Understanding Bulk SMS basics

Short message service (SMS), is something you probably know if your mobile phone has a SIM card. Short messages can be sent and received via SMS to users’ mobile phones. These messages are commonly called a text message. A text message generally costs less than a mobile call. SMS supports many languages, including logographic languages, such as Japanese or Chinese. They can also be used to carry binary data which makes it possible for you to send images or logos by SMS.

You may be familiar with text messaging and how it works. However, SMS can be used by businesses to communicate effectively with their customers and staff. Bulk SMS refers to a method whereby a business can send a message to multiple recipients at once. These messages are sent through an online program (an SMS gateway). Many companies offer SMS gateways and bulk SMS messaging. Some companies only offer international services, while others cover specific areas or countries.

A number of factors should be considered when you are considering using bulk SMS gateway providers. Here’s a quick summary of the key points.

How do you want the SMS message to be sent?

First of all, decide how you would like to send text messages and what service you will require. Are you looking to install an SMS app on your computer? Or would you prefer to use the SMS service via the Web? Are you just looking to send SMS messages or are you looking for something more advanced, such as the ability to send multimedia messages? Two-way messaging is available from a provider. You might also consider dynamically generating and sending SMS messages from your server. Many SMS providers offer services that allow users to send text messages from Excel spreadsheets.

Make the right connections

Mobile operators are not all required to use the same standard protocol to connect with their SMS Centre. Instead, they have their own connections protocols. If you need to send a bulk message to multiple mobile operators, you will need a bulk SMS gateway provider. It is essential to make sure your provider has good coverage to all mobile operators, with direct connections if possible.

Correct interface

Another technical aspect you should consider is what interface you plan on using and whether your SMS gateway provider supports it. HTTP is the most commonly used protocol, but you can also use other protocols. Bulk SMS gateway providers should be able offer support and advice in this area.

The cost

It is important to compare the rates charged by different SMS gateway service providers. Most providers require you to prepay for your text messages. This can be done by either buying credits from the provider or depositing funds. The service provider will debit your account or take funds from it to pay for the SMS messages you send. The destination will affect the credit amount. However, messaging fees are not deducted from deposited funds. Usually, the number of text messages you send will determine how much you pay per message. Some providers may require you to send minimum bulk SMS every month. You should also consider how frequently you will use the service, and how many messages you are sending.

High quality service

Do not assume that low costs will guarantee quality. A provider with good network coverage is the best choice. A SMS gateway provider may not have a direct line with a mobile operator or country. They will instead use another provider to forward your message. This can delay your bulk SMS messages or cause it to become lost in the shuffle of all the transfer. You want a gateway provider that has a good network and backup routes to mobile operators. A provider should offer 24/7 customer support.