Any beginner mobile marketers typically start their search to begin their business by looking for aggregation or SMS Aggregators. As someone with great experience in the space, I frequently have to fill these newbies in on all of the different components needed to handle a new companies SMS or mobile marketing needs.
These break down into 3 main components:
- A Short Code
This would be the 5 or 6 digit phone number that can be acquired from http://www.usshortcodes.com. Most of the time beginning mobile marketing start-ups won’t get their own short code to begin with for a number of reasons. Timing takes 90-120 days to provision and get set-up slowing speed to market and initial investment to set-up and provision a new short code might run from $7,000-$12,000 of total investment before the code even goes live. There are alternatives though, as many application providers have shared short codes that are already live and can be activated for a new company within minutes for far less initial investment. https://www.avidmobile.com/solutions_us_short_codes.
2. An SMS Aggregator
Having a short code is only part of the equation, you have to have a connection to all of the carriers. This connection comes via selecting an aggregator that already has contracts with all or most of the carriers and can connect your code. Working directly with an SMS aggregator only works if you have an application to handle the message flow, databases, responses, etc. This is why most people will turn to an application provider to provide the short code, SMS aggregation, and application all in one contract for service.
Some SMS aggregator’s have their own application that they will provide for additional money, thus functioning somewhat like an application provider. That being said, most of these companies primary focus has been in sales, bandwidth, carrier contracts, and have inferior application compared with people like AvidMobile or other top application providers in the space.
An SMS aggregator contract to connect your code typically comes with significant monthly minimums that might start at $5,000 or more. Getting great per SMS rates normally only come with volume discounts, thus providing another reason for start-ups to align themselves with application providers that already have big volumes and can pass on those volume SMS discounts to the smaller boutique mobile marketing start-ups.
3. An Application
Having a short code and an aggregation deal is only 2/3 of the whole. A mobile marketing company has to also have a web-based application connected to the aggregator to handle the message flow. When someone texts a keyword to a short code, the aggregator funnels that message to a web-based application that is connected with it. It is that third-party application that reads the keyword, and responds with the appropriate keyword response. This application must also show reporting, handle STOP and HELP messages, and do other things to maintain CTIA compliance.
In Summary, few people realize all of the component necessary to make SMS marketing or communication really work, the costs associated, or where to begin. Getting all of this at one low price is what AvidMobile specializes in. Get a trial account and test out the application today here https://www.avidmobile.com/free-trial/