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Friday, April 11, 2008

How To Launch Bulk SMS Mobile Marketing Campaigns

Before launching a bulk SMS marketing/advertising campaign, you must only obtain mobile phone numbers from consumers who give their permission, or "opt-in," to receive SMS messages. Here are two ways users can opt in:

  • From your website. Your website provides an opportunity for consumers to opt in; however, before you begin your bulk SMS campaign you must follow carrier guidelines. Make sure your Privacy Policy explains the user is granting permission to receive SMS text messages from you or a third party as well as a way for them to opt out of your bulk SMS marketing campaign.
  • Response to advertised short codes. Interested consumers request information and opt in by responding to a short code with a key word. The bulk SMS marketer then replies and asks for permission to send future messages. This process follows the Mobile Marketing Association's double opt-in recommendation defined in their Consumer Best Practices Guidelines.

Short codes are like a phone numbers but only 5 or 6 digits in length and they provide convenience to mobile user to text back and forth. There are shared short codes available at a fraction of what would cost to leasing one from Common Short Code Administration, CSCA, Leasing a short code for your bulk SMS campaign will cost $500 per month for a random short code and $1,000 for a vanity short code. Random short codes are picked by CSCA in random but a vanity number can be customized to fit certain mobile marketing requirements and specific number may be requested from CSCA.

The next step in launching your bulk SMS marketing is you need to find an aggregator, the company that has connectivity to all the mobile carriers and who send SMS messages in behalf of you. Or you can use a Mobile Application Service Provider (MASP) to send bulk SMS messages. By the way, short codes must be registered with the mobile network carriers, MASP, or aggregator before any SMS text messages can be sent out.

Always be reasonable when sending bulk SMS messages. The last thing you want to do is send a boat load of text messages in a short period of time. You are sure to encounter the wrath of your opt-in list and face the possibility of getting your short code shut down. If your SMS marketing message is relevant and the information provided is useful, the result of a well prepared bulk SMS mobile marketing campaign can be phenomenal.

Robert Lee is the Director of Mobile Solutions at AbsoluteROI™ (a Company) located in Las Vegas, Nevada. With 15 years experience in the National and International telecommunications and mobile marketing industry, Robert has gained invaluable insights into the most effective use of cell phone technology for data monetization, and SMS marketing.

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