SMS Broadcast Texting | What is a Broadcast Text Message?
Kyle Kuczynski
Kyle Kuczynski
MessageDesk Co-Founder & CMO
Updated: Jun 16, 2022

Learn About Broadcast Text Messages, MMS Groups vs Broadcasts & How to Do Broadcast Texting

SMS broadcast texting is the most efficient and convenient way to start text conversations.

Why?

Because compared to email and voice:

But what exactly is an SMS broadcast? What does “broadcast” mean in texting? And how can you use business texting to reach more people?

In this article I cover:

  1. What an SMS broadcast text message is
  2. The difference between MMS vs. Broadcast
  3. How to send an SMS broadcast
  4. How businesses and organizations use SMS text broadcasts + templates
  5. What SMS broadcast pricing looks like

Read on for more.

Try our SMS broadcasts for free. No credit card required.
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What is an SMS Broadcast Text Message?

An SMS broadcast text message is a one-to-many text message. An SMS broadcast is different from a group text. This is because each message recipient only sees a single message in a single message thread. SMS broadcasts are also known as “mass texts” or “bulk texts”. Businesses and organizations often use SMS broadcast text messages to connect with their contacts, customers, and clients. SMS broadcasts are frequently used for updates, promotions, and reminders.

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Can You Send Broadcast Text Messages on Android or iPhone?

You can’t use a normal Android or iPhone to broadcast messages. Your personal phone only supports group text messages for up to one hundred contacts. Need to broadcast a text message to hundreds or thousands of people? Then you’ll need a business SMS service, like MessageDesk to guarantee delivery and manage contacts.

Group MMS vs. Broadcast: What’s the Difference?

There’s a big difference between group texts and mass texts. 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.

WhatsApp group chat is an example of group MMS (multimedia messaging service). It makes it possible for everyone in the group to send rich media, such as movies, photos, links, and so on.

But SMS broadcasts are different. A text broadcast starts with a broadcast list (a list of contacts) managed within a mass texting service (like MessageDesk).

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

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

The final difference between a group text and an SMS broadcast is how many people you can message.

Business text messaging services built for SMS broadcasts support high-volume mass text messaging (also known as A2P 10DLC). This ensures that high volumes of text messages (including promotional messages) get delivered and are not marked as SPAM.

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

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How to Send an SMS Broadcast

You’ll need to select a business texting service to send SMS broadcasts. These services offer software for sending mass texts with carrier-verified message delivery.

They also offer a host of features like:

  • Contact and address book sync
  • Group and list management
  • Automation and text scheduling
  • Integrations that allow you to scale your messaging

You can follow these steps to start sending SMS broadcasts using MessageDesk:

1. Create a free MessageDesk account

Your first step is to create a free MessageDesk account. You can do this with MessageDesk by starting a free trial.

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2. Text-enable a business phone or select a new text 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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2. 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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3. Compose your text broadcast and add media and links

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.

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

4. Schedule or automate your text broadcast

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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5. Track when contacts open and click links in your SMS broadcast

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

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 SMS Text Broadcasts + Free Templates (Copy & Paste)

Bulk SMS messages benefit businesses and organizations in many ways. Here are some examples of text broadcasts:

1. Promotions and SMS campaigns

Many businesses and organizations send text message broadcasts 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.

Out-of-office broadcast

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 broadcast

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 broadcast

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 broadcast

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 broadcast

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 }}
Sounds good! See you then.

Appointment reminder broadcast

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

Appointment reschedule broadcast

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.
Shoot! I’m so sorry I missed it. Must have put it down in my calendar incorrectly. Do you have any time next week?

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 broadcast

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 broadcast

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

Collections notice broadcast

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, SMS text broadcasts are 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 broadcast

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 broadcast

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 broadcast

Hi (first name), thanks for shopping with us. Have 2 minutes to review your shopping experience? Just follow the link! [LINK]

What Does SMS Broadcast Pricing Look Like?

SMS prices vary from platform to platform. But generally speaking, the more you send - the cheaper it gets.

Some platforms like MessageDesk offer an allotment of free monthly message credits as part of your monthly subscription. This is a baseline of free messages that come with your plan every month.

If you happen to use more than your free messages, you go into metered billing. Metered billing charges you at a per-message rate.

For sending messages in bulk and mass texting, you’ll want to talk to a salesperson. Often a sales representative can negotiate and get you a better per-message rate for bulk SMS sends.

For further information, feel free to check out MessageDesk’s pricing.

Can you send free text broadcasts?

The short answer is no - you can’t send free text broadcasts to hundreds of contacts. Since 2021 mass texting has changed. Network carriers have begun cracking down on SPAM and illicit messaging.

Some websites offer free text messaging. But keep in mind that free software always has limits and restrictions.

Is your message important? Then you’ll want to make sure it actually gets delivered and not marked as SPAM by the carriers.

Try our SMS broadcasts for free. No credit card required.

Final thoughts and next steps

Ready to start texting? MessageDesk is here to help you start more meaningful customer conversations.

Feel free to start a free MesageDesk trial.