Friday, June 27, 2008

Empire Building With Text Messages

Have you dreamed of being a maven, a guru, master of a mighty empire? Do you savor the image of commanding your minions by the thousands no matter where they happen to be? Would you like to ensure that your hot "tip" or secret information is read while it still has value? Or do you simply want to be able to organize an event, make special offers to your clients, send important instant messages to all the employees, students, or members of your organization? What you need is group SMS texting.

Group, mass, or bulk text messaging all refer to the same thing. It's sending out one text message that is received by many people. You're used to standard SMS messaging. Just about any cell phone built in this century can send and receive text messages using SMS technology. SMS stands for Short Message Service. It's called short because you are limited to text messages of 160 characters or less. No blabbing on and on like you would on a blog (Ahem!) or email.

Up to three quarters of all cell phone users send and receive SMS text messages. It's so popular because it's available wherever you happen to be and doesn't need any special equipment beyond the keyboard and display on your cell phone. Any wonder while one-on-one texting becomes addictive?

If you want to send a message to many people at once, what do you do? The first thing that comes to mind is email. Like SMS text messaging, email is almost universally available. Everybody has a computer and an email program. But unlike cell phone texting, most people don't carry their computer with them. So email is hit and miss as far as timely delivery. They get your message when they get around to sitting at their computer. That could be way too late for what you wanted to share.

Some people can get email on their cell phones as well as their computers. But many don't have this service. Nearly everyone can receive and send text messages. Most have their cells turned on when they are out and about, so you should be able to get to them anytime, anyplace.

So, bulk SMS messaging is like bulk email? Yes and no. Yes, in that you only compose a message once and then push it out to dozens, hundreds or thousands of recipients. No, in that SMS hasn't become the spam infested cesspool that is today's Internet-based email. But you do need to be careful if you decide to get involved with any type of message broadcasting. If you think email users get flamed about junk mail, think about the passion welling up in the recipient of a cell phone user who just paid to receive an unwelcome message. I wouldn't want to be within arm's reach if I did that.

The way to get the benefits of mass messaging without the ugly backlash is to be respectful of your recipients and use a delivery service with a strong privacy and anti-spamming policy. One such service is Ez Texting. They have a system that makes it easy for you to compose and send out messages to your private mailing list from your computer at a low cost per message. It only allows verified opt-in subscriptions to protect your clients from cellular junk messages.

Who uses group text messaging? Ez Texting promotes their service to retailers who want to give back to customers with coupons and sneak preview sales. Restaurants can do the same thing with special discounts and comps or VP passes. Event marketers can get the word out on the next big happening. Schools can address the entire student body in minutes. Social groups can coordinate activities on a moment's notice. Real Estate Agents can let their clients know about new properties almost as soon as they come on the market.

To that list I'll add anyone who runs a Web site or other service dealing with information that goes stale quickly. Need to know where the celebs are? An immediate market opportunity? Crisis business meeting? Traffic congestion? Threatening weather? Criminal activity nearby? I'll bet you can think of a lot more. Where time is of the essence, group text messaging is likely the fastest way to get through. You can give it a try right now for free with Ez Texting.

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