SMS bulk messaging volumes are growing day by day. Every month brings a new messaging record or peak of performance, on the back of new innovative marketing campaigns or just simply because too many people forgot to uncheck *that* box.

SMS Bulk Messaging Campaigns

For campaigns that require an active response from consumers, conversion rates are unusually low. Seasoned businessmen may question the thinking behind investing in such marketing methods; but rarely realise just how cheap corporate SMS bulk messaging has become in the past few years. For example, it’s now possible to send up to four messages to UK consumers, at the same price that one message could be sent between two consumers (£0.12~).

Why? How? Simple. Off-shore messaging routes, taking advantage of “bulk tunnels” (usually where a flat fee is paid per month, opposed to a per message setup), send messages across the globe, from operators that don’t have interconnect messaging agreements in place. Interconnect agreements ensure that all messages being sent to and from each operator (to one another) are accounted for. The end result – some aggregators can offer bulk messaging at a fraction of the cost that it should be.

Mobile Operators becoming more alert to SMS Bulk Messaging

Mobile operators are beginning to wise-up to this. In July, I travelled to Ireland to meet the “big three” mobile operators; Vodafone, O2 and Meteor, respectively. Between them they had in the month prior, cut-off over thirty (30) different “un-regulated” bulk messaging routes into the country. They had been handling hundreds of thousands of SMS Bulk Messaging each month, with no reward. The Irish operators are not alone. Vodacom in South Africa have been carrying out a similar exercise recently.

Fortunately operators worldwide aren’t just stopping at cutting off these routes. They’re eager to encourage legitimate traffic through their networks. Resultantly, most operators are beginning to engage with aggregators in an effort to reduce core costs. So much so that one network recently offered to halve their standard bulk messaging fees. They realise that failure to engage aggregators (and service providers) will result in more off-shore routes being identified and exploited.

The future of SMS bulk messaging sounds pretty clear, then? No. It’s somewhat unusual for Mobile marketers to have MSISDN’s *and* network operator information. If someone were to send 100,000 messages to “Dutch” numbers without specifying which network, we would incur “off-net” charges. When you specify the network, it can provide the ability to send “on-net”, which means sending to numbers that are on the sending network (e.g sending a message to a KPN user, via the KPN network). For off-net numbers (those that are on other networks, e.g. sending a message to a KPN user via another network because the network was not specified) we would incur an internetworking fee in addition to the normal sending fee. These internetworking fees could treble the cost of sending an SMS.

Network Lookup with SMS Bulk messaging?

The solution? Network Lookup. In the next 3-4 years, we will see a switch to a solution that will “ping” MSISDN’s in order to identify its home network before completing the send. With this information, you’ll be able to send via the home network – thus saving on internetworking fees, whilst retaining the reliability of sending direct.

txtNation has been investing in developing new direct carrier relationships. In the past year, we’ve added an extra nineteen connections. These new routes, coupled with the existing connections we have – are helping us to offer highly competitive direct bulk messaging. We also offer Network Lookup as an optional extra. With clever use of this technology, it’s possible to make huge savings, whilst taking advantage of top quality routing.

Interested in sending to the future? Contact us today!

Author: Adam Williams

Find out more about txtNation contact us at Connect to txtNation, providing the leading SMS Bulk Messaging provider, worldwide.

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