can I send a bulk SMS?
Ready to send your first bulk SMS message but not sure where to get started? Follow this step-by-step guide, and you’ll be sending high-volume text messages in no time.
1. Grow an audience
To start, you’ll need a contact list of recipients who have explicitly permitted you to message them. Start growing your SMS subscriber list by placing an opt-in form on your website or encouraging your prospects and customers to text a keyword (like “Join” or your company name) to a mobile number or short code. You can also send a double-opt-in message to confirm their subscription and ensure you only have interested users on your list.
2. Find an SMS service provider
Next, you’ll need to find an SMS service provider to help you send your bulk SMS message. With Twilio’s Programmable Messaging API, you can easily send SMS messages to every subscriber on your list. Not only can you send messages quickly and easily, but you can also get access to our robust library of documentation, sample code, and developer tools to help you build exactly what you want—fast. Plus, we’ll handle carrier and global regulations, so you can focus on reaching your customers and crafting the perfect bulk SMS message.
3. Get a short code
If you rely on long code (or a 10-digit phone number) to send more than a few hundred messages a day, your messages could end up in the spam folder. That can be a problem when trying to send bulk SMS messages.
Instead, short codes (or 5- or 6-digit numbers) are preapproved by carriers to have a high throughput and aren’t subject to carrier filtering, allowing you to send and receive bulk SMS/MMS messages more effectively. You can easily buy short codes from Twilio if your brand doesn’t have any or port existing numbers to the Twilio platform to get right to sending. Twilio also offers volume discounts for SMS and short code SMS messages if your monthly sends exceed 500,000 to 4.5 million messages so that your business reliably reaches your customers and at a reasonable price.
4. Craft your message
Once you’ve found a bulk SMS service provider and procured a short code, you’re almost ready to send. All that’s left is to choose which audience you’re sending to and draft your message. While this part sounds simple, don’t rush it. Every text blast you send should be meaningful and provide value to your subscribers, so they remain engaged and loyal to your brand. If you need some inspiration to get your bulk SMS message started, check out our text blast writing best practices in the next section.
5. Send it
Lastly, it’s time to send your message to the world. Using your email service provider of choice, you’ll need to set your recipient, sender, and content parameters. Your recipient list will be who you’re sending to, while your company’s long or short code will be your sender. As you may have guessed, your SMS content consists of the full text message or media content you want to include in your SMS/MMS message. Once you have all this information prepared, you’re ready to hit “Send,” sit back, and start tracking the message’s performance. To help, here’s a simple example for sending programmable SMS text or picture messages.
Prefer a step-by-step guide to sending your first message with Twilio? Check out our Programmable SMS quickstart guide in your preferred language: C#, Java, Node.js, PHP, Python, or Ruby.