SMS marketing is effective, we know this. But in New Zealand… it is goddamn expensive. So if you are going to spend the money on SMS marketing in New Zealand, you want it to be spent well.

So here is a quick breakdown of the three SMS marketing providers that I have come across and that I recommend along with where I would recommend going, depending on your marketing needs.

Klaviyo SMS Marketing in New Zealand

Klaviyo is a beast when it comes to direct to consumer marketing, especially in the email marketing space. They are also fantastic when it comes to SMS marketing, but here is thing… I would only considered using Klaviyo if I was using it for my email marketing as well.

Klaviyo SMS marketing in New Zealand

Klaviyo’s SMS marketing is not cheap, in fact it is probably one of the more expensive platforms out there. While they do have a pay per SMS credit package (these change regularly so I will not include them here), you will also need to purchase a short code for NZ SMS marketing which will cost you an additional $275.00 per month. It’s not cheap.

In NZ, you need a short code to send SMS messages and with Klaviyo, unlike with ClickSend (which I will talk about shortly), you cannot use a shared short code.

A short code is a special type of telephone number, shorter than a full phone number, which is used primarily to address SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) messages from mobile phones or fixed phones. These codes are typically 5 to 6 digits long and can be leased by businesses or organizations for a variety of purposes, including marketing campaigns, promotions, mobile services, and more.

SMS marketing often uses short codes because they are easier for consumers to remember than regular phone numbers. When a business advertises something like “Text ‘JOIN’ to 12345 for exclusive deals,” the “12345” is the short code.

Ease of Use: They’re short and memorable.
Higher Throughput: Short codes can handle a larger volume of text messages in a short amount of time compared to regular mobile numbers.
Branding: Businesses can lease dedicated short codes (as opposed to shared short codes) that become associated solely with their brand.
Carrier Approval: Short codes are often approved by mobile carriers, which means messages from these codes are less likely to be filtered as spam.

Why Klaviyo for SMS Marketing?

I would choose Klaviyo for my SMS marketing I met the following requirements:

  • If I was a direct to consumer brand selling a physical product so I could combine SMS marketing with my email marketing
  • If I had a list of more than 3000 SMS subscribers
  • I could warrant spending upwards of $500 a month on SMS at least (assuming your product has healthy margins)
  • SMS conversations are important to you (they should be). SMS conversations are essentially the process of being able to have a text conversation with someone via the interface that your SMS provider supplies (see Klaviyo’s in the image below)
  • You can wait a few weeks before you start sending SMS messages. Klaviyo’s short code application process can take a few weeks to come through so if you have any urgent SMS messages you need to send, I recommend heading to ClickSend
  • I wanted to blend my email marketing flows with my SMS marketing strategies

Why ClickSend for SMS Marketing?

Okay I have a real love hate relationship with this platform. If speed is a priority for you, i.e. you need to send SMS messages tomorrow, then this platform is for you.

With ClickSend’s SMS marketing, in New Zealand, you can pretty much be set-up and ready to send messages today with one of their shared short codes. Remember when I said for Klaviyo that you need to have a dedicated short code, the same goes for ClickSend, however, with these guys you can actually share a code with other senders meaning you do not have to wait to for you Short Code to be given to you. Only thing is, when you have SMS conversations via the conversation portal (if you are using a shared short code) the other people who using that short code and can override your conversation. So what do I mean by this?

Let’s say I send a message via the short code 3186 and someone responds. I can see that response and let’s say I follow up. However, after I followed, another sender, using that same short code 3186 sends a message. If the person goes to respond to my message, they will no longer be talking to me, but will instead be talking to the person who sent the most recent message via 3186. This is where having a dedicated short code comes in handy, where other people can’t use the same number as you and interrupt you conversations. However, ClickSend is the same as Klaviyo when it comes to SMS marketing in terms of its pricing and its delays for dedicated short codes.

The speed at which you can get set-up with SMS is great for ClickSend when it comes to shared numbers, and that’s what I love about it. But what do I hate about ClickSend?

What I hate about ClickSend SMS marketing in New Zealand

The biggest pain in the ass for me is just the general interface of ClickSend.

There is literally no segmentation within the platform, unlike with Klaviyo and there is no way to search for specific profiles via Phone Number. While I was working in ClickSend, I would regularly come across things that I genuinely thought were bugs, but when talking to the support, would just find out that those were actually features, and if I wanted them resolved, I would have to go through the feature request channel… which would take months.

On the plus side, if there were any issues, the support team were available 24/7 and they were solid.

Why BurstSMS for SMS marketing in New Zealand

Last up on my list is BurstSMS.

Full transparency, I have not worked directly in this platform and have only jumped around within it without sending any messages. However on that first impression, I was not super impressed with the interface itself:

BurstSMS just feels clunky.

I will say though, they did call me after registering and were offering me some pretty big discounts just to sign up, so that is worth exploring if a tight budget is something you are factoring in.

Canes Deer Velvet

“I employed Gavin at In-box to manage my email marketing, and have been very impressed with his knowledge, organisation, communication, responsiveness, and efficiency. 5 stars all around actually.”

Kathy Cane

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