Did you know there are more mobile phones in the world than people? It's not that surprising, seeing as most people upgrade their phones bi-yearly. So it also wouldn't come as a shock to learn that calling and texting are a universal means of communicating.
Whether it's connecting friends and family, businesses, and their target audience, SMS plays a key role in mobile communication.
What is Bulk SMS?
Bulk SMS is a form of mass mobile messaging that allows businesses to engage with their intended recipients. Put simply, text messages are curated and sent to a contact database from a Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS) or API integration.
It's commonplace for businesses to utilize bulk SMS and virtual SMS numbers to communicate in a variety of ways with a variety of recipients. Business SMS can be sent as promotional messages, reminders and alerts, service announcements, and One-Time Passwords (OTP) for Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), to name a few. Whether internally or externally, send to employees, stakeholders, and partners, as well as customers and target audiences. The simplicity and efficiency of bulk SMS messaging benefits businesses and customers alike.
What does bulk SMS have to do with marketing?
If SMS marketing is a trend, then it's been having its moment for almost two decades.
While companies regularly use mass SMS as part of their marketing strategy, the benefits of using bulk text to reach customers are endless. It's popular as a marketing communications tool due to its concise and efficient nature while remaining cost-effective and easy to use.
Bulk SMS is one of the cheapest ways to communicate with hundreds, thousands, and even millions of recipients worldwide. It can cut companies' marketing spend in half. When considering digital and print marketing content, creation and distribution can be especially high-cost.
With approximately 5.2 billion unique mobile subscribers (GSMA Intelligence, February 2020), SMS is the most direct way to reach almost anyone across the globe. By sending through a sophisticated yet straightforward SMS platform, companies can reach a broad audience, regardless of which country they are in around the world.
Global research shows that people spend over three hours on their mobile phones per day on average. With that much time dedicated to one screen, it's no wonder marketers are investing in mobile marketing to reach their audience on that very device.
The ever-increasing saturation across digital channels such as Google AdWords and social media platforms sees a rise in cost to advertise this way. This makes it very difficult for small to medium businesses to compete. According to DigiDay, in 2017, 308 million mobile devices implemented ad-blocking. The spectacular rise of GDPR, other regulations such as CCPA have begun to be passed, limiting data access and usage. With ad-blocking and data regulations implemented more frequently, penetrating the market is exceedingly difficult.
So are there any channels untouched by market saturation and legal restrictions?
SMS remains the most trusted, direct, and flexible form of communication worldwide with a staggering 98% of text messages being read—90% of which are read within the first three minutes.
Promotions can only be utilized by customers when seen and accessible. That SMS statistic almost guarantees your offer will be opened and seen every single time. No wonder SMS gateways are an essential communication tool for marketers.
Common uses for Bulk SMS Marketing
Sophisticated SMS gateways provide the option for users to select their very own dedicated virtual SMS number to send to. Whether it's short code, long code, toll-free, or a customized sender ID, make sure your recipients know who's messaging them with a dedicated number. Your messages are memorable with a unique virtual SMS number.
Whether it be promo codes, flash sales, or loyalty program discounts, SMS is the quickest way to get your message seen. It's perfect for boosting sales during time-sensitive promotions. Not only that, 91% of people keep their phone in arm's reach at all times, so it's easy for customers to capitalize on your offer on the spot, whether in-store or online.
SMS can be quite personal—it includes access to a personal mobile number for one-on-one messaging. Make your audience feel like you are talking directly to them, not just another number in an extensive contact list.
Addressing recipients by name and sending relevant content directly to them leads to a higher likelihood that they will interact with your business. It shows that you care about your customers and want to start a dialogue, improving brand image and CX.
Although marketing text messages are a sure-fire way to deliver promotional content quickly, MMS brings a little color to a marketing message. Short for Multimedia Messaging Service, MMS sends the same way as an SMS does, but with much more capability.
With a standard 300kB per message, MMS messages can include one or more multimedia files, such as short video and audio files, images, GIF animations, over 5000 characters worth of text, or a combination of text and compatible files. MMS is being sent as marketing messages increasingly by businesses who want a creative edge.
Who uses Bulk SMS Marketing?
The beauty of mass SMS communication is that any business, small, medium, or large, can implement it. An online SMS gateway provides companies with the tools to communicate with their customers directly, including robust API integration, Email-To-SMS, Bulk Merge Send, and Two-Way Texting.
No matter the industry, implementing an SMS marketing strategy is a way to thrive. From banks and financial services to tourism and hospitality, education, and healthcare to fitness and beauty, organizations across the globe use bulk SMS as a powerful tool in their communication toolkit.