6| Minute Read
Are you looking for an SMS marketing company?
Maybe you’re wondering how to go about picking one?
If so, you should know that price-per-SMS isn’t the only thing you need to consider—there are more factors to think about.
A common trap is assuming that all SMS providers must be the same, so you should just pick the cheapest. But this isn’t the case. Some use Australian telcos to send your SMS messages, but others route them via another country to save money.
This practice leads to problems with message delivery, tracking, and recipient opt-out management.
This post equips you with the knowledge you need to pick an SMS marketing company. Then, we’ll recommend to you five SMS marketing companies that should make your shortlist.
How To Choose a Bulk SMS Provider
What Should You Look For in a SMS Marketing Company?
You need to pick an SMS marketing company wisely. Like most telecoms provisions, once you’ve signed a contract, you’re likely to stick with the service for some time.
Some businesses fall into the trap of picking the cheapest. But we say there is more to sending out bulk SMS messages than you think.
Here are three factors you should consider when picking a bulk SMS marketing company provider.
Speed of Delivery and Tracking Quality
Automated Opt-out Management
Ease of Use and Customer Support
1. Speed of Delivery and Tracking Quality
Often, you’ll find that SMS marketing companies offer two levels of service. Both send out bulk SMSs, but one is much more expensive.
Rock bottom pricing means a service provider is likely using cheaper routing methods. They’ll send your messages via third-party countries to avoid paying a fee to Australian telcos.
In Australia, the open rate for SMS messages is a healthy 94%, easily beating other marketing channel open rates. This means you shouldn’t look to cut corners with bulk SMS service provision. But using a cheaper service can result in three problems:
A slow message transmission speed. If you’re sending a time-sensitive SMS campaign at 11:00 am, you don’t want some of your messages reaching subscribers at 7:00 pm.
Some of your messages may have delivery problems. Using cheaper services can mean that some of your messages don’t even reach your prospect’s phones.
A reduced ability to track your SMS messages. If you can track recipient engagement with your SMS messages, you can better judge a campaign’s success.
For example, SMS coupon redemption rates are ten times higher than print ones. You’d want the ability to identify customers that used them, to segment them into a list of VIP customers. A cheaper service may not provide this feature, causing you problems calculating your ROI.
When your thinking about SMS marketing for business and are picking an SMS marketing company, be sure to ask about their delivery rate and speed. And confirm that you can track messages every step of the way.
2. Automated Opt-out Management
Managing opt-outs is a critical task when you send bulk SMS campaigns.
The Spam Act gives everyone the right to opt-out from receiving SMS marketing messages. If your business doesn’t comply with the law, you could find yourself in deep trouble.
In 2021, an Australian firm received a $79,800 fine for sending unsolicited SMS marketing messages without providing recipients with a way to opt-out.
Most SMS marketing solutions have recipient opt-out features, but not all work the same.
Some providers’ systems send replies to your messages directly to your email address, meaning you have to manage opt-outs manually. This causes a couple of issues:
- If you don’t administer your system diligently, you might not update it fast enough.
- You risk importing opted-out customers into your SMS marketing platform if you switch providers.
Receiving replies via email causes another problem as well. 75% of people become frustrated with a business when they receive an SMS and can’t reply.
SMS thrives on two-way communication. When a customer replies to your message, you want the ability to continue the conversation. However, this is not possible with email replies.
More affordable SMS marketing services route your replies back to your mobile number. But this halfway-house still leaves you the task of manually managing opt-outs.
A preferred option is to have the SMS marketing company provide you with a number and a two-way text feature. When your provider controls the reply path, they can manage opt-outs for you automatically.
When you speak with your shortlist of SMS providers, find out how their service manages opt-outs and two-way messaging.
3. Ease of Use and Customer Support
A further factor to consider is how the service operates once you’ve committed to an SMS provider.
You don’t want to waste time learning a complicated system when you start to use the SMS platform. Ask for a demonstration from each company on your shortlist before you make your final decision. When you try the software, ask yourself the following:
- Is it easy to set up a campaign?
- How do I import customer contacts?
- If I decided to send MMS messages, can the system do these?
- Are there any SMS templates included to make life easier?
- Can I send multi-sequence messages?
- Does the system have an API for me to connect to other systems?
Finally, ask about the customer support setup. Learning a new system usually requires expert help. So you’ll want to understand how the SMS marketing company delivers support.
Some will only offer email or chat-based support, and you may need to wait for 24 hours until you get a response. If fast, telephone support is important to you, check that the company provides it and if they charge extra for it.
Once you’ve decided, you will likely work with the company for a reasonable length of time. Make sure you know that the system is easy to use and has good customer support provision.
Five Recommended SMS Marketing Companies
Best bulk SMS provider for those who need to send to more than one country.
ClickSend is a global SMS marketing company based out of Perth and is ideal for businesses that operate internationally. ClickSend integrates with over 800 applications and is one to shortlist if you need transactional eCommerce SMS messages.
- Inbound messages are always free.
- Postpaid accounts for qualifying businesses.
- Automatically handles opt-outs.
- Offers transactional eCommerce SMS messaging.
- Sends up to 4800 messages per minute.
- 1224 character limit.
Price to use the platform: Free to sign up, $19 per month for a dedicated number.
Price-per-SMS: Starting from 7¢
2. Burst SMS
Bulk SMS provider that only uses Australian telcos.
Founded in 2008, Burst SMS operates from its offices in Sydney. They don’t use overseas grey routing to send SMS messages, so you can be confident of delivery and tracking capabilities.
- Real-time messaging statistics.
- Personalise each SMS message.
- 100% SMS delivery is guaranteed.
- Omnichannel messaging with Facebook and WhatsApp.
- White label reseller service.
- Memorable dedicated phone numbers for an additional fee.
Price to use the platform: Free to use, with a $19 charge per month for a dedicated number.
Price-per-SMS: Starting from 7.9¢.
Link: Burst SMS
3. SMS Broadcast
Best SMS marketing company for those prepared to manage opt-outs manually.
SMS Broadcast has 16 years of experience in bulk SMS services and operates from a head office based in Melbourne. They offer a service to those who want to send shorter messages at an affordable price.
- 160 characters per message.
- Longer messages are available, costing five messages.
- Schedule your message sending times.
- Templates available for consistent communication.
- Offers an email-to-SMS API.
Price to use the platform: Free. A dedicated number is available for an annual fee of $179.
Link: SMS Broadcast
4. Message Media
Best bulk SMS provider for those needing 24/7 support.
Message Media is an experience SMS marketing company that sends out over 400 million messages every month. Founded in 2000, Message Media now operates internationally from its offices in Melbourne.
- A monthly subscription pricing model which includes complimentary messages.
- High-speed volume sending.
- A web-based two-way conversation inbox.
- Create internet landing pages to capture customer mobile numbers.
- All messages routed via on-shore telcos.
- Integrates with 85+ popular platforms, including Shopify and Salesforce.
Price to use the platform: From $39 per month (includes 500 SMS messages).
Price-per-SMS: Not disclosed on their website. Contact for further details.
Link: Message Media
5. SMS Solutions Australia
Best bulk SMS service provider for non-profits needing data security.
Founded in 2006 by a small team of telecoms and marketing experts, SMS Solutions Australia operates from Melbourne and Auckland, New Zealand.
- Two-way SMS messaging.
- Automated opt-out management.
- Multi-sequence messaging.
- 160 character limit per message.
- Send appointment reminder SMS messages.
- Offers an SMS reseller service.
Price to use the platform: $29 per month, including a dedicated number and automated opt-out.
Price-per-SMS: 4¢ for first purchase (any amount), volume pricing after that as low as 5¢.
Link: SMS Solutions Australia
Email Automation and SMS Companies
Some SMS companies offer email automation along with their SMS services. Using Email automation alongside your SMS campaigns has a number of advantages when it comes to running a campaign.
Advantages of using email automation companies for your SMS campaigns:
- Automate the send of your SMS
- Reach a wider audience with email and SMS communications
- Reinforce your messaging when you use email and SMS combined
- Use SMS software automation tools in your campaign to trigger events based on SMS activity.
- Run an SMS campaign alongside your email campaign and see your customer engagement levels rise
SMS marketing for business is something you should definitely be doing. But picking an SMS marketing company is a decision you should give some thought.
While most providers appear equal, there are a few points to clarify before making your decision.
- Will your Messages be sent via Australian telcos?.
- Understand how the system handles those critical customer opt-outs.
- What features and integrations does the system offer?
- If you need assistance, how is customer support delivered and when is it available?
- Does your SMS company offer email services as well?
- Can you run a campaign using both SMS and email together?
Once you have satisfied these questions and you are happy with the price, you have successfully picked an SMS marketing company!
Harness the Power of Automation Software for your SMS Campaigns
SMS Marketing isn’t just the future, it’s the present day. Without SMS as a core part of your marketing strategy, your brand runs the risk of lagging behind and failing to reap the benefits of the wider reach, and better engagement rates of catering to mobile devices.
Is your business currently using SMS and email as part of your wider strategy? Do you need help with the creation, automation, or increasing engagement?
Here at Swift Digital, we can help you with your email and SMS campaigns by providing tips on email and SMS best practices to make your next campaign a success! Start collecting SMS subscriptions today, and see how your ideal ROI is only a couple of text messages away.
To find out how your business can get the best out of Swift Digital’s SMS module, contact our team today on 02 9929 7001