How Does SMS Broadcasting Work and What Is It?
In the world of digital communications you need to choose your medium to suit the instance. If you need a quick response, or your message is short, then SMS is a great option.
Just a few years ago, the mobile phone was deemed to be a very personal device. However, as their capabilities have increased, they are used more and more for work whether it be browsing, emails or applications. This in turn has opened up the mobile as a more acceptable target for work-based communications, alerts and to some level marketing. Over use of SMS can be very intrusive, so picking your time and topic is important.
Reaching the masses in a single message is referred to as a “Broadcast”. Although you can personalise a broadcast, on the whole it is the same message sent to multiple people. Generally, broadcasts are split into 3 categories
Alerts can be a reminder to an event or an appointment.
A straight-out promotion of a product, service or event.
A link to an invoice, statement, or a reminder of payments due. May also be a survey.
As the mobile is typically a personal device, an SMS message is far more likely to be read than any other digital communication. However, it is also far easier for the recipient to block further communication, so you need to keep the message to the point and relevant to the recipient.
Although you can send broadcast messages from your own mobile device, it is far more effective and, in most cases, cheaper to use a SMS service provider. However, you do need to be mindful of a few factors.
First and foremost you must make sure that your SMS messages are not delivered from overseas. The Australian Privacy Principles state that you can only send someone’s personal information overseas with their explicit permission. A mobile phone number is considered to be personal information, even if used for business.
If you want a response to your SMS Broadcast, make sure that the “SMS Header”, who the SMS appears to come from, is a valid mobile number. Where possible it is best to get a number from your provider with replies going back to you via your chosen means, although normally email.
You can use an “Alpha header” which includes alpha characters from A through to Z as well as 0 through to 9, but these cannot be replied too. Your Provider should be able to help you with this.
Once you have your delivery means sorted, it is important to get your message right. Although you can in most cases send a message of up to 1000 characters, a single SMS is 160 characters for billing purposes. As your recipients are unlikely to read long text messages, it is best to keep your message within the 160 character single SMS message limit. Although you can include a link, you can not put it “Behind” a word as SMS (Simple Message Service) does not allow coding to do that. You need to type the full link in. There are services that can take your link and provide you with a shortened version to save characters. You are then relying on the recipient device to recognise it as a link and treat it accordingly.
For Marketing SMS, keep it short, keep it simple and to the point. Do not constantly bombard your audience and results will come if your offer is relevant.
As with all communications, a bit of careful planning and you can make SMS work for you without costing you a fortune.
PRODOCOM has been delivering individual and broadcast SMS messages for over 20 years. If you want to know how to do SMS marketing or integrate SMS into your digital communications strategy, we’re here to work with you and talk through the options.
If you need a quick response, or your message is short, then SMS is a great option.
For more information call us on 1300 132 739, we’re here to help