If you’ve ever wondered if you should consider sending text messages to bring customers back to your website – the answer is yes. SMS (Short Message Service) or text messages (as they’re alternatively called) are one of the best methods to reach your users. Combined with other marketing tools such as push notifications, newsletters, search traffic can be highly effective.
For example, while the open rate for emails/newsletters is 20%, for SMS, it goes as high as 98%, according to some studies. In addition, we’re more inclined to check our text messages more often and more quickly than emails. While, on average, it takes 90 minutes to respond to an email – it usually takes 90 seconds for a person to respond to a text message.
However, it would be best to be careful, as people don’t like too many text messages coming from a single source. It can be pretty spammy and invasive. Consider sending them only when there’s something important to relay or once per month as a part of an ongoing campaign. Additionally, you could use SMS to send order updates and receipts as an additional confirmation method.
However, you need to educate yourself on legal requirements for text messages and marketing messages in various countries you’re sending them to, as they usually differ from country to country. Many countries have anti-spam laws, so make sure you’re compliant.
How To Send SMS Messages Using Sendinblue
Sendinblue is primarily an email marketing service, but it also allows you to send SMS messages to your contact list/subscribers.
If you don’t already have an account with them, you’ll need to create one to get started.
Create A Sendinblue Account
Head to the Sendinblue website, and click the Sign up free button in the top-right corner to create your account. The account creation process is quite straightforward, so simply fill in your information to complete it.
Once done, you’ll end up in your Sendinblue dashboard. If you haven’t completed your profile during the signup process – you’ll be prompted to do this in your dashboard when you visit it for the first time.
Before you’re allowed to send SMS messages, you’ll need to contact the Sendinblue support team. Head to their contact page, select Support – Sendinblue from the drop-down menu, and provide the following information:
- A request to enable your account.
- Your website’s URL.
- A comment that you plan on sending SMS marketing messages.
You’ll receive an email confirmation from Sendinblue once your account is approved. Please note that this can take up to 24 hours to complete.
Buy SMS Credits
You don’t have to wait for your account approval to start working on your SMS campaign. In the Sendinblue dashboard, click the + sign in the menu to go to the Apps and Integrations page, then turn on the SMS Campaigns app by clicking on the slider button.
To be able to send text messages, you need to buy SMS credits. Check the left frame of your Sendinblue dashboard, and you should see the 0 SMS Credits notification there. Click the Get more credits link right below to proceed further.
Your My Plan page will open, and in the Upgrade section, click the Get More sms credits link to start the purchase process. The minimum charge is $1.14 plus tax, equivalent to 100 SMS messages in the US. Depending on the country, it can take more than 1 credit to send a text message.
Select the number of credits you wish to buy (at least 100) and complete the purchase. Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for these to appear in your dashboard. Since Sendinblue cares about the laws’ compliance, they may contact you for additional information about your SMS marketing campaign.
Import/Create Your SMS Marketing List
Before sending text messages, you need to manually add contacts to your Sendinblue account or import your contact list. To import your contact list, head to the Contacts tab in your Sendinblue dashboard, then click Import contacts on the right-hand side of the page.
Sendinblue supports CSV, so you can either upload your .csv file or paste your contacts manually line by line.
Note: Make sure that your users have opted in to receive SMS marketing messages from you.
The best method to collect phone numbers and ensure they opt in is through the contact form on your website.
Send A SMS Message
Now that your account is fully activated and you purchased credits – it’s time to test the SMS functionality. We recommend sending one test text message to ensure everything is working correctly.
Head to the Contacts section of your Sendinblue dashboard, and click Add a contact button. Fill in your contact details, including your phone number. Once completed, create a new testing SMS list, and click Save and close, and you should see a success message. We’re ready to send a test SMS message now.
Head to Campaigns > SMS in your dashboard, then click the Create my first SMS campaign button in the center of the page. Fill in the campaign name (you can call it however you want – this isn’t shown to the recipient), and enter the SMS Sender name (this will show as a sender in specific countries).
Enter your SMS messages and pay attention to the number of characters you’ve used below the text message box. Sendinblue also shows you how many SMS messages it takes to send your message. Since this is a test message – make sure you only send one.
Finally, once ready – click the Send a test button. A pop-up window will appear where you need to fill in your mobile phone number. Once completed, you should see a success message that Sendinblue sent the text. You should receive a test SMS immediately or within a couple of minutes.
Send Your SMS Campaign
Now that everything is working correctly, click the X to close the test pop-up window, then click the Next Step button in the top-right corner of the page. Select the desired contact list, then click Next Step again.
Finally, you can either send your messages immediately or schedule them to be sent at a specific time.
Note: You should be mindful of your users’ time zones to avoid sending messages too early or too late in the day.
That’s it! As you can see, it’s easy and cheap to send SMS campaigns to your contact list/subscribers, and it’s an excellent method of reminding users about your websites or products. However, as mentioned previously – make sure not to overdo it; otherwise, the majority of users will simply block messages from you.