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Unread 8th Mar 2012, 06:26 PM   #1
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All SMS Platforms are NOT Created Equal!
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Reading through the forum I often see debates going back and forth on which Platforms are better than others...and that is usually a matter of Personal Preference...HOWEVER...

I also see many posts where people talk about using WordPress Plugins versus Shortcode Platforms versus Longcode Platforms so I figured I would spell out the facts.

Lets start with Word Press Plugins.

Sure, it means sending out the texts are free, but what is being sacrificed?

1) They use SMTP instead of SMPP

SMTP is Email Protocol...Simple Mail transfer Protocol

Basically you are converting a cellphone number into an email and sending it over the internet, though the carriers servers, and eventually, with luck, to the Cellphone it was intended for.

This type of send has the lowest priority on the Carriers Deliveriblity Priority and will often be either delivered hours later...or not at all.

What does this mean to a Business using it? It means if they have sent a message at 8 am for a sale between Noon and 5 pm, but the message doesnt get to its recipient until 6 pm...or doesnt get received at all, it was an exercise in futility.

2) Longcodes

Longcodes are essentially just virtual cellphone numbers.

They are harder to remember when seen than a Shortcode and take more effort in terms of keystrokes to enter into a phone.

The above might not seem to bad, but consider this...

The Longcode "Provider" (There is no such thing in the eyes of the Carriers) are essentially spoofing the Carriers into thinking that the message is coming from another Cellphone.

Longcodes have a lower delivery priority than a shortcode.

Why? You might ask?

Because Shortcode Providers pay Carriers for access to their Data Networks and since they provide revenue to the carrier they are given top priority

3) Shortcodes

Shortcodes get the highest delivery priority from the Carriers, are easier to remember, and faster to type on a cellphone.

So, when it comes to SMS Marketing the most reliable method is using a Shortcode.

Sure, WP Plugins are Free, and Longcodes are cheaper....but then again...you could buy a 72 Pinto ...or you could buy a Reliable Vehicle with a good Safety Rating and eliminate the risk of blowing up should you be rear ended.

So there you have it!

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Unread 9th Mar 2012, 08:06 PM   #2
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Re: All SMS Platforms are NOT Created Equal!
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Great post, also another thing to keep in mind, don't always go with the cheapest white label provider.

More times than not, you get what you pay for...

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Unread 9th Mar 2012, 09:31 PM   #3
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Re: All SMS Platforms are NOT Created Equal!
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What about pricing, how is it that some companies can offer unlimited messaging at a fixed rate? Frexter, signalhq, and a few others do it all using different methods. Signal Hq gives you an unlimited plan based on your subscribers for for 50,000 subscribers you can send unlimited messages just for only $499 a month. Trumpia is expensive and Lime seems to be an amazing option but none are unlimited. Frexter is the only company I have seen that claims to be truly unlimited with unlimited messaging and unlimited subscribers, for only $79 a month, how are they doing it?? TextCoMedia also offers completely unlimited messaging but your keyword is your domain name or you can register a new domain such as 4warrior.com and your keyword would be 4warrior and you have to point your dns servers at there servers so im not sure about the deliverablity rate of the messages, but they claim it is the same as any other sms marketing provider. How do we bridge this gap and how are companies offering unlimited plans?
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Unread 9th Mar 2012, 09:38 PM   #4
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Re: All SMS Platforms are NOT Created Equal!
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Excellent post and it's nice to see it spelled out. This is exactly why I did not stick with the plugin / SMTP way of doing text message marketing. Unless you know what to look for, though, you're not going to know that there's a difference. I had heard of issues with delivery rates and just did not have the confidence to attempt to build a business on ground so shakey.

And yes, you absolutely get what you pay for. When you're building a business, you want a strong foundation and top notch support. That will make or break a business.

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Unread 9th Mar 2012, 09:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Hooked

What about pricing, how is it that some companies can offer unlimited messaging at a fixed rate? Frexter, signalhq, and a few others do it all using different methods. Signal Hq gives you an unlimited plan based on your subscribers for for 50,000 subscribers you can send unlimited messages just for only $499 a month. Trumpia is expensive and Lime seems to be an amazing option but none are unlimited. Frexter is the only company I have seen that claims to be truly unlimited with unlimited messaging and unlimited subscribers, for only $79 a month, how are they doing it?? TextCoMedia also offers completely unlimited messaging but your keyword is your domain name or you can register a new domain such as 4warrior.com and your keyword would be 4warrior and you have to point your dns servers at there servers so im not sure about the deliverablity rate of the messages, but they claim it is the same as any other sms marketing provider. How do we bridge this gap and how are companies offering unlimited plans?
Textco is built on the DOTGO Platform which used to have unlimited plan but no longer does.

They now rely on "breakage" to be to balance there costs and balance it with what I consider an outrageous upfront cost for the Reseller. The last time checked it was in the Thousands per yr.

There is no such thing as unlimited sms as the Aggregators are charged per message being sent over the carriers networks.


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Unread 10th Mar 2012, 03:36 AM   #6
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Re: All SMS Platforms are NOT Created Equal!
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Originally Posted by TrumpiaTim View Post

Great post, also another thing to keep in mind, don't always go with the cheapest white label provider.

More times than not, you get what you pay for...
Do your homework. Research all the companies you are looking at. And, please, don't forget to read their Terms of Service, Privacy Policies, and if you get that far, the Agreement.

I found one company I thought I was going to use for their Mobile Website builder (I know, that's off the subject, but I was going to use another for SMS services) but after I read the Agreement and the TOS, I couldn't bring myself to sign the Agreement. Turned out to be a good thing, though, because I finally went with a good company.

I guess what I'm saying is don't rush into it. They can all make it seem like they have the best service.

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Unread 19th Mar 2012, 10:12 AM   #7
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Re: All SMS Platforms are NOT Created Equal!
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Hello HyperText,

Thanks for the post. I have a question for you. I started a free trial with a provider to integrate SMS marketing for my mother's retail store. As it turns out a lot of her clients have the carrier Simple Mobile / Metro PCS / other small providers. The service I am currently on just told me that they do NOT support Simple Mobile and my mom's clients are getting error messages when they try to subscribe. this has happened a half a dozen times since the begin of the trial 10 days ago. In her geographical location many use simple mobile and these other providers.

the error message was "unable to send message- message blocking is active"

Is this a common problem? does your service support these carriers?

EDIT: I am not on HyperText, and this experience has nothing to do with HyperText, just asking you about your service
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Unread 19th Mar 2012, 10:13 AM   #8
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Re: All SMS Platforms are NOT Created Equal!
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This brings up a huge disadvantage to short codes. so far it seems like 10-20% of our subscribers are having trouble subscribing

EDIT: I am not a user of HyperText, the trouble I describe above is with a provider that shall not be named
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Unread 19th Mar 2012, 11:48 AM   #9
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Re: All SMS Platforms are NOT Created Equal!
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Originally Posted by Edge88 View Post

Hello HyperText,

Thanks for the post. I have a question for you. I started a free trial with a provider to integrate SMS marketing for my mother's retail store. As it turns out a lot of her clients have the carrier Simple Mobile / Metro PCS / other small providers. The service I am currently on just told me that they do NOT support Simple Mobile and my mom's clients are getting error messages when they try to subscribe. this has happened a half a dozen times since the begin of the trial 10 days ago. In her geographical location many use simple mobile and these other providers.

the error message was "unable to send message- message blocking is active"

Is this a common problem? does your service support these carriers?

EDIT: I am not on HyperText, and this experience has nothing to do with HyperText, just asking you about your service
First...It's HypeText! lol

Second, this has to do with whether or not the short code you are using has been provisioned for a particular carrier.

Simple Mobile is a MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) that resells T-Mobile Air Time under their own brand..

If your shortcode is provisioned on T-Mobile then it will work on Simple.

MetroPCS is a different story. MetroPCS is a Carrier, the 5 Largest with over 9 Million Subscibers and since their profit margins are a bit slimmer than the other Larger Carriers they appreove VERY few Shortcodes for Access on their network.

Ours works with MetroPCS but most dont due to MetroPCS's Shortcode Approval Policies.

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Unread 19th Mar 2012, 01:09 PM   #10
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Re: All SMS Platforms are NOT Created Equal!
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In the UK and Ireland you are DEAD RIGHT ! I did a lOT of research into this before deciding on behalf of my clients

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Unread 19th Mar 2012, 10:29 PM   #11
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Re: All SMS Platforms are NOT Created Equal!
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Originally Posted by HypeText View Post

2) Longcodes

Longcodes are essentially just virtual cellphone numbers.

They are harder to remember when seen than a Shortcode and take more effort in terms of keystrokes to enter into a phone.

The above might not seem to bad, but consider this...

The Longcode "Provider" (There is no such thing in the eyes of the Carriers) are essentially spoofing the Carriers into thinking that the message is coming from another Cellphone.

Longcodes have a lower delivery priority than a shortcode.

Why? You might ask?

Because Shortcode Providers pay Carriers for access to their Data Networks and since they provide revenue to the carrier they are given top priority

3) Shortcodes

Shortcodes get the highest delivery priority from the Carriers, are easier to remember, and faster to type on a cellphone.

So, when it comes to SMS Marketing the most reliable method is using a Shortcode.

Sure, WP Plugins are Free, and Longcodes are cheaper....but then again...you could buy a 72 Pinto ...or you could buy a Reliable Vehicle with a good Safety Rating and eliminate the risk of blowing up should you be rear ended.

So there you have it!
Those points may be true with regards to short vs long codes, but short codes do not have the ability to CALL the number to subscribe. I use Twilio and I have found it to be much better than a simple short code. Consumers (even senior citizens) are used to calling or texting to a local phone number because everyone they know uses a local phone number for that purpose. There is no learning curve there.

I have found that many times that people don't know what to do with a short code because its not something they are used to. Sounds strange but its true. A local phone number (i.e. long code) can simply be called and answered with an mp3 recording that tells the caller exactly what to do (i.e. press 1, press 2, etc.) and what to expect after they opt in to the list.

With Twilio, I can also use the same number to forward calls to the business owner by pressing "2" or whatever options you give. So short codes simply do not give me the flexibility and SMS options that I want to offer a business owner. Give biz owners alot of great features that they can easily understand and you can charge more every month too.
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