7 SMS features to make communicating easier

7 SMS features to make communicating easier
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When it comes to SMS, we all immediately think of sending a text message from one handset direct to another. But with virtual numbers and online platforms, SMS has gone far beyond the humble 160-character text sent Person-To-Person (P2P) via handsets.

With a long list of advancements since its inception 27 years ago, texting is still one of the most popular forms of communication in this digital era. 90% of SMS are opened within three minutes of receiving the text. Learn how to use enterprise SMS on a large scale and maintain rapport using these seven effective features.

1. Bulk SMS and MMS

With high throughout and premium service, SMS platforms can send large amounts of text messages and multimedia messages (MMS) at one time. With fast delivery rates and quality performance, businesses can send hundreds and thousands of mobile messages with just the click of a button!

Related: MMS [Explained]

2. Two-way texting

Connecting with your customers adds another tier of service excellence. Not just providing customers with SMS alerts and notifications, two-way SMS opens up a dialogue between sender and recipient. This feature can be used for support, feedback, or just a good ol' chat to get to know your customers better.

3. Email-To-SMS

Send SMS via Outlook
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Texting is already simple and easy, but email-to-text makes it even easier, especially if you're already a massive email-user. Sending an SMS via email is efficient and uncomplicated—all you have to do is configure your current email platform with SMS—and then you can send and receive text messages via email.

Outlook to text

Usually, an SMS plugin is required when configuring an email platform to send mobile messages, however, Outlook 2007 and 2010 has a built-in texting feature. All you have to do is enable the SMS settings!

Below is a quick how-to on enabling the SMS setting in Outlook :

  1. Sign up for an SMS service
  2. Configure Outlook 2007/2010 by enabling SMS in 'Tools'
  3. Add your new provider by entering your SMS service provider login details
  4. Optional: Send a test SMS to your allocated mobile number
  5. Restart Outlook
  6. You're ready to send and receive SMS directly from Outlook

Related: Email to SMS with MXT [Explained]

4. Dedicated virtual numbers

Having your own dedicated number to contact customers and clients by adds a personal touch. Not only is it easily recognisable, but a dedicated number is also private and personalised to your business.

Here is a list of dedicated numbers used for sending SMS:

  • Short code
  • Long code
  • Toll-free virtual number
  • Sender ID—while Sender ID is not exactly a dedicated number, it can be personalised to represent the brand name or number sending the SMS.

Related: How a dedicated or virtual number can help you build your brand

5. Plugins and API integrations

Alongside utilising an SMS platform, SMS API integrations are also available to scale up existing systems and provide SMS services through another platform. SMS plugins and add-ons provide a range of features from simple and accessible automated functions to specialised and custom-built applications. A flexible range of off-the-shelf and custom-built communication solutions that can be added to your current processes.

Related: What do Joomla! And Zabbix have in common?

6. Contact lists

Whether you use SMS for marketing purposes, notifications or Two-Factor Authentication (TFA), all recipients must provide their contact details to receive text messages. By sorting contacts into groups and lists depending on their preferences and demographics allows you to send them appropriate messages that they have opted-in to. The option to create multiple contact lists also allows the sender to organise contacts by how they relate to a business. For example, a loyalty card member might be sent VIP notifications for upcoming events or sales, and also opted-in to receive TFA via SMS One-Time Password (OTP).

7. Automated SMS

Schedule SMS
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With the help of online systems and an SMS gateway, you can automatically send SMS to intended recipients at a predetermined scheduled time or even when they reply using a specific keyword. Automated text messages save time and money.

Keywords and triggers

Instead of waiting for a reply and then formulating a relevant response, you can set up keywords and trigger responses. For example, a medical clinic sends a reminder SMS a day before each appointment asking the recipient to reply 'Yes' to confirm their booking, or 'No' to cancel their booking. Upon replying, the keyword, either 'Yes' or 'No', triggers a response such as 'Thank you for your reply'.

Scheduled texts

When it comes to sending the perfect SMS, especially for mobile marketing, timing is everything. Ensuring your SMS goes out at the right time, you can schedule individual and bulk SMS to be sent at a specific time and date before hitting send. That way you can stagger an SMS marketing campaign or block out times where automated reminders can and cannot be sent. You wouldn't want to send out a mass SMS campaign at 3am on a Monday! You might get a few more opt-outs than expected...

Related: How to schedule and stagger SMS campaigns and why

With these helpful SMS features, you can effortlessly up your communication and SMS marketing game.

Head to our website to find out further how you can utilise our platform and services. Sign up with SMSGlobal or get in contact with our Customer Care Team via email support@smsglobal.com or our Contact Page for more information.