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Short Message Service (SMS)

Short Message Service (SMS) is a text messaging service component of phone, Web, or mobile communication systems. It uses standardized communications protocols to allow fixed line or mobile phone devices to exchange short text messages

SMPP Operation Contrary to its name, the SMPP uses the client-server model of operation. The Message Center usually acts as a server, awaiting connections from ESMEs. When SMPP is used for SMS peering, the sending MC usually acts as a client. The protocol is based on pairs of request/response PDUs (protocol data units, or packets) exchanged over OSI layer 4 (TCP session or X.25 SVC3) connections. The well-known port assigned by the IANA for SMPP when operating over TCP is 2775, but multiple arbitrary port numbers are often used in messaging environments.

Benefits of Bulk SMS Services

1) Instant Deliverability

SMS is lightning fast, literally putting your message into your subscribers’ pockets or purses seconds after you send. The average time for all mobile carriers and SMS services is less than 7 seconds from send to received. However, other marketing strategies are also incredibly fast, but nothing compares to the swiftness of SMS.

 

2) Flexible Platform

Either send a handful of messages to a targeted group or send thousands of SMS messages to your entire list. A great SMS marketing service makes it easy to customize your text message campaigns to the needs of your SMS subscribers. Create a promotional message or a quick industry update; SMS truly molds itself to whatever the needs are of your business. Also, many SMS services easily integrate into your other online marketing strategies.

 

3) Instant Opt-In and Opt-Out

With the advent of short codes, opting in and opting out of your SMS stream is, like everything else associated with SMS – instant. Unlike other opt-in or opt-out options, there is only one step, and besides entering a mobile number, there is rarely any personal information required up front. In the SMS marketing business, you want to make it as quick and simple to opt out as it is to opt in. This simplicity helps keep subscriber satisfaction high.

 

4) High Open Rate

Compared to email marketing, SMS has a staggeringly high open rate. Essentially, almost every SMS sent is opened (and read), whereas only a fraction of emails sent are read. When a subscriber feels that buzz in their pocket or hears that trill signaling a text message, they always look. In some cases, text messages are automatically opened, where emails aren’t. Subscribers have a choice to open your email.

 

5) High Conversion Rate

With SMS, there is an incredibly high rate of subscriber action. Whatever your SMS is – promotions or contests – there is more action taken compared to any other marketing or promotion strategies.

 

6) Reliable

Unlike email, SMS doesn’t have to battle against spam or other email filters. If anything, SMS is more of a direct connection to your customer base than any other marketing strategy, and there aren’t any barriers.

 

7) Short Messages

Though this is a challenge for some businesses, the 160-character length of SMS is a boon for marketing. It forces you to be clear and concise. Instead of having your subscribers slog through content that isn’t always relevant, SMS gets to the point immediately without anything that is unnecessary. To make this even easier, SimplyCast offers short codes for easy two-way communication.

 

8) Cool Factor

A large demographic of consumers have abandoned the email and have turned to text messages. Show your client list that you are keeping up with the technology by sending targeted promotions via text. It will give your company a head start in winning the battle for the next generation of shoppers. This can be a great strategy for smaller businesses who are looking to create a buzz locally.

 

9) Limitless Market Potential

Do you even know how many mobile phones are out there? An absolutely ridiculous amount. And since mobile phones and text messaging especially, are the way that people communicate now, there isn’t any reason why you can’t tap into this virtually limitless market potential. Mobile phone users represent all demographics – a marketing gold mine!

 

10) Green

Green is in! Though most online marketing strategies are naturally green, it is incredibly important to reiterate. Green is not only great for the environment but for the bottom line.

There you have it, the top 10 benefits of SMS marketing. Ready to get started with your own campaign? Signup for a free trial of SimplyCast’s SMS marketing tool today.

Looking for more tips and news about SMS marketing? Check out our articles page that features such topics as how business text messaging works and a helpful checklist for doing bulk SMS marketing.

 

Best Practices

Practices and policies listed here will help you use Enterprise SMSC more efficiently.

Group Policies

A group is to organize your phone numbers that fit certain common criteria like locality etc.
Group name supports 5-75 characters.

Suggestions

·       Limit a group to have not more than 5000 phone numbers. It helps in managing the group better.
·       Keep a Welcome message with each group.
·       Do not use groups as a replacement for the bulk upload function.

Bulk upload Policies

It helps user to send message to large no. of phone numbers via XLS or CSV. It is advisable to use CSV files as those are smaller in size and are faster to upload.

Suggestions

·       One bulk upload file should be restricted to max. 100000 (1 lakh) phone numbers.
·       Keep a gap of 10 minutes in between the bulk upload of more than 1 lakh numbers.
·       It is advisable to keep the headers correct & consistent as per the sample files.

Use Case

·       Say you have a message blast to 3 million numbers. Now divide the file into sets of 1 lakh numbers each.
·       Upload files with 10 minutes of gap between each upload.
·       Schedule 1 day before the actual blast.

Scheduling of Messages

·       User has the flexibility to schedule a message at any point of time within the working hours.
·       Always prefer to schedule the file one day before, if you have a file with 5000-100000 numbers.

File Type

·       Prefer the file type as CSV & zip it for faster uploading.
·       If you have a smaller set of numbers, XLS is fine as well.


Contacts Book Policies

Import Contacts

·       It is desirable to upload a CSV file if you have more than 20000 phone numbers with all the attributes set.
·       You will be able to upload & import contacts with file size of 8MB without any problem which can contain 25000 rows of data.

·       It is advisable to keep the headers correct and consistent as per the sample file.

 

Enterprise SMSC API

 

SMSC API app resides at http://enterprise.airtelsms.com/GatewayAPI/rest. You can send different types messages such as text, Unicode, vCard, and binary using gateway API.


For using API you need:

1.   User name & password. If you don’t have an account you can create one at http://enterprise.airtelsms.com.

2.   URL encoding of your message, password etc.

3.    Current version of API is 1.1 but we still support 1.0.


Sending a Single Message with version 1.1

Try and send message using below URL. Just replace the highlighted sections with your details.

http://enterprise.airtelsms.com/GatewayAPI/rest?method=SendMessage&send_to=9199xxxxxxxx&msg=Welcome to SMS SMSC API&msg_type=TEXT&userid=20000xxxxx&auth_scheme=plain&password=password&v=1.1&format=text

Just replace

·       9199xxxxxxxx – with mobile no. of the receiver

·       Welcome to SMS SMSC API. – with your URL encoded message

·       20000xxxx – with your user id

·       password – with your password


You can add more parameters in this URL.


Parameters

List of parameters apart from default parameters.

Parameter
Value
Description
method
sendMessage
Specification to send a single message
send_to
Phone no. of the receiver
The number must be in pure numeric format with no special characters.
msg
UrlEncoded string of UTF-8 characters
The message that needs to be sent. It can contain alphanumeric & special characters.
msg_type
Text, Unicode_text, or flash, VCARD, binary
Indicates the type of the message to be sent. Use VCARD for sending a business card.


Optional parameter

Parameter
Value
Description
port
Port Number
It is a pure number and needs to be specified if the message is being sent to a port.
timestamp
URL encoded timestamp in the given format
Sender can specify a particular time for sending the message. Accepted timestamp formats are:
1.   yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss (2008-11-21 23:12:32 or 2008-3-4 2:44:23)
2.   MM/dd/yy HH:mm:ss (11/21/08 23:12:32 or 3/4/08 2:44:33)
3.   MM/dd/yy hh:mm:ss a(11/21/08 11:12:32 PM or 3/4/08 2:44:33 AM)
4.    MM/dd/yy hh:mm a(11/21/08 11:12 PM or 3/4/08 2:44 AM)


Sending a Single Message with version 1.0

SMSC Enterprise also supports backward compatibility for our older version of API, 1.0.

Here’s a sample URL for sending message using version 1.0

http://enterprise.airtelsms.com/GatewayAPI/rest?method=SendMessage&

send_to=9199xxxxxxxx,91998xxxxxxx,91997xxxxxxx&msg=Welcome to SMS

smsc API&userid=20000xxxxx&auth_scheme=plain&password=password

&v=1.0&format=text

Just replace

·       9199xxxxxxxx – with mobile no. of the receiver.

·       Welcome to SMS smsc API. – with your URL encoded message

·       20000xxxx – with your user id

·       password – with your password

You can add more parameters in this URL.

Parameters

List of parameters apart from default parameters.

Parameter
Value
Description
method
sendMessage
Specification to send a single message
send_to
Phone no. of the receiver
The number must be in pure numeric format with no special characters.
msg
UrlEncoded string of UTF-8 characters
The message that needs to be sent. It can contain alphanumeric & special characters.


Optional parameter

Parameter
Value
Description
port
Port Number
It is a pure number and needs to be specified if the message is being sent to a port.

            

With version 1.0,

·       You can send messages to multiple numbers in a single API call by separating numbers using “,” or “|”

·       Only text messages are allowed. This means you must exclude the “msg_type” parameter

·       Scheduling of messages (i.e. the parameter *timestamp*) is not supported

·       File uploads are not supported via API v1.0

Please refer to our API document to know more about API functions, and see more examples.


Mobile Access

Mobile access will allow you to access your groups through the specified mobile phone(s). You can create new groups too through the specified mobile phone(s).


To enable mobile access through website:

1.   Click Groups tab on the menu bar.

2.   Click Group Settings tab for the group for which you want to enable mobile access.

3.   Select the Enable Mobile Access option.

: After enabling mobile access, a successful message is displayed at the top.

4.   Enter the mobile number to which you need to provide access to the group(s). Click Add button.

5.   Repeat above step to add more numbers. You can up to 7 different mobile numbers.

6.    Click Save.


To enable mobile access for group creation:

1.   Click Settings on menu bar.

2.   Select Enable Group Creation by SMS in the Advanced Account Settings section.

3.   Enter the mobile number on which you want to provide this feature. Click Add button.

4.   Repeat above step to add more numbers. You can up to 7 different mobile numbers.

5.    View this document to in details what kind of actions can be performed via mobile access.


Keyword Response Campaign

You can collect response data for all your set-up keywords. For this SMSC provides you two options. Default response and Response URL.


Response URL: Whenever a request is received on the defined keyword, it will be forwarded to the given Response URL, such as www.example.com.

To respond to the keyword, the SMSC server calls the following URL:


http://www.example.com/getresponse.php?phonecode=%pcode&keyword=%kw&location=%loc&carrier=%car&content=%con&msisdn=%ph&timestamp=%time

The response URL consists details of response such as the sender’s phone number, the time when request was received, the keyword on which request was received, the additional message with the request, and so on. Thus, for the keyword Test, phone code 9220092200, and message Test Nagpur, the server calls the following URL:


http://www.example.com?phonecode=9220092200&keyword=Test&location=Mumbai&carrier=Vodafone&content=TestNagpur&msisdn=9812348765&timestamp=13082098000

: If you wish to generate a response through the callback URL, you must ensure that the response conforms to a specified XML format. If the remote server returns an invalid XML message or does not return an XML message at all, the first 160 characters of server response are used to compose the message.


Default Response: Default Response is a response that is delivered to the sender’s number on receiving the keyword instruction. You can set a default string as a response to a keyword.