SMS messaging continues to be a highly effective marketing channel given its unparalleled reach across consumers in India. With the rising adoption of SMS by brands, it becomes crucial to choose the right SMS gateway service provider as a foundation for running successful campaigns. However, the process of selection does involve avoiding certain common mistakes to ensure you pick the ideal SMS gateway service for your specific business needs. Here we look at some of the key mistakes to be avoided when choosing an SMS gateway service:
Another common mistake is not considering the scalability needs of your business thoroughly while selecting the SMS partner. A lack of scaling capabilities can throttle your SMS volumes as your needs grow exponentially in the future. Evaluate if the provider has a robust, flexible, and highly scalable architecture that is designed to efficiently handle potential spikes during high loads or periods of rapid growth. Their infrastructure should be able to dynamically scale bandwidth, seamlessly integrate additional application or database servers without any downtime, and smoothly handle increased throughput and volume of messages as demands change substantially over time. It is important to thoroughly test their scalability capabilities under simulated heavy load conditions and evaluate real customer references who successfully scaled to very high volumes without facing any performance or reliability issues. Choose an SMS partner with a strong proven track record of successfully scaling their infrastructure on demand and supporting rapidly growing customers as their core messaging needs continue to evolve substantially at an unpredictable pace. Reliability should not be compromised even during unpredictable spikes in traffic.
Many brands do not scrutinize the past performance of the SMS gateway provider properly in terms of message delivery speed, success rates across telcos, and geographic reach. They fail to thoroughly review available historical metrics showing delivery rates to different regions and network operators. This lack of diligence when evaluating potential partners can result in picking a provider with inadequate connectivity and infrastructure leading to sub-par and inconsistent delivery rates across the target audience. A detailed review of the last six months of delivery data covering messages sent on weekends as well as weekdays would help uncover any locations or carriers with persistently low success rates, especially during non-standard business hours. It is highly recommended to thoroughly review their historical metrics showing delivery performance across different telco circles and network types as well as examine performance metrics for weekends, holidays and other non-standard days to ensure consistent delivery for campaigns during all times including non-standard business days. A pilot test sending messages to sample contacts covering different locations and times should also be done to directly assess message delivery speed and reliability on various days and times before committing to and deploying a large-scale SMS campaign. Additional locations and carriers could be tested to gain further insights into any persistent delivery issues.
Often brands fail to evaluate the security safeguards and compliance coverage offered by the SMS gateway provider. Weak security infrastructure can lead to issues like data breaches down the line.
Review their measures for encryption, data security, privacy controls and compliance with regulations. Check for mandatory certifications to ensure your SMS operations remain protected and legally compliant.
Many companies miss checking whether the SMS gateway provider facilitates two-way messaging. This limits the interactivity of campaigns leading to lower customer engagement.
Verify if their platform supports dedicated virtual numbers, two-way communication, automated responses and inbound message management. Choose a provider who makes two-way messaging easy to implement for your use cases.
Robust reporting and real-time monitoring is essential for tracking SMS campaign performance. Some brands fail to review the analytics capabilities before selecting a provider.
Ensure the provider offers detailed reports, real-time dashboards and API access covering messaging metrics like delivery, failures, latency etc. The visibility will be key for performance tracking and issue resolution.
Many companies do not evaluate the ease of integrating with the SMS gateway platform and existing systems thoroughly at the outset. Some provider platforms require heavy coding and implementation effort.
Review the documentation quality, availability of code samples, plugins and modules while shortlisting. Ensure the gateway easily integrates with your website, app, CRM etc to avoid problems post deployment.
Quality customer support is crucial but often gets overlooked during SMS partner selection. Sub-par support causes delays during implementation and in resolving production issues.
Evaluate their support team’s expertise, responsiveness and channels offered like phone, email, ticketing system etc. Good customer support improves the overall service experience and success of your SMS campaigns.
Some brands fail to analyze the pricing models properly to ensure the SMS gateway yields positive ROI for their forecasted volumes and budget. Unchecked costs can reduce the profitability of campaigns.
Do the math to calculate projected costs based on SMS volume forecasts. Compare pricing across shortlisted providers. Also, ensure costs align with your SMS monetization plans and expected incremental business gains.
Many companies miss seeking referrals and recommendations from the SMS provider’s existing clients for impartial insights. This provides limited data to assess the quality of services and support.
Speaking first-hand to their current clients gives transparency into the provider’s actual performance, responsiveness, and ability to resolve issues. Referrals build confidence in shortlisting the most suitable partner.
Choosing the right SMS gateway provider in India lays the foundation for the success of your SMS marketing efforts. Avoiding common mistakes during selection like those above will help you identify the ideal partner well-matched to your business needs. Investing the required time for thorough due diligence during evaluation is key to preventing pitfalls down the line. Choose an SMS provider who best fulfills all the criteria around delivery, scalability, security, and support to maximize your SMS success.