New comers to sms marketing seem to have a cloudy vision when it comes to sending bulk sms. Here at GalaxyText we receive many calls from people who would like to send a blast message to a list that they either:
1). Built the list without giving an option for subscribers to opt into future campaigns via text
2). Purchased a mobile list
Both cases above are big no-no’s. Why you ask? Well, in Canada we have to abide by certain rules and regulations when sending out a text messages. But most importantly, 99% of providers won’t allow you to use their platform to send a bulk sms to a list you never owned (or can’t prove for that matter). This is how we keep the integrity and high standards for sms marketing in Canada. So who keeps the rules intact? The good people at the CWTA (Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association) who make sure that all programs are following the guidelines for sending text messages in Canada. If you’re not familiar with these rules then you can check out the CWTA Code of Conduct.
If you are using a service provider to send out your text messages, they have to follow the same rules as everyone else. That means you cannot send a bulk sms to any list if you do not own that list. Furthermore, you cannot send out a text message to a list that hasn’t agreed to receive messages from you in the first place. This is called “spam” and you could get into some trouble with certain carriers if enough people complain. If complaints do reach the carriers, you & your provider can get suspended or even worse get banned from short code programs.
How to Send Bulk SMS Text Messages in Canada
So the question is, how do I send bulk SMS Text Messages in Canada? You first need to compile a list of mobile numbers through an opt-in only basis, whether that’s through an online opt-in form or having users manually text into your campaigns (Text PARTY to 77223). If the subscribers opt-in only, they give you consent (sort of like signing a contract), and agree to allow you to send them offers. Offers can be anything such as alerts, news and anything to your liking (as long as it’s relevant to your program). If you’re a restaurant and are sending Montreal Canadiens ticket offers to your customers this is definitely not a relevant message (although some mind not mind) and will be flagged as spam.
The best advice I can give anyone trying out sms marketing is to put yourself in your customers shoes. First of all, if you agree to opt-in to McDonald’s Text Message Program & start receiving NFL news then you might be confused at first, and secondly annoyed by the fact that you didn’t give anyone permission to send you news from the NFL. Remember, the mobile device is a personal one. As soon as you enter someones mobile world you need to make sure you’re sending out relevant information to them. It’s the difference of keeping a healthy opt-in list as apposed to having a huge turnover rate (people texting STOP to end).
If you bought a list and wanted to send someone a special 2 for 1 pizza to your restaurant; what do you think will happen when you send a message to 500 strangers? Less than 0.01% will even respond to your offer, while 15%+ would respond to your offer if they opted into a program you created and gave you consent to send them offers. Remember everyone, you can either learn the hard way or the easy way buy doing your research. If you still plan on buying massive mobile lists and sending out random messages then you’re better off with just sticking to regular payphones.