Fast SMS is a leading UK bulk provider offering:
- bulk text messaging service in UK for over 15 years
- a well developed API platform that allows ease of SMS distribution
- well presented pricing schedule that is simple to follow
- no reference to how reliable the SMS are sent and by what time
- offers 100 free SMS to try out the distribution system
Who is FastSMS?
This is a bulk text messaging service in UK that has been in operation for over 15 years, with the ability to distribute small, medium and large number of SMS within a short period of time. This bulk SMS provider is ideal for businesses and organisations who wish to communicate a message, or send a reminder or an alert or can be used as a marketing promotion tool for a product or service in a cheap and efficient way.
This independent and unbiased review will provide a general overview of fastsms covering all important aspects required to be known about the provider, such as their features, pricing, reliability and customer service.
Features Of FastSMS
This bulk text messaging provider has a variety of good features that enable it to send businesses’ and organisations’ sms within a specified time period required. They possess a browser based platform whereby you can send your email to fastsms and they can convert it to a format for distribution as a text message readable to mobile phone users. It has the capacity to receive replies to the sms sent out. It is directed to the business online inbox so knowing what the response has been to the message. There is the capacity to send from your Virtual Mobile Number so that your clients, customers or staff only have to do is hit ‘reply’ for you to receive their response.
Through the use of your business customer relationship marketing, known as CRM, your database of contacts can by synchronised into fastsms platform to make the managing contacts easy so as to build client relationships, customer loyalty and brand recognition. You can personalise your message and be able to send longer messages exceeding the standard 160 characters. There is no limit on the number of users as the provider has the login information, templates and contact lists.
Reports can be generated to gauge how effective the sent message has been received with the added advantage of using keywords for specific users. This way the business can see how the SMS has been received plus knowing the effect and status of inbound numbers. For reminders, alerts birthdays or appointments, this is an important way of know the success of the specific communication intention. Also, SMS can be scheduled to be delivered over a set time period.
The power of the above features happens through their well-developed API. The system for distributing a text message is similar to what you would do when writing an email and sending it off. FastSMS states that their developers can integrate all their features into any system and provide you with their API documentation. SMS API accesses features from within the business own application using HTTP, XML or SMTP.
Pricing of FastSMS
The pricing schedule is well presented on fastsms website. It outlines the price for each text message in volume distribution. There is no difference in price for small number of SMS sent. For medium numbers and particularly for large volumes of SMS sent, then the price differential becomes significant. It does not clearly state whether the volume is on a monthly basis or longer, and that needs to be investigated.
There is no monthly fee or set up cost and the business or client pay for the number of text messages sent and the inbound numbers that are required. The details of charges for keywords on shared shortcode, virtual mobile number and dedicated shortcode are set out with an explanation as to what each inbound number means.
It is good to see that it differentiates the charges between local Bulk SMS distribution and international distribution. This provider has the availability of using international telecommunication carriers and charges accordingly dependent on the type of carrier used, whether it is a premium or a hybrid carrier.
When comparing with other bulk sms providers, the prices are comparable or lower using Tier 1 delivery routes.
Reliability Of FastSMS
With regard to reliability of text messages being delivered to the right person (uptime) within a specified time (latency), there is no reference to how reliable the SMS are reached to the recipient and by what time. Usually with bulk SMS providers, they state that they have an Up-time Guarantee of 99% or above or a money back guarantee. There is no indication as to what percentage of text messages are sent and received by the mobile user by a particular time or the time for messages to be sent and received. The only note about the latency aspect is a comment on their website about a message being sent to deliver in a matter of seconds.
FastSMS doe state it will provide real-time delivery reports which can allow the business to retrieve the data of specific users to check usage and message content and the results from specific lists broadcasts.
Support Service and Security by FastSMS
There appears to be a good range of customer contact opportunities whether it is via phone requesting a call back to discuss with one of their trained specialists needs and requirements. Fastsms states that they are available to discuss issues during extended working hours by using Live Chat.
There is a range of Frequently Asked Questions on their website and SMS blog covering different ways text messaging service can be used. Their Support Centre has developed manuals to assist and their API developers are able to integrate SMS functionality with your own applications.
The offer of 100 free SMS will allow a business to use fastsms to judge the effectiveness of the SMS distribution system.
FastSMS has a data protection policy in place to ensure lawful handling of personal data. There is no mention of having an anti-SPAM policy in place.
About the value of SMS
SMS (Short Messaging Service) has become an ideal means of sending and receiving information to a large cross section of people using an IT platform, known as API, to ensure that it reaches individual mobile phones. It has been researched and shown that over 90% of mobile phone users look at their text message within 3 minutes of receiving them. This means that businesses and organisations can be assured of knowing that their communication has been quickly received. Of course, it depends of the SMS provider infrastructure, gateway carriers and IT features available.
About SMS Comparison Table and Associated Site
The SMS Comparison Table and associated site was developed by a group of authors who worked in the SMS area and were considered experts in this field. Now that they have moved into other IT areas, the authors felt that they could provide support and direction through the development of a SMS Comparison site in an unbiased and independent way.
The Table and site is free of charge and has been formulated to make complex issues of the text messaging service easy to follow and to provide the important facts that are required to make a decision. This is important for those businesses or organisations that want to engage a bulk SMS provider.
The information provided is as current as the SMS provided in their website. However should there be some changes in the content that is different, please let the authors know and changes will be made as soon as possible.
The authors hope that their contribution to understanding all about text messaging service will be both helpful and allow you to make the right decision, should you want to engage a bulk SMS provider.
Last updated on 16 March 2018