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If you want to take advantage of the many benefits of SMS marketing, then you'll need an SMS gateway. Though not nearly as emphasized as SMS APIs, messaging gateways are an essential part of connecting with your customers.
An SMS gateway is an interface that allow computers, software, and other SMS-capable devices to send and receive text messages without using a cell phone. SMS gateways 'translate' messages by transforming messages to match recipient communication protocols.
Keep reading to learn more about what an SMS gateway is, how it works, what it can be used for, and more.
What Is An SMS Gateway?
An SMS gateway allows computers and software to send and receive text messages to and from SMS and MMS-capable devices. Many Short Message Service Centers (SMSCs) use incompatible communication protocols; SMS gateways translate these protocols so that messages can be successfully delivered and received.
SMS Gateway Definition
Content providers and application developers need SMS gateways in order to send and receive text messages to and from customers, staff, etc.
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How An SMS Gateway Works
SMS gateways essentially act like language translators, but for electronics. Just like how an English speaker and Chinese speaker would need a translator to converse, different APIs and communication protocols need a translator in order to understand each other.
Here's how the process plays out:
- A company sends a message using an SMS gateway
- The gateway translates the message by connecting to different protocols (i.e., it changes the message into an email or HTTP request or vice versa)
- Incoming and outgoing messages are successfully delivered
You can also choose to combine providers by signing up with an SMS API that includes gateway functions. This way, the same provider that allows you to send and receive messages also guarantees their delivery.
4 SMS Gateway Uses
Text message gateways can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including marketing, communication, saving money, and more. Gateways essentially share the same uses as SMS APIs and mass texting software, although they each have unique benefits.
1 - Marketing
SMS marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing, far surpassing more traditional methods and even modern tactics, such as email and voicemail campaigns. Using an SMS gateway, you can ensure clients receive texts about sales and discounts, new services and products, and updates about your company.
2 - Communication
Besides marketing, you can use SMS to communicate with your subscribers using mass texting. From internal staff to company clients, you can use SMS to connect with nearly any group of people for any purpose. Updates, notifications, emergency messages - the right SMS software is suitable for all different types of communications.
3 - Saving Money
SMS gateways save you time and resources, which in turn saves your company money. This money can then be reallocated to other communications and marketing efforts, such as text campaigns or new branding strategies. And when you combine your gateway with an SMS API, you can save even more money.
4 - Customer Care
From soliciting feedback from customers to curating a more personalized experience, SMS gateways allow you to build and then strengthen your connection to customers. This connection is essential to creating brand loyalty and expanding your customer base.
3 Types Of SMS Gateways
Though we've primarily been discussed SMS gateways in terms of sending text messages, this isn't the only type of gateway that companies can take advantage of. There are actually several different types of SMS gateways, as shown below.
1 - Web2SMS
A web2SMS gateway allows text messages to be sent and received to and from cell phones to websites. These types of gateways are what allow you to use various website functions and phone applications.
2 - SMS2Email
As the name indicates, SMS2email gateways allow you to send messages via email. Though email is less effective in terms of marketing, it's still a powerful tool that should be leveraged in your communication strategies.
3 - SMS2Skype
SMS2Skype gateways allow messages to be sent to and from Skype. Though the name seems specific, it's actually applicable to all applications that work like Skype. And with Skype and similar applications more used than ever before, this type of gateway is more necessary than ever before.
What To Look For In An SMS Gateway Provider
When you're looking for an SMS gateway provider or SMS gateway API, it's important to make sure your company's current and future needs will be met. This means that you need a gateway that will grow with you, not limit you.
Multiple Text Message Options
Your text message gateway should be able to handle all kinds of messages, no matter what form they take or how they're sent. This includes SMS and MMS messages sent from either long codes and short codes (or both).
Packed With Features
For the most flexibility in terms of your communication and marketing, make sure the gateway comes with a wide variety of features that you'll have access to. This is especially important if you sign up with an SMS gateway API. Text encoding, number pooling, text schedule, and delivery reports are just a few examples of great features that will benefit your campaigns.
Reliable Service & Support
Signing up with an SMS gateway won't mean much if your messages aren't being delivered reliably or other problems are consistently popping up. Make sure to do your research and look into each service's network, service level agreements (SLAs), and support services.
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Esendex's programmable SMS API operates as an SMS gateway for your convenience. Along with sending (or receiving) bulk SMS and MMS messages, our feature-packed API ensures delivery by translating communication protocols.
Combined with our Tier 1 network, 99.9% uptime SLA, and 24/7 emergency support, this means that you're guaranteed to connect with customers the first time, every time. And with our transaction-based pricing, you never pay for more than you need.
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