5 Reasons to Receive SMS Online
Recent reports indicate that more people than ever are using mobile over desktop as their preferred way of browsing. In October 2016, the two crossed switched places for the first time ever according to web analytics firm Statcounter, with global mobile and tablet browsing accounting for 51.3% versus the desktop’s 48.7%. Since then, the trend has slowly but steadily continued and realistically it is unlikely to ever reverse.
As at March 2018, the most recent figures indicate that the balance for mobile vs desktop browsing worldwide sits at 51.95% versus 43.98%, the remainder being tablet browsing.
Whilst globally mobile is now in the lead position, this is not yet the case for the UK specifically. Latest figures here show that desktop accounts for 51.48% of browsing against 37.52% for mobile. Nonetheless, this means that well over a third of the population is now detached from the desk.
This shift from desktop to mobile browsing is further illustrated by a change in the way people in the UK are using their mobile phones. As internet enabled smartphones have become the norm, calls and SMS text messaging have been supplemented by numerous other functionalities. So how are people using their handsets today? The following chart sums up the UK’s current habits:
It only takes a quick look around you to see these statistics in practice. Wherever you happen to be, be it a public space, a train carriage or even the office, you’ll likely see dozens of people checking their mobiles for the latest updates, reading their text messages and browsing all manner of sites. It’s hard to go anywhere without hearing the buzz, beep, or musical tones of new messages and alerts arriving.
With all this in mind, a burning question arises: Since everyone is getting along just fine receiving SMS messages on their mobiles, why would anyone want to receive SMS online? Counter intuitive as it may sound the answer – if you are running an SMS marketing campaign – is why would you not want to receive messages online. After all, the advantages are numerous including:
It turns out there’s a lot of advantages.
- No need for a physical device when you have a virtual mobile number
- Can manage many messages at once
- Send to unlimited numbers at the same time
- No need for a mobile connection – just Wi-Fi
- Multiple people can use the same account
For organisations seeking to make the most of the opportunities on offer from SMS Marketing, these benefits are of tremendous value. Let’s take a closer look.
No device needed
If you have an Internet connection you can receive SMS online. All you need to do is get a virtual mobile number or VMN. It works just like a private number you get when you purchase a phone, but there’s no actual physical device associated with it. You purchase, or rent a VMN from an SMS provider like fastsms, and you can send and receive messages just like you had a phone.
All that is needed to receive SMS online is a Virtual Mobile Number (VMN) and an internet connection – so no additional hardware is required to run your SMS Marketing campaign. A VMN works just like a normal mobile number you get when you purchase a phone or a simcard, but there’s no actual physical device associated with it. You purchase or rent a VMN from an SMS provider like Fastsms, allowing you to send and receive messages just like you had a phone.
One key advantage that this offers organisations is that they do not need to be tied into long or expensive contracts with a mobile network and don’t need a physical device. This in turn means that they can allow multiple users to send and receive messages at the same time for no extra cost – and could even allow them to completely eliminate business mobile phones in some circumstances, adding further value.
Multiple SMS message management
With the Fastsms system, you can manage your received messages just like you would your email. You can tag them, put them in folders, delete them, save for later, or reply. You can also use keywords to automatically filter incoming messages. This is particularly helpful if you receive lots of SMS messages from many different people or groups.
As well as generally helping to run your SMS marketing campaign, this enhanced message management capability helps you keep track of your campaigns by filtering on the keyword you receive when people reply to your message. This simplifies list management including automatic blacklisting, which can help to ensure that you comply with essential legislation such as the PECR.
When someone replies indicating they don’t want any more messages from you the number can be automatically added to the blacklist, which is used as verification that any future messages are not sent to that number. This ensures you steer well clear of the potential consequences of unwanted or ‘spam’ SMS Marketing messages.
Manage SMS Marketing mass responses
Although outbound SMS Marketing alone has seen excellent success rates, the real power of SMS Marketing comes with the ability to operate two way conversations in real time. Enabling customers to reply to your messages is a powerful way to ensure that they convert.
So when you send out those 100,000 messages asking people to reply with a keyword in order to get a discount, enter a contest, verify their hours, or anything else for that matter, receiving them online means you’ll have a much easier time sorting them out and ensuring that they get the right response at the right time. This means you can manage all of your messaging far more effectively and efficiently than would be possible using handsets – improving the effectiveness and efficiency of your campaigns, as well as helping to improve your standards of customer service.
No worrying about signal strength
Although mobile phone reception is getting better all the time, there are still plenty of places where you’ll find weak signal strength. Whilst much of the UK is now covered by 4G, good quality coverage is still only guaranteed outdoors in many places, as illustrated by this map of EE’s coverage in the NW1 area of London, where the pale area denotes a general lack of indoor coverage.
Image Credit: https://ee.co.uk/why-ee/mobile-coverage#theCoverageContainer / Google maps.
Although SMS messaging does not necessarily require a faster 3G or 4G connection, getting a minimal signal can be a problem in built up areas and even some of the most modern, purpose built office buildings struggle from a lack of signal.
If you are managing a real time conversation by SMS and lose a signal, even momentarily, this can cause delays to the conversation which may ultimately cost you the conversion, as well as potentially damaging the customer relationship.
When you receive your messages online with a virtual mobile number, all you need to have is a Wi-Fi connection. This can make a huge difference if you are inside a building, on the underground, or even out in the country. WIth the online management system offered by Fastsms, as long as you have access to the internet, you can manage every aspect of your account – making it incredibly useful whether you are office based, completely mobile or simply travel a lot as part of your role. As counter intuitive as it sounds, receiving SMS messages online can actually liberate you from the desk.
Effortless SMS Marketing account management
Many organisations that use SMS Marketing need multiple people to have access to the account, both for sending and for reading received messages. Whether your staff work in shifts, or multiple people need access at the same time, online access to your SMS messaging service is critical. Being able to allocate SMS credits, or divide up the work they do by campaign means they will be more efficient. It also means you won’t have a single point of failure – such as if an employee gets sick and you suddenly realise they are the only ones who had access to all the messages.
You only need one VMN to get started (unless you want more) and you can have as many people as you need managing the messages you receive and sending replies as required. Because of the way the Fastsms system is set up, you’ll always have verification of who sent what messages, so you can keep track of where your credits are going.
To find out more about the business bulk SMS Marketing solutions available from Fastsms, call now on 0800 954 5305 and speak to one of our experts today.
When you start using SMS marketing, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether or not you’ll need to get replies. If you do, then you’ll need to decide between shortcodes and a virtual mobile number (VMN, also called longcode). If you don’t, then that’s alright too.
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