Many users get confused between group messages and mass text messages. While the two sound and appear similar, there’s a thin line that differentiates them. Let’s dig into the details!
What Are Group Messages?
A group message involves three or more recipients. The most interesting thing about group messages is that you do not need to invest in a software to send group messages. Most mobile devices offer this functionality. There is, however, a limit on the number of recipients.
The maximum number of recipients depends largely on your mobile device and carrier. Some older phones only offer up to 10 recipients but some models may allow you to choose up to 30 recipients.
Group messages are typically sent as an MMS and must be enabled from the settings. The process is fairly simple, though. Go to your contacts and create a group of recipients. You can have several groups and name them accordingly.
While group messages are an easy way to send a text message, the limit on the number of recipients can be a problem. Plus, since they’re sent as MMS, not all phones may support group messages.
Group messages are not counted as a single message, i.e: if you have 10 recipients you will be charged for 10 messages. Similarly, the phone may or may not open 10 different threads, which may also make it a bit difficult to manage all the conversations.
What Are Mass Text Messages?
Mass text messages, as the name suggests, are used to text a large number of people at once. You will need a special software or a mass texting agency to send messages.
There is generally no limit on the maximum number of messages when it comes to mass texting but some software may not be able to send more than a few thousand text messages at once. Which will be help for appointment reminders or business texting. Regardless, it is still a lot more than group messages.
What Should I Choose?
Group messages are useful if you have a small list of recipients and the time to message them individually. On the other hand, mass messages are useful when you have a huge list of recipients and you want to send them the same message.
Group messages may appear to be affordable but the cost of per message can be very high if you have a huge list of recipients. Plus, responding to each message is troublesome as well, since there is no ‘automated’ system.
Why Group Messaging Doesn't Cut It
As mentioned earlier, group messaging is only viable if you only have a few people you want to reach at a time. Aside from the technical limitations of some carriers, phones and operating systems that may max out your group messaging list at 10, 30 or some other arbitrary number, it's just not possible to effectively run a mass texting campaign for your business from a personal phone or handheld device.
Nevermind the confusion of trying to manage dozens of conversations at once on top of any texting you might already be doing, but group messaging is really only for smaller groups, not the large-scale dissemination of information that you'll need to kick off that campaign.
The good news is that mass texting is easy if you work with the right partner (psst!), and
Is Business Texting Legal?
Yes! As long as your customers have given consent or requested to receive texts from you, you're free to message them as a business either in group messaging or via a mass texting program. That means they'll need to have signed up to receive texts from you before you can start sending anything, and it also means that if anyone requests to be removed, you have to honor their request. We make managing all this simple in our mass texting platform, which is why we'd never suggest anyone try to go it alone with group messaging.
What Is the Texting Limit?
For group messaging, you'll only be able to send texts to a handful of recipients at once. But the problem is that each recipient will be able to see others replies on the thread, which could be a privacy concern. With mass texting, you can send texts to as many recipients as you'd like while keeping everything separate. When a contact replies, the message thread will be converted into a private one-on-one conversation. As long as you're abiding by federal and local laws and the terms and conditions of the platform, you can reach all of your customers with just a quick click.
How Can I Text Existing Customers?
While it's true that you need consent before you can start texting customers, there are several ways to convert your existing customers into SMS subscribers, including offering new communication preferences, and more. We also have additional ways to help bring over your existing customers to text-based communication baked right into our platform, which makes the process seamless for you and your customers.
Is Mass Texting Affordable?
It's true that you wouldn't want to try and run a group messaging campaign from your personal handset or to put the success of your mass texting campaign in the hands of a free service -- you get what you pay for! -- but that doesn't mean that mass texting is some kind of burden. In fact, mass texting is one of the most affordable ways to reach your customer base because, comparatively speaking, it's relatively inexpensive and it really works. Almost 98 percent of people read every text they get, and nine out of 10 will actually read a text within a few seconds of receipt.
What Types of Businesses Can Benefit From Mass Texting?
If you think that mass texting is only for certain types of businesses, think again. Businesses and organizations of all sizes can leverage mass texting to save time and money, and to create better relationships with their customers. Whether you're an accountant, a car dealership, a religious organization, a doctor or dental office, an e-commerce company -- or you're in hospitality, non-profits, politics, real estate, retail, education or anything else -- you can do more with mass texting.
Ron Kinkade is the Head of Marketing at Text-Em-All, an automated calling and mass texting company that provides solutions for small and medium-sized businesses, large corporations, membership organizations, community groups, and individuals. Ron has more than 20 years of experience with a proven track record of success. Ron enjoys bass fishing, beach vacations, and spending time with family.