The last chapter in this series talked about the difference between long codes and short codes and when to use them.
This chapter is all about choosing your mobile marketing supplier. There are loads of companies to choose, which one would suit you best? You’ll obviously need to read this chapter with the cynicism it deserves as we are clearly going to be promoting ourselves. Putting that bias to one side, there are some general points that we make, that will genuinely help you understand the difference between bulk sms suppliers.
Choosing the right supplier from the mobile marketing industry is frankly a bit of a nightmare.
Companies seem to package things in different ways, have different sms pricing structures and appear to do as much as possible to confuse the hell out of you. There also appears to be a very wide range of prices for what appears to be the same product. Why on earth does it have to be so complicated? Well for companies who are looking for a simple outbound sms solution that allows them to communicate with their customers or staff by text, it really needn’t be too tough.
There are however a few simple guidelines to buying sms marketing services that we think you need to be aware of.
Guideline number 1.
Beware the sms credit.
We’ve come across a number of text marketing companies that quote their services on a per credit basis. Sounds reasonable, 1 credit means 1 text right? Wrong, unless you happen to be sending your messages to Dubai that is. Be warned that to send sms messages to the UK networks may require using 1.7 or 1.8 credits. So what on face of it might appear to be an amazing deal, actually turns out to cost nearly double what you had expected.
Guideline number 2.
Don’t buy before you tried!
When you choose a text messaging company you’re making a reasonable commitment, so it’s worth getting it right. You should be allowed to test the service, have a play, make sure you’re happy with everything before you start spending your cash. Does the system do what you want and expect it to? How was your support request handled? Did the support team seem experienced?
Guideline number 3.
Don’t reinvent the wheel.
The chances are that your use for sms marketing will have been done before either for a company in your sector or possibly a competitor. So choose a company who can advise you on the best way to run and structure you campaign. Why make mistakes that have been made before. We’ve all had the ‘rookie error’ experience and they can be costly. (You can always ignore the advice if you don’t rate it!) Take a look at our ‘Seven Deadly Sins of Mobile Marketing’ e-book to avoid the worst howlers.
Guideline Number 4.
Price is important… but make sure you’re comparing eggs with eggs
We all buy on price, it’s our basic instinct. What makes things slightly more confusing in our industry is that there are a huge number of possible services, and a huge range in the quality of these services. I’m not just talking here about the ‘value added’, nice to have stuff either, I’m referring to the basic reliability of being able to send a text and it actually arriving on the phone with no delay.
If you’re buying other telecoms services such as phone lines, the product is pretty much always the same; not so with sms services. There are hundreds of ‘gateways’ that sms providers can use to access the UK mobile networks. Some of these are woefully unreliable and do not support even the most basic tools such as delivery reporting and sender ID, (who the message is from.)
It won’t be a surprise to learn that the lower quality gateways can be offered at a lower price than premium gateways. For some applications, where a client is sending hundreds of thousands of messages a month, then these gateways make perfect sense, but for many companies who might be sending a few thousand or less, this is a serious false economy. It’s also worth keeping an eye on how pricing effects your monthly spend on SMS marketing. If you are sending 1000 texts a month, a price difference of 0.6 pence per message makes a whopping difference on your monthly spend.
If you haven’t already got an account, you can set one up here. Use the promo code ‘nirvana9′ and you’ll receive 50 free credits to test the service.
Give us a call on 0117 2050202 and we’ll do our best to demonstrate that we’re not talking nonsense but can actually deliver on this. We look forward to hearing from you
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