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Bulk sms business in Nigeria
What is bulk sms? Bulk sms means more than one sms. It means sms in groups or batches. SMS is a short name for short message service and this is a text based service offered by communication companies that allows subscribers to send text messages to users with communcation gadgets.
The major communication gadgets nowadays is the mobile phone which is used by gsm subscribers to make and receive voice calls as well as send and receive text messages using the sms platform.
With the rise in the number of gsm subscribers in Nigeria, Africa's highest, sms has become one of the most effective tools for communicating and advertising. Most businesses operatin in Nigeria now see the important of sending text messages to their clients and potential clients in order to market products as well as keep old customers in the loop of their business updates.
It is not just businesses but even non profit making organisations and religious bodies like Churches and charities also make use of one-way bulk sms to send messages to people within their social network.
So from gsm networks to small businesses, religious centres to political bodies, educational institutes to finance houses, bulk sms has become a vital part of doing business or communicating with people in Nigeria.
According to a Wikipedia report, there are over 100 million mobile phone users in Nigeria already and this is a huge number that should not be ignored when one is really interested in utlizing people power in the Nigerian environment. A going concern can decide to rather than send text messages to everyone in the country, send only to persons who have requested for the service via an sms subscription. Sending sms to people who have already requested for news updates about your business is a more targeted and economic way of utilizing the service.
Let's take an example of a church that has over 10,000 registered members and out of them, they have over 4000 who have a mobile phone line. The administration may decide to allow members pre-subscribe to news updates for free about the church and in this way, members would be able to stay more connected to the church's activities and in this way help in growing the community since they know beforehand what it happening and when.
Another example is a bank that probably has millions of accounts already opened by people. Banks normally make use of bulk sms accounts to send updates to customers such as transaction alerts, promos, changes in policies and so on. In this way banks can earn more customer loyalty and know more about the bank. They normally have bulk sms credits integrated into their banking software to send updates to customers when certain events take place and may as well charge or not charge the customer for the serivce
A third way small businesses in Nigeria make money from using bulk sms is by using it for sms marketing. This involves getting the mobile phone numbers of potential customers using surveys, public events, social activities, online platforms or other method and then sending text messages to those potential customers in their niche in other to win them over.
People also make money by selling bulk sms units or accounts to end users. Companies, small businesses, religious organisations and other social groups tend to have a need for bulk sms accounts as traditional sms rates tend to be high than many online bulk sms accounts now available. You can get a good bargain by searching for bulk sms providers in the USA, UK, Canada or India and buy reseller or bulk accounts from them in order to resell to end users. Some bulk sms businesses in Nigeria also offer the service of simply helping clients to send bulk sms to their desired targets.
One growing problem with bulk sms business in Nigeria is that phone users tend to get unsolicited text messages without having a way to block them. Personally, I'm getting tired of those unsolicited text messages on my phone from mostly small businesses when I have not subscribed to the service.
Is there a future for bulk sms business in Nigeria? I think so since many large organisations are already investing in such alternative and affordable sms providers which tend to be more effective than the local providers.