There are a lot of winning opportunities when it comes to digital marketing. Sending promo SMS automatically is one of them, even though such a way of communication seems old-school. Nevertheless, SMS messages are here to stay – the researchers predict that 6 billion people worldwide will send and receive them by 2025. 45% of SMS marketing campaigns are also highly successful. 

While both customers and businesses can benefit from communicating via SMS, let’s find out how to make bulk SMS software, what features to empower it with, and how to monetize your solution.

What Is a Bulk SMS Service: Features & Benefits?

As the name suggests, a bulk SMS service is a solution that allows for instant sending SMS messages to multiple users. Most companies betting on SMS marketing use such applications to avoid manual sending, improve deliverability, and automate a promo campaign. Still, these aren’t all the benefits bulk SMS software comes with.

Bulk SMS Services Benefits

  • Direct to customers. While sending SMS seems a little outdated way of communication, this feature is still in-built in all the smartphones and mobile devices of previous generations. That is, the users haven’t to install it, unlike instant messengers. What’s more, people still read SMS – more than 90% of them read an SMS within the first three minutes after delivery. 
  • Short and capacious messages. Creating an engaging and converting SMS is easier than creating an email, for example, which also needs to be attractively designed, pass by spam filters and stand out with its headline. 
  • High open rate.  Because of the combination of the reasons above, the SMS open rate is higher than those of emails. While the latter is nearly 20%, the SMS open rate can reach 98%
  • Full automation. SMS sending automation is the top benefit bulk SMS services come with. What’s more, some of them allow for setting up fully customized SMS marketing campaigns, schedule their running, and repeat them at the right time automatically. 
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Bulk SMS Software Features

Before proceeding with building an SMS gateway server, let’s find out what basic and advanced features should such an application have to meet the needs of the prospective customers, or be used by the creator internally. Below are the main features of a bulk SMS service divided by categories. 

SMS Management

  • Create an SMS. This is the core feature from which all the further interaction with the system begins.
  • Sending SMS to groups/individuals. This is another essential feature that should already be customizable, allowing the user to flexibly manage sending options and recipients.
  • SMS history. Everything is pretty clear with this feature  – it is necessary to stay aware of the sending progress and previous SMS marketing activities.

Contacts Management

  • Sender ID customization. With the help of this feature, the companies can send SMS using their branded or employee name. 
  • Upload contacts. To make SMS marketing effective, there is a need to constantly expand the customer numbers database, and add them to the bulk SMS system. That’s why the SMS software should be compatible with Excel Spreadsheets or CVV files for quick data transfer, plus integrated with Customer Relationship Management for automatic uploading and data exchange. 
  • Phone number validation. Most of the already developed SMS services charge the users for SMS sent to invalid numbers. So, it makes sense to validate the phone number before adding it to a mailing list, even when you are using the software created on your own to eliminate mistakes and avoid overloading the lists with non-existing recipients. 

Advanced Features

  • Scheduled delivery. Scheduled delivery makes a lot of sense when paired with data analysis. For example, you can schedule a sending when the open rate becomes as high as possible. That’s why entertainment and hospitality companies share their promos during weekends
  • Personalized messages. The opportunity to personalize messages and develop promo offers based on the user’s previous behavior and purchase is another way to streamline sales and keep your customers highly engaged. 
  • Attachments. Sending attachments like GIFs and other visuals is another way to improve SMS engagement, so this feature makes sense as a part of an advanced set. 
  • SMS marketing campaigns management. Managing the whole campaign using bulk SMS services is another advanced feature the companies are likely to appreciate. 
  • Advanced reporting. SMS marketing campaigns management makes even more sense when there is an opportunity to instantly track the core metrics of success, like open rate, click-through, and conversion rate. User behavior data analysis and insights extraction with the help of AI is one more advanced reporting feature to think about.

How to Build a Bulk SMS Application?

How to create a bulk SMS server? Below is a step-by-step action plan. 

1. Decide on an application type

Like any other app, you can create a bulk SMS application tailored to mobile, desktop, or web usage. Creating a web application for sending bulk SMS is the simplest and the most affordable tactic that will allow you to test and validate the idea, develop a convenient UI, gather user feedback, and then proceed with creating mobile and desktop versions.

2. Create a UI/design draft

The good news is that you don’t need a too outstanding and customized design to create an SMS sending app. Instead, it is better to focus on the technical capabilities it comes with and data safety, but as for the design and UI, you still have to draft it. Focus on clarity and intuitiveness.

3. Use a ready-made API

How to build a bulk SMS application in a more affordable way? Using an API can be a winning tactic in this case. Standing for the Application Programming Interface, this is the ready-made piece of code that can be reused in the process of your app building, saving development time and costs.

4. Build basic features

To build the bulk SMS service skeleton, it will be enough to build a feature to create an SMS and send it to multiple recipients. Since this is the core opportunity you have to carefully test it at the next step.

5. Migrate contact data and run a sending test

Next, you should migrate the contact data to the app. Before making this step, make sure to cleanse it from duplicating, invalid and non-existing numbers. After that, run a sending test to make sure the application delivers the messages right.

6. Proceed with improving your app

After you make sure your bulk SMS software can work as it was initially planned, proceed with improving it,  being guided by your users’ or employees’ feedback. 

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How to Make Money From Bulk SMS Service Application

There are three monetization strategies for bulk SMS services. 
  • Subscription. Monetizing your bulk SMS application on the Software as a Service term is the most intuitive and the most effective monetization strategy. Come up with several subscription options depending on the features your app comes with or depending on the amount of SMS the users can send with its help. 
  • API sharing. If you have created your bulk SMS software in a fully custom way, you can also come up with an API and sell it to those business owners in need to create their SMS sending apps. What’s more, such an approach is perfectly compatible with the tactic above.
  • Use internally. Lastly, you can use your software to run your SMS marketing campaigns, internally without the need to pay for subscribing to the third-party’s app. What’s more, having a custom app means an opportunity to tailor it to your specific use case as closely as possible and add any advanced feature you need for your business anytime.

Conclusion

The popularity and effectiveness of SMS marketing aren’t going to fade. What’s more, a lot of companies consider this opportunity to be winning and affordable in one bottle, so let’s give them an opportunity to use a bulk SMS application created by you. Our tech team would be happy to share the best development practices, tips, and tricks to help you create the highest-end SMS service!

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