To help choose the best bulk SMS provider the top Australian plans were compared based on service, pricing and features. The bulk text message providers are suitable for SMS Gateway and SMS Marketing services using Australian networks including Telstra, Vodafone and Optus.
By Alain Grossbard / Updated: Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021
The best November 2021 bulk SMS provider list is the following:
Based on the criteria that matter for Australian businesses the leading bulk text message provider is Clicksend offering:
Below shows the latest pricing from the leading Australian SMS provider websites. For this comparison, I took the best price point within each sending bracket which differ by provider. It should be noted that Twillio has a single pricing policy which is good for just a few text messages but is expensive for high quantity customers.
Updated on 01-12-2021. Currency is in AUD $
Overall, Clicksend has some of the most competitive prices which combined with their no-contract requirements is the best value within the vertical.
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There are four key ways Australian SMS providers charge businesses for mass SMS services. They are inbound and outbound SMS delivery charges, setup + monthly fees and feature charges. Based on combining these four factors ClickSend was considered the best value provider.
ClickSend offers cost-effective SMS delivery fees including:
For both small-volume or large-volume SMS messaging quantities, Clicksend was one of the most competitive providers based on price. The default payment method is prepaid with a credit card but on request (and at no extra charge) a postpaid option and bank transfer payment method is available. There is also a 14-day refund policy and free trial option to test the online SMS platform.
A large number of SMS providers require an Australian business to pay a setup fee or ongoing retainer to commence a provider’s messaging services. Clicksend has no setup fees or contract requirements when opening an account.
The only setup costs are related to creating a dedicated shortcode. For a 6 digit shortcode, the cost is $1,000 while it’s $750 for an 8 digit shortcode. While this code is not necessary for bulk SMS gateway services it’s often preferred when mobile marketing. This is because a shorter sender ID is easier to remember.
Business customers that require premium features have additional charges to the outbound SMS charges shown above. This includes a 6 digital and 8 digits shortcode monthly fee of $1,200 and $320 respectively. Businesses that require a dedicated number are charged $19 per month with no setup cost. It should be noted that if an individual receives a text message from a dedicated number and tried to call it they will get a ‘busy tone’. A forward service would be needed for this number to go to a call centre.
Other premium messaging service charges include:
Clicksend is one of the few providers with no setup fees, monthly fees and the choice of prepaid or postpaid payments.
They have competitive pricing for both small and large businesses.
Clicksend states that they will beat any comparable quote which shows their confidence in their pricing policy.
When it comes to bulk distribution and the use of reliable gateway service, it can be seen that ClickSend provides a high-speed, premium connection through their direct telecommunication carriers rather than using both direct and hybrid carrier networks. Their gateway routes are through Optus, Vodafone and Telstra.
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 uptime of 100%, which is a real asset compared to other similar bulk providers.
Bulk SMS 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 to exist with individual or mass text message options available. For mass SMS campaigns, a business just needs to upload contact lists online and a large-scale SMS distribution can commence.
For businesses that have their own CRM software or messaging infrastructure, the 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 an 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 required to forward the message to the number in the subject line.
ClickSend head office is based in Perth, Australia. There is no need to visit the location to set up an account with an 1800 number operating on a 24/7 basis. This is much more superior than other similar types of SMS bulk providers who either offer a 1300 number or are available only during business hours from Monday to Friday unless an additional payment for out of hours service.
It’s worth noting that ClickSend may appear to be a cheap ‘no frills’ provider but they do have all services equivalent of what appears to be 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.
While ClickSend offers the lowest prices (as proven by their price beat guarantee), they also present the best service level agreement (SLA) of 100% uptime guarantee.
The 100% SLA provides confidence to both Australian companies and the large global companies to become clients of ClickSend including Uber, Siemens and Intel. They also have a high capacity network ensuring that critical time-sensitive text messages are delivered promptly. This network is not only Australia-wide but globally allowing for international SMS delivery leading ClickSend to be one of the leading bulk SMS providers.
A bulk SMS service provides business SMS solutions through:
Some bulk SMS service providers offer SMPP (Short Message Peer-to-Peer). This protocol used by the Australian 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 the latency of text messages sent. Version 3.3 SMPP is the most widely used within Australia while version 3.4 has transceiver support allowing 2 way SMS solutions.
At ClickSend, they have used sophisticated IT platforms to make it easy-to-use from a client’s point of view to generate real business, whilst providing you with real results and data. From Bulk SMS Gateways and Email Marketing Tools, through to Fax, Post and Rich Messaging services, their products create ideal marketing platforms that are used by some of the largest and most trusted brands in Australia and around the world.
ClickSend provides the latest most powerful API (Rest API), high throughput (SMPP API) to basic one (HTTP API) . Their software are able to convert an email to an SMS, Fax or Voice call (SMTP API) to a custom developed, high volume batch messaging (FTP API).
Twilio is a blank canvas. They offer a range of APIs, so companies can build SMS messaging, phone number redirection, and dozens of similar features into their own apps to do whatever they want. Uber, Airbnb, and Netflix are just a few of the companies that use it behind the scenes.
And while Twilio is mostly aimed at developers, you don’t actually need to be one to use it. Instead of building your own apps, you can use services like Zapier, HubSpot, and Zoho CRM to connect to Twilio’s API directly, without the need for you to do any coding. For example, by connecting your Twilio account to your Zapier account, you’ll be able to send and receive text messages using your email account or collect texts in Slack or a Google Sheets spreadsheet.
And, if you do want to build your own app or something like it, Twilio also offers a few ways to do it with little or no coding knowledge required. Studio is a drag-and-drop app builder for creating things like SMS surveys and autoresponders. You start with a trigger, like an incoming message or a calendar event. You can then create reply criteria based on what’s happened. It’s all very intuitive, and the built-in tutorials and project templates make it possible for anyone to get started.
There’s also the CodeExchange, which is in beta at the moment. It’s a library of code samples for basic features like sending text auto-replies, sending SMS receipts for Stripe payments, and even building a video chat app, that you can quickly add to your Twilio account and then tweak to meet your needs without much coding knowledge. As features go, it’s a little beyond most small businesses’ needs—but if you really want to cut costs or roll your own app-like setup, it makes it possible.
When you sign up for Twilio, you’re asked whether or not you’re a developer. Whichever option you choose, the interface is customized to your needs. If you’re not a developer, you get links to all the information you need to connect Twilio to third-party apps or use Studio so you can quickly get started. CodeExchange currently gets pushed with a big banner on the login screen.
For most use cases, Twilio should work out cheaper than the other services if you’re prepared to do the work to get it up and running. You can also simply use it as the text service for your other apps by connecting it to Zapier.
Twilio Price: Since Twilio is more of a platform than an app, its pricing is a little different from the others on this list. Text messages start at $0.0075/message sent and received—although there’s an additional $0.005/message carrier fee on messages you send. Dedicated phone numbers start at $1/month.
Bulk SMS is also known as Bulk Messaging 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 98% open rate of SMS messages. Bulk SMS providers software allow integration with CRM, e-mail or databases.
To send mass text messaged in Australia you need to:
A bulk related program is able to use a specific short coding method to be able to distribute a large number of text messages to mobile phones 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 used, it is highly recommended for large volume distribution with regard to marketing and communication campaigns.
Many Australian companies also require text messages to be sent overseas. Using an international bulk SMS provider not only provides local support but also utilizes local networks. This maximizes text message deliverability and reduces the lag time between when an SMS is sent and actually delivered by headsets. Some of the top international text message providers are:
Overall, international bulk text message prices vary by region so don’t expect a universal price for delivery. It’s best to request international SMS prices and compare quotes prior to finalizing the provider for your business.
By using a bulk SMS approach, you are able to send a large number of text messages at any time, whether it is sent nationally or internationally. Bulk SMS is an ideal tool for businesses, large or small, who want to be assured that they can reach their target audiences effectively. Most mobile phone users read their text messages within 2 minutes of receiving them.
Every SMS service provider in Australia uses an SMS gateway to send SMS from one point to another point whether it be to individuals, clients, customers or/and organisations.
An SMS comparison table has been developed to identify and compare the services and products offered by these SMS providers by means of an independent yet well-analysed SMS Bulk Comparison Table. The information has been summarised 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, composing online to single and bulk recipients, credit availability, 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. Providers considered but not added to the final shortlist include Clickatell, Burst SMS, SMS Central and SMS Broadcast.
This table also originally had Burst SMS, SMS Broadcast and Clicksend but they did not make the short-list to five providers. We also have a how-to guide and a company guide on our site.
Published by Alain Grossbard