WHAT IS SMS?
SMS refers to ‘Short Message Service' technology used to deliver text messages to mobile telephones. It enables users to send and receive text messages on portable telephones.
SMS is extremely popular among mobile telephone users. While billions of SMS messages are sent for personal use every day, it was seldom used for business and marketing campaigns. But this trend changed fast with most firms gaining from the use of SMS. The reason being absolutely clear - SMS is a cost effective manner in which to transfer information and has a high-response-rate, which accelerates growth and builds positive client customer relations.
1. SMS – EFFECTIVE MEANS Of COMMUNICATION
There are many reasons why SMS is considered an effective way of communication.
Some of them being:
- SMS is cost effective.
- It is the most popular tool of communication (connection) with a movable audience.
- It can be sent at once to a large group, manually or automatically which reduces the time and labor involved.
Statistics of mobile communication users is 8-9 times more, compared to other communication channels. It has advantages over telephone, fax and email. SMS is the best mobile communication facility today, as the person receives the message instantly no matter where he is. The only insignificant factor is the cost of delivering SMS i.e. the location of the person (receiver) and spacing interval are not taken into consideration.
SMS attention to the Users
As SMS is a personal communication facility, receiving it would not go unnoticed and it also grabs the attention of the receiver. Almost inevitably any message is read, and the transfer protocol of data is called by ease of the recipients perception – because of this it is important to attempt to convey a message with the least possible characters i.e. 160 characters
Messages can be delivered to the recipient in seconds all depending on the following factor i.e. specific gateway used, route of delivery and coverage of the mobile operator. Messages can be sent to a large number of clients located abroad as well as an employee in the adjacent room making it easy and reliable to use.
To integrate SMS with a companies existing database and also enables the company to automate the dispatch of messages. InterConnect conveniently integrates with any database on any framework under HTTP minutes, InterConnect also allow users to import from Excel and CSV by means of a built in import functionality.
In a short period of time, SMS has built up a reputation for itself as a reliable communication system, guaranteeing almost 100 % delivery to the receiver.
Reports and billing
InterConnect allow clients to use all the benefits of a billing system and to draw reports, allowing complete management and to execute control.
SMS message departs from a concrete mobile telephone to the concrete person and is a personal communication facility that hardly distinguishes him from MASS-MEDIA. It is important to remember that because of a mobile phone being a private and personal item rather than public it is necessary to take into account that if the dispatch of a SMS is uncalled for, it would have a negative impact on the recipient and reflect badly on the sender.
2. FIELD OF APPLICATION
SMS could be used by a business concern in many ways. SMS can be useful in miscellaneous areas, for example:
2.1 SMS and MARKETING
2.1.1 Definition of problems in marketing:
It is possible to consider marketing being successful, if it addresses the following
1. Increase efficiency with existing clients.
2. Retain existing clients
3. Increase profits
Thus there are many SMS-marketing tools depending on what use they are put to. For example messages, used to get new clients hardly differ from the MESSAGES sent to existing clients.
Upon commencing with a SMS marketing campaign one should answer the following questions:
1) To whom the report is addressed? [New clients and markets or existing customers]
2) What answer is required?
2.1.2. Contents SMS from a marketing point of view
Irrespective of your selected means, the information transmitted is vital for success. There is no difference between the information displayed on a television, in the newspaper, via radio or with the help of SMS - if the message is not composed precisely, the goal will not be reached. It is important to understand that more doesn't necessarily mean better.
The maximum length of A message is 459 characters; enabling you to submit the information as clearly as possible. There is a number (series) of operational constraints of special characters and coding. For example, sending characters Unicode will be long, so the report is limited to 69 characters more often.
160 Characters – sometimes isn't enough for your message. Hence you should carefully formulate the MESSAGE and insert the most relevant information in it. Be convinced that the messages you write briefly mirrors the essence of the problem Though the number of characters is limited to160, it can be spanned to a 459-character however the SMS would be delivered as 3 SMS. There is a possibility to send much longer messages, but that isn't convenient for the receiver who would receive the message as separate messages. Fortunately, abbreviations can be used instead of complete words to send more information in a single SMS.
2.1.3. Client Database
One of the positives of SMS in using it as a marketing tool – It can be used anywhere you are and wherever you have access to the internet, and wherever you have your data available making your messages more directional to target audience.
By using InterConnect's product it enables you to send messages to a specific audience. An important factor of using SMS as a marketing tool it requires a certain client database.
2.1.4. Sender Identification- Forms confidence
Some gateways has the capability and necessary space to fill in a sender ID, the space provided for sender ID can also be used for a company name, title or other informative information. Unfortunately not all networks provide this service. Having a sender ID space allocated ensures that you have more space for text. The presence of a sender ID is useful as it invokes confidence with the recipient, the receiver knows from whom he has received the message.
You should always try to include a company name, trade-mark name etc. in the body of the text message.
The CRM-systems requires a large budget sometimes exceeding the profit.
Through SMS, this cost is substantially reduced, in some cases by 85% if SMS is correctly and completely automated in a system. In theory this seems difficult, but practically it is very easy to be incorporated into existing systems.
Often companies are on the look for solutions which are effective to clients when they are:
traveling, relocating etc. The biggest problem for them is the fact that potential buyers would be contacted too late. SMS individually manages that problem.
Lot of banks, financial institutions and large firms already started using SMS in their systems and successfully integrated them with the infrastructure i.e. databases, CRM-systems.
2.3 Information / contents
The Internet is evolving. The diversity of material being stored and distributed over the Internet has reached the stage where the original framework that arose out of the need for guaranteeing peer-to-peer communication in the event of a catastrophe become seriously challenged. Accumulating content and presenting it in a logical manner is not an easy task, but is further complicated by the fact that the content usually needs to be requested or "pulled" by the potential reader.
It can serve to a large part of the audience who will receive the information later or in the some cases not at all.
The information can be delivered to the recepients with the help of many communication facilities, such as fax, email etc. Content Delivery with the help of SMS can be automated and would be based on options chosen by the receiver. It can be widely utilized by companies, which sell data such as ring tones, games, and logos.
2.4 Control - alarm signals
Many systems have remote emergency systems which has constant control over the functionality. Adding SMS to an existing emergency system, such as alert systems, which are invoked to inform people about potential malfunctions or violations (disturbance) in any activity running in many areas of the industry for a long time
Though it isn't guaranteed that the person will immediately read the message, it demonstrates that SMS is one of the most reliable sources of information to notify people about relative distresses.
SMS is also used for the notification (warning) of malfunctions in the activity of computer networks, data channels, automatic systems of service (as web-tools, online database) arising during deadlines, considerably reducing the number of the complaints by the clients due to disabled tools, creating a reputation of reliability and thereby gaining a positive public perception.
The main reason for SMS being a success in systems used for notifications (warnings) alerts is that it is easily integrated with already available systems.
3. InterConnect PRODUCTS
3.1 InterConnect SMS GATEWAY
InterConnect SMS Gateway Integration
InterConnect provides direct access to its core mobile data delivery platform and international SMS gateway through a series of API's (Application Programmers Interface). InterConnect's SMS gateway (API's) allow developers to utilize generic skills in developing, integrating and deploying mobile data solutions. InterConnect's API's support several protocols, including SMPP, HTTP/s, SMTP (E-mail to SMS), FTP, SMPP, XML, Com Object, etc. Easy to use instructions make all the features of InterConnect available to application developers and corporate IT groups for SMS application building and legacy database integration. Sample code and comprehensive integration specification documents are provided for each protocol.
read more about InterConnect SMS Gateway
3.2 BULK SMS SOFTWARE
InterConnect 2 is a desktop application designed to be installed on a single, or across multiple end-user machines. Comprising a database, Outlook address book integration and an SMS messaging interface, InterConnect 2 SMS-enables any PC also including a merge mechanism, this application is designed to facilitate both one-to-one and bulk messaging. This product can be distributed by InterConnect's distribution partners as a branded product.
read more about InterConnect 2