Sending messages from a mobile phone can be tricky. The small input device with multi-function keys can make the task of sending even a single message quite daunting. Now imagine a situation where you have to send a dozen of them to different people. Scary, isn’t it? What about SMS marketers? Imagine their predicament, if they had to send thousands of messages by creating small groups or customizing them individually. It would just not be possible; the cost factor would make the whole exercise futile and unviable.
Is there a solution? Yes, online SMS. This platform is typically used for two reasons; communication and marketing.
As a user you simply need to connect to the internet and fire up your browser. Send messages straight from a web based interface. Now isn’t that a comfortable way to communicate and market? Sending messages through the web has many advantages. Some of them are mentioned below.
1. You can send messages to individuals, small & large groups and even customize messages as per your needs. Send alerts, important messages, establish business or simply inform your colleagues about an upcoming project.
2. No need to manually input the telephone numbers of your customers. Simply upload your address book and start adding the numbers by clicking them. This system works just like an email address book.
3. The task of sending Ad campaigns or regular text messages to large number of people is a joyful experience; which is quick, reliable and affordable.
4. You can schedule these messages; for a particular time and date.
Bulk SMS technology is friendly, innovative and affordable. But how does this system actually work? Bulk SMS uses SMS gateways to send mass messages. So What is SMS Gateway? SMS gateway is a set of technologies, which uses several protocols to allow users to send messages from a native device or web based interface which could be a browser or a standalone application. Today, even email clients and spreadsheet programs are used to send bulk SMS.
SMS gateways are owned by network operators who lease them to SMS providers; entities who then offer the bulk SMS setup to various smaller business entities, called SMS marketers or dealers. Bulk SMS dealers on their part sell them to the end users keeping a markup for every SMS credit sold. SMS credits are essential and a prerequisite to send messages. The arrangement typically consists of a three way partnership; network operator, SMS provider and SMS dealer.
SMS provider offers three core services to his dealers, which the dealers pass on to the end users. They are as follows.
1. SMS Software- As mentioned above, it is an interface through which end users, marketers and individuals can send mass messages. This software is available in several avatars such as; web based interface, standalone application and email client or excel plug-in.
2. SMS credits – One of the crucial requirements. Credits are like talk time. Once you consume your credits you need to top up to continue with your marketing chores.
3 Support – Technical help is generally provided by the provider and not by the dealer, which includes software trouble shooting, technical training and setup issues.