You want to start a business in the SMS industry. But how do you get started? There are two main options: building your own SMS gateway or purchasing a white-label SMS gateway.
Here's what you need to know.
If you have the skills and budget for it, building your own gateway is the best option. You will be able to customize it exactly how you want and make sure it works exactly as you need it to. But if that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, there is another available option. If you don't have the budget for building your own gateway, consider purchasing one from a third party vendor who has already done all the hard work for you.
We have put together this helpful guide to get you started on the right foot.
Here is what is going to be covered in this article:
- 7 reasons why become an SMS gateway provider
- What does it take to build my own SMS gateway?
- How to Start Your Own SMS Gateway quickly
- Who is white-label ideal for?
- Advantages and disadvantages of white-label vs creating your SMS gateway
- How to start an SMS gateway business
- How to market your SMS gateway
7 reasons why become an SMS gateway provider
Mobile messaging is big business, and It is only going to get bigger. As more people get smartphones and more companies adopt mobile messaging as a preferred method of communication with customers, the opportunity for SMS gateway providers will only grow.
But there are also other reasons why businesses should use SMS marketing, and why companies that provide SMS gateways will grow.
But let's start with why you should become one in the first place. Since there are several reasons for this, here are 7 of the most interesting:
There are many exciting reasons why you might want to become an SMS gateway provider. Here are 7 of them:
It is a great business opportunity. Since SMS is an increasingly popular form of communication, there are plenty of people who would love to send messages directly to their customers. By providing this service, you can help your clients save time and money while also gaining access to a new source of revenue.
You can start small and grow big. When you become an SMS gateway provider, you don't have to start with a huge investment - especially if you purchase a white-label solution (about that later)
It is recession-proof. Despite what some may say about email marketing being on its way out, SMS still reigns as king when it comes to reaching customers with marketing messages.
You'll have plenty of options for growth—and that includes expansion into other markets! If you'd like to expand into other areas such as voice calls or chatbots, then you'll already have the right foundation.
It is a good way to diversify your business and expand your services. This can help you stand out from the competition and get more clients who need these services.
In addition to being profitable, becoming an SMS gateway provider can also be very rewarding in other ways. You'll get the chance to meet new people and make connections with businesses around the world.
Plus, if you are interested in learning more about technology or business management skills, becoming an SMS gateway provider will give you the opportunity for that too!
What does it take to build my own SMS gateway?
If you're considering becoming an SMS gateway provider, you might be asking yourself, "how hard is it to build my own SMS gateway?" You might even be wondering if there are any shortcuts for getting started.
The answer is: it is very hard and complicated process, and there are no shortcuts (or are there? More in the next section).
In fact, it's one of the hardest things you will ever do—but not impossible. If you're serious about it, though, here are some things to keep in mind:
You will need a lot of time
Building an SMS gateway from scratch is not something that can be done overnight, or even in a couple of months. It takes lots of research, planning, developing, and it requires you to have a firm understanding of what it is you're trying to accomplish with the project.
You will need a lot of money
Developing your own SMS gateway will cost you a lot of money – as it takes time and resources. I assume you cannot code yourself, which means you will need to hire a team of developers who can write the code for you and have an expertise within the field.
And then there's the maintenance part because once the gateway is built, the work doesn’t end here. There is a need for constant monitoring – servers, mobile routes, price changes, phishing, software, etc. It can be very demanding keeping the whole system functional.
You need to be technically and business savvy
To create a working SMS gateway, you need to either connect directly to the mobile operators in the countries where you want to send messages, or find an SMS aggregator that will work with you and is already connected to the individual operators.
How to Start Your Own SMS Gateway quickly
We know what you are thinking.
And we understand. It is a lot to take on.
Building your own SMS gateway is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive!
But don't give up hope just yet! There are other options out there for those who want to start an SMS gateway business without having to spend all their time doing it themselves.
If you want to become an SMS gateway provider quickly and not go broke at the same time, buying a white-label SMS gateway from a white-label reseller is the best way to go.
White-labeling is when a company takes existing software, in this case, SMS gateway, and resells it under someone else’s brand.
You don’t need to develop or maintain any software or hardware. You simply pay for the service and start using it.
This means that you can customize the branding of the white-label SMS gateway to match your company's image, create new pricing for customers, and even add personalized greetings when they sign up.
The process is simple and the focus is clear – on business, not development.
The most important thing is to choose a white-label solution from a reseller who:
- Has built it well and has been in business for a while, so that its product has been well tested and refined over time;
- and with whom you can scale with their current pricing. So it is good to check out their pricing to be sure, you will be competitive on your market.
Who is white-label ideal for?
White-label SMS gateway solutions are ideal for any business that wants to offer its own branded SMS services but doesn't want to hassle with the technical considerations of setting up a service. This can be especially true for those businesses that don't have the resources or expertise to build it up from scratch, set up their own servers, and manage them daily.
I mean having your own SMS gateway brings a lot of great opportunities for many, but a white-label gateway is ideal especially for you if:
- You want to expand your business by offering your customers SMS services and products - then this is another great way to hook them on your offerings!
- You have a marketing or advertising agency and you want to offer your client another way to reach out to their clients.
- You are a business that wants to own the entire customer experience from the moment they first interact with you and beyond. Owning your own gateway can be a great way to do it.
- You are a serious entrepreneur looking to expand your business scope. Owning your own gateway can be a great way to achieve this.
- You are interested in starting an SMS gateway business but don't want to build it from scratch.
Advantages and disadvantages of white-label vs creating your SMS gateway
If you are considering becoming an SMS gateway provider, you'll need to decide whether to use a white-label solution or create your own SMS gateway.
Here is a list of advantages and disadvantages for both of them.
Advantages of creating your SMS gateway:
- You have full control over the product, its direction, and all the processes.
- You can customize the software to better fit the needs of your company or clientele. That means you can make changes in users' experience, functionality, etc. as needed.
- You have full control over the security measures used to protect customer data from hackers or other malicious users.
- You can negotiate your own pricing terms with mobile operators or find SMS aggregators you want to work with.
- If everything goes right, all the credit is just yours!
The disadvantages of creating your SMS gateway:
- It takes a lot of time and money to develop the necessary infrastructure for running an SMS gateway on a large scale.
- Creating an SMS gateway requires technical and programming skills. If you don't have those, you must consider hiring someone who does!
- Mobile operators usually won't talk to you unless you already have an interesting volume of messages sent through your SMS gateway. The same goes for SMS aggregators - low volume means worse pricing for you, which means it's harder to scale your business.
- It is risky much more risky than buying white-label solution.
- There is more maintenance required and responsibility for keeping everything running smoothly.
- People can transfer their phone number to a different operator. You must find out which one they use to deliver the message correctly. For this, you must have access to a national database of ported numbers or pay for a service where you pay per inquiry. (Only if working directly with mobile operators)
- Currently there is a big problem with misusing SMS gateway services for sending fraud and phishing messages. And because of this, you need to create a solution that filters them out before they reach the recipients. Otherwise, you could face legal and financial problems.
Advantages of white-label SMS gateway:
- If you start with a white-labeled solution, you can have a fully functioning SMS gateway up and running in a very short time. This means you can get to the market much faster.
- This approach saves time and money because you don't have to build everything from scratch yourself or maintain it; instead, you can just lean into someone else's expertise and experience!
- It also makes it easier for you to scale your business as you have the advantage to focus primarily on sales and marketing without having to worry about all the technical stuff.
- You don't have to negotiate contracts with mobile operators or SMS aggregators because the white-label provider has already done that for you. The stronger the white-label provider, the stronger position it has with mobile operators, which means better pricing for you and easier scaling.
- You don’t have to have an access to the national database or pay for a solution that finds out which network the recipient uses, as a white-label solution already has one.
- A good white-label SMS gateway already has a solution to detect and filter out phishing messages.
- There are much fewer risks than creating own SMS gateway.
Disadvantages of white-label SMS gateway:
- While you will be able to customize the look and feel of the solution, there is less flexibility in terms of functionality when you use a white-label solution than when you create your own.
- If something goes wrong, you will have a harder time fixing it because there are more steps involved in getting access, and it may take longer before someone can help you.
- You are limited to what the SMS gateway reseller offers as you are getting access to someone else's existing infrastructure and toolsets. If they don't have a feature that you need, you will have to wait until they implement it, or look elsewhere.
- You usually cannot connect to other mobile operators or SMS aggregators unless the white-label provider hasn’t entered into a contract with them.
How to start an SMS gateway business
Before you start setting up your own SMS gateway business, one of the most important things to remember is to have a clear idea of what it is that you want to do.
So first, create a strong business plan that clearly outlines what your business will be about, how it will operate, and how it will differ from other similar companies.
A good way to get started is by asking yourself some questions like:
- What does your business do?
- Who are the customers or clients? Create detailed customer personas for your business.
- Where will they come from?
- How will they find out about you?
- What makes you different from other companies offering similar services?
Once you know this, you can begin the process of finding out whether or not there is enough demand for your product or service in the marketplace. It is also important to ensure that there are no legal restrictions on providing this type of service in your area.
Then you can go to the other points like:
- Ask mobile operators or SMS aggregators whether they will work with you.
- Choose a good (domain) name for your business - it should be easy for people to remember.
- Create an attractive website to engage your visitors. Don't forget about SEO!
- Create a social media presence (on Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
- Establish connections with mobile operators or SMS aggregators in the area and negotiate service contracts (this may require some investment).
- Build a user interface for creating and managing bulk SMS campaigns, contacts, API connections, integrations, etc.
How to market your SMS gateway
Your SMS gateway is an integral part of your business, but getting it set up and running isn't enough. You have to market it as well.
Here are a few tips you can market your SMS gateway:
- Make sure that you have a website with information about your product and how it works. You can also make sure that your site is mobile-friendly so that it will be easy for people to use it on their phones or tablets.
- Write articles about how your SMS gateway can help your customers – focus on the customer personas you created (see the previous section).
- Create an infographic about the benefits of using your SMS gateway.
- Share testimonials from clients who have used it in their businesses.
- Engage with your followers on social media and let them know how you can help them.
- Don't be afraid to spend money on advertising!
I hope I have made your decision to become an SMS gateway provider easier.
Both of the options – building own SMS gateway or purchasing a white-label have their pros and cons. The most important thing is to decide which of them fits your needs better and start. Don’t be too idle.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us! We will be happy to assist you with the configuration of your white-label SMS gateway as it is one of our products at BulkGate.