How to: find the perfect SMS provider

Topic: How to:

choosingIgnoring the impact of mobile marketing is a detrimental move for any business, so most forward-thinking businesses are always working on mobile communication strategies. Businesses seeking the most reliable and direct way to contact customers and staff tend to choose SMS because of its high open rates and popularity. However, there’s more to the story than picking the right medium. Even the best medium can lose its effect due to a poor provider. So here’s everything you need to check off your list before you pick an SMS provider:

Do they have direct connections to major networks?

Delivery is the most important factor determining the effectiveness of an SMS marketing campaign. Strong connections will ensure the best delivery results and make sure messages make it to their recipient and do so in a timely fashion. So although you may think you’re paying less per message, if half the messages aren’t being delivered, you’re really paying twice as much.

Do they they provide excellent customer service?

While many SMS services are intuitive to use, it’s reassuring to find a provider that will be able to assist with any difficulties that you might come across. Support should be available across a number of channels including phone, email and website chat.

Is their platform easy to use?

It’s not complicated to send text messages so there’s no reason SMS platform shouldn’t be easily navigable and easy to use.

Can they can integrate with your systems?

The best SMS providers will offer multiple avenues of incorporating SMS into your daily operations. They will have an online platform, an email SMS platform and an API. Having an API allows customers to integrate SMS into their current systems. Not only do the top providers offer an SMS API, but they will also offer Software Development Kits (SDKs) in multiple development languages. You can view examples of these kits on our  developer site.

Can they can show you results?

No one likes paying for something without receiving evidence of its impact. It’s important that the status of SMS sent can be tracked, so that you’re aware when the messages have been delivered. This is essential when deciphering the quality of data and understanding results obtained from SMS campaigns. Without this information, it is very difficult to understand the Return On Investment (ROI), but not only that, there is also the possibility of continually sending thousands of messages to numbers that do not exist.

Do they value data security and can be trusted with sensitive information?

It’s important you know that any data you share will be secure. Protecting customers’ data should be as important to the provider as it is to you. There are many data security awards and accreditations out there, but none are as thorough as the ISO27001. Check to see if they have any external accreditations before handing them sensitive data, like people’s mobile numbers

Will they help keep your databases organised?

It is a common problem to have to negotiate around outdated customer databases. Connecting with your audiences, be it employees or customers, can be extremely difficult if databases have inaccurate details. The most suitable SMS providers offer a service to assist with cleaning data. This will ensure that the messages are being delivered to the intended recipients.

Do they have years of experience with others just like you?

As with any service provided, there is no substitute for years of experience and expertise. The most suitable SMS provider for you would have worked with similar businesses before and delivered excellent results. Many providers will have customer stories to see what businesses they’ve been able to help before.  Make sure you read a few that are relevant. Even with all the advice we can offer, there’s really nothing better to help find the perfect match than seeing for yourself. We offer businesses a 7 day free trial so you will have 25 credits to play with, so test it out yourself today!

Author Avatar
Prachi Bametha

Marketing Coordinator, Esendex Australia