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Quick Guide to SMS Blasts and How to Send Them

            BONUS MATERIAL: The Psychology of SMS Marketing

Are you looking for an affordable web-based SMS service to kickstart the marketing portion of your business?

Are you also looking for a simple way to send an SMS to hundreds or even thousands of customer phone numbers simultaneously?

Not sure where to start? This can all be done with the use of a text blast service.

But what is text blasting?

Read our guide on text message blasts below, including how businesses use them and how to send them yourself using Messente. You’ll also learn about SMS best practices and important messaging principles when sending your campaigns.

What are text message blasts?

A text message blast is also called an SMS blast. An SMS blast is a form of bulk SMS text messaging that is sent to a large number of mobile phone numbers simultaneously via an automated text messaging system. Text blasts are a simple and effective way for a person or business to communicate a message quickly to a large number of people.

SMS text blast services can be used in SMS marketing campaigns, and this is often called text blast marketing. It's a great way to raise brand awareness, send emergency notifications or update tens of thousands of customers at once.

In simpler terms, a text blast refers to an SMS message sent from an SMS platform to a large number of recipients all at the same time and it is just another word for bulk SMS texting. The text is sent via an SMS messaging provider - which acts as an intermediary between a business and mobile network operators.

Why send text message blasts?

The benefits of SMS blast services stretch far and wide. Text messages are the main way of communicating to customers nowadays, so utilizing a text blast service is a must for any experienced marketer. Text blast services offer countless opportunities for businesses to grow and expose themselves to new audiences.

An SMS blast is often the fastest, most reliable, and most straightforward way to reach an entire customer base or specific customer groups for businesses. In doing so, an SMS blast can help increase brand awareness and, customer engagement, and boost sales.

The best part about SMS is that it’s an accessible channel for most people and most businesses to take advantage of. 4.88 billion people worldwide currently use a mobile phone with text messaging capabilities, and this figure is only set to grow in the next few years.

But in addition to accessibility, text messages also grab the user's attention. Unless the mobile users have their notifications switched off, an SMS presents itself as a flash notification on a smartphone’s home screen. Most mobile users, 98% of them, in fact, go on to open a text message. If that isn’t impressive enough, you should know that text messages also have a 45% response rate.

It’s no surprise that text messages were used heavily during U.S. President Joe Biden’s election campaign back in 2020. Read how it was used to inform subscribers about the campaign, to provide information about voting, and how it helped boost organic reach on other channels.

How businesses use text message blasts

It’s essential to create conversations with your customers to fully engage with them. The bottom line, SMS blasts serve to boost sales. Sending SMS messages in bulk will lead to more conversions, more orders, stronger brand loyalty, and eventually, larger revenue for your business.

Text blasts are used frequently in a range of industries and for a variety of reasons. Take a look at these examples below:

  • Retail and e-commerce - for delivering discounts, special offers, loyalty programmes, review requests, abandoned cart alerts and promoting new products. They’re also used for sending automated transactional messages like order confirmations, delivery updates, and refund confirmations.

  • Public and private healthcare - a common text blast use is for sending out appointment and prescription reminders to patients using dentist, doctors and hospital services. It’s also used for promotions in some settings, such as advertising cosmetic or orthodontic treatments.

  • Entertainment - bars, restaurants, cinemas, and bowling alleys use text blasts to promote time-sensitive deals or update customers on new activities. Examples include two-for-one dining experiences, free cinema tickets, new restaurant menus, and discounted bowling.

  • Property sales and lettings - for advertising new property listings and transactional messages like viewing confirmations and seller status updates.

  • Emergency alerts - public and private firms use text blasts to deliver urgent emergency-related information, like weather and flood warnings or anything that might affect a person’s ability to travel to work.

How you can send text message blasts

To send text blasts, you need a database of phone numbers and a text message blast service or an SMS sending service with a bulk messaging capability. Messente is one such service. Follow the steps below to get started quickly.

1. Sign up to Messente

The first step is to create a Messente account and apply for a sender ID. This can be your own phone number (quickest option), a short code number, or a brand name. You’ll be prompted to apply for a sender ID when you log into your account for the first time. There’s no charge to create an account. You’ll only pay when you want to send a text blast.

2. Collect SMS subscribers

You might already have a database of phone numbers that you want to text, in which case you can upload them to Messente’s systems through the main dashboard. But if you don’t have this in place, you can use Messente’s Phonebook API to start collecting phone numbers. The API enables you to set up a dedicated landing page with a data capture form.

3. Create groups (if needed)

Depending on whether you want to send a text blast to your entire database, or selected contacts, you can split your list into separate groups. You might have a different messaging strategy for new customers compared to VIPs, for instance. You can create groups and upload contacts to them in the Phonebook section of the Messente dashboard.

Creating contact groups for text message blasts

4. Create your text message blast campaign

Finally, all that’s left to do is create your campaign and send it. Head over to the Messaging tab to compose your text. Select either the specific groups you want to target or your entire database, then type your content into the message box.

You can personalise your text by using the customer’s first name, company name, or other personal information you’ve collected. Click on Preview to view your message before sending it. You’ll then see the total cost of your text message blast. Click Send or Schedule for Later, and you’re done!

Sending a text message blast campaign

SMS best practices and regulations

If you’re sending out a text blast for text message marketing purposes, there are some messaging regulations and guidelines to be aware of, which aim to protect consumers from text message spam.

For recipients who live in the United States, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) applies, along with the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) messaging principles. SMS rules also apply in other countries - the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive covers the UK and Europe, for instance.

These regulations and guidelines set out a list of best practices you should adhere to when sending SMS blasts. You’ll want to read them in detail, but as a very brief summary, you should:

  • Get the customer to express written permission to send marketing text messages - this can be an opt-in box where customers electronically tick a checkbox to say they’re happy to receive text message marketing. Note that opt-out boxes, where the checkbox is preselected, are not allowed. You must keep a record of consent.

  • Never send text blast marketing during ‘do not disturb’ hours - that is, before 8 am or after 9 pm, according to the recipient’s local timezone. Be courteous to your subscribers and only send messages during normal business hours. The aim is to inspire immediate action from your customers, therefore sending the messages at the right time is an important factor to consider.

  • Be mindful of messaging frequency and relevance - you shouldn’t overwhelm your subscribers with content, as this will increase your opt-out rate and lead to complaints. Also, only send content that your subscribers have willingly signed up for, which will provide value to them.

  • Always include an opt-out - to give recipients the chance to unsubscribe if they no longer want to receive SMS marketing messages. This can give subscribers the chance to stop receiving your messages if they are not what the customer originally signed up for. This can help maintain a good brand identity.

  • Provide value to the customer - If a customer gives your business permission to text them, you should focus your efforts on giving them something valuable in return. Do this by avoiding duplicate text message marketing campaigns and keep it fresh by differentiating each message you send.

  • Include disclaimers - The wireless communication industry requires all SMS texting services to include disclaimers in each SMS campaign. This could include "Data rates and charges may apply", notifying the customers that if they choose to respond, it could result in charges or data use on their end. You can add these disclaimers to your auto-send to prevent you from forgetting to add it in.

Further reading: Messente’s SMS Marketing Best Practices to Follow

Get started sending text message blasts

To summarise text blasting:

  • Almost every business needs a mobile marketing strategy to be successful in 2021 and beyond
  • Customer demand for a well-rounded user experience with businesses is rising, especially for greater mobile experiences from businesses
  • Many businesses have already adopted SMS text blasting and it is necessary to do the same to keep up with the competition

Every business would benefit from sending text message blasts. Thankfully, there are many text blast services to choose from. With Messente, you can get up and running fairly quickly and start text message marketing in no time.

Once you've got your database of phone numbers and obtained permission from each subscriber, you're good to go.

Messente sends business-critical SMS messages and pin codes to over 190 countries and is trusted by big brands such as DPD and Volvo. Get more customers and boost brand loyalty with highly converting SMS campaigns and text blasts.

Have more questions? Our friendly customer support team is happy to help. Get in touch today.

Taavi Rebane
2021-10-11 00:00:00 UTC