Bulk SMS may not be what you think it is
Ask 10 people what Bulk SMS is and you’re likely to get 10 different answers. Most of them though, will probably include some sense of sending a large amount of SMS messages. But beyond that it can get a bit confusing.
Traditionally the term Bulk SMS referred to mass messaging available at cheap prices. Usually the routes for the messages were inferior (hence the cheap) with unreliable deliveries. Now though, if you Google the term you’ll get both reputable service providers as well as many more dubious ones promising to send lots of messages for the cheapest pricing.
The term has also gained in popularity with the rise of mobile marketing. And to many, Bulk SMS is synonymous with mobile marketing with SMS messages. It’s not the same thing. Or at least it doesn’t have to be. The problem is probably made worse by definitions such as the one on Wikipedia:
“Bulk Messaging is the dissemination of large numbers of SMS messages for delivery to mobile phone terminals. It is used by media companies, enterprises, banks (for marketing and fraud control) and consumer brands for a variety of purposes including entertainment, enterprise and mobile marketing.”
It’s really hard to read that and not associate bulk messaging with mobile marketing. For anyone just starting out learning about mobile marketing, or SMS messaging in general, it can leave the wrong impression. When that person goes searching on Google, they search on bulk SMS and not something like SMS marketing. The later is a better term for using SMS messages to market your business because mobile marketing includes many different things that have nothing to do with SMS.
How big is bulk anyway?
As I mentioned in the beginning, almost everyone will agree that it translates into sending lots of messages. A small business person with a few hundred mobile numbers in their database probably thinks sending out that many messages is a lot. And for them it probably is. But over the next year the business grows and they have several thousand numbers on their marketing list. Now they really send in bulk right?
No, not really. As an SMS service provider using the best SMS gateways to support our customers, we can tell you that bulk really begins when you start sending hundreds of thousands of messages. At that point you begin reaching the mass broadcast levels that the term used to refer to originally. Only in our case we only use the best routes to ensure delivery, while still offering the lowest prices possible (not the cheapest, only the lower quality providers can afford to be cheap). Once you cross the 100,000 message mark, we are able to offer bulk per message pricing.
Just to be clear, whether you send one message or thousands we support you the same. It’s our mission to make SMS messaging something everyone can use no matter what their need. The reason we wanted to point out the differences is because it’s easy for people to get taken in by all the service providers (good and bad) that throw around the term bulk SMS just to get their business.
What if you sign up and if it turns out you don’t send in bulk after all? Perhaps their platform is more than you need, or more complicated than you need it to be for your use, or you can’t get support because you don’t spend enough. Or maybe it turns out they are one of the providers who send messages using SIM farms or inferior routes and your business suffers.
So do you need bulk SMS?
Hopefully you have a better idea whether or not you truly need bulk SMS or not. Whether you do, or you don’t, we encourage you to sign up for a free account and see if our web-based SMS service is the right choice for you. We have a full array of features for every organisation or business. Take a look at our case studies and industry guides to see how other similar businesses have used SMS messaging. If you have questions before you sign up, we’re still happy to support you via Live Chat, email or phone. Our team can answer all your questions from how to sign up to the details of our API.
ICO, the Information Commissioner's Office, has recently imposed a huge fine on direct marketing company Help Direct UK for sending illegal SMS messages.
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