Send Bulk SMS | Guide to Mass Texting with Telnyx
Learn about the benefits of bulk SMS for your business, and what makes Telnyx the perfect platform for sending mass texts.
By Risa Takenaka
Sending bulk SMS messages is a valuable (and usually profitable) business activity. SMS marketing, text-based customer service, and accepting orders via text are all examples of bulk SMS.
So it’s worthwhile to understand how to send bulk SMS messages. As such, here’s what you need to know about sending bulk SMS messages.
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What does Bulk SMS Mean?
Generally, bulk SMS is sending high volumes of SMS messages to a large number of recipients. The technical term for bulk SMS is “Application to Person SMS” or “A2P SMS.” That’s because it’s practically impossible for humans to send bulk SMS messages. So computers typically do the work.
The technical term, A2P SMS, is technically more correct, because not all A2P messaging involves sending huge numbers of texts.
For instance, offering customer service via text may not require sending thousands of messages to thousands of recipients. But it’s still application to person SMS, since computers send a majority of the messages in text-based customer support.
However, bulk SMS accurately describes the activity, in most cases. We’ll stick with that term to avoid confusion.
Using Bulk SMS for Business
Bulk SMS is almost exclusively used by businesses. Individuals simply don’t have the need to send so many messages.
But what can businesses do with bulk SMS? Here are a few bulk SMS use cases to illustrate how bulk SMS can be deployed in your business.
SMS marketing is by far the most common bulk SMS use case. The goals of marketing are particularly well aligned with the benefits of SMS messaging.
Most SMS messages get opened within 3 minutes. And, overall, SMS messages boast a 99% open rate. SMS engagement rates are incredible.
Also, sending SMS messages is easy and affordable. There’s not a ton of logistics involved with writing and sending a text message. And bulk SMS service can cost less than a penny per message.
Ultimately, it’s hard to beat the engagement rates and potential ROI of SMS marketing. So a lot of companies see a lot of success with SMS marketing.
Text messages are super easy to send, and almost anyone can receive them. Not everyone has a smartphone for online ordering. Therefore, accepting orders via text can be more convenient and usable by a greater number of your customers than online ordering.
Additionally, as we’ve already mentioned, the cost of sending and receiving SMS messages is very low. The overhead involved with accepting orders through text is at least as low as taking orders online, if not lower.
So text-based ordering is an outstanding way to offer remote ordering to your customers.
Text Alerts and Reminders
Sending alerts and reminders via email is good. But, given the incredible engagement rates of SMS, sending alerts and reminders through text is much more effective.
Text alerts and reminders are also super cost efficient, since it can cost less than a penny per text.
2-factor authentication (2FA) is one of the most effective cybersecurity measures available right now.
The cost of a data breach keeps going up as new laws are passed and data becomes more valuable. But text messages are inexpensive. So text-based two-factor authentication can be one of the most practical options if your business requires account logins.
Benefits of Messaging at Scale
Those are some of the specific use cases. However, there are fundamental benefits of sending SMS messages in bulk. Understanding these benefits is handy for finding creative ways to use bulk SMS messaging in your business:
Incredibly Broad Reach
There are about 14 billion mobile devices in the world. And there could be over 17 billion mobile devices in the world by 2024. Most of those are capable of receiving SMS messages. No matter who your customers are, it’s very likely that they can be reached with SMS messages.
However, that huge number of people that can receive SMS messages means that you need the capacity to send a whole lot of SMS messages. So you need the ability to send messages at scale to really take advantage of this broad potential customer base.
One big advantage of SMS messaging is that it’s a 1-to-1 conversation. With just a little bit of personalization, an SMS exchange can feel like a friendly conversation.
As a business, a friendly connection is just about the best connection you can make with a customer.
Easy Performance Tracking
Tracking performance is a cornerstone of any type of marketing. Social media advertising, email marketing, and SMS all have an advantage over traditional media in that the performance tracking is so much more granular than something like TV advertising.
With SMS, in particular, you can see open rates, click-through rates, and—of course—response rates. You may even be able to track other metrics, with the right tools. All that performance tracking enables you to really optimize your SMS campaigns and outreach to get the best results.
Receptive Customer Base
You must get permission from someone before you send them commercial SMS messages. On the surface, that might seem like an inconvenience.
But it’s actually a good thing. This means that you can only send text messages to people who have clearly indicated that they want to hear from you. So you’re much more likely to get a positive response from your SMS messages.
Using a computer to send SMS messages might seem scary. But it’s actually very easy.
Modern SMS APIs make it simple to add SMS capabilities to the systems that you already use in your business. Most of the time, you don’t have to add anything new to your technology stack in order to integrate SMS.
Most business activities boil down to communication, either communication with customers or internal communication between teams. And SMS text messaging is an incredibly convenient and effective communication media. Anything that requires communication can most likely be improved by adding SMS.
The benefits of bulk SMS make it hard to ignore. If you have a communication problem to solve, SMS messaging is likely a viable solution.
Send Bulk SMS Messages with Telnyx
As we mentioned in the previous section, sending bulk SMS messages requires an API (Application Programming Interface). The API is what enables your existing software—your CRM system, your marketing software, and so on—to send SMS messages. With an API, your computer can send SMS messages for you.
Even though API has “programming” in the name, it doesn’t require extensive programming expertise to send bulk SMS messages with the Telnyx API. Here’s how it goes:
Create a Mission Control Portal Account
The Mission Control Portal is where you control your Telnyx service. Setting up your Mission Control Portal account is the first step in doing anything on the Telnyx network, if you don’t have an account already.
A Mission Control Portal account is free. And you can set one up in a few minutes, with just some basic personal information.
Buy an SMS Capable Phone Number
Use the “Search & Buy Numbers” tab to select your city, country, or rate center. Then select “All,” or the “SMS” and “MMS” capabilities from the list of features, to ensure that the number you purchase is capable of sending SMS messages.
Search the available numbers. Choose the number or numbers you want. Add them to your cart, and place your order. The numbers you purchase will be added to the “My Numbers” tab in your Mission Control Portal account.
Create a Messaging Profile
Go to the “Messaging” section in your Mission Control Portal dashboard. Click “Add New Profile” and add a name for the new profile. Configure the other settings the way you like. Just make sure that the profile is set to use “API V2.”
Once the new profile is configured, save the profile.
Assign the New Number to Your Messaging Profile
Go to the “My Numbers” tab. Select the number that you want to add to your messaging profile.
Click “Select profile to send messages” to select the messaging profile that you just created. Save the changes to assign that messaging profile to the phone number you want.
Get Your API Key
You can get a Telnyx API key in the “Auth” section of the Mission Control Portal.
The important thing to know about your API key is that you’ll only see it once. It’s worth noting your API key when you get it, just in case you need it later.
How to Send Bulk SMS Messages Using the Telnyx API
The Telnyx API is compatible with several programming languages:
Each programming language has its own process for sending SMS messages. However, the process can be accomplished with cut and paste code snippets.
The majority of the work involved with sending bulk SMS messages through the Telnyx API is the setup. Once you’ve got your Mission Control Portal setup, sending messages is very simple. And sending messages can be largely automated with the proper implementation, which is the main point of A2P SMS messaging.