Bulk SMS – The 160 characters that can reach millions.
To anyone unfamiliar with Interactive Telephony’s bulk SMS portal, the idea of starting an SMS marketing campaign may seem daunting. In truth, it is no more difficult than updating your Facebook status or typing in MS Word.
With its simple to use interface you can communicate with your market directly from your computer, without having to employ your local high school’s grade 10 class to do the texting for you.
After signing up to our service, it is essential that you build a database of customers and potential customers. Every interaction is an opportunity to ensure that details are up to date and correct.
Care should also be taken that your customers have opted in to receive SMS communication from your company. Unsolicited spam could have the opposite effect of a good marketing campaign and although it might have your phones ringing off the hook, it could be from irate customers canceling your services instead of interested and informed customers lining up to buy them.
In a such a scenario, the legal repercussions of spam will seem trivial.
Yet with the simple legal and ethical issues cleared, you have the power to communicate with an almost unlimited subscriber base at a very, very low cost.
Whether your company is listed on the stock exchange or you run a small speciality store, the direct marketing clout of SMS should not be ignored.
According to the International Telecommunications Union, 70% of the world’s population has access to a mobile phone (against 100% in South Africa). Of that number, 80% regularly use SMS services.
Given that most users carry their phones with them every hour of every day (who can say that for a laptop computer or a Post Office mailbox?) it is also possible to send time-specific messages to promote time-specific events.
If you were place your 160 characters of text in a (very large) boxing ring against 160 call centre employees, it’s the digital corner that will win hands down. Receiving an SMS is considered less intrusive than a sales call and one person signed in to a bulk SMS portal can do in five minutes what hundreds of call staff won’t manage in a month. Add to that the fact that even if your customer is not available at a given time, the SMS will sit on the server until the moment the phone is online again.
With people becoming more environmentally conscious, bulk SMS is helping to reshape our future and together with email, it is helping to reshape the direct marketing future. Given the ease at which one can respond to a text message, the convenience factor alone outweighs that of the traditional mail.
Although customers have become weary of handing out their details to just anyone you can still convince your client base of the need to stay informed of your offerings. The key is to respect your customers’s privacy and to ensure that your message stays personalised and relevant.