3 February 2023
Businesses looking to reach a wide audience of hot prospects and existing customers often find themselves grappling with a common dilemma.
How can you launch large-scale business communications while staying on budget – and without losing that personal touch?
You don’t want to bombard your audience with generic and ineffective messaging.
You don’t want to send endless emails that will gather dust in a cluttered inbox.
And as much as you like personalising your communications, you definitely don’t want to spend an eye-watering amount of time drafting personal messages to every single customer.
The answer? Bulk SMS.
Bulk SMS allows you to achieve both quality and quantity, delivering colossal volumes of messages without sacrificing efficiency.
If you’re looking to reach your target audience en masse, then bulk messaging is a must-have tool in your communications arsenal.
But we know what you’re thinking.
Isn’t bulk SMS a little…old school?
The phrase ‘bulk SMS’ might conjure up nightmarish visions of annoying spam texts for many marketers, but this doesn’t reflect the true potential of the channel – and the statistics prove it.
We’ll get to these shortly, but before we do, let’s start with the basics of bulk SMS.
What is bulk SMS?
Bulk SMS is a tool that enables companies to send hundreds (or even thousands) of messages through automated campaigns.
This allows a business to rapidly scale up its messaging strategies by simultaneously reaching a huge number of individuals.
Since bulk SMS is fully automated, there’s no need to waste valuable time and resources on manually sending individual messages.
All you need to do is set up your contact list, schedule your messages, and watch the magic happen. The result is ultra-efficient and highly effective business communication.
Bulk SMS can be used for a variety of purposes, including sending:
- Special offers
- Appointment reminders and confirmations
- Reminders and alerts
- Service updates
All of these messages can instantly be sent to large, pre-defined contact groups – so you can deliver critical business information to mass audiences at the drop of a hat.
What are the key benefits of bulk SMS?
Although the ability to send massive numbers of messages is super useful, that’s not the only thing to like about bulk SMS.
Bulk SMS offers several compelling benefits that make it an invaluable tool for any business looking to reach a large audience.
1. It achieves a jaw-dropping read rate
The average read rate for SMS sits at around 99% – and 97% of these messages are read within 15 minutes of delivery.
If you send an SMS message to any individual, they’re almost guaranteed to read it.
And if you send a bulk SMS message to thousands of individuals? You get the idea.
Combining this sky-high read rate with the sheer scale of bulk SMS is a recipe for mind-blowingly efficient communications.
By using tactical message scheduling to reach your audience at the right time, you can also maximise the chances of engagement. Special promotions, reminders, and notifications can all be timed to arrive at the perfect moment to capture attention.
2. It’s ridiculously efficient
The individuals you’re reaching with bulk SMS have willingly shared their contact information, meaning they’re far more likely to engage with your brand than cold prospects.
This means that you’re never shouting into the mobile-marketing void with bulk SMS – you’re reaching a receptive audience who are willing to engage with your messaging.
Since bulk SMS is relatively cheap to set up and manage, you can achieve an outstanding ROI with these campaigns. Businesses can import their data to set up enormous contact lists quickly and easily, and bulk messages are sent within a matter of seconds.
Although other channels can also reach a large number of individuals, few can match the immense scale, high engagement, and low cost of bulk SMS.
3. It enables personalisation – at scale
Mobile messaging is one of the best ways to reach a huge audience with unrivalled speed and efficiency.
By harnessing the power of SMS, you can keep your entire customer base informed, updated, and engaged in the blink of an eye.
However, there are some pitfalls to watch out for when it comes to mass messaging.
If you frequently send generic communications to a wide audience, recipients will quickly become disengaged and uninterested. SMS works best when it feels personal and specific – cookie-cutter messages can (and will) be ignored.
Fortunately, bulk SMS enables you to send thousands of messages that all feel like one-to-one communication.
Bulk messages can easily be personalised using dynamic templates. Something as simple as the inclusion of a first name can be very powerful, transforming a blanket message into a tailored communication that’s infinitely more likely to grab attention.
What kinds of businesses can benefit from bulk SMS?
Many different businesses and industries can take advantage of bulk SMS.
After all, there aren’t many brands that can’t benefit from wide-reaching campaigns that deliver relentless efficiency and a sterling ROI.
Bulk SMS can play a pivotal role in helping financial businesses to streamline complex processes, manage customer debt, and improve customer service efficiency.
For customers applying for a new financial services product, there’s nothing more frustrating than slow updates and poor communication.
With bulk SMS, financial businesses can automatically keep every applicant up-to-speed with progress updates, approval notifications, and information on next steps. Not only does automation help to keep the application process moving, but it also keeps customers happy.
Bulk SMS can also be used for recovering debt ethically and effectively. SMS automations can keep customers informed about key repayment deadlines, encouraging them to make proactive payments and avoid rising debt.
Customer service is often a major pain point for financial businesses, but bulk SMS can lend a hand here too.
Automated SMS responses can provide direct answers for straightforward queries and reduce the number of calls being handled by customer support agents. This simultaneously increases the number of queries being resolved while freeing up customer service resources.
Travel brands (including airlines and tourism agencies) can utilise bulk SMS to keep customers up-to-speed with the latest news about flights, bookings and tickets.
Since many travel updates can impact large groups of customers simultaneously, bulk SMS is the perfect tool for managing and segmenting these messages.
Bulk SMS is an excellent way to deliver both wide-reaching announcements (e.g. travel delays) and scheduled direct messages (e.g. flight reminders, boarding passes, etc).
Customers rely heavily on travel brands to keep them fully updated about their journeys, so fast and responsive communications are vital to keeping travellers happy.
Retail brands can use bulk SMS for a range of different reasons.
Bulk SMS is ideal for promoting special offers to a sizable, and highly receptive, customer audience. These messages can achieve tremendous reach and are almost guaranteed to be read by valuable shoppers.
Retail brands can also use bulk SMS for more functional purposes, informing customers about new product launches, stock updates, limited-time offers and shipping notifications.
Personalisation is particularly useful for retailers. Many consumers are regularly overloaded with ads and sales messages, and so generic product promotions are easily ignored.
But with a little bit of smart personalisation, retail brands can instantly increase the relevancy of their bulk SMS messages, meaning a much higher chance of driving engagement.
How can I get started with bulk SMS?
Bulk SMS is an exceptionally versatile tool that can help you to reach massive audiences, maintain cost-efficiency, and generate a strong ROI.
Esendex can help businesses of all sizes to get started with bulk SMS, with a seamless setup process that aims to get your communications up and running ASAP.
Get in touch with our experts today, and learn what bulk SMS can achieve for your brand.