What do Short Message Service (SMS) marketing and Sam's Club have in common? Both know how to do bulk right.
With SMS marketing, you can reach thousands or millions of your recipients with the right message, on the right channel, at the right time. You can even send in bulk at scale without losing any quality or efficiency.
The same goes for shopping at Sam's Club. You can get everything you want in the quantities you need, saving you time and money.
OK, Sam's Club metaphor aside, bulk SMS marketing (or text messaging) is a powerful way to engage with your audience on their mobile phones. In today’s business world, “58% of consumers say texting is the best way for businesses to reach them quickly,” as opposed to 21% who prefer phone calls and 21% who prefer email communications.
"Bulk sending" gets a bad rap for sounding spammy, but there's nothing wrong with the tactic when used appropriately. Robocalls and unsolicited emails are different stories—now those are spammy.
Well-timed marketing text messages? Your customers actually want those. How do we know? Well, because they opted into these messages—or at least they should if you're following sending guidelines.
Below, we'll teach you everything you need to know about bulk SMS marketing:
- What it is
- What the primary benefits are
- What are some tips for sending
- Who is the best bulk SMS provider
- How to get started
What is bulk SMS marketing?
Bulk SMS marketing (also known as mass SMS marketing) is mass communications via text message to a database of consenting contacts. In layman's terms, it's sending a lot of texts to a lot of people at once.
Unlike pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, sponsored messages, or commercials, it's a channel your customers opt in to receive. Plus, it’s illegal to text or call a cell phone number without prior consent under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
So while your customers can't choose whether they see a billboard ad or hear a radio commercial, they do get to choose whether they receive your text message. Get your text message marketing campaigns right, and they'll likely decide to keep receiving them.
Your SMS marketing messages could be:
- Welcome messages
- Promotions and campaigns
- Product updates
- Customer service communications
- Event invitations
- Appointment reminder texts and confirmations
- Birthday rewards
- And more
Bulk SMS marketing benefits
Whether you're looking for cost savings, efficiency, engagement, or reach, you'll find plenty of reasons to use SMS marketing:
- Less competition: Everyone and their famous Instagram cat use email to communicate with customers—and it works. However, it's a competitive channel, as 82% of email users receive at least 25 emails per day. Yet, just 25% of businesses use text messaging for marketing and promotions, which is good for you if that's how you use the medium.
- Huge return on investment: Sending a text can be as cheap as $0.0075 per message, but each of these messages has the potential to earn big sales. For example, a retail company sending 10,000 texts would only spend around $75, which a single purchase would likely offset.
- Quick to send: Bulk SMS marketing messages take little-to-no time to write, format, and send. Still, you’ll want to personalize your messages to the appropriate segment, though this is relatively fast and straightforward.
- Trusted cloud-based communications: When you use a trusted cloud-based service, you get extensive global reach, flexible pricing, advanced software features, and simple integrations via programmable APIs.
- Tremendous engagement: SMS messages have an outstanding 99% open rate, and recipients open 96% of these messages within 3 minutes of receipt. You won't find better engagement than that anywhere else.
- Massive reach: There are over 6 billion smartphone subscriptions in the world. If you want to reach someone, there's a good chance they have a cell phone.
6 tips for sending better bulk SMS messages
SMS can be a powerful marketing channel when used correctly. Below, we'll cover a few best practices to remember when creating bulk SMS messages:
- Obtain permission: Don't send text messages to customers unless they've provided consent. Permission is not only legally required, but it increases engagement and deliverability.
- Segment your list: Bulk messaging doesn't necessarily mean every customer receives the same message. You might segment your audience and send different messages based on demographics, behaviors, or user preferences.
- Keep it concise: The shorter the better. Make your messages clever and compelling, so your customers take action instead of ignoring them or opting out.
- Provide an opt-out: Let your customers know how to stop receiving your messages. For example, you might include "Text STOP to stop receiving messages" at the end of your texts.
- Use a short code: Short codes are 5 or 6-digit phone numbers made for mass mobile communications. These numbers have shorter (easier-to-remember) numbers optimized for marketing, meaning fewer blocked messages and faster send rates.
- Send at the right time: Understand your customers' behavior. They might be more likely to make a purchase from a lunchtime text rather than a late afternoon text. You’ll also need to respect your recipients’ local time zone and comply with TCPA requirements calling for texts to occur between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Get started with bulk SMS sending
Drive conversions at scale using Twilio's text message marketing solution. With our bulk SMS, you can send and receive text messages (wherever your customers are) using APIs that power over 100 billion messages a year.
Plus, you can get up and running with just a few lines of code, quickly building workflows with SMS (and all your other connected channels) using Twilio's visual workflow builder, Studio.
Give Twilio bulk SMS a try. Sign up for a free account and follow our step-by-step documentation to set up SMS and MMS marketing notifications in C#, Java, Node.js, PHP, Python, or Ruby.