Since Neil Papworth sent the first SMS (Short Message Service) message on December 3, 1992, it was clear that this was a game-changer. A standardised, cost and data-efficient method of sending text messages from any device with a cellular connection to another, it was an instant hit. By the end of 2010, SMS was the most widely used data application with an estimated 3.5 billion active users, 80% of all mobile phone subscribers.
SMS serves various purposes, from sending messages to friends, family and acquaintances, referred to as peer-to-peer (P2P), to establishing automated communication between businesses and customers, known as application-to-person (A2P).
This efficient yet straightforward technology can make a tremendous difference to a small, medium or even large business owner. This is why choosing the right SMS service provider is essential.
The Cheaper, the better, right?
Choosing an SMS service provider is more than just picking the cheapest or most convenient option. Besides price, there are many factors to consider, such as delivery rate, platform security, routing, latency, CRM integration, and many more.
There are different kinds of SMS services depending on your business requirements, and this is why you must be careful to select the right provider with exemplary service.
We have prepared a list of considerations before you choose a provider.
- What services exactly?
Service providers typically provide bulk, promotional and transactional SMS services depending on your business requirements. These various types of SMS services are defined below:
- Bulk SMS – these are SMS messages sent to a large group of people simultaneously, i.e., simultaneously. Also known as mass text messaging.
- Promotional SMS – brands and businesses send these to current or prospective customers to promote services, products, and offers. Widely regarded as one of the most effective marketing tools.
- Transactional SMS – these are strictly non-marketing. They are sent from a business to a customer to pass critical information about a service, product or process. They are typically used to send one-time passwords (OTPs) and transaction information.
When considering a service provider, it is in your best interest to specify what SMS service you are purchasing, as not all providers offer all SMS types. For example, at Lagos-based but globally available HollaTags, we offer bulk, transactional and promotional SMS services, removing the need to switch providers for different types of messages and saving you time, money and stress.
- Delivery Rate: This is the ratio of SMS messages that reach their intended targets to the number of messages sent. While it may be impossible to get to a 100% delivery rate due to regulatory restrictions, switched off phones, roaming, etc. Therefore, selecting a provider with a high delivery rate is advisable. This would prevent you from resending failed messages, costing more in the long run. And with HollaTags’ 99% delivery rate, you will surely get your money’s worth and avoid unnecessary expenses, ensuring you meet your business targets.
- Reliability and Security: Beyond just sending SMS messages, a good service provider must provide a reliable and secure platform. This means that you should be able to rely on your provider to send messages at any time you need to while also ensuring that your data and customer information are safe from unauthorised actors.
- Latency: This is the time between sending out the message and when it delivers to the recipient. It is a critical factor, especially when dealing with OTPs, user authentication texts and time-sensitive marketing campaigns. Your optimal service provider should be one with instant messaging, and HollaTags’ API dominates the market in this aspect with just 2 seconds delivery time. This ensures a seamless experience for businesses and users alike.
- CRM Integration: It is advisable to select a service provider that can integrate easily with your existing CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. This will help your business stay connected to customers while providing a robust customer service experience. Our APIs are flexible and easily integrated into any existing system.
- SMS API Integration: You should also select a provider with APIs that have a simple and straightforward integration process. This goes beyond sending automatic messages to picking what features and functions you want to automate. Your preferred service provider should offer helpful features to assist your integration process and provide a dashboard to help you monitor your SMS campaigns.
- Customer Support: We’ve saved the best for last. You know those days when you’re up at 2 am poring over your customer logs, wondering why your SMS marketing does not seem to be efficient? Or if the customer’s phone number is on DND (do-not-disturb), blocking all promotional SMS services without you knowing? This is where excellent customer support and an SMS monitoring service come in. First, you need a service provider with excellent self-service tools and 24/7 customer support- you need HollaTags.
SMS is still the most far-reaching text messaging service in the world today and, as we’ve seen, a great addition to any business manager’s toolbox. From SMS marketing to user authentication or just plain notifications, everyone can use them to pass all kinds of information. Therefore, the choice of an SMS service provider is more than just selecting a text messaging service; it is the choice of a business partner. Choose a partner with a service for every season, a partner with real-time support, high platform security, a 99% delivery rate and a delivery time of just 2 seconds! Choose a partner you can trust. Choose HollaTags.