Text messaging has come a long way since the first text message was sent more than 25 years ago on the 3rd of December 1992. Now, texts have become one of the world’s most successful advertising and marketing tools, not to mention being used by billions of people to stay in contact with friends and family.
Bulk messaging emerged as a key tool to target large groups of customers in one go. The medium of advertising is able to provide exceptional reach, offer mass marketing in seconds, and create an easy to track response. Bulk SMS messaging has enabled businesses to reach out to customers on personal level that has never been seen before.
Many companies have capitalized on the trend of SMS marketing, offering software that ‘does it all’. This has created quite the problem for businesses actively looking for the best bulk SMS marketing software on the market. Today, simply searching for bulk software is never going to tell you whether or not the software is good or if it is great.
Great marketing comes from differentiating yourself from the crowd, and that starts by finding a software that stands out. Bulk software is in abundance, but it certainly isn’t all great. The secret to finding the right software for your business isn’t by looking solely at ‘bulk’, but by looking at the features.
The right features will give your business access to more, and with it, give your customers access to more at the same time. Here’s are five of the top features that separate great bulk SMS marketing software from the merely ‘good’.
Autoresponders and Scheduling
One of the best capabilities of SMS marketing is to be able to easily schedule when text messages are sent. This puts almost complete control of when messages will be seen in the hands of the sender and enables campaigns to be timed to perfection.
Great software will allow you to easily manage this process, give you the ability to schedule text releases weeks and even months in advance, and group contacts to make sure that the right message goes to the right target audience.
Advanced options will also be a feature of the great software providers, such as the ability to set up autoresponders. An autoresponder communicates with new subscribers on your behalf, sending them a pre-scripted text as soon as they subscribe.
Multimedia Messaging Capabilities
As text messaging has developed, MMS have become the norm with 96 billion SMS and MMS messages sent in the UK in 2016. MMS messages allow you to connect with your target audience on an entirely new level, providing rich content that can engage customers for minutes at a time – extending the capabilities of SMS marketing even more.
The ability to send media messages alongside your text-based content, whenever you want, introduces a new realm of possibility into your campaign. Great software will allow you to manage your MMS campaign as easily as your text-based campaign, and seamlessly time the two for optimum customer impact.
Contests and Polls
Text marketing in used in an exceptional number of industries for an incredibly varied list of reasons. One of these reasons is the running of contests and polls – two of the best ways to generate high levels of customer engagement. Exclusive contests, coupons, promotions, and polls are great ways to learn more about customers and, in return, reward them for subscribing to your list.
Great SMS software makes poll creation an absolute breeze, with text-to-vote polls easy to implement into your campaign and very simple to manage. Polls are an additional source of marketing, bring a business essential information and creating variety for customers. Similarly, contests build band loyalty and further the reach of marketing. Having tools to send out polls and contests at your fingertips is invaluable.
Top software will also go one step further when it comes to customized messaging. There will be options to send birthday greetings automatically and even the ability to send out reminders about appointments, all of which can be scheduled for your convenience.
Social Media Integration
In the first quarter of 2018, there were a recorded 2.196 billion registered Facebook users that were active on a monthly basis – more than a quarter of the world’s population. Being able to integrate your SMS campaign with your social media page seriously improves your customer reach and allows you to target customers that prefer other mediums of communication.
Social media integration is a feature of great SMS bulk marketing software, making it incredibly easy to share the same text-based message straight to a social media page for seamless integration. Integration will also be available for other mediums of communication, such as the ability to send SMS to email and email to SMS.
Management and Monitoring
Perhaps one of the biggest differences between good software and great software is the capabilities for management. As one of the most important aspects of a campaign, good management ability is essential for ongoing campaign success. The best software will allow you to track the performance of the campaign quickly and easily, keep track of subscribers, and view the SMS logs. This ability to monitor progress is invaluable when tailoring a campaign that is all but guaranteed to be successful.
Additional features of great software will make other areas of management easier as well. There will be the ability to search through subscribers, create groups for segmented targeting, and receive delivery statistics to easily analyze the number of received messages in any campaign. With the right software, you’ll always be able to stay ahead of the game and plan your marketing choices with all the relevant information at hand.
The underlying difference between good software for SMS campaigns and great software for SMS marketing, is potential. A great software will enhance the potential of the marketing method, constantly bringing out new innovations to stay ahead of the crowd. Good software plays catch-up, meaning that your business is always behind the latest trends in just what this form of marketing can achieve. Finding great software will mean that you have a long list of possibilities to explore, all for a fair bulk SMS price – affordable marketing at it’s most diverse.