk SMS marketing, and for finding the right platform/API for doing it.
Here are just a few…
1. Instant and Direct Communication
With bulk SMS, your messages reach recipients' mobile devices almost instantly.
Unlike email or other forms of communication that might go unnoticed for hours or even days, SMS commands immediate attention. So it’s an ideal channel for time-sensitive offers, flash sales, event invitations, and urgent notifications.
2. High Open and Engagement Rates
Text messages enjoy an unparalleled open rate (up to 98%!).
This high open rate translates to increased engagement and a greater chance of your message being acted upon. Whether it's a link click, a response, or an in-store visit, bulk SMS prompts swift interaction.
3. Cost-Effective Marketing
Compared to traditional marketing channels like print advertising or direct mail, bulk SMS offers an economical alternative.
There are no printing costs, postage fees, or advertising space expenses. With affordable rates and the ability to target a wide audience, you can be (and probably already are to an extent) using bulk SMS to maximize your marketing budget.
4. Personalized Communication
Bulk SMS allows for a level of personalization that resonates with recipients.
By addressing individuals by their names and tailoring messages to their preferences in such a personal medium, you create a more meaningful connection. This personal touch enhances customer loyalty and encourages recipients to view your brand as attentive and considerate.
(Just make sure you actually are attentive and considerate!)
For promotions, deals, or limited-time offers, bulk SMS is unbeatable.
You can create a sense of urgency by communicating that an offer expires soon, encouraging swift action. And urgent alerts or updates—such as order confirmations, appointment reminders, or service disruptions—can also be communicated promptly.
That way, everyone can get in the know quickly!
6. Optimal Reach
Bulk SMS reaches a wide audience, including people who might not have constant access to the internet or email—because nearly everyone has a phone and can receive texts.
So SMS is an effective way to connect with diverse demographics, ensuring that your message is accessible to a broad range of potential customers.
7. Two-Way Communication
Unlike many other forms of marketing, bulk SMS opens up the possibility for two-way communication (even more than mass email).
Recipients can reply to your messages and you can manage their replies via the online inbox. You can use this kind of direct interaction between you and your customers for customer support, feedback collection, and even conducting surveys.
Why use a bulk SMS service like Mobile Text Alerts?
Here are just a few of the benefits you’ll get.
Flexible Ways to Send—Platform, Mobile App, API
Want an out-of-the-box platform?
Or a mobile app experience?
Or maybe you have development resources and would prefer to program your own messaging efforts via API.
The good news is that you can do any and all of that with Mobile Text Alerts.
Use SMS software to set up a series of automated messages, or to set up auto-reply messages when people text in to your virtual phone number.
Reports, Analytics, Tracking
Using online reporting you can get a better grasp on your message delivery, engagement rates, and click rates on your message links.
Opt-In and Opt-Out Management
No need to manage all your opt-in’s and opt-out’s on your own—instead, you can let the system do it for you.
A digital inbox allows you the convenience of viewing and managing all of your texting conversations in one place.
Coaching / Influencers
- Webinar Announcements: Coaches and influencers can use bulk SMS to notify their subscribers about upcoming workshops, seminars, or training sessions.
- Exclusive Content: Send SMS with links to exclusive content, blog posts, or videos to keep subscribers engaged and informed.
Hey there! Don't miss our upcoming workshop on 'Unlocking Your Business’s Full Potential.' Limited spots available. Register now: [Registration Link]
- Invitations: Promote webinars by sending SMS invitations to your contact list, providing details and registration links.
- Reminders: Send SMS reminders a day before and an hour before the webinar to increase attendance rates.
- Follow-Up: After the webinar, send SMS messages with recording links, additional resources, and a thank-you note.
📣Live in 5 to chat about “What You Need to Know About Digital Marketing Trends for 2024!” Join here: [Webinar Link]
- Flash Sales: Notify customers about flash sales, limited-time discounts, or special offers through SMS.
- New Arrivals: Alert customers about new product arrivals and encourage them to explore your store.
- Customer Loyalty: Send SMS messages to loyalty program members with points updates, rewards, and exclusive deals.
Flash Sale Alert! Enjoy 30% off on all items today only. Visit us in-store or shop online: [Store Link]
- Abandoned Cart Recovery: Remind customers about items left in their cart and offer incentives to complete the purchase.
- Product Recommendations: Use SMS to suggest products based on customers' browsing history and past purchases.
- Order Updates: Keep customers informed about order processing, shipping, and delivery status.
Your shopping cart misses you! Complete your purchase and get 15% off. Shop now: [Cart Link]
- Emergency Alerts: Use bulk SMS to send emergency alerts, weather warnings, and important announcements to staff or community members.
- Notices & Engagement: Notify people about meetings and events.
Reminder! Staff meeting today at 12pm. Lunch provided.
- Fundraising Campaigns: Promote fundraising campaigns by sending SMS messages with donation links and impact stories.
- Event Reminders: Help boost attendance by sending out reminders about events.
- Thank-You Messages: Express gratitude to donors and volunteers through personalized SMS messages.
🤝 Thank you for supporting our cause! Your donation of $50 helps us make a difference. Learn more: [Impact Link]
- Appointment Reminders: Send SMS reminders for medical appointments, vaccinations, and check-ups.
- Prescription Reminders: Remind patients to take medication on time and refill prescriptions.
- Health Tips: Share health tips, wellness advice, and preventive measures through SMS.
🏥 Appointment Reminder: Your next check-up is scheduled for [Date] at [Time]. See you at [Clinic Name]!
- Special Offers: Announce daily specials, discounts, and happy hour deals to attract diners.
- Reservation Confirmations: Confirm restaurant reservations and provide details through SMS.
- Feedback Requests: After dining, send SMS messages inviting customers to provide feedback and reviews.
🍔 Hungry for a delicious meal? Join us tonight for dinner and enjoy a free dessert on the house!
- Announcements: Notify students about cancellations, changes in schedules, and assignment due dates.
- Parent Communication: Keep parents informed about school events, parent-teacher meetings, and school news.
- Admission Updates: Send admission-related information, deadlines, and interview schedules to prospective students.
Attention Parents: Parent-Teacher Meetings on [Date]. Sign up for your slot: [Registration Link].
- Property Listings: Send SMS messages with links to new property listings, virtual tours, and open house details.
- Open House Invitations: Invite potential buyers to open house events through bulk SMS.
- Price Reduction Alerts: Notify subscribers about price reductions or special deals on properties.
🏡 New Listing Alert: Check out our latest property in [Location]. Virtual tour: [Virtual Tour Link].
- Transaction Alerts: Send SMS notifications for account transactions, ATM withdrawals, and balance updates.
- Payment Reminders: Remind customers about credit card payments, loan installments, and bill due dates.
- Fraud Alerts: Alert customers about suspicious activities on their accounts and provide steps for resolution.
Transaction Alert: Your account was charged $50 for [Transaction Description]. Questions? Call [Customer Support Number].
- Class Reminders: Notify gym members about fitness class schedules, cancellations, and instructor changes.
- Workout Tips: Share workout routines, nutrition tips, and motivational messages through SMS.
- Membership Renewals: Send SMS messages to remind members about membership renewals and benefits.
🏋️♀️ Ready for a workout? Join morning weightlifting training at [Gym Name]. View more info here: [Link]
- Event Invitations: Send personalized SMS invitations with event details and RSVP options.
- Countdown Reminders: Build anticipation by sending countdown reminders as the event date approaches.
- Post-Event Surveys: Gather feedback from attendees by sending SMS surveys after the event to improve future events.
🎉 Just [X] days left until our Grand Opening Event! We can't wait to celebrate with you. See you on [Event Date]!
Try Bulk SMS for Free with Mobile Text Alerts
There ya have it! All the in's and out's of bulk SMS. Want to give Mobile Text Alerts a try for yourself?
Get 50 messages to try SMS for free with Mobile Text Alerts today.
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