The SMS Works - New UK SMS API Company Launches
Henry Cazalet - Director, The SMS Works
To the deafening sound of utter indifference, The SMS Works opens its factory gates for the first time.
It’s been enormous fun putting together our SMS API product, website and offering and now it’s time to see if all the hard work pays off.
We hope so.
What exactly are you offering?
A simple, low cost SMS API for developers.
What makes The SMS Works different?
From a product point of view, not a great deal. We’ve built a robust SMS gateway that allows companies to text enable their website, app or software.
With clear and simple documentation and a host of copy and paste code examples, the idea is to provide a straightforward, no nonsense SMS API that can be up and running in a matter of minutes.
The API is aimed at developers who don’t want to have a long chat or face a tedious sales spiel before they get started.
They want a free test account, documentation, code samples and to be left to get on with it.
Any queries they have, need to responded to quickly and efficiently without waffle or time-wasting.
We’ve kept the focus on making our service as self-serve as possible, as that’s the way that most developers want to work.
Everything is done with a view to giving developers the easiest possible experience.
How does the pricing work?
Now SMS pricing is where we are doing things differently – significantly so.
The SMS Works doesn't charge customers for failed SMS deliveries.
The SMS industry, which is already around 20 years old, has always charged for messages that aren’t delivered to the handset.
It’s a curious arrangement, as the SMS providers aren’t charged themselves for undelivered texts.
So, there’s always been an additional built in profit margin of all the messages that haven’t made it to the handset for one reason or another.
The overall average non-delivered rate is about 18%, so there’s quite a tasty hidden profit that the industry’s been pocketing for a couple of decades.
It’s never been a conscious industry decision. There’s no underground mafia-type body that has dictated that all providers should charge for non-delivered texts. It’s just the way the industry has evolved.
SMS Providers have always charged for failed messages and it's been awkward justifying this to customers. The SMS Works is adopting a fairer and more transparent approach to pricing.
Henry Cazalet - The SMS Works
Back in 2004, when I was working for one of the Uk’s leading business SMS providers, I remember setting up a couple of meetings with fellow directors from rival companies.
The idea was to chat about industry issues, developments and threats, without giving away any company strategies or secrets. It was a bit awkward but good fun.
One of many industry threats that I raised was the possibility that a new company could emerge with a new pricing policy that didn’t charge customers for undelivered message.
It was a prospect that no one really wanted to engage with.
The industry was expanding rapidly as more and more companies looked to add SMS to their customer communications.
Why rock the boat with chat of a massive disruption? Little did I know back then that over ten years later, I would be entering the market, with a new SMS API company, offering delivered only pricing.
So, that’s the main difference between The SMS Works and the overwhelming majority of other SMS companies. We do not charge for messages that are undelivered.
Our SMS pricing is already amongst the lowest in the industry with texts starting at just 2.9 pence + VAT per text. (Or even 1.45 pence if you take advantage of our credit doubling offer.)
Combine that low pricing, with the fact that all undelivered texts are credited straight back to the customers’ accounts and we have, what we believe, is the lowest price business SMS service in the UK.
It’s a simple pay as you go service, with no minimum order, contract or loathsome small print. Customers simply buy text credits within their account.
Low SMS credit warnings can be set up to avoid running out of texts.
Compare SMS Prices
You might also want to see how we stack up price-wise against the other main SMS companies. Our price comparison table allows you to compare prices and see what the potential savings might be.
Trumpet blowing over.
Talk me through your retro branding concept
Ah yes, glad you noticed.
If you do a generic google search for something simple like ‘SMS API’, the top five or six organic listings are all respectable SMS providers.
While their products and services are all fine, we found that their branding and design were almost instantly forgettable. They’ve all played it safe with a simple, professional but rather bland design concept.
This makes some sense for these companies who’ve been established for years and can generate customers simply by having a strong position in Google search ranking.
For us, we need to stand out, customers aren’t going to find us by accident. When they do, we need to make darn sure they remember us, whether they like our design or not.
We’re hoping that by having a strong theme to our site, that doesn’t distract from the super product itself, we’re giving ourselves the best chance that visitors might set up a free account, test us and if all goes well, become a paying customer. Time will tell.
The journey begins
We’re delighted to have made it to the start line. All the building, testing and retesting is complete. We’ve thrown everything at our platform to try and break it so that our customers can’t.
But now it’s time to turn our attention to something new. The quest for new customers. It’s going to be tough. The first page of Google is dominated by all our familiar competitors, with several relative newcomers in the mix.
Any significant organic search traffic will be a long time coming. We’re putting in the foundations so that in a couple of years we might hope to see a gradual uptick in traffic as our website domain authority slowly increases.
But that’s ‘jam tomorrow’ territory.
The long game
It’s a savagely competitive world. There might be as many as 80 SMS companies out there. Downward pressure on SMS pricing has squeezed margins and the annual increase in overall business SMS sending is levelling out.
Getting new business is going to require some imagination and dedication. But we’re all relishing the challenge…. I think.
We'd love for you to test our platform, Set up a free SMS API account today.
You'll receive 50 free credits for testing but please ask for more if you need them.