6 questions to ask when selecting an SMS service provider

SMS messaging provides businesses with an important way to advance their marketing efforts and internal communications. However, in order to leverage SMS service, a company needs to ensure it selects the right SMS gateway provider. This will affect cost, reliability, delivery rate and a variety of other factors that will be critical for streamlined support and success with mobile text marketing or text alerts, however a firm decides to deploy such a solution.

Below are some of the key questions a company should ask itself and the provider before making a choice to ensure they are getting the maximum value for their investment:

How much will it cost to send a single message? The cost of a single message will help determine a better average for your monthly costs. Getting a bulk rate is fine, but you will rarely know how many messages you're going to send each month and if you'll meet a minimum rate for a bulk discount or go well over that rate. Getting a single-message rate will ensure you can establish a cost-benefit ratio and better assess the return on investment.

Is there a minimum monthly purchase? Another important question to ask if whether or not the provider requires a minimum monthly purchase. For example, your provider might require you to send at least 1,000 SMS messages a month. A minimum is often a good thing in a contract, as it requires a certain level of investment of your company, ensuring a minimum return, preventing you from shortchanging your own mobile marketing strategy.

What is the provided network coverage? Network coverage, particularly what carriers are supported by your SMS service provider, is a critical consideration. If your provider can't accommodate a significant portion of your target demographic you won't be able to get your money's worth on messages sent. This will also inadvertently hurt your brand reputation, as consumers who want to sign up but can't will feel slighted by your business, rather than the SMS service provider who is a hidden entity in the customer relationship.

What SMS API is used? The SMS API used is just as important as the support offered by the service provider. If you don't know what protocols and interface the gateway uses you won't be able to easily update your mobile strategy or adapt to necessary updates. Look for a provider who offers protocols you are accustomed to and has a well-documented API that is easy to read and understand.

What are the account management options? Another key consideration is how well you'll be able to manage your account. Some SMS service providers offer more control than others, so make sure you select the provider that offers the right level of autonomy with their service, as well as an easy way to check and update your service level agreement with them.

Knowing how your SMS service provider operates and how to optimize the value of their offering is critical for maximizing the potential of mobile text marketing. For any business, this is essential for growth in the digital age. SMS Swift Gateway provides expert SMS service and support to meet any business's needs.