How to choose a mass SMS texting platform

 

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SMS marketing sustains customer loyalty. Businesses use SMS to spread the word about promotions, as well as send personalized offers, reminders, or even payment documents. When dealing with message marketing, you can’t do without mass texting platforms that support sending thousands of messages per second across a customer database.

There are many platforms like that on the market. We will go over their useful features and explain how to choose the one that’s best for your business.

Platforms that provide mass messaging services

Some mass texting platforms only work with SMS messages. However, the market has solutions for multi-channel messaging, where you can use popular instant messengers for customer communications. Platforms like that — including the multi-channel Messaggio platform — allow you to use not just phone numbers for SMS mass texting, but also WhatsApp, Viber, or Telegram business accounts, managing client chats in a one interface.

Most mass texting platforms have their own software, plugins, and integrations with CRM, CMS, and web applications. A customer database can be imported as a .CSV file and used for texting via all message channels.

Note: You can only mass text to consenting customers. Otherwise, you will be deemed a spammer, which will negatively affect customer loyalty and may end up in your business being fined.

You can use mass texting platforms to launch:

  1. Bulk messages. This includes:
    • promotional messages with rich content, such as discount alerts, seasonal and private sales, or new arrivals;
    • non-promotional service messages — such as transaction information or changes in the offer terms.
    Example of promotional and service messages
  2. Trigger messages for specific users. These are automatically sent to a user who performed a certain action like changing their password, making an appointment, calling a taxi, booking a hotel room, or making a financial transaction.
  3. Example of trigger messages

Mass texting from the company can either be set up for possible response from users, or be one-sided. A user can text the business first, or respond to the businesses’ text. Some mass messaging platforms have an option to manage all client chats, regardless of the messenger, in one interface.

Mass texts can be sent instantly or scheduled. For instance, promotional text campaigns can be prepared in advance, and launched at a specific date and time, and not immediately.

Instant and scheduled mass texts

Important features: what to consider when choosing a mass messaging platform

While most platforms have similar basic features, this often isn’t enough. When choosing a mass texting service, look for the following:

  1. Database segmentation. The ability to divide customer contacts into groups, creating targeted text campaigns for each one.
  2. Statistics. Reports for every mass texting campaign, including data on the number of sent, delivered, and opened messages as well as the number of link clicks. Data can be observed in real-time and pulled from a specific period.
  3. Personalization via variables. This is an automatic insertion of unique data for each recipient, from addressing a client by name to offering a discount code. Variables can make mass texting more personal.
  4. Preview. A mass texting device should allow you to preview a message before launching the campaign. Props to a service that allows you to send an SMS to a test device and see what it will look like.
  5. A/B testing for text campaigns. A/B testing helps you choose a message template with the best conversion rate. For example, template A can be sent to a separate group of contacts in the morning, while template B is sent to another group in the evening. Then, the business can check statistics and analyze the results of each campaign.
  6. Cascading messages. A sequential sending from one channel to another: for instance, if a message is not delivered to a certain client on WhatsApp, the service will forward it to other messaging channels until it finds an active one.
  7. User verification. This can be a Flash Call or Mobile ID method. Customers use these to securely verify certain actions, like receiving a passcode to authorize a service.
  8. API integration. Including integrations with a website, web applications, or popular CMS and CRM systems. The more integration options, the better.
  9. Smooth sending. A promotional campaign is sent to contact groups gradually, over a specified period, instead of simultaneously. This can provide a relief to a call center or business customer service, saving them from a request overflow triggered by a mass texting promo campaign. This feature is useful for medium-sized and large businesses with a significant customer base.
  10. Multilingual support and worldwide outreach. If your customers are in different countries, it is important to find a mass texting service that works with local service providers.
  11. Multi-user mode. Ability to manage an account with a team by assigning statuses and access rights (for example, “Owner” or “Manager”).
Important features: what to consider when choosing a mass messaging platform

Things to avoid

To make message marketing effective, when choosing a platform for mass distribution of messages, avoid:

  • … mass texting to an illegally purchased, “ready-made” database. The Internet has lots of offers to buy customer databases, instead of collecting your own. Doing this is illegal in most countries. Before texting a client, the business must obtain their consent.
  • … “Gray hat” providers that don’t have official agreements with mobile carriers or the leading instant messengers. “Gray hat” services promise to bypass official verifications, while using illegal software. Businesses that agree to this won’t only lose customer loyalty but also get blacklisted by instant messengers forever.
  • …Services that offer only one messaging channel for texting your customers. Some platforms provide an SMS channel and nothing else. Which isn’t enough in the modern realities of message marketing. Especially if you plan to send not just transactional, but also promotional texts.

How to promptly find a service for mass SMS texting: a checklist for businesses

Before you make a final decision on a mass texting platform, don’t forget the checklist below. It will make the activation process and using the service easier:

  • The service must have a demo version or a trial. This will help you figure out whether the platform’s functionality is suitable for your goals, before you actually commit to any payments.
  • The interface must be intuitive. This includes quick access to basic settings, main features, and a knowledge base with instructions.
  • Signing up must be fast. Submitting nothing but a phone number or email while signing up is perfectly normal: you can send all further data and documents after entering an agreement with the platform.
  • Billing must be transparent, and access to closing documents must be easy. On the platform’s website, look for a comprehensive price list, which includes costs per SMS depending on a mobile carrier, costs for a Sender ID depending on an SMS/instant messenger channel, and plans with different package options.
    The platform must regularly send accounting documents for the provision of services, or save them in your account immediately after issuing.
  • The service’s support team should be in touch 24/7. There can always be problems with international mass texting in different time zones, or with website and site integrations. These issues need to be resolved immediately. Also, a personal manager assigned to your business is a major advantage.

Messaggio is a multi-channel mass messaging service. We offer solutions that help small, medium, and large businesses stay in touch with their customers. Access to the platform is free — you only pay for messages and a subscription fee, if the mobile carrier or messenger requires it. Create a free account.

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