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Explanation: Sending true SMS vs. SMTP messages

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by mobileman, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. mobileman

    mobileman Newbie

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    I see a lot of talk on the boards about sending SMS "text" messages out and confusion about the difference of sending true SMS vs. Sending it through email or SMTP.

    Here is an explanation:
    SMTP vs SMPP

    Did you know that not all text messages are created equal? In fact, there is such a disparity between the two types of text messaging available, that I thought it best to write a quick summary about the differences. Hopefully this will help educate those who are looking into the different technologies used to run a mobile marketing campaign.

    The first thing to do is to clarify and define the two different types of text messaging. These differences are very clear and stem from the method these messages are sent from the website to the cell phone provider (AT&T, Verizon, etc.)

    The first method
    which is commonly referred to as ?Email to SMS? or ?Standard Delivery? text messaging is technically called ?Simple Mail Transfer Protocol,? or SMTP. To send a text message via the SMTP method, all one must do is attach their phone number to the beginning of the carriers SMTP email address and send it just like any other email. To give you an example, I have a Verizon phone and their SMTP email address is ?@vtext.com.? To send myself a text message, all I have to do is send an email with my mobile number attached to the front of that address (i.e. 2063344012@vtext.com) and whatever I put in the body of that email will appear on my phone.

    The second method
    which is commonly referred to as ?Short Code? or ?Express? text messaging is technically called ?Short Message Peer-to-Peer Protocol? or SMPP. This is the preferred method, as it is used when you are sending text messages back-and-forth to a friend on your own mobile phone. These messages go through the carrier?s cell network as compared to the carrier?s email network with SMTP.
    Cost of SendingThe cost to set up a SMTP website is very small, being that all you need is an email server and some bandwidth and you are up and running. This makes SMTP websites a dime a dozen and notorious for being used to generate text message SPAM. On the other hand, the cost to set up a SMPP website is much greater in terms of both invested time and capital. To start the process of being approved for SMPP messaging, a company must go through a 6-8 week approval process in which carriers rigorously test the product to make sure it meets all the required standards. In addition to this, the company must also form a partnership with an aggregator who will charge them connection, set-up and most importantly, a per-message fee to send each text message. Message SpeedSMTP is not a direct connection to carriers and as a result, messages are extremely slow and are in no way guaranteed to end up at the destination. We have seen messages sent through the SMTP gateway take 24-48 hours to reach their destination. On the other hand, SMPP has priority routing and is guaranteed to be much faster with a 99% success rate. From our experience, it?s very rare to not see SMPP messages received within a few seconds of sending them. Legal issuesThe SMTP gateway was only built for personal use, and carriers have made it very clear that any use of this gateway for commercial purposes is in direct violation of their terms of service. In addition to the carriers? rejection of commercial messaging through their SMTP gateway, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules that prohibit sending unwanted commercial SMTP messages to wireless devices. However this only appliest to messages sent SMTP or from Email to Text, this doesnt apply to messages sent from SMPP or phone to phone. ReliabilityWhat happens when a carrier changes their email domain that you send SMTP messages to? One sure thing is that they won?t tell you about these changes and all of a sudden your messages won?t be reaching their intended recipients. When you send messages via SMPP, your connection will always be the same because websites utilizing SMPP have a direct connection to the carriers; meaning, we don?t need keep track of an email address. Look & feel of messagesPlain and simple, SMTP messages look cluttered and extremely unprofessional. SMPP messages were meant for marketing purposes?they are crisp, clear and display your message without excess clutter and information. No easy way to subscribeThis is the coolest part of using SMPP messaging: People can join a group directly from their own mobile phone by texting a keyword (i.e.?VIP, DISCOUNTS, SOCCER) to our short code number 68398. You will not find that with SMTP messaging.Well, hopefully you have learned that not all text messages are the same. And when looking for a website that offers the ability to send out mass text-messages, make sure you are choosing a provider that can send true SMS or "SMPP".

    Hope this helps clear things up, send me a PM if you have any questions or need any help setting this up.
     
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  2. saxgod

    saxgod Regular Member

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    I also want to add that you can get a SMPP account with most providers to send mass sms's. Many providers also still support the old system via dialup. You can dump your messages via UCP or TAP with a program like SendPage and an old dialup modem hooked up to a phoneline. You can also do this with a cellphone or GSM in data mode or a GSM-Modem. These last will then act like a dialup modem.