Launching your first SMS campaign may seem like a daunting task, but if you select the right SMS marketing software, it can be one of the easiest marketing initiatives you will ever do. Sounds easy enough, until you go to Google and search “mobile marketing” or “SMS marketing,” and get back millions of results. With so many choices, how are you supposed to know which SMS marketing software to entrust your SMS campaign with? There are a lot of factors to take into account when selecting a software company to work with. Luckily, we’ve been able to lay out a very simple, 7-step process to make sure that you end up with the right SMS marketing software. Happy hunting!
1. Find two blank pieces of paper, we will need these later. Do you know the difference between SMTP and SMPP SMS messaging? No? Don’t worry about it, it’s not something most people think about on a day-to-day basis. You want to use SMPP messaging. You will know a company is using SMPP messaging when you see a 5 or 6-digit phone number, commonly referred to as a short-code, on their website. So what do you do now? Take those two pieces of paper and on the first piece of paper make a list of all the companies using SMTP messaging. On the other piece of paper, list out all of the companies using SMPP messaging. Then take the list of all SMTP companies and crumple it into a ball and throw it into the recycling bin. Proceed to Step #2.
2. Now that you have a list of only SMPP messaging companies, go to each company’s website and look for one thing—a phone number. For those of you that haven’t seen one of these on a website in awhile, it usually looks something like 1.800.517.6345. Now go back to that list you have created and cross off all of the companies that their website doesn’t have a phone number. Why is this important? When you have a question, you want an answer, and most people want to talk to someone. It’s that simple. Proceed to Step #3.
3. Now you should have one piece of paper with only text message marketing companies that only send SMPP messages and have a phone number. The next thing to do is search for the “About Us” or “Company” section on their website. If on this page you don’t find an actual name of a person or a photo of a person/team, cross that company off your list. Why is this important? Just like you want a phone number to call when you need something, you also want a real person on the other end of the phone. Proceed to Step #4.
4. We are getting closer to picking the right text message marketing company for your first campaign. Now you should have a list of companies that only send SMPP messages, have a phone number and have real people on the other end to pick up that phone. The next step is to search for references from past SMS campaigns. Be careful on this step, a reference comes from another human being. Don’t be misled by websites flashing logos of national companies that you may recognize. You are looking for references from actual human beings that you could pick up the phone and ask them about their experience with the company. For all the companies that don’t have true references, cross them right off your list. Proceed to Step #5.
5. Now your list should be getting shorter, as we are down to companies that only send SMPP messages, have a phone number, have people at their company and have customers using their service. Now you need to make sure each one of those companies is 100% focused on text message marketing. If you notice a company on your list that also offers phone calls, emailing, monkey training, or anything else besides text message marketing, cross them off your list. Why is this important? Have you ever seen a baseball player play a different position each new inning? No, and why is that? A baseball player realizes that if they focus on being the best at one thing, it’s much easier than trying to be the best at everything. Proceed to Step #6.
6. Now that you have a text message marketing company that sends SMPP messages, has a phone number, actual people at their company, real customers that use the service and laser focus, it’s all about how easy the service is to use. This one is pretty simple: Spend no more than 5-10 minutes with each company’s website, if you don’t get it after that amount of time, cross them off your list. Come on, text message marketing isn’t supposed to be rocket science.
7. That’s it, now you have a list of text message marketing companies that send SMPP messages, have a phone number, real people, references, a company that is focused and a website that is easy to use. That’s all we can do to guide you in the right direction. The final decision between the companies left on your list is strictly up to you. It comes down to a gut feeling, remember that you are entrusting your marketing efforts with this company. Which one do you feel more comfortable with?
If you follow all of the above steps and listen to your gut feeling, in the end, you will have selected the right SMS marketing software to launch your first SMS campaign. Now get started on the fun stuff—actually text messaging!