There are many options when it comes to choosing a piece of software for your new SMS aggregation business. Some have been on the market for many years, and have established themselves as leaders on the market. Others have been developed more recently with the goal of seizing portions of this large market. The latter are generally more eager to impress, and have the ability to make their products much more tailored around their clients to earn their trust and become more visible. But regardless of how long a product has been on the market or how prestigious the company behind it, there are certain features that we are used to seeing in a robust SMS gateway dashboard. If these are missing, make sure to ask the developer how much effort it would take to implement them within their existing solution.
Having access to good SMS campaign features, comprehensive reporting, and role-based access are just a few things that make an SMS Gateway dashboard powerful. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of features that will impress even the most exigent SMS business owner.
Flexible SMS Campaigns
Sending SMS campaigns is the main role of an SMS Gateway. A robust product will have the ability to send and receive text messages in a myriad of formats and protocols, such as SMPP, SS7, SIGTRAN, SIP, or HTTP. But its interface is critical to being able to maneuver these powerful features of a good SMS product. Thus it is a good sign when a gateway’s interface has such options as:
- Data uploads in different formats (think about your customers’ phone numbers)
When users have a variety of formats in which they can upload the information into the system, it gives them more flexibility. If the system is capable of reading CSV, Excel, Google Sheets, and vCards files, human error is minimized.
- Rules-based segmentation
Your subscribers may be at different stages in the sales funnel, therefore the ability to send specific messages to groups of people is important. Ensuring that your users can segment your audience in an easy and logical way will make your SMS business more successful.
- Automatic action-based SMS campaigns
Interact with customers who clicked on your SMS offer but did not convert. Send them a reminder that the discount is about to expire or follow-up with a different time-based offer. Make sure your SMS gateway can do this automatically in order to maximize your SMS impact.
- Campaign scheduling
SMS campaign scheduling is a must for any SMS business. It is even better when you can schedule campaigns for different time zones in which your text will be delivered. This option will send your message at the most optimized time, ensuring a higher engagement rate.
- SMS campaign drafts and templates
Drafts and templates can be used to save your users’ time. They can also be a source of inspiration for your clients’ marketing team, as templates can be created for them based on certain needs and events.
- Contact groups
If you can create groups within your list of subscribers based on their interests, industries, or lead source, your clients will be very happy. Generally the more customized the text message, the more impactful the SMS campaign will be.
- Editing subscriber lists
Your clients will need to make occasional changes to their list of subscribers via your SMS gateway dashboard. Subscribers’ contact information changes, so being able to keep their information up-to-date is important.
Comprehensive Reports Inside the SMS Gateway Dashboard
Your clients will need the ability to gauge how well their SMS campaigns are doing. Therefore providing relevant, insightful, and intuitive data directly from your SMS gateway’s dashboard will make them very happy.
Reports on performance, in terms of open-rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates will give managers the knowledge they need to make adjustments and plan their SMS marketing activities.
Note that certain protocols are better at providing accurate information on delivery than others. So ensure that the product you choose is versatile when it comes to various combinations of protocols such as SS7 to SMPP, SS7 to SS7, and many others. Carrier grade SMS products will support all possible ones.
Inbox folder function
An inbox folder is a good feature to have in an SMS gateway dashboard. It acts like a regular email inbox, but in a centralized location, so that operators and agents can respond to clients’ inquiries in a timely manner, without exiting the dashboard.
This feature can be improved even further if it has the ability to store “canned” responses that are basically templates to address clients’ most frequently asked questions. This will speed up the communication process and increase loyalty and retention rates.
Role-based access control
Make sure that your SMS gateway allows setting different user roles for your operators. This will ensure that the level of access to sensitive information is appropriate for all employees. Look for sophisticated role-based access control in the SMS dashboard, and ensure that only senior staff can access aggregate client lists, routing details, and other sensitive data from a security point of view.
The SMS gateway dashboard is a crucial element which makes the platform convenient for your clients operators and employees. That’s why it is important to choose a user-friendly interface with a set of useful features. Share your thoughts and ideas about what else can make the dashboard more convenient for an SMS business.