What is Bulk SMS? Bulk Text Messaging via Bulk SMS Service
Kyle Kuczynski
Kyle Kuczynski
MessageDesk Co-Founder & CMO
Updated: Jul 23, 2022

Learn How to Send Bulk Text Messages and Get Started with a Bulk SMS Sender

Email is the most widely adopted form of business communication in the world.

But it's become a crowded channel. Many businesses and organizations find themselves fighting for attention in overcrowded and time-sensitive inboxes.

This means your contacts, customers, and clients may never actually open your emails.

But there’s an alternative way to send messages in bulk.

Bulk text messaging with a bulk SMS service provider gives you a faster, more efficient, and direct way to get messages delivered.

In this article, I'll cover:

  1. What bulk SMS is
  2. The types of businesses and organizations that use bulk SMS
  3. The top 7 benefits of bulk SMS texting
  4. How to get started with a bulk SMS service to send bulk text messages
  5. How businesses and organizations use bulk SMS (free copy and paste templates)

By the end, you’ll know how to effectively use bulk SMS.

Read on for more.

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What is Bulk SMS?

Bulk SMS or bulk texts are also called mass texts. Bulk texts are one-way SMS or MMS text messages sent to large contact lists. Large-scale text blasts or broadcasts sent automatically through a business texting software are also considered bulk SMS. Bulk SMS gets sent from an application to a person (A2P) vs. regular person-to-person (P2P) texting.

How is bulk SMS different from a group text?

The big difference between group texts and mass texts comes down to:

  1. Who can see and respond to text messages
  2. How many people you can message

Group texts or group MMS messages are also known as group messaging or group chat. Every member in the group can send and receive messages peer-to-peer.

Each sees the entire text thread with all exchanges in the group. Members of the group conversation can also see who else is in the group chat.

But bulk SMS is different. A bulk texts start with a broadcast list (a list of contacts) managed within a mass texting or bulk SMS service (like MessageDesk).

So the difference between a group text and a bulk text broadcast is that message recipients only see the message from the sender. They don’t know who else received the message.

This means that bulk text broadcasts are one-to-many. They come from a single sender and go to many recipients.

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Who Sends Bulk SMS?

Around 53% of marketers across various industries use bulk SMS marketing to reach their current and potential customers.

Restaurants, real estate companies, fitness centers, storefronts, health clinics, and other businesses also send mass text messages to keep people informed.

Below are just a few examples of industries that use bulk SMS.

Home services and tradespeople

Bulk SMS for service-based businesses and tradespeople works well for landscapers, plumbers, electricians, and housekeepers to contact customers. Many find it easy to send out bulk notices about special offers or updates.

Health clinics and medical offices

Medical, dental, and clinical offices use bulk SMS for appointment reminders. They can also send out critical updates such as sudden closures or health and safety concerns. For example, health clinics can send out bulk SMS about mask usage and safety precautions.

Dispatch, logistics, call centers, and staffing agencies

Managers may opt for bulk SMS as a simple way to contact staff members and employees to inform them of updates, alerts, and open shifts. SMS messages arrive instantly, and managers don't have to wait for everyone to check their emails.

Text messaging for logistics, trucking, and dispatch is also a great way for delivery and logistics personnel to keep connected to teams and customers.

Churches and political organizations

Churches and political organizations can also use bulk SMS to keep people in their communities up-to-date with news, announcements, and upcoming events. It's a simple way to contact a large number of people across diverse demographics.

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Top 7 Benefits of Bulk SMS

How can bulk SMS texts help your organization achieve its messaging goals? Not only are bulk texts easy to set up, but they also offer plenty of benefits to help you meet your goals.

1. Bulk SMS services are cost-effective

If you’re weighing different marketing and sales tactics, consider SMS marketing. It’s one of the cheaper ways to reach a huge number of people.

Many SMS service providers offer cost-effective plans, especially considering the results you will gain.

2. Text messaging is nearly Instant

With email and social media campaigns, you typically have to wait for people to check their messages or news feed.

But bulk SMS is instant.

You can hit send, and everyone’s mobile phones immediately receive a text message. This means you can potentially get near-instant conversion rates from contacts.

For perspective, the average SMS click-through rate is around 36%.

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3. It’s easy to personalize bulk text messages

Many people prefer conversational experiences, especially with businesses and organizations.

But 67% of people would rather text than talk on the phone or respond to an email.

This is where bulk SMS makes it easy to personalize and save custom text messages as templates.

This means it’s possible to create conversational experiences at scale with hundreds of contacts.

Here’s an example:
Let’s say you want to send SMS for text message marketing purposes. There’s a bunch of contacts and you want to personalize each message with a greeting that includes their first name. Instead of typing and sending a single text message to each, you can customize one bulk text message with personalization {{ tags }} and auto-insert each contact’s first name.

Here’s what that looks like when you click send to all contacts using MessageDesk:

Hey there, {{ FirstName }}, our spring sale is on now! Visit our website to browse this season’s selections and get 20% off with the code SPRING20.

4. Carrier-verified delivery means messages won’t be marked as spam

Emails are a tricky thing to use for marketing because spam filters are so advanced these days.

However, the right SMS platform can help you get optimal SMS delivery to all contacts.

Mass text messaging services built for bulk SMS support high-volume mass text messaging (also known as carrier-verified A2P 10DLC).

This ensures that high volumes of text messages (including promotional messages) get delivered and aren’t marked as SPAM by telecom carriers.

Suggested Article: Guide to P2P SMS, A2P SMS & 10DLC for Bulk Text Messages

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5. Bulk texts have high open rates

Compared to email, text messages have high open rates. I’m talking 98% open rates compared to an average of 20% for email. And 97% of messages get read within 15 minutes of delivery.

Text messages have clear advantages because they feel more personalized and direct. There’s an element of trust in giving a company your phone number, so they are often more likely to open SMS messages rather than cold emails.

6. Bulk texts have high conversion rates

High open rates commonly translate into high conversion rates. By using Bulk SMS marketing campaigns instead of — or as well as — email, you can boost your message's reach. The more people that open your message, the more people that are likely to take action.

7. Bulk SMS services help you manage opt-in and opt-out

You have to be aware of spam and TCPA regulations when you start sending texts in bulk. Without going too far into detail, you need to provide a way for contacts to opt-out of future messages from you.

The good news is that many SMS bulk senders like MessageDesk have opt-in and opt-out features included as part of their texting services.

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How to Send Bulk Text Messages

Ready to start sending bulk SMS? Here’s how to get started.

Step 1: Grow your SMS list

Your first step is to decide who you’ll be texting. If you’ve got a contact list, then great.

But if you don’t, consider adding a special click-to-text button on your website. This lets website visitors enter their details, to grow your text list and ultimately start more text conversations.

Websites often use a competition, a gift, or a discount to entice people to leave their number.

Another method is to send out a social media message encouraging people to text a specific word to them to opt in or win a prize.

It’s ideal to use a double opt-in feature that confirms a person’s subscription to the list. That way, you will only have genuinely interested parties on your list.

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Step 2: Decide on a bulk SMS service provider

There are many great business texting services and SMS marketing services (including MessageDesk) that make it easy to send bulk texts.

But you’ll want to find a bulk SMS service that works for you.

MessageDesk offers a specific range of phone number and texting features designed to suit your communications needs.

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Step 3: Set up your bulk SMS number

Next, you’ll need to get a new text number or text enable your existing business number.

Some platforms automatically give you a new toll-free number for texting as soon as you hit “send” on your first message.

To text from your existing business phone number or landline, you’ll need to submit a number porting request.

Note: It will likely take from 1-7 days to successfully text-enable your business number once you submit your request. Sometimes, this process is referred to as number hosting (not to be confused with number porting).

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Step 4. Import your contacts and create groups

MessageDesk makes it easy to import a .csv file with a list of contacts. Once you’ve got your contacts in MessageDesk, search and select the contact(s) or group(s) you’d like to send a text to.

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Step 5: Start composing your texts

After you've uploaded your contacts, you'll need to compose your content. For this, MessageDesk supports pre-saved text message templates, tags, media, and links.

This allows you to create more custom personalized texts that allow for deeper engagement with your audience. You can also pre-save different SMS texts for different contact groups to match the purpose of your campaign.

Suggested Article: 60 Business Text Message Templates & Examples (Copy & Paste)

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Step 6. Schedule or automate your bulk text messages

You can always schedule text messages to send at a later date. You can also take advantage of automated text message campaigns to deliver messages to your recipients.

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Step 7. Track when contacts open and click links in your bulk SMS text

One feature that separates MessageDesk from other bulk SMS providers is the ability to send a link in texts. This allows you to monitor the success of your bulk text campaigns.

MessageDesk’s SMS broadcast service delivers a report with information on who successfully received the text.

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How Businesses and Organizations Use Bulk SMS + Free Templates (Copy & Paste)

Bulk SMS messages benefit businesses and organizations in many ways.

For example, companies may share information about special promotions, appointment reminders, contests, product releases, or general business updates. These messages may encourage recipients to take some kind of action, like visiting the store this weekend.

Here are some real-world examples of bulk text messaging:

1. Promotions and SMS campaigns

Many businesses and organizations send bulk texts for promotional purposes.

New customer or subscriber welcome campaigns

Welcome to [brand]! Explore our newest [products] today to find the perfect fit, and get [percentage discount] off your first order!

Promotional offer campaign

Celebrate the holidays with [featured product]! You can get [percentage discount]% off when you order today!

Happy birthday campaign

Happy birthday, {{ FirstName }}! Celebrate with a [promotional discount offer] today!

2. Text alerts and notifications for customers and employees

Businesses can use broadcasts to keep people up-to-date on dispatches, orders, and shipments.

Texts also work well for employee communication. Businesses use them internally for “text-to-apply” and recruiting new employees or to provide shift reminders, notifications, and confirmations.

Suggested Article: 17 Staffing & Recruiting Text Message Examples + Templates

Out-of-office bulk text

Hey {{ FirstName }}, All of our staff are currently away. Please text your question here and we’ll get back to you ASAP with a response. {{ FirstName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

Inclement weather SMS bulk text

Hi {{ FirstName }}. Because of the weather, we're canceling the service today. We will keep you updated on all weather-related updates and future closures.

Job announcement bulk text

Hi {{ First Name }}. This is {{ MyFirstName }} from {{ Company }}. A client of ours in CITY has a JOB TITLE position open. Would you be interested in learning about it? If so, I can send you the details.

Timecard reminder bulk text

Hi {{First Name}}, this is {{My First Name}} from {{Company}}. This is a friendly reminder to submit your timecard by the end of the day today.

3. Appointment scheduling and reminders

Many businesses use texting for scheduling appointment reminders and events. Texts work well because they can prompt confirmation and reduce appointment no-shows.

Appointment confirmation bulk text

Hi {{ FirstName }}, this is {{ OrganizationName }} confirming you have an appointment on 3/25 at 3pm. Thanks for scheduling your appointment with us, and if you have any questions, reply to this message. We’ll see you then! - {{ OrganizationName }}

Appointment reminder bulk text

Hey {{ FirstName }}, just a heads up about your scheduled appointment for tomorrow at 2pm. See you then! - {{ OrganizationName }}

Appointment reschedule bulk text

Hi {{ FirstName }}. We’re sorry to see you missed your appointment today and hope everything is well. If you’d like to reschedule, please reply to this message or call us at 775-313-9465.

4. Invoice and payment collection

Reminding someone to pay you is always a hassle. Text messaging and “text-to-pay” make this easier with automated payment reminders.

Invoice due bulk text

Your invoice is due for payment by 5 o’clock today. Please feel free to pay via check in person, or pay via this link: http://msgdsk.io/l/w/ev7JhUol

Overdue payment bulk text

Your payment is now a day overdue, please pay as soon as possible to avoid additional late fees.

Collections notice bulk text

An overdue invoice has been on your account for longer than 10 business days. If not paid within 24 hours, a collections agency will be assigned to collect the outstanding balance.

5. Gathering feedback and reviews

Finally, bulk texting is an excellent way to get feedback and ask for reviews from customers. You can also conduct an SMS survey or a poll to discover what people think of your business or organization.

General review ask bulk text

Hi {{ FirstName }}. Since you had such a great experience would you mind taking some time to leave us a review on Google? We’ve made it super easy for you. Just follow this link: [LINK]

Thank you for your business follow-up bulk text

Thank you for your business! We pride ourselves on great service and it’s your feedback that makes that possible! Take a minute and let us know what you thought! [LINK]

Thanks for shopping with us bulk text

Hi (first name), thanks for shopping with us. Have 2 minutes to review your shopping experience? Just follow the link! [LINK]
Try our bulk text messaging for free. No credit card required.

Ready to start bulk sending text messages?

Ready to start your first bulk SMS campaign?

Sending bulk SMS is a simple, cost-effective, and highly effective way to disperse your marketing campaigns, reminders, or business updates.

To get started, try a free trial of MessageDesk today or meet with a messaging expert to discuss your messaging needs.