More and more businesses are seeing the benefits of using SMS text messaging to communicate both with staff and customers. Geoff Love, Chief Commercial Officer (CCM) of Nottingham based business SMS provider Esendex, offers an introduction to the benefits of SMS for business.
Why SMS for Business?
Did you know that SMS messages have a 95 per cent open or ‘read’ rate? The vast majority of people, who receive a text message, read it. Compare that with email, where statistics show that most marketing related emails have an open rate of closer to 22 per cent. While most of us have undoubtedly ignored an email, if you receive a text message on your mobile phone you are likely to read it.
There are many ways that SMS can help your business grow, whatever your industry and whatever the size of your business. Whether you are sending text messages to staff, clients or advertising messages, the power of SMS as a business device is phenomenal. Research from MMA and Lightspeed in 2010 found that opt-in SMS marketing got the best results of all mobile marketing channels.
Response rates are typically five times more responsive for SMS than for direct mail, too. So if you spend a lot of money as a business sending out marketing material by post, an SMS message will save you money and generate better results.
Getting Started with SMS for Business
If you are looking to get the most out of SMS for your business, you will need to look at using an SMS Gateway. For non techies this can sound complicated, but it is actually very simple and easy to set up.
In simple terms, an SMS gateway is a way of sending and receiving text messages from technology devices other than a mobile phone. An SMS gateway allows users to send and receive SMS messages via the web, email or their own applications using an SMS API.
Email SMS, Web SMS and SMS API are all a form of SMS gateway since none of these services involve mobile devices – even though all of them send and receive SMS.
Email SMS lets you or your employees send and receive SMS from email software such as Microsoft Outlook or any other webmail service.
Web SMS allows sending and receiving online SMS even quicker, as if you were using your mobile. This service also permits you to send texts to different groups of contacts and to create message templates. For example if you are looking to send out an SMS each week with the same message included, such as start times for working on site to employees, or price updates to prospective customers, then you can create a template that you send out.
SMS API is the best option if you need to send repeated or specific SMS messages to specific groups on a regular basis. One of the benefits of an SMS API is that it offers a number of additional benefits to developers.
Rather than be constrained by email or web services, a good SMS Gateway will allow developers to fully customise the API for their own specific needs. If you are looking for a relevant SMS Gateway provider then you should ensure that all major development environments are supported such as Java, PHP and C#. Using an SMS API means that you will be able to send and receive SMS via HTTP POST, ActiveX Component, or SOAP/XML service
SMS API service allows you to automate the sending and receiving of SMS messages with your applications.
For more information on SMS for business visit: http://www.esendex.co.uk