In today’s fast-paced world, effective communication is crucial for organizations to stay connected with their audience, be it customers, employees, or stakeholders.
One of the most powerful tools for achieving this is SMS broadcasting. Also known as broadcast texting, this method of communication has gained immense popularity because of its speed, reach, and cost-effectiveness.
SMS broadcasts allow organizations to send a single message to a large group of recipients simultaneously, making it an ideal choice for disseminating important information, updates, and promotional offers. With an impressive open rate of over 90%, SMS broadcasting ensures that your message reaches its intended audience and increases the chances of achieving your communication objectives.
In this article, we want to dig into broadcast texting and explore its possibilities, how it works, and its benefits. By the end of this guide, you will clearly understand how to utilize SMS broadcasting for your campaigns and achieve the results your business or campaign needs.
What is broadcast texting?
Broadcast texting, also known as mass texting or bulk SMS, is a communication method that allows businesses, organizations, and individuals to send a single text message to a large group of people simultaneously.
This powerful tool is widely used for various purposes, such as marketing campaigns, emergency alerts, event notifications, etc.
Components of broadcast texting
Broadcast texting has several components that ensure efficient and effective communication. These main components include:
- SMS gateway that enables the transmission of text messages between mobile networks and applications. It acts as a bridge between the sender’s system and the recipients’ mobile devices, facilitating the delivery of bulk SMS messages.
- Sender ID that appears as the sender’s name or number on the recipients’ mobile devices. It can be a short code, a long code, or an alphanumeric string, depending on the requirements and regulations of the specific country or mobile network.
- Message content that is sent to the recipients. It can include text, links, images, or other multimedia content, depending on the capabilities of the recipient’s mobile devices and the chosen SMS gateway.
- The recipient list is a collection of mobile numbers to which the broadcast text message will be sent. These numbers can be manually entered, imported from a database, or gathered through opt-in methods like forms or keywords.
- Broadcast texting platforms often allow scheduling messages for future delivery or sending them instantly. This feature enables organizations to plan and execute their campaigns more efficiently.
This fall HubDialer is launching a new texting platform that will provide broadcast and peer-to-peer texting. Paired with its powerful voice-calling tool, organizations of all sizes will have complete control over their outreach efforts to better connect with their audiences.
Broadcast texting vs. other texting forms
What are the differences between broadcast and other texting forms, and how do you choose the right one? Let’s break this down and describe how broadcast texting differentiates from peer-to-peer texting, MMS, and SMS blast.
Broadcast texting is a one-to-many messaging approach that simultaneously sends a single message to a large group of recipients. This method is ideal for mass communication, enabling you to reach a broad audience quickly and efficiently.
Key features of broadcast texting include:
- Automated messaging to deliver messages to a predefined list of recipients. There is no need for manual intervention, making it a time-saving and cost-effective solution.
- Standardized messages where the content of a broadcast message is the same for all recipients, which ensures a consistent message is delivered to everyone.
- Limited interaction because broadcast texting is primarily used for one-way communication. While recipients can reply to your message, it may be challenging for you to manage and respond to individual responses effectively, especially when dealing with a large audience.
- Broadcast texting is widely used for marketing campaigns, emergency alerts, appointment reminders, event notifications, customer support, and internal communication.
On the other hand, peer-to-peer texting is a one-to-one messaging approach that enables personalized communication between two individuals. This method allows for tailored interactions, making it suitable for more targeted communication efforts.
Key features of peer-to-peer texting include:
- Peer-to-peer texting requires manual intervention for sending messages, as each message is tailored to the specific recipient. This allows for personalized communication but may be time-consuming and labor-intensive.
- Unlike broadcast texting, peer-to-peer texting allows you to customize each message according to the recipient’s preferences, needs, or interests, resulting in more engaging and relevant communication.
- Peer-to-peer texting facilitates two-way communication, enabling meaningful conversations with your recipients. You can easily manage and respond to individual replies, fostering stronger relationships with your audience.
- Peer-to-peer texting is used for political campaigns, fundraising, volunteer management and coordination, customer support, and personalized marketing efforts.
The choice between broadcast texting and peer-to-peer texting depends on your communication objectives and the level of personalization required. If you must reach a large audience with a consistent message, broadcast texting is the ideal solution. However, if you want to engage in personalized, two-way communication with your recipients, peer-to-peer texting is the way to go.
MMS is an extension of the standard Short Message Service (SMS) that allows users to send multimedia content, such as images, audio, video files, and text messages. MMS is more interactive and engaging, enabling users to send rich media content to recipients.
MMS messages are typically more expensive than SMS messages and have a larger file size limit, usually up to 600 KB. MMS is ideal for marketing campaigns, event promotions, and sharing visual content with recipients to create a more engaging experience.
With MMS, you can transmit multimedia content, making it more engaging, while SMS broadcast messages facilitate mass communication with text-only content. The choice between MMS and SMS texting depends on the purpose of the communication, the desired level of engagement, and the target audience.
SMS blast, also known as bulk SMS or mass texting, is a communication method that allows businesses, organizations, and individuals to send a single text message to a large number of recipients simultaneously. In short, an SMS blast is a specialized type of broadcast messaging that focuses on sending targeted, mass text messages to a large audience.
This technique benefits marketing campaigns, event notifications, appointment reminders, and other time-sensitive communications.
SMS blast is a form of broadcast messaging, as it involves one-to-many communication where the sender broadcasts the same message to multiple recipients at once. However, “SMS blast” typically refers to a more targeted approach, as the recipients are often part of a specific contact list or audience segment.
This targeting feature allows the sender to tailor the message content to the needs and preferences of the recipients, increasing the chances of a successful campaign or engagement.
Use cases for broadcast texting
There is a wide variety of use cases for organizations of all sizes and types. Since HubDialer mainly works with political, nonprofit, and advocacy organizations, here are some use cases that we encounter.
Member and supporter growth
Broadcast texting is an effective way for political organizations and nonprofits to reach out to potential new members and supporters. By sending targeted messages about their mission, goals, and achievements, these organizations can attract like-minded individuals interested in supporting their cause.
Text messages can also be used to share success stories, testimonials, and exclusive content to keep supporters engaged and encourage them to share the message with their networks.
Text message campaigns can be a powerful tool for raising funds for political organizations, nonprofits, and advocacy groups. These organizations can reach a broad audience of potential donors by sending out donation requests, sharing information about fundraising events, and providing updates on campaign progress.
Texting also allows easy integration with mobile payment platforms, making the donation process quick and seamless for supporters.
Broadcast texting allows political organizations and nonprofits to spread awareness about specific issues and policy proposals.
By sending out timely, informative messages, these groups can keep their supporters informed on critical topics and encourage them to take action, such as contacting their representatives, signing petitions, or attending rallies.
Text messaging efficiently organizes events, such as town halls, debates, and fundraisers. Political organizations and nonprofits can keep their supporters informed and engaged by sending out invitations, updates, and reminders.
Text messages, such as volunteer roles and meeting locations, can also coordinate event logistics.
Broadcast texting can help political organizations, nonprofits, and advocacy groups mobilize their volunteer base. Organizations can recruit new volunteers and keep existing ones engaged by sending out targeted messages about upcoming opportunities.
Text messages can also provide updates, training materials, and motivational content to support volunteer efforts.
Elections and campaigns
Campaigns can use broadcast texting to communicate with supporters and voters, sharing candidate information, policy positions, and campaign updates. Text messages can encourage voter turnout, provide polling location information, and organize get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts.
Additionally, texting can be used to coordinate campaign volunteers, manage canvassing efforts, and collect voter data.
Advocacy groups can use broadcast texting to raise awareness about their cause, mobilize supporters, and influence public opinion. By sharing information about legislative initiatives, policy proposals, and calls to action, these organizations can engage their supporters and encourage them to make their voices heard.
Text messages can also coordinate advocacy events, such as rallies, marches, and letter-writing campaigns.
General business use cases of broadcast texting
Broadcast texting is highly effective for general business purposes as well, such as:
- Informing customers about exclusive offers, limited-time discounts, and special promotions.
- Businesses can use broadcast texting to invite customers and prospects to upcoming events, such as webinars, product launches, or networking events.
- Service-based businesses, such as dental practices, hair salons, and car repair shops, can use broadcast texting to send appointment reminders to clients.
- Businesses can use broadcast texting to inform employees or customers about important information in emergencies or urgent updates.
- Through broadcast texting, businesses can keep customers informed about new product releases, software updates, or feature enhancements.
- Broadcast texting can send important company-wide announcements to all employees at once.
- Businesses can utilize broadcast texting to request customer feedback or ask them to complete a short survey.
Broadcast messaging will undoubtedly remain an important communication channel for many years.
How do you start sending SMS broadcast texts?
Let’s explore the key steps when sending an SMS broadcast, from crafting the perfect message to analyzing the campaign results. Here is how the process of sending SMS broadcast messages typically looks like:
- Choose an SMS broadcasting platform
- Create an account and set up your sender ID
- Build your recipient list
- Craft your message
- Schedule and send your broadcast
- Monitor and analyze the results
- Follow up and engage with recipients
Choose an SMS broadcasting platform
The first step in utilizing broadcast texting is choosing the right SMS broadcasting platform. Numerous platforms are available, each with unique features, pricing, and capabilities. Selecting a platform that aligns with your organization’s needs, budget, and target audience is crucial.
HubDialer will release a texting platform in the fall of 2023 – and we encourage you to take it for a test drive when the time comes. Sign up for our newsletter, and you’ll get 1,000 free text credits to start!
Create an account and set up your sender ID
After selecting an SMS broadcasting platform, create an account and set up your sender ID. The sender ID is the name or number on the recipient’s phone when receiving your message. This can be your organization’s name, a short code, or a phone number. Ensure that the sender ID is easily recognizable and resonates with your brand.
Build your recipient list
The success of your broadcast texting campaign largely depends on reaching the right audience. Create a list of recipients by gathering phone numbers through opt-in methods such as website forms, contests, or in-store promotions.
Ensure to comply with local regulations and obtain consent from all recipients before sending messages.
Craft your message
Next, create a compelling and concise message that conveys your intended information or call to action. Remember the 160-character limit for standard SMS messages, and ensure that your message is clear, engaging, and relevant to your audience.
Use personalization techniques, like incorporating the recipient’s name, to make the message more appealing and effective.
Schedule and send your broadcast
Once your message is ready, you can send it immediately or schedule it for a specific date and time. Consider time zones, peak engagement hours, and your recipients’ preferences when planning your broadcast.
Double-check the message content, sender ID, and recipient list before sending to avoid errors or mishaps.
Monitor and analyze the results
After your broadcast has been sent, tracking its performance and analyzing the results is essential. Most SMS broadcasting platforms provide metrics like delivery, open, and click-through rates. Use these insights to gauge the effectiveness of your campaign and make data-driven decisions for future broadcasts.
Follow up and engage with recipients
Finally, engage with your recipients by following up on their responses, addressing their concerns, and providing additional information. This helps to build strong relationships with your audience and increases the likelihood of them taking the desired action or becoming loyal customers.
As you can see, broadcast texting can significantly improve your organization’s marketing efforts, customer support, and internal communication.
Broadcast texting examples
How do you actually use broadcast texting to empower your campaigns? Here are some examples to keep you inspired.
A political party can use broadcast texting to send out updates on their policy stances, debate performances, and endorsements from influential figures.
For example, they text supporters: “Breaking News: Our candidate has just received an endorsement from a renowned environmental activist! Learn more at [link].”
A nonprofit focused on disaster relief could send a broadcast text to raise awareness about an ongoing crisis and request donations.
The message reads: “Urgent: Thousands affected by the recent earthquake. Your donation can provide shelter and food. Donate $10 by texting ‘HELP’ or visit [link] to contribute more.”
Member and supporter growth
Imagine an animal welfare organization using broadcast texting to recruit new members and supporters.
They can send a message: “Join our fight against animal cruelty! Become a member today and help us save lives. Sign up at [link] and receive updates on our work and ways you can help.”
A university alumni association utilizes broadcast texting to remind its members about a giving campaign:
“Dear alumni, we’re 80% of the way to our $1M goal for student scholarships! Could you help us reach 100% by donating today? Visit [link] to make a difference in a student’s life.”
An environmental advocacy group sends out a broadcast text to mobilize support for a new clean energy bill:
“Action Alert: Support the Clean Energy Act! Call your representatives today and urge them to vote YES. Find their contact info at [link].”
A community organization could use broadcast texting to remind participants about an upcoming event:
“Don’t forget; our annual neighborhood cleanup is this Saturday at 9 am. Meet at the community center, and don’t forget to bring gloves and a reusable water bottle! See you there!”
A food bank uses broadcast texting to recruit and coordinate volunteers for a food drive:
“We need volunteers for our upcoming food drive on July 20th. Can you help? Reply ‘YES’ to sign up, or visit [link] for more information.”
Elections and campaigns
A candidate’s campaign team sends out a broadcast text to remind supporters to vote on election day:
“Today is Election Day! Don’t forget to cast your vote for [Candidate Name] at your local polling station. Find your polling location at [link]. Every vote counts!”
A civil rights advocacy group sends broadcast messages to inform supporters about a discriminatory bill and encourage action:
“Urgent: Bill XYZ threatens equal rights. Contact your senator now at [link] and demand that they oppose this harmful legislation. Together, we can make a difference!”
Things to know before starting your SMS campaign
Being compliant is one part of the SMS campaign story. At the same time, you need to think about operational limits, costs, etc. Here are a couple of popular questions that you should check.
Can broadcast messages be sent to anyone?
No, you can only send broadcast messages to people who have opted in to receive them, as consent is required under various regulations like the TCPA.
Are broadcast text messages legal to send?
Yes, broadcast text messages are legal to send as long as you comply with relevant regulations, such as the TCPA in the US, and obtain proper consent from recipients.
What number is used when sending broadcast texting?
Typically, broadcast campaigns use a short code, long code, or toll-free number provided by a chosen broadcast texting service to send broadcasts.
Are there limits when sending broadcast messages?
Yes, there may be limits on the number of messages you can send, the frequency of messages, and the content of the messages, depending on the terms and conditions of your chosen service and relevant regulations.
How much does a typical broadcast SMS cost?
The cost of an SMS broadcast varies depending on the service provider, the number of recipients, and the frequency of messages. Pricing may be based on the number of messages, a monthly subscription fee, or a combination.
To wrap it up, broadcast texting has emerged as a powerful communication tool for organizations of all sizes. It offers a direct, efficient, cost-effective way to reach a broad audience, engage with customers, and drive your business or organization metrics.
By obtaining proper consent and adhering to legal guidelines, organizations can harness the potential of broadcast text messages to enhance their marketing strategies, boost customer engagement, and improve operational efficiency.
Regardless of the size or nature of the organization, broadcast texting allows instant sharing of information, real-time feedback, and the ability to personalize messages. That means the target audience remains informed and connected, ultimately contributing to the organization’s success and growth.
Tapping into the power of broadcast texting is essential and a critical competitive advantage for organizations looking to stay ahead of the curve.