To find the best United Kingdom SMS providers in 2022 the leading bulk SMS UK providers were reviewed based on service levels, reliability and bulk text message prices. The resulting UK bulk SMS comparison focused on the top 5 companies found.
By Alain Grossbard / Updated: Thursday, October 19th, 2023
Our list of the best October 2022 UK Bulk SMS service providers is:
Based on a number of selection criteria that matters to British businesses, ClickSend was assessed by SMS Comparison to be a leading Bulk SMS provider based on their:
ClickSend has exclusive pricing for British businesses with the prices of outbound SMS messages shown to the right. All inbound text messages are free with the provider, with outbound bulk text messages starting around £0.036 per SMS based on low volumes.
The only additional fee for bulk SMS services is associated with a dedicated number. This costs £10.50 a month with no setup fees. A provider can also choose their own number when available. Getting a dedicated number also only takes minutes to set up with ClickSend.
When the ClickSend prices were compared to the other bulk SMS providers the finding was that they offered some of the lowest costs for different volumes of reputable SMS bulk providers.
When comparing the pricing schedules for a range of bulk SMS providers, the price variance can be as high as 60%. This variation can be based on the networks (grey vs premium tier 1 carriers) and service level agreements offered by the provider. It can also be based on set-up fees, contract duration requirements and other fees charged on-top of usage. It should be noted that Clicksend has no contract or set-up fees. Two-way SMS service where both an SMS is sent and received also have no additional charge. This means that it can reduce overall text messaging costs as some providers charge for each text message received for such type of communications.
Overall, ClickSend charges that are advertised are extremely competitive with most usage brackets compared to their competitors. This is also reinforced with large batches of text messages where ClickSend is prepared to discuss possibly of matching against any other bulk SMS providers to win the business. Of course, such cheaper pricing is based on comparable volume. ClickSend ensures that their prices are regularly checked against competitors and adjusted so customers always get the best deal. They state that they are most competitive and will either match or beat any legitimate cheaper quotes.
While ClickSend offers the lowest prices (as proven by their price beat guarantee), they also have the best Service Level Agreement (SLA) offering a 100% up-time guarantee. Such an offer is not seen with other bulk SMS providers in UK. This means that it guarantees businesses or organisations that full reliability that when a SMS will be sent, it will be delivered directly o the end-users and within a short period of time, whether is is in seconds or at the last few minutes, of sending the text message.
They use their sophisticated API SMS platform and credible premium or Tier 1 telecommunication carriers to ensure reliable passage of the required text messages to be delivered. ClickSend has a high capacity network ensuring that critical time-sensitive text messages are delivered promptly. This network is not only UK-wide but global allowing for international SMS delivery also leading ClickSend to be one of the leading bulk SMS providers.
The 100% SLA is the reason for a number of UK companies and very large global companies such as Uber, Siemens, MacDonalds and Intel engaging ClickSend for their bulk SMS services.
Even though ClickSend head office is based in Perth, Australia they have a UK customer contact centre. As SMS system is an information technology service, there is no need to visit the location to setup an account. If you want to send messages to UK or any other country, it’s just a matter of entering in international format e.g. UK : +44xxxxxxxxx or if you’re sending via ClickSend API, you can pass the ‘country’ parameter for each recipient along with the request. They will then automatically format the recipient numbers for any country (you can supply the numbers in local or international format). They operate on a 24/7 basis. This is much more superior than other similar type of SMS bulk providers who either offer a contact number which are available only during business hours Monday to Friday.
It’s worth noting that ClickSend may appear to be a cheap ‘no frills’ provider but they do have all services equivalent of a more premium providers with a lower per unit text message cost. Their customer service personnel are well trained and will provide all the technical assistance for developers setting up their SMS campaigns or an SMS API.
When it comes to bulk text messaging distribution and the use of reliable and effective gateway provider, it can be seen that ClickSend provides a high-speed connection through their direct telecommunication carriers which is more reliable than using both direct and hybrid carrier networks. The SMS Gateway capacity is able to match major SMS firms with over 7 million text messages delivered weekly. ClickSend states that text messages are delivered within a matter of seconds with an SMS gateway up-time of 100%, which is a real asset compared to other similar bulk providers.
Through the means of ClickSend gateway system, they can design products that are easy-to-use and generate real business, whilst providing you with real results and data. From Bulk SMS Gateways and Email Marketing Tools, through to Fax, Post and Flyer services, their products create ideal marketing platforms that are used by some of the largest and most trusted brands and around the world.
Bulk SMS Gateways can be distributed in a number of different ways such as:
The Web SMS option allows companies to send bulk SMS messages from their PC with no software download requirements. All the core features to send text messages exist with individual or mass text message options available. For bulk SMS UK campaigns, a business just needs to upload a contact lists online and a large-scale SMS broadcast can commence.
Businesses that have their own CRM software or messaging infrastructure their SMS API may be the optimal solution. The SMS API integration is relatively easy allowing firms to automate messages using the company’s existing software systems. The SMS API can be accessed using the majority of programming languages with a SDK in PHP available on their website.
The Email to SMS gateway is compatible with Microsoft Office or Apple Mail. Using these e-mail packages SMS marketing campaigns or even SMS reminders can be sent which include free deliverable reports. No extra software is required to use this method with users just requiring to forward the message to the number in the subject line.
Sending bulk text messages in the UK has strong regulations set by the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office). The PECR (Privacy and Electronic Communications regulations) sets the rules for sending text messaging for most UK organisations and complemented by the 2008 Data Protection Act.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) IT Governanceis a pan-European data protection law, which extends the data rights of individuals (data subjects), and places a range of new obligations on organisations that process UK residents’ personal data.
The key bulk text messaging requirements are:
The DPA 2018 (Data Protection Act 2018) supplements the GDPR by filling in the sections of the Regulation that were left to individual member states to interpret and implement.
Individuals needs to be informed of how personal data will be used by a company. Their details can’t be passed onto another company without their consent. Overall, consumers have the right to not receive unsolicited text message advertising.
Valid and prior recorded explicit consent is required for bulk SMS campaigns. Soft opt-ins have limited exceptions which is data obtained during the negotiation of sale or the sale itself. In these circumstances bulk text messaging campaigns need to be of a similar service or product and with an opt-out facility discussed next.
All bulk SMS UK campaigns need the ability to opt-out of future text message communication. This is often by communicating a ‘STOP’ functionality where the individual can reply with STOP to stop receiving future SMS communication. When an individual replies with a ‘STOP’ request a confirmation reply should be sent to inform the user they won’t receive future communication. Records of these confirmations should be kept by the company.
Content sent through bulk text message campaigns needs to be appropriate to the audience. A company needs to take appropriate measure to not hard, upset of offend the individual. Specific understanding needs to be applied if marketing to children.
A bulk SMS service provides business text messaging solutions through:
Some Bulk SMS service providers offer SMPP (Short Message Peer-to-Peer). This protocol used by the British telecommunication providers allows exchanging text messages between Short Message Service Centres and External Short Messaging Entities. This protocol is level 7 TCP/IP and can minimise latency of text messages sent. Version 3.3 SMPP is the most widely used within UK while version 3.4 has transceiver support allowing 2 way SMS solutions.
British companies are quickly learning the benefits of using a bulk SMS service for their organisation. Mass text message services are most commonly associated with SMS marketing and communication campaigns, providing special deals to customers who opt-in to receive special deals and alerts.
More recently, governments and local councils have discovered the immediacy and cut-through of SMS when used as an immediate and effective information tool. For example, with UK’s diverse weather conditions it became apparent that a reliable and scalable alert system was required. Short messaging service provide to be more than just a mobile communication solution. With the ability to reach hundreds of thousands of mobile phones on multiple networks within seconds of being sent out, bulk SMS has quickly become a trusted and reliable tool used by many local councils and authorities across the country.
Purchasing SMS in bulk is an effective method of keeping the overall per message cost to a minimum. Most mass SMS providers will offer very low rates per SMS when making a bulk purchase, allowing the organisation to use as many or as few SMS per distribution without the worry of an expiration date. For this reason, organisations from gyms and social clubs through to online services prefer to purchase their SMS in bulk and keep their customers and consumers happy with regular offers and updates.
A number of Bulk SMS UK service offer a trial session where you can see the way the whole text messaging service process transpires from start to finish. There is a range of free trial offers ranging from a time period of 14 days available from Burst SMS through to a trial number of SMS, whether it is 5 SMS to 50 SMS.
Other bulk SMS providers do charge such as Nexmo with a minimal cost of two euro to international company while others such as MessageBird does not offer a free trial period. By checking Bulk SMS UK providers’ websites, you will see what free trial are offered.
Bulk SMS UK companies provide a range of featured Business SMS platforms for sending text messages to customers, clients or employees in a cost-effective, efficient and secure manner. They can be sending a SMS online, importing contacts and managing lists of customers and staff.
Bulk SMS UK services are able to integrate their SMS gateway with your website or software using SMS API tools and add text messaging to your business workflow. Business SMS services that are also offered by Bulk SMS UK providers include two-way, online text messaging chat, which is ideal for remote communications and using dedicated SMS numbers to receive inbound SMS and replies to your text messages from customers and employees.
SMS is very effective as a marketing tool for reaching out to large numbers of present and potential customers through Bulk SMS UK providers. SMS messages are more likely to be opened when received or within just three minutes of being received. There is evidence to show that over 90% of SMS are read within three minutes of receiving the text message, unlike 20% of emails are opened by the end of the day. This makes SMS marketing a reliable form of communications particularly for marketing campaigns, promotions, contest, and appointment reminders, as some examples.
Through the engagement of Bulk SMS UK companies, you can evaluate how to improve your campaign or promotion by reviewing detailed reports that will assist you to boost better responses. SMS marketing can assist in organizing campaigns creations, automated personalization and unsubscribed management.
Bulk SMS also known as Bulk Short Messaging Service allows a large number of text messages to be delivered through mobile carriers. This is primarily used by businesses looking to communicate to existing or prospective customers due to the 92% open rate of SMS messages within the first three minutes of receiving the message. Bulk SMS providers software allow integration with CRM, e-mail or databases.
Previous to 2017 there was an option within Google (settings>labs) that allowed free SMS from Gmail through chat (see below).
This option was removed and unless you had it enabled no free service exists. Instead to send bulk SMS from Gmail a paid mass texting service provider such as Clickatell, Clicksend and Direct SMS is required. These gateways can plugin through Google Apps to Gmail contacts, dates and other information and send text messages. Rules can be set to determine and customise these bulk SMS messages.
There are two services that offer free SMS services. The easiest and simplest site is A Free SMS which you can put in an individual number, the message and it’s sent at no cost. The second site is Freebie which has advanced functionality such as scheduling but you need to complete surveys and other tasks to get credits used for an SMS. It remains free when using SMS Pup but these tasks to get points do take some time to complete which should be factored in.
A bulk related program is able to use a specific short coding method to be able to distribute large number of text messages to mobile phone or mobile devices when required. This can be done within a specified period nominated by you. Because such program platforms have such a capacity to send messages promptly, it is highly recommended for large volume distribution with regard to marketing and communication campaigns.
To register, firstly review the range of bulk SMS providers’ websites available in UK (and overseas), using the bulk SMS Comparison Table and SMS Comparison associated sites or just surf the Net. If interested, you’ll see each provider has an information section and an email address for you to register. Consider requesting a free trial to test their features before committing to that SMS bulk provider.
By using a bulk SMS approach, you are able to send large number of a text message at any time, whether it is sent nationally or internationally. Bulk SMS is an ideal communication or marketing tool for businesses, large or small, who want to be assured that they can reach their target audiences effectively. Most mobile phone users (over 90%) read their text messages within 3 minutes of receiving them and 98% read their SMS within a day.
Every SMS service provider in UK uses an SMS gateway to send SMS from one point to another point whether it is to individuals, clients, customers or/and organisations.
An SMS Comparison Table and the associated site has been developed to identify and compare the services and products offered by these Bulk SMS providers by means of independent, experienced SMS experts, who no longer work in this SMS field. The information has been summarized into a simplified, readable, and easy to follow tabulated format so as to provide you with key information on selection criteria such as message distribution costs, networks availability, reliability, reputation, customer service support and so on.
It should be stressed that the information provided in the table should only be used as a guide as prices and features may be updated at any time by the SMS Gateway providers’ websites without any prior notification.
After working with SMS providers over several years, the authors of this site understood how time-consuming comparing providers was. To simplify the process, a set of criteria was created to suit most British businesses needs. While ideally exact prices would be provided, the way the industry has moved with negotiated rates meant only a rough guide to costs could be provided. The information on the table came from the British text message websites. On some occasions, the providers such as SMS Broadcast were contacted to verify the information and some providers recommended provide an affiliate payment for traffic to their inventory. We also have a how-to guide and a companies guide on our site.
Published by Alain Grossbard