However, the huge benefit of SMTP texting is that it is FAR CHEAPER than the traditional SMS direct texting service carrier to carrier. It is not uncommon to see unlimited pricing plans using SMTP texting service of $30, and so on, as compared with SMS direct texting services which charge per message - so 1000 sent text messages may cost 5 - 10 cents each depending on the provider (wholesale cost seems to be about 2 cents) and can add up very quickly.
Some of the problems with SMTP texting (according to the SMS direct shortcode texting companies):
1) SMTP texting is not time sensitve and can be delayed or take hours, since it is basically an email
2) SMTP texting can have ugly headers that look unprofessional when arriving to a customer
3) Carriers can block SMTP texting (especailly if it is commercial in nature) and only about 50% of SMTP texts are actually delivered
4) SMTP texting violates section 14(b)(1) of the CAN-SPAM act and as a result opens you and your customers up to serious fines and penalties
However, the advantage of SMTP texting services seems to be:
1) HUGE price advantage (much cheaper costs, unlimited plans, ability for agents to mark it up significantly, ability to charge per message when your per message costs are zero, etc.)
There is one other difference that I found that one can see as an advantage or disadvantage depending on your perspective. SMS direct messaging uses shortcodes, while SMTP messaging uses regular phone numbers. There is pro and con to this but with regular phone number you are not sharing the short code with others so you can get just about any keywords you want. You can also use a number in your local area. However the number is longer (7 or 10 digits instead of 5 or 6 for the shortcode).
As far as I can see, here is how I would answer the objections against SMTP:
1) Delayed texts - I doubt this is a huge problem. After all, most of the time I get 99% of my email instantly (well within a minute or two) of someone sending it. Since SMTP texting uses the same protocol as email I don't see why it would be any different.
2) Ugly headers - I have not seen this in my limited testing
3) Only 50% of smtp texts get delivered - I doubt this claim as those making it have not show any proof. I heavily use an iphone smtp texting app and have only one time with one text had a delivery problem (actually it was a delay) but it still made it...
4) Can Spam act. If you look up the actual can spam act at CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and read section 14(b) those rules apply to ANY wireless commercial communication - that means the same rules apply to direct SMS texting or the cheaper SMTP texting. There is nothing here that says SMTP texting violates can spam - that is the technical means of delivery which the can spam doesn't care about. All can spam cares about is that if you deliver a message to a wireless device that you follow the rules - only send text to those that sign up, allow subscribers to stop the texts at anytime, etc. It doesn't appear that SMTP texting by nature of it's protocol violates the can spam act any more than an unsolicited commercial sms text could.
5) Lastly it seems that the objections against SMTP texting services are all coming from the SMS direct, shortcode services that use the carriers. They obviously have a vested financial interest in not seeing these ultra low cost providers appear as competitors, so you have to take the objections and what they say with a grain of salt.
SO WHICH IS BETTER?
Like many of you here, price is a huge determining factor on which service I choose (I am still looking for which one to offer my customers). But I want to pick the right one.
I would like to know does anyone here have experience with SMTP texting services, pro or con? Please be honest here.
Do you find your customers are only getting a 50% delivery rate? If so, that is a good reason NOT to use SMTP type texting, if for no other reason.
Or do you see ugly headers, or are texts delayed?
Please share your real world experiences here with others.