The case for local messaging solutions

The bulk SMS industry changed substantially over the last two years or so as sp@m became an issue with carriers and the industry defined itself by distinguishing between the features of a route and the price the client pays.
As a result, we now live with a situation where “you get what you pay for”. In an earlier entry, we discussed how a bulk SMS client should choose the route he wish to use. We looked at the different features and options that are available.

In this article, we will take a look at the difference of commercial bulk SMS routes vs guaranteed bulk SMS routes also known as premium bulk SMS.

Commercial bulk SMS routes: may include all features a guaranteed route offers but the delivery is not always guaranteed. Users therefore always have to test before they send a batch. Managed sends always include one message at the end of the batch sent for management to check whether the messages before theirs were delivered. Some of the very cheap bulk SMS routes might not offer delivery reports, have fixed numeric sender ID etc.

Guaranteed Bulk SMS routes (which we offer): on the other hand guarantee not only delivery, but also include all the features that clients wish for (delivery reports, dynamic sender ID, short code originator, binary support etc). That is the advantage. The only negative point is that guaranteed bulk SMS routes are charged at a slight premium.

So, let’s take a look at the price issue:

Let´s suppose a logistic compmay purchase 1 million credits from a commercial bulk SMS provider where delivery is not guaranteed at say Ksh2 per SMS. Upon sending, only 50% of the messages arrive. That implies that the client achieved 50% success or delivery to mobile phones and in effect paid Ksh4 per SMS.
With guaranteed bulk SMS routes such as the ones we offer the client will pay for example Ksh2.50 SMS and obtain 100% delivery. This could play a crucial role in the effectiveness of a campaign for example:

Cases where the client runs a competition and the recipients have to SMS an answer of a question to a short code.
If 100% delivery does not take place, the company running the competition does not only loose out on the branding opportunity but also the revenue share they would have earned from the networks. 100% delivery at a higher price ensures that the response expected from a SMS campaign equals the input.

The final decision about the route that the client would like to use lies with the client and in consulting them we should determine what sort of response they expect from their campaign. The features and service level should match the price they are willing to pay.

Bulk SMS decisions nowadays cannot depend on price alone anymore – quality is surely a rising issue with most gateway customers. The use of guaranteed bulk SMS routes are on the rise as clients are starting to realize that it is worth paying for quality.

An Africa based entrepreneur in the pursuit of opportunities without regard to resources currently controlled striving to build services that have real-world value for my beloved continent and beyond while having fun along the way.

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