In the past, sending bulk SMS meant that you had to have your own personal computer or laptop to install an application on, create a contact list, and send the SMS messages. This becomes a problem when the user does not have a personal computer or laptop to work on, but has a smart phone or tablet. As more and more people are moving over to using smart devices such as smart phones and tablets, this meant that an application that could be used by these devices would need to be developed to keep up with the technological advances that are happening rapidly this day in age.
SMS is increasingly becoming an essential part of an effective multi-channel marketing strategy that delivers consistent ROI. Informing your customers of promotions and company news via SMS is a great way to engage with your customers and build customer loyalty. Personalized bulk SMS is the most effective marketing channel available today, with a read rate of 97% within 15 minutes of delivery.
Before you can send a single SMS message you must partner with a SMS gateway provider. There are multiple working parts that are involved when sending SMS messages across US carriers, Canadian carriers, or even carriers worldwide. When it comes to SMS marketing the gateway to the carriers is the most important element. There are three main parts that make SMS messaging like this possible; -
An SMS Application or API
In order to send a regional or international text message you must first have the ability to deliver this text message using the internet. Developers can accomplish this using an SMS Gateway and corresponding SMS API. With an SMS API you provide a DID or phone number and deliver an SMS on demand. For those of us who are not developers an SMS application is the way to go. An SMS application allows you to log in with your credentials and quickly create messages and deliver them to the mobile numbers that have opted into your database.
A short code or long code
For most countries, including the US or Canada, you will need a short code or long code to deliver your SMS messages. Most application providers provide you with short codes or long codes to deliver your messages. When a text message is delivered through the SMS gateway to an individual this short code or long code will appear in the From field on the end users mobile device. For those using a 2-way API or SMS application the end user can even reply to your SMS message. This allows you to receive reply messages via a callback URL or directly inside the SMS application itself.
Aggregators and select application providers already have contracts with the carriers around the world making it quick and easy to get you set-up to send SMS messages worldwide. SMS pricing varies from region to region and around the world. In addition the ability to obtain short codes, long codes, or even 2-way will vary based the SMS gateway application provider you decide to work with for your SMS needs.
SMS Gateway Integration
An SMS gateway API provider connects your business application with the subscribers and consumers looking for more information, deals, and more when it comes text message communication. Finding the best SMS gateway API provider can be the first 'hurdle' to jump. Connecting with the right gateway provider is important to the success your SMS marketing. So, what should you look for before choosing your SMS gateway provider?
A SMS Gateway API should be Friendly
If you're looking into service providers, there's a good chance you're a small business. So, it's important to choose a provider who understands both large and small businesses. Small businesses often don't have the budget to keep extremely computer-savvy or technical people on board. So, it makes sense to hire out a SMS Gateway API Provider who knows what they're doing from the technical side of things. That way, they can help your development team along the way and make the most of your text message marketing.
Choose a SMS Gateway Suited for You
Even with a quick search, you'll find dozens of SMS gateway API providers. All of them offer the ability to send and receive text messages, starting them all of on the same playing field. What's important, however, is to look beyond that. What extra features can they give to your business? That isn't to say you should fall for a provider with a lot of bells and whistles or huge claims. But, it's important to look at how their offerings can make your business truly better. If a provider is willing to talk with you, and sees you as more of a partner than a client, you've found a good one!
Understand the Best Practices for your SMS Gateway
Unauthorized text messages sent from businesses can come with big fines. So, it's extremely important to work with a SMS gateway API Provider who understands authorization laws. A good rule of thumb is to know where your gateway operators are working from. Wherever you happen to live, find a SMS gatewayAPI provider that is based in that location. They have a better chance of knowing the rules and the laws, and that can keep you out of a business disaster.