Digital Marketing

5 Innovative ways businesses are using bulk SMS messaging

Bulk SMS business ideas

1. SMS polling

Asking your customers for feedback encourages them to participate while giving you valuable feedback. It is an effective method of yielding results and opening two-way communication. Typically, using short codes is the fastest, most direct and efficient way of opening this two-way communication, and it’s cost-effective too. SMS polling is used by everyone from politicians and sports teams to non-profits, restaurants and small business owners to connect with their audience, get feedback and, based on that feedback, adapt to meet their customers’ needs.

A restaurant may use SMS polling to test the waters with a new dish and ask customers for other dishes they would like to see on the menu. Using an incentive, such as offering a discount on their next meal, encourages further participation. Patrons are polled and, based on the results, the owner can decide whether to include the new dish. Based on patrons’ suggestions, they owner could consider other dishes to incorporate into the existing menu.

Polling may also be used internally to evaluate employee skill levels, determine job satisfaction and pinpoint weaknesses. It’s anonymous, therefore employees feel protected answering questions truthfully.

2. Two-factor authentication

There are many ways two-factor authentication (2FA) can improve your application security. We’ve seen it become a crucial verification step for internet banking and ecommerce, but a more contemporary use is transport app Taxi Please. The app offers a translation service, eliminating the language barrier while connecting taxi drivers and passengers in Asia. The implementation of 2FA gives all passengers, including tourists, peace of mind when travelling.

In a world where instant messaging is widely used to connect with others, there are numerous social messaging apps. However, BeeTalk sets itself apart by offering 2FA as an additional security feature.  Thanks to 2FA, BeeTalk can protect its users from phishers and hackers, providing a safe platform to chat and interact. There are various options when enabling 2FA, whether it’s for ecommerce, social messaging or blogging platforms like WordPress (view Clickatell’s plugin for WordPress 2FA).

3. Improving lives

Bulk messaging can literally saves lives. With a worrying decline in global blood donation rates, SMS is used to remind donors of their next appointment and, when there is a severe shortage of blood, ask them to donate again. However, Sweden is taking it to the next level by SMSing donors when their blood is used, thereby notifying them that their blood has potentially saved a life, and encouraging them to donate again in the future. It’s created a dialogue on social media, spreading the word and creating online visibility. 

In Kenya, a new initiative is being implemented to help new mothers who don’t have access to basic healthcare. More than half of Kenyan women do not give birth in hospital, and this free service’s reach extends to many remote areas and aims to reduce high infant mortality rates. It aims to educate mothers by sending them weekly texts about developmental milestones, advice about what to do in the case of emergency, and offers them a full-time help desk with trained medical professionals responding immediately.

4. Bulk SMS to optimize email marketing

Many companies are integrating SMS marketing into their email campaigns. With SMS open rates at 98%, they have realized the importance of boosting email open rates, and, ultimately, conversion rates, by incorporating bulk messaging. Including URLs promotes website traffic and encourages subscriptions. Total customer views are improved and companies can track customer activity back to the SMS. These campaigns are driven by short codes and keywords, and need to be clear and beneficial to the recipient. Companies need to think of new ideas and keep up with trends to keep their customers engaged.

Orange has one of the longest-running and most successful SMS campaigns – ‘Orange Wednesdays’ – which was introduced more than 10 years ago. Customers are offered a two-for-one cinema deal, only available on Wednesdays, using a clear call-to-action. Previously the least popular weekday with the lowest attendance rate, it’s now the most popular, with Orange estimating that an additional three million cinema trips are generated annually using this strategy.

5. Aiding education

Education facilities around the world are using bulk messaging to simultaneously reach teachers, learners and parents by sending SMS messages when in need of substitute teachers, and initiating parent communication. Ever pressed for time, this method eliminates the arduous task of making phone calls and replaces it with a quick, effective SMS, sent to selected recipients asking who is available as a substitute teacher. Those who are keen to work will reply immediately, knowing that it’s first come, first serve.

In Ireland, TextaParent provides school administrators with a platform to simultaneously communicate with hundreds of parents, staff and community services, saving precious time and delivering vital or time-critical information. It’s cost-effective, reliable and saves valuable time.

Tailor your SMS messages with Clickatell’s customizable and reliable bulk messaging

Ready to get started with SMS? Sign up for a free account to access our range of APIs and send bulk messages to your subscribers with ease. Our APIs are scalable and support any number of messages, whether it’s 500 or 50,000. You can also view our case studies for help in choosing your ideal SMS solution, and try Clickatell Platform to perform up to five live tests a day.


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