What Is Bulk Messaging?

Bulk messaging is the act of sending out a large amount of short message service (SMS) messages to mobile phones. To perform bulk messaging, SMS software is needed; though these messages are sent to mobile phones, most programs work on a desktop computer. This is used in marketing when people sign up for a company’s newsletter or coupon list, because bulk SMS is cost-effective. Institutions such as banks also send out these messages to keep fraud levels low. Scammers may send bulk messages to get money from victims, but this is illegal and should be reported to the mobile phone provider.

Bulk emailing and bulk messaging are similar practices in which one party sends out hundreds or thousands of messages to different clients. Aside from ethically collecting phone numbers from mobile phone owners who willingly enter a phone number and agree to be messaged, the party needs to have messaging software. This software allows the user to compose a message and then sends it out to everyone who opts in to the list. While the messages are sent to mobile phones, the programs sending them typically run on desktop computers.

Marketers and businesses use bulk messaging to reach customers in an attempt to increase sales. These messages will typically have coupons and information about sales or will act as a newsletter to tell recipients about the business and its products. This marketing method is low-cost and, because many people have mobile phones, it can reach a wide audience.

Aside from businesses, institutions use bulk messaging to keep fraud to a minimum. The most common users of this system are banks. When someone signs up for a credit card, a checking account, or anything other service offered by the bank, the bank may send messages to the customer. These messages will alert the customer to odd transactions and will help keep both the bank and client safe. Governments also can send out bulk messages to inform the public about important government happenings.

While most bulk messaging is received because the recipient agreed to receive the messages, scammers also can use this system. A scammer will harvest a massive amount of mobile phone numbers and continuously message the owners about products and services in hopes of getting sales. This is illegal, because the owner did not opt in for this service. The mobile phone owner should contact the phone provider and ask that the number sending the message be blocked and that the provider go after the scammer legally.