SMS Marketing Software with over 10 Thousand Pakistani Numbers

 500

  • Setup Size: Under 1 GB
  • Setup + over 10 Thousand Mobile Numbers Price: Rs. 500 (Available locally & online)
  • DVD Price: Rs.600
  • Installation Price: Rs. 250

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SMS Marketing Software is a multi-channel online marketing technique focused at reaching a specific audience on their smartphonesfeature phonestablets, or any other related devices through websites, E-mail, SMS and MMS, social media, or mobile applications. Mobile marketing can provide customers with time and location sensitive, personalized information that promotes goods, services, appointment reminders and ideas. In a more theoretical manner, academic Andreas Kaplan defines mobile marketing as “any marketing activity conducted through a ubiquitous network to which consumers are constantly connected using a personal mobile device”.

SMS marketing

Marketing through cellphones’ SMS (Short Message Service) became increasingly popular in the early 2000s in Europe and some parts of Asia when businesses started to collect mobile phone numbers and send off wanted (or unwanted) content. On average, SMS messages have a 98% open rate, and are read within 3 minutes, making it highly effective at reaching recipients quickly.[4]

Over the past few years SMS marketing has become a legitimate advertising channel in some parts of the world. This is because unlike email over the public internet, the carriers who police their own networks have set guidelines and best practices for the mobile media industry (including mobile advertising). The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), as well, have established guidelines and are evangelizing the use of the mobile channel for marketers. While this has been fruitful in developed regions such as North America, Western Europe and some other countries, mobile SPAM messages (SMS sent to mobile subscribers without a legitimate and explicit opt-in by the subscriber) remain an issue in many other parts of the world, partly due to the carriers selling their member databases to third parties. In India, however, government’s efforts of creating National Do Not Call Registry have helped cellphone users to stop SMS advertisements by sending a simple SMS or calling 1909.[5]

Mobile marketing approaches through SMS has expanded rapidly in Europe and Asia as a new channel to reach the consumer. SMS initially received negative media coverage in many parts of Europe for being a new form of spam as some advertisers purchased lists and sent unsolicited content to consumer’s phones; however, as guidelines are put in place by the mobile operators, SMS has become the most popular branch of the Mobile Marketing industry with several 100 million advertising SMS sent out every month in Europe alone. This is thanks in part to SMS messages being hardware agnostic—they can be delivered to practically any mobile phonesmartphone or feature phone and accessed without a Wi-Fi or mobile data connection. This is important to note since there are over 5 billion unique mobile phone subscribers worldwide in 2017, which is about 66% of the world population.[6]

SMS marketing has both inbound and outbound marketing strategies. Inbound marketing focuses on lead generation, and outbound marketing focuses on sending messages for sales, promotions, contests, donations, television program voting, appointment and event reminders.

There are 5 key components to SMS marketing: sender IDmessage sizecontent structurespam compliance, and message delivery.

Sender ID

A sender ID is the name or number that identifies who the sender is. For commercial purposes, virtual numbersshort codes, SIM hosting, and custom names are most commonly used and can be leased through bulk SMS providers.

Shared Virtual Numbers

As the name implies, shared virtual numbers are shared by many different senders. They’re usually free, but they can’t receive SMS replies, and the number changes from time to time without notice or consent. Senders may have different shared virtual numbers on different days, which may make it confusing or untrustworthy for recipients depending on the context. For example, shared virtual numbers may be suitable for 2 factor authentication text messages, as recipients are often expecting these text messages, which are often triggered by actions that the recipients make. But for text messages that the recipient isn’t expecting, like a sales promotion, a dedicated virtual number may be preferred.

Dedicated Virtual Numbers

To avoid sharing numbers with other senders, and for brand recognition and number consistency, leasing a dedicated virtual number, which are also known as a long code or long number (international number format, e.g. +44 7624 805000 or US number format,[7] e.g. 757 772 8555), is a viable option. Unlike a shared number, it can receive SMS replies. Senders can choose from a list of available dedicated virtual numbers from a bulk SMS provider. Prices for dedicated virtual numbers can vary. Some numbers, often called Gold numbers, are more easy to recognise, and therefore more expensive to lease. Senders may also get creative and choose a vanity number. These numbers spell out a word using the keypad, like +1-(123)-ANUMBER.

Short codes

Short codes offer very similar features to a dedicated virtual number, but are short mobile numbers that are usually 5-6 digits. Their length and availability are different in each and every country. These are usually more expensive and are commonly used by enterprises and governmental organisations. For mass messaging, short codes are preferred over a dedicated virtual number because of their higher throughput, and are great for time-sensitive campaigns and emergencies.[8]

In Europe the first cross-carrier SMS shortcode campaign was run by Txtbomb in 2001 for an Island Records release, In North America it was the Labatt Brewing Company in 2002. Over the past few years mobile short codes have been increasingly popular as a new channel to communicate to the mobile consumer. Brands have begun to treat the mobile short code as a mobile domain name allowing the consumer to text message the brand at an event, in store and off any traditional media.

SIM hosting

Physical and virtual SIM hosting allow a mobile number sourced from a carrier to be used for receiving SMS as part of a marketing campaign. The SIM associated with the number is hosted by a bulk SMS provider. With physical SIM hosting, a SIM is physically hosted in a GSM modem and SMS received by the SIM are relayed to the customer. With virtual SIM hosting, the SIM is roamed onto the Bulk SMS provider’s partner mobile network and SMS sent to the mobile number are routed from the mobile network’s SS7 network to an SMSC or virtual mobile gateway, and then onto the customer.

Custom Sender ID

A custom sender ID, also known as an alphanumeric sender ID, enables users to set a business name as the sender ID for one way organisation-to-consumer messages. This is only supported in certain countries and are up to 11 characters long, and support uppercase and lowercase ASCII letters and digits 0-9.[9] Senders are not allowed to use digits only as this would mimic a shortcode or virtual number that they do not have access to. Reputable bulk SMS providers will check customer sender IDs beforehand to make sure senders are not misusing or abusing them.

Message Size

The message size will then determine the number of SMS messages that are sent, which then determines the amount of money spent on marketing a product or service. Not all characters in a message are the same size.

Character Count Character Type
1 Standard GSM character
1 Space
1 Line Break
2 Escape characters (e.g. ^ € { } [ ] ~ )

A single SMS message has a maximum size of 1120 bits. This is important because there are two types of character encodings, GSM and Unicode. Latin-based languages like English are GSM based encoding, which are 7 bits per character. This is where text messages typically get their 160 character per SMS limit.[10] Long messages that exceed this limit are concatenated. They are split into smaller messages, which are recombined by the receiving phone.

Concatenated messages can only fit 153 characters instead of 160. For example, a 177 character message is sent as 2 messages. The first is sent with 153 characters and the second with 24 characters.[11] The process of SMS concatenation can happen up to 4 times for most bulk SMS providers, which allows senders a maximum 612 character message per campaign.

Non-Latin based languages, like Chinese, and also emojis use a different encoding process called Unicode or Unicode Transformation Format (UTF-8). It is meant to encompass all characters for efficiency but has a caveat. Each unicode character is 16 bits in size, which takes more information to send, therefore limiting SMS messages to 70 characters. Messages that are larger than 70 characters are also concatenated. These messages can fit 67 characters, and can be concatenated up to 4 times for a maximum of 268 characters.

Number of SMS Maximum GSM characters Maximum Unicode characters
1 regular 160 70
2 concatenated 306 134
3 concatenated 459 201
4 concatenated 612 268

Content Structure

Special elements that can be placed inside a text message include:

  • UTF-8 Characters: Send SMS in different languages, special characters, or emojis
  • Keywords: Use keywords to trigger an automated response
  • Links: Track campaigns easily by using shortened URLs to custom landing pages
  • Interactive Elements: Pictures, animations, audio, or video

Texting is simple, however when it comes to SMS marketing – there are many different content structures that can be implemented. Popular message types include sale alerts, reminders, keywords, and multimedia messaging services (MMS).

SMS Sales Alerts

Sale alerts are the most basic form of SMS marketing. They are generally used for clearance, flash sales, and special promotions. Typical messages include coupon codes, and information like expiration dates, products, and website links for additional information.

SMS Reminders

Reminders are commonly used to in appointment-based industries or for recurring events. Some senders choose to ask their recipients to respond to the reminder text with an SMS keyword to confirm their appointment. This can really help improve the sender’s workflow and reduce missed appointments, leading to improved productivity and revenue.

SMS Keywords

This allows people to text a custom keyword to a dedicated virtual number or shortcode. Through custom keywords, users can opt-in to a service with minimal effort. Once a keyword is triggered, an autoresponder can be set to guide the user to the next step. They can also activate different functions, which include entering a contest, forwarding to an email or mobile number, group chat, and sending an auto response.

Spam Compliance

Similar to email, SMS has anti-spam laws which differ from country to country. As a general rule, it’s important to obtain the recipient’s permission before sending any text message, especially an SMS marketing type of message. Permission can be obtained in a myriad of ways, including allowing prospects or customers to: tick a permission checkbox on a website, filling in a form, or getting a verbal agreement.[12]

In most countries, SMS senders need to identify themselves as their business name inside their initial text message. Identification can be placed in either the sender ID or within the message body copy. Spam prevention laws may also apply to SMS marketing messages, which must include a method to opt-out of messages.

One key criterion for provisioning is that the consumer opts into the service. The mobile operators demand a double opt in from the consumer and the ability for the consumer to opt out of the service at any time by sending the word STOP via SMS. These guidelines are established in the CTIA Playbook and the MMA Consumer Best Practices Guidelines[13] which are followed by all mobile marketers in the United States. In Canada, opt in will be mandatory once the Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act comes in force in mid-2012.