Adult, Firearms, Tobacco and Sweepstakes Marketing Now Approved Via SMS

In July of 2016, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) implemented a change that would limit the way several industries utilize standard rate messaging services (SMS). The CTIA represents the large and rapidly growing U.S. wireless communication industry as a whole. Their mission is to advocate for legislative and regulatory policies, convene the industry, and promote their members within the field. The change that was put in place was a restriction on marketing of sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, or tobacco (SHAFT). Any call-to-action (CTA) that includes or promotes SHAFT related content was required to be removed immediately and risked the short code being shut down by the carriers. However, nearly two years later on July 6, 2018, CTIA amended their Common Short Code Monitoring Handbook. This amendment, effective immediately, overrides the previous restrictions and now allows adult and regulated businesses to exploit standard rate messaging service marketing once again.

The newly re-established ability to SMS market in adult, firearms, tobacco and additional industries is not boundless. Any U.S. short code campaigns that you want to incorporate this kind of content in now requires that an “age gate” be put in place. This will require recipients to enter their age or birth date to verify that they are of age to view the content. This verification can be placed on your website before content is displayed or through response via text message to unlock the website. It is also highly suggested that carriers approve your campaign before it is launched to avoid possible violation of their policy.

In addition to the “age gate” requirement, there are a few other restrictions on what content can be distributed. Unapproved content includes depiction or endorsement of violence, inappropriate content, profanity or hate speech, and endorsement of illegal drugs. Inappropriate content, while the S in SHAFT stands for sex, includes pornography. Clubs and related businesses may now market, however, full nudity is still prohibited through this channel. Additionally, excess profanity, especially the “seven dirty words to never say on television” will result in the removal of your CTA. Federal law prevails over state law in the case of SMS marketing. For example, even though several states have legalized marijuana you may not market marijuana through a short run code.

The amendment of the Common Short Code Monitoring Handbook has created great possibilities for businesses in the SHAFT related industries. The ability to market adult, firearm, tobacco, alcohol, and sweepstakes content by way of standard rate messaging services is sure to create a large increase in traffic for any business. To learn more about how to launch a SMS marketing campaign with an “age gate” and carrier approval please contact William Watson from Anchor Mobil at

‘Mobilegeddon’ is hear! Mobilize your Site By 4/21 or Disappear Never to Be Found

April 21 Is Your Last Chance for Mobile Optimization Before ‘Mobilegeddon’


Don’t panic, there is still time for us to help.

According to Google:

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”

According to Entrepreneur  Magazine, Aside from a “mobile-friendly” tag associated with various sites in mobile search results, it hasn’t been entirely clear which factors Google considers when calculating mobile rankings or how many sites (or which ones) are currently affected. Because of this, many business owners have postponed or avoided optimizing their sites for mobile devices, and have survived to tell about it.

Starting April 21, that’s all going to change.

Scope of the update

If you’re aware that Google already considers mobile usability as part of its ranking calculations, you might wonder why this April 21 deadline, dubbed “mobilegeddon,” is important.

It’s true that many of Google’s “updates” are actually just data refreshes and tweaks that hold little bearing on existing search rankings. However, Zineb Ait Bahajji, a member of Google’s Webmaster Trends team, was quoted at SMX Munich as saying that the new mobile-friendly algorithm change will have more of an impact on search rankings than either Panda or Penguin, two of the largest and most impactful search algorithm updates Google has ever launched.

If you are concerned that this may negatively affect your pocket book and brand, contact us today for fast and affordable solutions.

Changes to Facebook Fan Pages Breathes New Life Into Email & SMS Marketing

If you are the CEO or owner of a business, or are in charge of your company’s marketing efforts, you are probably already aware of Facebook’s recent algorithm changes and how they are dramatically affecting the reach of your Facebook page. It used to be that you could market your products or service on Facebook virtually for FREE and reach a HUGE audience without paying anything. You simply needed to post content that people would react to and engage with. However, Facebook has throttled down reach SO much that it has become almost impossible to reach the same numbers of people with your Facebook page, especially if you are refusing to pay Facebook for sponsored posts and advertising. It does not matter if you are still creating original and engaging content; yes, it does help a little and you will notice your reach go up a little bit, but there is no way you are going to reach the same numbers of people you did before Facebook’s algorithm change on April 14th. So how do you combat this dramatic change in your company’s brand exposure? You would be surprised where we found our answer.


Facebook Fan Page Reach Drops to below 3% on Average

First, let’s take a look at the numbers. Due to Facebook’s recent changes to reach, you now reach about 1-3% of your total audience with any given post. That means that if you have a page of 200 thousand Likes, you are reaching a little over a thousand of those people with any given post. That is PUTRID compared to what you used to be able to reach.

In fact, we actually did a data analysis regarding this using our sister companies’ Facebook pages which have a cumulative total of 1.4 MILLION fans. Historically we used to be able to post something on any one of those sites and we would reach a vast majority of our fans, or even more through sharing! However more recently, after finding out the total number of people we reached per post, we then divided that number by the total number of people who saw ANY post we posted during that particular time period. The resulting number is the AVERAGE PERCENTAGE of the people who saw the post who also LIKED the page. We ran this test in the month following Facebook’s change on April 14th and the results have been staggering. Of the five pages we ran this study on, NOT ONE post on any page even hit 3% of our audience! To be specific, the average percentage of the people who LIKED our pages who actually SAW our posts on each page read like this: 2.9%, 1.3%, 1.3%, 2.3%, and 0.069% respectively!!! That is an average reach per post of 1.574%.  No, we are NOT kidding. Also, keep in mind that we changed NOTHING as far as what we posted, when we posted, and how we posted.

Along with this startling information, any post you put on Facebook will die within 2-3 days, or even sooner! So not only are your Facebook posts reaching far fewer people, but they are also being erased from the socialsphere much quicker than ever before. So how do you reach these people when you don’t have the gigantic Facebook megaphone you used to have?

So where do you turn? Many marketing directors and agencies have begun to fall back to Email and SMS Marketing.

Email Marketing Advantages over Facebook

Email marketing has a relatively strong reach, or open rate in email speak, when relating it back to the reach you are currently getting on Facebook. Email open rates are generally 15% of your database, which means that about 15% of the emails that you send to your email database will actually be opened by the receiver. Knowing that you are barely reaching even 2% of your audience on Facebook, email marketing has experienced a rebirth due to its reliability and efficiency relative to the results you will get on Facebook.

It is also important to note that email open rates also experience a diminishing return. This means that with each email blast you send out to your entire database, your open rates will gradually diminish. This is due to people either unsubscribing from your database, trashing your email, or your emails are being sent to people’s spam folders. So you will either have to switch methods again to make up for this loss, or find a way to consistently grow your email database while you are employing email marketing as the driving force behind your marketing campaign. Regardless of how you look at it, it would be extremely difficult for any marketing campaign to survive on Facebook and email alone, so where do you turn next?

SMS Marketing Advantages over Facebook

SMS absolutely CRUSHES Facebook when it comes to effectiveness and efficiency. Think about it; SMS has a 99% open rate and a 97% open rate within 3 minutes! This means that almost literally EVERY message you send yo your SMS database WILL be seen by your subscribers. They HAVE to! Have you ever been able to delete a text message without looking at it? Exactly, you can’t. Additionally, SMS messages NEVER die until they are deleted by the receiver. That means that ANY message you send to your subscribers WILL be read. They HAVE to be read to even be deleted!


So STOP banging your head against the brick wall Facebook has built when it comes to exposure. You WILL NOT get the same reach you did before, Facebook has made it a point to make that absolutely impossible to attain. Switch your marketing efforts to SMS and send messages that you KNOW people will see! To put it simply; SMS will ALWAYS reach 99% of your audience, NO MATTER WHAT! Can you possibly think of a better medium to market to your audience through?

We couldn’t either.

Mobile Alerts for Conference Calls and Meetings

A majority of the articles we write are related to mobile marketing and how you can leverage mobile in your favor to promote your brand, product, or service. However, mobile offers so much more than just the power to market directly to the hands of your subscribers. You can also use mobile to improve communication within your company and encourage more participation and input from your employees and coworkers. The great thing about this is that there are a number of different ways you can choose to do this.


The first thing you want to remember is that over 90% of text messages are read by recipients within 3 minutes of delivery. This means that if you want to get in touch with a particular person, or a particular group of people, mobile messaging is the quickest and most effective way to do this. People have a tendency to become preoccupied with whatever they are doing and may not check their emails or answer their phones when they are busy, yet they will still read and respond to text messages. So if you are wanting to announce an impromptu meeting or conference call, sending a text message to the desired participants is your best bet at getting the attendance and participation you are wanting. Employees and coworkers will receive your messages in real-time, wherever they may be, and will respond and react.

You can also encourage active participation and engagement from your attendees by setting up a mobile alerts program which will allow attendees to send and receive text messages about things happening during the meeting, conference call, or event. You can also set up a display screen, or even multiple screens, in which participants can send messages and images to so that it broadcasts to the entire event. This will dramatically increase participation and engagement from your employees and coworkers and will ultimately result in much more productive and effective meetings and conference calls. When everyone is participating, things get done!


Once you have concluded your event, you can also choose to get some feedback from the participants using your mobile platform. Text surveys and polls can be sent to attendees afterwards and their responses can be collected, tabulated, and utilized for future adjustments and improvements. Not only that, but your participants will take note of this and feel like their opinion matters and is being heard. This grows employee morale and ultimately leads to a much more productive and happy company.

The beauty of everything we just talked about is that it is simple and easy! It does not take much effort to set up a mobile alerts program for your company, and once it has been implemented, it is even easier to run! Stop having ineffective meetings and conference calls. Implement a mobile alerts program into your company today and reap the benefits!



How to EFFICIENTLY Run an SMS Marketing Campaign | Burger King’s Mistake

SMS marketing can be one of the easiest and most effective ways to reach and communicate with your customer base. By getting your customers to opt-in to your SMS marketing campaign, you allow your company or brand to send these people text messages offering special discounts, deals, and promotions. The beauty of these messages is that you can include virtually anything you want in these messages, granted they are compliant with FCC guidelines. The problem is that some companies launch an SMS marketing campaign without fully taking advantage of the medium so that it is encouraging customers to actually walk through your business doors.


National fast food chain Burger King recently launched an SMS marketing campaign primarily to raise awareness of any new products or food items they are offering. We have to give credit to Burger King for recognizing the power mobile marketing and SMS marketing have to offer, but they are missing out on several opportunities to capitialize on their campaign even further. Burger King wanted to promote any new food items that they were unveiling, so they would send a mass text message to everyone in their customer database with an image of the item they were promoting and some text encouraging them to try it out at the nearest location. The thing Burger King forgot to include was call-to-actions (CTAs) in their texts to actually get people to look for the nearest location and spur them into actual physical action. Burger King has done a good job of raising national awareness of their new items, but they are failing to customize their messages at the local level.

An example of one of the messages Burger King sent to its customers was one that promoted a new offer for a $2.99 small hot coffee and muffin sandwich. The offer was followed by the date the offer expired and where the offer was available. However, there was nothing in the message that drove customers to actually take action. There was no link to a store locator and there was no coupon that the customer could redeem at a participating location. Burger King could’ve easily included a link at the end of each of their messages to a store locator so that customers could actually be spurred to click on it and actually go to the nearest Burger King. This would’ve given Burger King a much better idea of how well their SMS campaign was working, itwould’ve given their customers a lot more help, and it would’ve made it much easier for them to actually take advantage of the offer and find the nearest participating location. Burger King could’ve also included actual coupons in their offers so customers actually had something to redeem. This would’ve made the offer seem more special to the customer which, in turn, makes them more likely to actually redeem the coupon and spend money at the business.



So, as you can see, SMS marketing offers a lot of benefits when it comes to increasing the exposure of your brand and driving customers through your doors, but you need to make sure you are taking FULL advantage of the medium! If you do what Burger King did, which was purely raise awareness without focusing on actually getting movement out of their customers, you will only be wasting money. Don’t be one of these companies! Make sure you are launching a fully effective and efficient SMS marketing campaign and you WILL see the results you want.



Mobile Payments Continue to Rise

Having a mobile website, or running an SMS marketing campaign, or just generally running a mobile marketing campaign at all allows you to communicate and build relationships with your fans and customers. One of the biggest benefits of conducting these relationships though mobile devices is the fact that mobile makes payments for the end user much easier and much more convenient. With today’s advanced technology, customers do not need to physically show up in your store or place of business to make a payment anymore. They can simply access your mobile website or mobile app and simply pay using their mobile device. Customers LOVE mobile payments because they are easy and require little to no work on their part. The great news is that not only is this becoming a trend, but it is also increasing each and every year and shows no signs of slowing down in the future.



According to a recent report by Juniper Research, global mobile payments will reach close to $507 BILLION this year. This equates to a 40% increase year over year. The report also highlighted the fact that there is a huge expectation for growth and expansion relating to the purchasing of tactile goods through mobile devices.

So we know people are increasing the rate in which they are paying for goods through their mobile devices, but which mobile devices are they using? Interestingly enough, smartphones made up about 20% of all online traffic compared to the 12% of online traffic generated by tablets, however, tablets accounted for 12% of online SALES compared to only 6% from smartphones. It is also interesting to note that consumers have indicated that they like to browse more often on their smartphones than tablets, but they are still 4 times more likely to make a purchase on a tablet compared to a smartphone. This could be due to the fact that it is easier to fill out payment forms on the larger screen of tablets, but it has also been a known fact that people are more likely to spend their money inside of their homes rather than on the go. Yet they are still migrating from their PCs to tablets when it comes to making purchases.

So what should you, as a mobile marketer, take from this? Well if you don’t have a mobile website, or at least a mobile app for your customers and fans to access your business via a mobile device on, you will want to think about doing that as soon as possible. Your competition is already optimized for mobile, if you aren’t already you WILL inevitably fail as a business. You also want to make sure, once you DO have a website or app for mobile devices, that it is responsive. You want people to be able to access your business on a smartphone or a tablet and get the same great, convenient experience. If one or the other is lacking as far as functionality and ease of use, you WILL lose out on business, especially to other companies who DO have responsive websites that perform equally well across all devices.



There is a HUGE untapped market out there for your business. Think about it; there is going to be $507 BILLION dollars sent through mobile devices this year. If your customers and fans can’t find your business on their mobile devices, you are missing out on ALL of that money. Don’t wait! Mobile marketing is no longer just a trend or a fad. It has become a way of life for a majority of people around the world. Take advantage of this!


How to Drive Content Using Mobile Marketing | One Company’s Success Story

If you are reading this article, odds are you already have a marketing plan in place for your business, or you are thinking about incorporating mobile marketing into your overall marketing strategy. The beauty of mobile is not only that it is incredibly cheap and easy to use, but you can also use it in a number of different ways to benefit you and your company. With how mobile devices have virtually taken o

If you are reading this article, odds are you already have a marketing plan in place for your business, or you are thinking about incorporating mobile marketing into your overall marketing strategy. The beauty of mobile is not only that it is incredibly cheap and easy to use, but you can also use it in a number of different ways to benefit you and your company. With how mobile devices have virtually taken over the world we live in today, one would be considered a fool not to take advantage of mobile marketing and the huge customer base it offers. Think about it, there are 6 BILLION people in the world, but there are EVEN MORE mobile devices. That means there are literally multiple mobile devices (cell phones, tablets, etc.) for each person that lives on the planet. If your business is not currently running a mobile marketing strategy, you are letting this HUGE customer base go to waste. Today, we’re going to discuss ONE of the ways mobile can benefit your company, which is by promoting and driving your already created content through your mobile channel.FandD_MoviePoster

Chipotle recently put together a mobile campaign that promoted their new original video series “Farmed and Dangerous” which educates viewers on how food is prepared and encourages them to start eating healthier and more organic foods. The series is divided up into episodes which feature mobile call-to-actions (CTAs) that spur viewers to text unique keywords to Chipotle’s SMS database shortcode. Anyone who opted-in to Chipotle’s shortcode were then invited to play a trivia game while the show aired. People who answered the most questions correctly were entered to win one of 5,000 weekly buy one, get one free rewards. Each entry also made that customer eligible to win one of the $100,000 prizes. The campaign has been a smashing success because Chipotle has built up their customer database through opt-ins for the show and has also increased the viewership of their video series. All of this exposure was done through their mobile channel. Once they had their content made, which was the video series, they promoted it through their mobile channel and boom, viewership was up and so was their customer database. It was that easy!

Like we said earlier, mobile marketing has so many different benefits and uses that it would be almost impossible NOT to be able to develop a mobile strategy that would work for your company. Chipotle took advantage of the fact that they had some great content in their video series, and ended up turning it into a larger SMS database in which they can continue to develop and maintain relationships with their customers by offering deals, discounts, and special offers. Now their text message blasts are reaching a larger number of people simply because they grew their database by offering incentive for customers who were NOT opted-in to their short code already. The incentive was a chance to win prizes by participating in their mobile campaign while actually watching the show.


Chipotle, through the power of mobile and content, were able to engage their customers through not one, but TWO channels. On top of that, they will KEEP those customers in their database and will be able to send deals, discount, special offers, and nurture these relationships. It was EASY, it was CHEAP, and it was EFFECTIVE. What else could you possibly ask for from a marketing campaign?

Integrating Mobile Marketing into Your Social Media Strategy

If you stop for a moment and take a look at the world around you, you’ll notice that the technological landscape and how people interact with it is a bit different than it was 20 years ago, 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago. Everywhere you go people are playing with their phones, fiddling around with their tablets, or catching up on the latest news and gossip through various social media platforms. We have now entered an age of marketing where people have become so numb to traditional outbound advertising that companies and businesses now have to adapt and cater to their customers through these new technologies in order to survive. One of the best ways to do this is by integrating your mobile marketing strategy with your social media strategy.


Keep in mind that integrating a mobile marketing strategy with a social media strategy requires you to have campaigns for both already in place. You can learn more about mobile marketing and SMS marketing in our text messaging blog or you can learn more about launching a social media strategy by reading our blog on how to integrate social media into your overall marketing strategy. The key thing to remember when integrating your mobile marketing with your social media is how closely they are related. In reality, mobile is very social. A majority of your customers socialize with each other through their mobile devices, whether it be a phone or a tablet. So if you already have a mobile marketing campaign and you know that 98% of people answer their texts within 3 minutes of them being delivered, then why not promote your company’s social media pages through your mobile marketing program?!

The simplicity of integrating mobile and social is what makes it so great. If you want people to opt-in to your mobile marketing campaign, simply post a message on all your social media sites asking people to opt-in to your mobile campaign to receive discounts, deals, or special offers. Be sure to mention the benefits to the customer! Don’t just simply ask them to opt-in, tell them what they will be getting in return for their subscription to your campaign. The same goes for social media. If you are trying to get more people to like or follow you on social media, mention your social media sites through your mobile marketing platform. Again, make sure to mention the benefits of liking or following your company on social media! This can also be done through simple means such as flyers and signs hanging on the walls of your place of business. If you do this well enough and give your customers incentive to opt-in to your mobile campaign and like or follow you on social media, before you know it your overall following will exponentially increase and you will have customers walking through your doors from a number of different sources. Think about it, if you have a sizable following on both mobile AND social media, and your are rewarding your customers for their loyalty to your brand, word is going to get out. Not just on the street, but through social media and mobile as well. So you will ultimately have customers flooding through your doors not just because of your mobile and social media integration, but because you integrated them so well that they started influencing people OUTSIDE of your so called database of customers.


If you already have a mobile marketing or social media marketing strategy in place, you are probably already experiencing the benefits that one campaign has to offer. Now imagine combining that with another campaign that is just as effective, if not MORE effective. Combining social media with mobile is a lot like throwing gasoline on a fire. Gasoline and fire are very useful by themselves, but when they are combined the results can be explosive!


Having Izigg Problems or Complaints?

If you’re reading this, you are probably already aware of the multitude of benefits that SMS and mobile marketing offer. However, there are companies and businesses out there who try to take advantage of these selling points and turn it into a pyramid scheme that only benefits them and their company rather than their clients and customers. If you are currently a customer of a company that does these things, or you are thinking of launching an SMS marketing program and are unsure where to start, you will want to read this before making any final decisions.

Izigg Problems

When it comes to mobile marketing and the selling of the software, you naturally make more money the more you sell of the product. However, if you simply sell the software to your clients without assisting them in the deployment of their campaign, or simply ignore them altogether once you have made them a client, you are setting yourself up for inevitable failure. Mobile and SMS marketing can be unbelievably effective when it is deployed and maintained correctly, but if you do not know how to do this, and the company who sold you your SMS or mobile marketing software leaves you hanging out to dry, it is almost impossible to succeed.

At Anchor, we firmly believe in the concept of UNLIMITED support, training, and coaching for our clients. (We also offer agency user accounts with packages that include unlimited keywords, white label licenses with unlimited keywords, and sub-user accounts for your clients.)  In other words, if you were to purchase SMS or mobile marketing software from us, you would also be getting UNLIMITED support for that software. Anytime you run into a problem or have a question about how to correctly apply your campaign, Anchor is more than willing to help you out. Why? Because we believe that our own success is a direct reflection of our clients’ success. And when you take a closer look, that is how it actually works. If we were to sell you mobile marketing software and give you ZERO support, odds are you will FAIL. This means you are not making any money using our software, so why would you want to stick with us? We’d end up losing your business and you would be extremely frustrated in the process. That is why we offer UNLIMITED support, training, and coaching. If you were to purchase ANY of our software to resell as your own, you would have a full team of mobile marketing experts ready to answer your questions and help solve your problems. Because our success is dependent on your sucess, which is the way it should be.


When navigating the SMS and mobile landscape, it is important to watch out for companies who try to take advantage of their customers, especially if you are still learning about the medium. Make sure you know who you are working with before you jump into anything and understand that the PEOPLE you work with is oftentimes much more important than the product or service you are selling.

COMMENT in the thread below if you have had issues with Izigg or have experienced firsthand the problems that surface when companies leave their clientele out to dry without helping them.


How to Choose an SMS Gateway Provider

Once you’ve decided that you would like to integrate a mobile marketing strategy into your overall marketing strategy, you will need to know how to choose an SMS gateway provider. Choosing a gateway provider can be a bit tricky, so we’ve put together this handy guide to help walk you through the process. This guide is much simpler than our more in-depth SMS Gateway provider article we wrote awhile back.


The first thing you will want to know is that an SMS gateway provider is basically a business or company that provides SMS messaging services. They are not a mobile network operator, but they will act as the middleman between the operators and your SMS end users. SMS gateway providers can also be called SMS service providers, SMS brokers, or SMS resellers. There ARE differences between these titles.

An SMS gateway provider provides an SMS gateway for its users to send text messages to. This gateway will route the messages to another SMS gateway or SMSC. An SMS reseller or SMS broker buys text messages in bulk from numerous different wireless carriers at a very lost cost per text message. They then sell the same messages at a higher price to the company that is wanting to use the messages for their SMS program. Keeping all this in mind, these are the 13 questions you want to ask yourself when deciding on an SMS gateway provider.

How Much Does a Single Message Cost? 

Credit-based gateway providers allow you to buy credits for your text messages. For example, you can purchase X amount of credits from the provider. Sending a message will cost you X amount of credits depending on which country the message is going to.

SMS-based providers also allow you to buy credits for your text messages, but instead you are paying as you go rather than buying a bunch of credits at the beginning of the month like with credit-based SMS.

Now, you would think you would only want to purchase SMS-based credits, but if your provider allows you rollover credits from month to month, then sticking with credit-based might be the better choice.

Are There Hidden Costs? 

Sometimes there may be some hidden charges associated with the pricing of your SMS messaging program. A lot of companies like to hide a lot of their fees so their services look cheaper on the service, when it’s really not. Be aware of any hidden charges and fees before ever diving into an SMS marketing program.

What Are the Minimum Buying or Monthly Usage Requirements? 

Some gateway providers will require you to buy a minimum number of credits each time you make a purchase. If you are feeling iffy about your SMS program anyways, you will want to find a provider that does not have a minimum requirement so you can feel more comfortable starting out.

Luckily, most gateway providers do not have minimum requirements on a monthly basis. You usually see mobile network operators set requirements. For example, a network operator may not offer you any SMS messaging services until you have built up your monthly traffic to at least 50,000 messages. So in other words, if you’re starting out, find someone without a minimum monthly requirement.

Is the Gateway Provider’s Coverage Good? 

This will be dependent on who and where you are trying to reach with your messsages. Some gateway providers will not be able to deliver messages to certain countries and mobile operators, so you will want to be aware of these if they exist. The list of countries and operators supported by a particular provider can usually be found on their website.

Despite this, you will still want to doublecheck to make sure that their list is updated and accurate. A lot of providers allow you a certain number of free messages to test out their coverage, so use these to your advantage.


What is the Quality of the Provider’s Network 

Keep in mind that if a provider is offering you an extremely cheap price per message, then their network’s quality may be poor. In other words, your messages may get delayed in their delivery, or they may not make it to their destinations at all. Like with coverage, you will want to take advantage of any free messages the provider offers so you can test out the quality of their network.

Does the Provider Support the Interface/Protocol You Want to Use? 

The most common protocols and interfaces supported by providers are HTTP, HTTPS, XML over HTTP/HTTPS, SMTP, FTP, and SMPP. You can get a more detailed explanation of each of these protocols in our in-depth service provider article. Depending on your provider, you may or may not be getting the protocol you want, so make sure you know  which ones are offered before diving into a campaign.

Is the Provider’s API Easy to Use and Well Documented? 

If your provider has an API and sample code that is well documented, this could be invaluable to developers due to the time they save on development. You can use this API documentation to see what specific elements it can support before ever making a final decision on your provider.

What Are the Payment Options Offered by the Service Provider?

Usually, service providers will let you pay with credit since most SMS programs run off of a web-based account management system. Some may also offer PayPal, check payments, direct deposits, or wire transfers. However, since the web-based account management systems usually allow you to manage your entire SMS campaign from a central location you will probably end up paying with credit. On another note, you will also want to be aware of the different features offered by different web-based platforms.

Are Free Messages Offered by the Provider? 

If they are, use them to test out their network’s coverage and quality. You do not want to blindly purchase SMS messages or credits without knowing the full capabilities of your network.

Are 2-Way Messaging Services Offered? 

Every single gateway provider will offer 1-way messaging, but some will also offer 2-way messaging which will give you and your end users to send and receive messages, not just send messages. This will depend on the SMS campaign you plan to run, but if you are hoping to communicate with your customers back and forth, you will want to make sure you have 2-way messaging capabilities.

How Good is the Provider’s Support? 

This can be the most important part of choosing a service provider! If your provider simply sets you up with an SMS campaign, sells you credits and messages, and just lets you go after that, who will you turn to for help if you have a problem or question? The best service providers have a complete understanding of their own system and are willing to give you full support whenever you may need it. Make sure you have a good idea of the support you will be given before ever jumping into your SMS program.

Of course, this is just scraping the surface when it comes to the considerations you need to make when choosing an SMS gateway provider. This article simplified the process as best as possible, but you can learn much, much more in our in-depth article regarding SMS gateway providers. Good luck!