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Over the past decade SMS has remained the most effective UK channel for direct marketing with a:

98% Open Rate

- 90% of SMS's sent within 3 minutes of receipt

Over the past 6 months, two case studies highlight how using a poor SMS provider can make what should be an effective communication channel near pointless.

1) Budget Insurance

Budget Insurance Services have adopted an SMS alert service. This informs car insurance policy holders of inclement weather (eg hailstorm) to help individuals stay safe and protect their car. Below provides examples how the SMS alerts were delayed by 1-3 hours from when they were sent.


The delays above meant the actual text messages were delivered after the weather event making them worthless. This is a failure of an SMS gateway provider. While this provider isn't listed, it's one of the lower rate companies that doesn't provide an SLA of delivery times to customers.

2) Trade Unions

A second example is in NSW (Australia) where a trade union in January 2018 adopted a 2-way SMS service to determine if a strike was required. As reported, using SMS was an efficient and convenient way to gain a consensus as train drivers didn't need to stop their work to attend a meeting. The issue in this case is that a third of the NSW train workers claimed they never got the text message.

This is a failure of a bulk SMS provider which either has quality control issues or doesn't have the agreement with telecommunication providers to send large qualities of text messages.

The other factor that needs to be considered is the update of the database of users. Bulk SMS providers have the technology to use the client's database and update on an ongoing basis. Additionally the client can request that once the mobile user receives the SMS, it can be recorded with a tracking system provided.

Key Learning

In this fast-moving world of updates, SMS has become the most effective tool to communicate within seconds or at the most in minutes, of a message being sent out. It's critical to understand the importance when your company sends a UK text message campaign of the importance of:

  • Timeliness
  • Deliverability

Having a price and SLA that matches your requirements can help ensure you don't experience the failures shown above. For further information about UK SMS providers please view www.smscomparison.co.uk