Texts are one of the most convenient and efficient ways to communicate. In fact, 67% of customers prefer getting texts from businesses.
But what if you need to send a lot of messages at once to multiple people? The typical group text messaging apps (iMessage and Google Messages) on your iPhone or Android won’t work.
The problem is:
So how do you text multiple people and send a lot of messages at once?
In this article I explain:
Read on for more.
It’s important to understand the differences between group texts and mass texts. This is because the technology used to send group text messages is different from a mass text app for business purposes like SMS marketing.
A group text message is a message thread involving a select group of contacts typically managed from an iPhone or Android device. Native messaging apps like iMessage, Google Messages all give you ways to organize contacts into groups and send group texts. Group texts have a limited size and messaging volume. There’s no privacy in the group and everyone can send and receive texts.
A group text without reply all is a no-reply or “BCC” text message. Unlike standard group texts on iPhone and Android, a group text without reply all is a mass text sent individually to multiple people. When a person responds to the text, their reply starts a separate text thread. Each person only sees their individual message.
A mass text (bulk SMS texting) is a large-scale broadcast text message. Businesses and organizations often use mass texts as marketing to reach large numbers of people at once. Sending mass text messages requires a specialized mass texting service or mass text messaging app. Most mass texting services are approved for large-scale bulk SMS message delivery.
|Group Texts||Mass Texts|
|Contacts Per Group||Limited||Unlimited|
|Messages Sent Per Second||1 per second||10+ per second|
|BCC No Reply Text Messages (Group Text Without Reply All)||🚫||✅|
|Carrier Approved for SMS Marketing Campaigns||🚫||✅|
|Templates, Personalization Tags, and Automations||🚫||✅|
|Opt-in and Opt-out Features||🚫||✅|
Group texts have a limit to the number of contacts you can add to a group. Whereas mass texts allow for text lists that are potentially unlimited.
Mass texting software also gives you more freedom and flexibility to organize, filter, and segment contacts into various groups and lists.
Shared messaging inboxes, like MessageDesk, even allow you to create separate channels to sort multiple conversations. Here’s an example:
Telecom carriers (Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile) limit how many texts you can send from text messaging apps on mobile devices.
But mass text messaging services go through extra vetting. This allows them to send more messages at rates of around 10+ messages per second. Some services even allow you to send mass texts via shortcodes at up to 40 messages per second.
Shortcode text messaging used to be the only way for businesses and organizations to send mass texts. But carriers now allow mass texting on normal 10-digit phone numbers if approved.
MessageDesk makes this approval process easy with one form submission.
Group texts don’t support BCC no reply text messages, also known as group text without reply all. There’s no setting for BCC text messaging on iPhone either.
In a group message, every member of the group sees all messages and contacts in the group. There’s no privacy and only limited ways for contacts in the group to manage their message notifications.
But mass text messages are one-way text message blasts. If a contact gets a mass text message, they can reply. However, their response starts a new 1-on-1 text message conversation.
Here’s an example. Say you send a text message to a bunch of people from MessageDesk. Everyone gets the text message. But if a contact chooses to text back, their message starts a new thread in MessageDesk’s inbox.
Group text messages aren’t approved for use as text message marketing campaigns. In 2021, carriers began cracking down on illicit mass texts, leading to fines and penalties.
But mass texting services undergo carrier vetting. They’re also normally approved through services like Campaign Registry. This allows them to send bulk text marketing messages using high-volume 10-digit long code (10DLC) numbers.
iMessage and Google Messages don’t allow you to send personalized messages with tags. Nor can you pre-save text messages or MMS messages as reusable templates. You can’t really schedule a text message or set up any automation either.
This is where a business-grade mass text app comes in handy. Not only can you schedule individual messages, but you can also schedule large-scale, recurring, text message broadcasts.
Here’s an example of a personalized, recurring text message saved as a template in MessageDesk:
Opt-in and opt-out messaging features are important for TCPA compliance. TCPA stands for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Its legislation requires businesses and organizations to clearly state how someone can stop receiving text messages.
Group texts and native text messaging apps don’t have features like opt-out list management and are not TCPA compliant. Mass texting services like MessageDesk offer fully automated opt-in and opt-out compliance.
Here’s an example of an automated opt-in/opt-out text message exchange set up in MessageDesk:
I’ve covered the differences between group texts and mass texts. But which option is best for your messaging needs?
Ask yourself the following questions:
As I illustrated above, group text messages sent from your personal phone using apps like iMessage and Google Messages have limitations.
So only send group texts to personal friends and family.
Group texts are really meant for small, personal groups of people. They’re not meant for business or larger-scale messaging blasts.
Suggested Article: How to Choose The Best Group Text App + List of Top Apps
If your business or organization needs to send a mass text message broadcast, then you’ll need a business text messaging service. It’s not viable for you to use your normal text messaging apps to send mass texts on iPhone or Android devices.
So use a mass texting service if your business or organization needs to do any of the following:
There are 5 good reasons why text message marketing works including:
Mass texting customers with QR codes or coupons to redeem online or in-store is one approach. You can also use mass text messages to drive traffic to your website or increase foot traffic to your physical storefront.
67% of consumers prefer when businesses text appointment reminders and scheduling updates versus receiving a phone call or email. All you need is to text a link to your meeting scheduler or meeting scheduling software.
Texts are also a proven way to stop no-show appointments. Some 53% of no-shows occur because people simply forget. Text messages give your business an easy, automated way to remind people.
Texting works for sales and sales teams. It gives you another way to keep in touch with prospects and engage customers without having to make phone calls.
It’s also easy to add a prospect to a text list once you’ve got their permission. With a mass text list, you can personalize every message all while reaching out to many prospects at the same time.
When something big happens, it’s important to keep customers and employees informed. Texts are a great way to reach customers, but texting also works well as an employee communication platform.
Mass texts make it easy for your business or organization to broadcast text alerts, quickly answer questions, and send additional updates.
Text message payment reminders and “text-to-pay” can help you get paid faster and more frequently. Do you send a lot of payment reminder emails? Do you waste time on the phone leaving voice messages? Then consider text messaging as an alternative messaging channel.
Business texting platforms like MessageDesk even sync directly with small business accounting software like QuickBooks Online and Xero. This makes small business invoicing easier. All you have to do is text customers with direct links to their open invoices.
After a customer pays their bill, mass texting can give you a way to follow up and ask for feedback. If the feedback is positive, you can even set up text message autoresponders that automatically ask for a Google review.
MessageDesk is a mass text app and shared team inbox. It gives you an easy way to receive and send multiple texts at once and manage many conversations individually.
When a contact responds to a mass text (Broadcast), their text comes back to you and your team in MessageDesk’s Inbox as a single, private reply.
Unlike other mass text apps that send no reply texts, all responses in MessageDesk stay separate. Each conversation starts a new thread.
Here’s how to send a group text individually as a mass text using MessageDesk.
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 message to.
Type your message in the message compose box. You can add emoji, links and pictures, and media.
In the message compose box you’ll also see a calendar icon. Select your date and time in the message preview to schedule your text message. When ready hit Confirm Schedule.
You can also set up recurring scheduled text messages and add other automated text message workflows using MessageDesk.
MessageDesk is here to help with smarter, simpler messaging tools.
You can always start a free trial of MessageDesk. But you’re also free to put us on your calendar and meet with a messaging expert.
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