This is the first step of your SMS Marketing journey.
Similar to email marketing tools/ software, you require a Bulk SMS service provider to send customized mass text messages to your customer base.
Prior to going for a certain software, you need to ensure that it can do much more than just sending out bulk messages.
Following are the features that you should positively look out for while choosing a particular Bulk SMS Provider:
(1) Text Scheduling
This is one of the most important features that a bulk SMS provider should have.
It’s seldom that a brand would curate an SMS campaign and send it right away.
Similar to social media posts and emails, every brand prefers to schedule content a few days prior to finally sending them.
Therefore you should ensure that your SMS provider mandatorily has a text scheduling feature in it.
(2) Subscriber Keywords/keyword opt-in
The Subscriber Keyword feature is another must-have in this list.
Subscriber Keywords are used in text messages that are sent out by brands to their potential subscribers.
A person who is interested in subscribing to a brand would type in the subscriber keyword mentioned in the text message and send it.
By doing this they will be automatically signed up to receive your text messages.
Let’s explain this with an example:
Let’s say, you own a Pizza Joint and are interested in using SMS campaigns. You send a text message inviting users to subscribe.
In this case, an ideal subscriber keyword can be “cheesy”.
Interested users can text “cheesy” to your number and automatically get signed up.
(3) Listing and Segmenting
This feature would allow you to segment your audience into separate groups so that you can target them with customized SMS campaigns.
It also includes adding new contacts to these lists.
(4) Link Tracking/ Analytics
This would allow you to measure the performance of your SMS campaigns and to take up appropriate measures to improve their effectiveness
Auto responding is a feature where your SMS service provider would send an automated text message to a consumer when he performs a certain action related to your brand.
This can include confirmation messages on making purchases, welcome messages on signing up, etc.
(6) Options for Customising
In today’s world, it’s crucial that every marketing medium should have a strong personal touch to it and SMS is no different.
Therefore you should ensure that your service provider has certain custom fields such as including the first /last name of the individual customer in your text messages.
Here’s a list of top SMS Service Providers in 2020, if you are interested in considering further options.