For those new to Mobile Marketing you may wonder ‘what is bulk SMS’? There are a number of different terms used to describe this effective marketing channel such as; text message marketing, SMS marketing, bulk text, SMS software, business SMS or SMS alerts but they all mean the same thing.
First of all SMS stands for Short Message Service, this is a text message sent from one mobile device to another. Bulk SMS is therefore sending an SMS to a large number of recipients at once. SMS messages are purchased in bulk, hence the term, and are considerably cheaper than regular SMS from your mobile phone. In addition Bulk SMS is a considerably cheaper method of mass communication than more traditional forms of marketing such as advertising or email marketing.
Bulk SMS can be used by business owners, community groups, marketing agencies or anyone wishing to communicate with a large group of people. Bulk SMS allows you to measure the impact of your sent messages, you can track your delivery reports and if you include a link, you can measure the amounts of hits and/or sales the SMS led to.
You can use bulk SMS to send reminders, update customers, send promotional offers or incentives, run competitions, offer customers coupons, confirm bookings or confirmations. The uses for Bulk SMS are endless!
It is important to point out that if you are sending Bulk SMS, you must comply with the data protection laws by your own countries regulator. You are required to obtain written consent from a consumer prior to adding that consumer to a mobile marketing campaign. This is a very specific term that means an agreement, in writing, bears the signature of the person being marketed to and clearly shows that they are authorising the seller to deliver advertisements or other marketing messages to their phone. The telephone number to which the signatory authorize these marketing messages or advertisements must also be included in the written consent form. You must also give your customers an opt-out option at the end of every SMS you send.
Bulk SMS has open rates of 98% and messages are read by the recipient within 5 minutes.
1. Promotional Bulk SMS
2. Transactional Bulk SMS
1. Promotional SMS:
First of all, let us talk about the Promotional SMS. Like the term suggests, a promotional SMS is sent with the purpose to market, advertise or promote one’s products or services. If the SMS has been sent with the purpose to talk about something that is saleable, then it will be placed under the category of promotional SMS. No matter whether the SMS is desired or not by the recipient, if it tries to sell anything, it will still be considered as a promotional one.
As a matter of fact, promotional messages can be blocked by using the power of NDNC or National Do Not Call. However, bulk SMS service providers always come up with different ways to find their way into your mobile phones, even if your number is registered in the NDNC list. In order to make laws more effective against the senders of promotional, SMS, TRAI has also imposed a service tax on such SMS. In addition, an extra fine of 5 paisa has also been imposed on the same. As a result, sending promotional, SMS has definitely turned out to be a costlier these days.
2. Transactional SMS Service:
Now, let us talk about the Transactional SMS Services. Transactional messages are the ones which are considered important for the users. In simple words, it can also be referred to as Service messages. Messages that are related to the services to you have already availed are placed under the category of transactional SMS.
These messages incorporate messages that are sent with the intension to help the client or user get information related to the services he or she is using already. Transactional SMS services do not contain any kind of marketing or promotional tone. For example, bank account holders always get SMS related to the balance detail of their bank account.
In addition, they also get an SMS whenever money is debited or credited to their bank account. So, these messages are sent purely with the purpose to inform the client about the existing services.
Since these SMS do not contain any kind of promotional or marketing information, therefore even the numbers that are included in the NDNC list get these messages. As a matter of fact, the sender details feature a format of 6 alphabets. So, those were the basic differences between Promotional and Transactional SMS services.
When SMS services that are categorized under the Transactional type always have to follow the rules, otherwise if they send any promotional content then they can be fined heavily. For this reason, it is essential to understand the difference between what a Promotional SMS Service is and what is a transactional.