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SMS Platform in South Africa

Questions and Answers for Bulk SMS Platform

General

HOW DO I REGISTER

Registering your Bulk SMS account is free and takes only a few minutes. Please note that all fields must be completed in order to register successfully. Please note that The Username and Password fields are Case Sensitive.

Once you have entered the information correctly, click “Create Account” and you will be able to logon into SMS South Africa and test our products and services.

HOW DO I LOGIN?

Enter your ‘Username’ and ‘Password’. These are both case sensitive. Click “Login” to access your home page.

I HAVE COMPLETED THE REGISTRATION PROCESS. WHAT’S NEXT?

We manually approve each application for a new account. Approval is normally within 10-20 minutes during office hours. Weekend registrations are approved first thing Monday morning. Once we have approved your account, we will add test SMS’es onto your new account. You will get an email confirmation from our staff that test credits have been loaded.

  • Visit www.SMSsouthafrica.co.za
  • Login with your Username and Password
  • Once you have logged in, you will be able to test our services and send single and bulk SMS’s with your free credits.
HOW MUCH DOES A SMS COST ME?

From 21c per SMS (all inclusive). Please view our pricing page for accurate costs. If you buy in bulk you pay less!

Bulk SMS Platform in South Africa

 

ARE THERE ANY OTHER COSTS INVOLVED TO SEND SMS’S?

There are no setup fees, monthly fees or any other additional fees. We operate on a prepaid basis. The credits that you buy will only expire in 12 months from the purchase date. Users do not pay for replies.

HOW DO I BUY CREDITS?

We work on a prepaid basis. You can purchase credits online via Credit card, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or Direct Bank Deposit once we have issued the invoice.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE THE PLATFORM TO DELIVER SMS MESSAGES?

Delivery time onto network is 0,7 sec – 1 sec. SMSsouthafrica only uses premium lines which have direct access onto SA networks.

Once the SMS has been delivered onto the SA networks, delivery receipt (to handset) is normally 30 sec. This figure is dependent on the network.

Delivery rate is roughly 10 000 messages sent per minute, and 600 000 per hour per user.

DO YOU PROVIDE STATUS REPORTS FOR THE UNDELIVERED MESSAGES?

All messages will show a status report whether successfully delivered or not. Go to “SMS Sending Report” in the SMS administration area to view the SMS reports.

DO YOU SUPPORT REPLIES TO SMS’S?

Yes, recipients of messages that you send via our system can reply to your messages. The reply messages will be delivered to your Replies inbox in your account. Replies can also be forwarded to an email address, at no cost, or to a cell number, if preferred, this will cost 1 SMS Credit.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AROUND FOR?

Established in 2006, we have been operating and growing for 10 years. (2016)

Reports

HOW DO I CHECK MY CREDIT BALANCE?

The balance of your SMS credits will appear on the left side of your screen, at the very bottom of the grey bar shown in red to you.

HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR THIS SERVICE?

Simply visit www.SMSsouthafrica.co.za and sign up for free by clicking the “Sign Up” button.

HOW DO I CHECK MY INCOMING MESSAGES?

Simply go to “Replies”, select the necessary date range and download the reports.

HOW DO I CHECK IF MY MESSAGES WERE INDEED SENT?

Go to “Sent/Queued”, select the date range and search for the message.

HOW DO I IMPORT NEW NUMBERS INTO AN EXISTING GROUP?

Go to “Import data”; “Bulk import”, select the group you wish to add numbers to, now browse for the excel sheet containing the new numbers and select “Import data”. Then select Update if exists check box.

WHAT DOES “SET SIZE” MEAN?

This determines the numbers of entries you will be able to view on the page at one time.

CAN I SEND TO ONLY CERTAIN NUMBERS IN A SPECIFIC GROUP?

Yes you can. Go to “Maintain numbers”, select the group within which the relevant numbers appear, search for the numbers and select them.

WHAT ARE SMS TEMPLATES?

A template is a message set up to use in routine SMS’s. They are saved in your account and can be used repeatedly as required.

HOW DO I SET UP AN SMS TEMPLATE?

Go to “SMS Templates”, and type the message in the designated template box. Make use of placeholders if necessary and select “Create template”.

I CAN’T SEEM TO PREVIEW MY TEMPLATE, WHY IS THIS?

Only once selected for use and before being sent can Templates be previewed.

WHEN I IMPORT MY DATA, IT SHOWS “OPT-OUTS” AND A NUMBER NEXT TO IT, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

This refers to the number of clients who replied stop, delete or remove, to a message you have sent and are now on the opt-out list.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF MY MESSAGES SHOW “EXPIRED”?

For 24 hours the system has tried to deliver the message, but was unsuccessful. Either an incorrect number was supplied or the mobile device was off.

CAN I CHANGE MY USERNAME?

Usernames can unfortunately not be changed, but you are able to change your password. This can be done in Account settings.

WHAT DOES “SUB-ACCOUNT MEAN”?

This facility allows an original user to delegate authority to others, providing them with credits and the ability to send bulk messages on the original users behalf but under their own password and username.

PLEASE EXPLAIN THE FOLLOWING: IMPORTED, UPDATED, ERRORS AND DUPLICATION?

Imported – The total amount of cell numbers that have been imported into the group.
Updated – The cell numbers already in a group which received new values when the file was imported.
Errors – The count of wrong mobile numbers (these are not imported) or any entry where there was no cell number.
Duplicates – The numbers that were already in the group – they are not imported.
Opt outs – they are not imported, these people have requested to be removed from database.

WHAT ARE THE PLACEHOLDERS FOR?

Placeholders can be used to personalise the messages.

WHAT DOES “SEND LATER” OR “SEND BETWEEN” MEAN?

Send Later: Allows users the option of sending a message on a specific day and time. Select the date on which the message should be delivered as well as the time.

Send Between: Allows users to send a large volume of messages requesting the receiver to make contact. This option will gradually send out the text messages over the specified period of time, thus regulating incoming calls.

DO YOU PROVIDE A DELIVERY REPORT?

Yes, Users are able to download/view reports after messages are sent. Delivery report, opt-out reports and lots more.

WHAT 4 STATUSES DO YOU PROVIDE?

Delivered, Undelivered, Expired, Unknown

WHAT API METHODS DO YOU OFFER?

Users have a choice of 6 integration options: HTTP Post, SMPP, Web services, SQL (Server Microsoft Windows™ service), Outlook SMS and FTP Upload. Please visit www.mymobileapi.com for more information.

IS THERE A COST TO USE THE API METHODS?

There are no costs involved when using our offered API’s. Please visit www.mymobileapi.com for more information.

Importing

WHEN I IMPORT MY DATA IN EXCEL, IT TAKES AWAY THE “0”, WHY IS THIS AND HOW CAN I FIX IT?

Excel sometimes removes the “0” in front of the number, but this is not a problem. The system will still import your numbers correctly.

CAN I IMPORT MY DATA WITH “27” IN FRONT OF THE NUMBER?

Yes, you can import the data with either “27” or “0” in front.

DO YOU PROVIDE US WITH DATA OR SHOULD WE SUPPLY IT?

SMS South Africa does not supply data. Users must supply their own data.

I WANT TO IMPORT NUMBERS INTO A GROUP, AM I ABLE TO CHECK WHETHER OR NOT THESE NUMBERS APPEAR IN ANOTHER GROUP?

When importing data, you are able to identify number duplicates by selecting the groups against which you would like the new data to be checked. Users are able to check all groups or identify selected groups from which duplicates will be removed.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I HAVE TWO OF THE SAME NUMBERS IN MY GROUP?

The SMS South Africa system will automatically remove any duplicate number within the same group.

Costs

DO YOU PROVIDE BULK SMS-ING?

Yes, bulk SMS is one of our core services. Users are able to send personalised bulk messages as well as single text messages.

DOES SMS SOUTH AFRICA HAVE THE OPTION TO CHANGE THE SENDER’S SMS NUMBER TO A NAME?

SMS South Africa does not support that option, in an effort to curb fraudulent activity.

WHAT SMS PACKAGES DO YOU OFFER AND WHAT ARE THE COSTS INVOLVED?

Cost determined according to a sliding scale. SMS prices are ALL Inclusive. There is no sign up fee; simply pay for the Bulk SMS’s you purchase.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO SET UP “REPLIES TO MOBILE” AND “REPLIES TO EMAIL”?

Receiving replies to mobile will cost 1 credit per reply received. Receiving replies to your email address is free.

DOES IT COST ME MORE WHEN I SEND 2 SMS’S ,OR 300 CHARACTERS, IN 1 MESSAGE?

Yes, you will be charged for sending a double message – 2 credits.

DO YOU PAY FOR ALL SMS’S SENT OR ONLY DELIVERED SMS’S?

Users pay for all messages scheduled and sent.

WHAT IS THE MONTHLY FEE TO SEND SMS’S VIA YOUR SYSTEM?

There are no monthly fees, it is a pay-as-you-go system.

WHAT IS THE SETUP FEE?

There are NO setup fees. Its for FREE.

IS THIS A CONTRACT SERVICE OR PRE-PAID SERVICE?

We operate in the same way as a pre-paid service. There are no contracts. You only pay for the SMS credits you use.

HOW MANY SMS’S IS ONE CREDIT?

One credit is the equivalent of one SMS.

WHAT DOES A CREDIT MEAN?

A credit is the equivalent of one SMS/text message of 160 characters.

HOW MANY CHARACTERS ARE THERE IN ONE SMS?

There are 160 characters in one SMS, which translates into 1 Credit. You can send up to 459 characters but this will translate into 3 SMS’s/credits.

HOW MANY CHARACTERS ARE THERE IN 2 SMS’S?

There are 306 characters in two messages – 2 credits.

HOW MANY CHARACTERS ARE THERE IN 3 SMS’S?

There are 459 characters in 3 messages – 3 credits.

CAN YOU SEND OUT AN MMS?

Yes, but because of the complexities involved in setting up an MMS campaign, a standard set up cost cannot be identified. Set up costs are calculated based on our hourly rate of R 500.00 per hour (excluding VAT) and are typically around R1,000.00 in total (including database vetting).

Size per MMS Cost per MMS
30Kb – 80Kb R1.30
81kb – 120kb R1.40
120kb – 170kb R1.50
170kb + Quote per campaign

DO YOU PROVIDE USSD SERVICES?

No, we do not provide this service. Description: Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) is a protocol used by GSM cellular telephones to communicate with the service provider’s computers.

DO YOU OFFER A 5-DIGIT SMS SHORT CODE SERVICES? (COMPETITION LINES)

Yes, 5-digit SMS Short Code services are available. These are also know as competition lines.

WHAT IS THE COST OF A SMS SHORT CODE?

Setup Fee (per Short Code) R2500 Once Off (All Incl.)
Line rental R1000 Monthly (All Incl.)
Outgoing Reply SMS: Standard SMS rates

SMS Short Codes are only available on South African networks.
Setup fees are paid in advance.

CAN I CHANGE ANY SETTINGS ON MY SMS SHORT CODE CAMPAIGN?

Users may alter the following settings at any time:

The automatic response sent to the client.
If the incoming SMS should be forwarded to email.
If the incoming SMS should be forwarded to a mobile number.

WITH SHORT CODES – IS THERE ANY WAY TO NOT HAVE CUSTOMERS PAY FOR SENDING A MESSAGE TO THE SHORT CODE?

Unfortunately not, free SMS’s are not an option.

IN WHAT ORDER SHOULD MY BDAY DATA BE?

Cell phone numbers must always appear first, followed by the day and the month of the birthday. Any additional information can be placed in the columns that follow.

WHERE DO I SCHEDULE THE BDAY MESSAGES?

Create your group under “Bday groups”, and import data under “Bday import data”. Once data has been imported, the message will be sent out automatically.

CAN YOU SEND OUT BIRTHDAY SMS’S?

Yes, you can load and schedule birthday messages through “Bday groups”. Create the group, enter the message and set the time you would like the message to be sent. Go to “Bday import” to load your data. The cellphone number must appear in the first cell of the first row, followed by the day and then month of the birthday. Any additional information can follow this.

Payments

WHAT PAYMENT METHODS CAN I USE?

Payment can be made via an Electronic Fund Transfer, direct deposit or credit card payment.

HOW DO I GET CREDITS FOR MY ACCOUNT?

Simply contact us telephonically or via email on sales@SMSsouthafrica.co.za. State the number of credits you need and your Username. We will send you an invoice.

I BOUGHT CREDITS VIA CREDIT CARD PAYMENT, BUT IT’S NOT SHOWING IN MY ACCOUNT, WHY IS THIS?

For credits to reflect the account must be refreshed. Please log out and back into your account, the purchased credits will now be available.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR CREDITS TO BECOME AVAILABLE AFTER AN ONLINE PAYMENT HAS BEEN MADE?

Credits are available within 30 min after an online payment has been made. Refresh your account by logging out and back into it and your credits should reflect.

WHAT PAYMENT METHOD IS THE FASTEST TO RECEIVE MY CREDITS?

The quickest method by which to request and receive credits to your account would be to pay online with a credit card or debit card once you have received your invoice. This is a totally secure website transaction.

Text Messages

WILL I BE ABLE TO REPLY TO A MESSAGE SENT TO MY PHONE?

Yes. All message recipients are able to reply via SMS, but a call cannot be made to the Sender ID.

DO YOU SUPPORT SENDING TO INTERNATIONAL NUMBERS?

No. We only send bulk text message to South African Networks.

HOW CAN I GO ABOUT RECEIVING REPLIES TO MY EMAIL?

When setting up a message the option is available to receive replies to mobile or email. Tick replies to email and add your email address, all replies will then be delivered to your email.

HOW LONG DOES A RECEIVER HAVE TO REPLY TO A MESSAGE?

A receiver has 60 days to reply to messages.

CAN YOU SEND LONGER THAN 1 SMS?

Yes, you can send up to 459 characters which are 3 messages, and 3 credits will be deducted.

CAN I LOAD MY SMS’S IN ADVANCE FOR A SEND IN THE FUTURE?

Yes, users are able to load SMS’s and schedule them to be sent for any time in the future.

HOW MANY SMS’S CAN I SEND AT A TIME?

Users are able to send SMS to thousands of numbers at a time.

HOW MANY SMS’S CAN YOUR SYSTEM SEND PER HOUR?

Roughly 10 000 messages can be sent per minute, and 600 000 per hour per user.

CAN I AUTOMATE MY SMS SENDING FROM OUR SIDE?

Yes, we offer a number of integration options, which allow you to send messages as you require. To view detailed information on all our API’s options please visit www.mymobileapi.com

CAN YOU ONLY ALLOW MY ACCOUNT TO SEND SMS ‘S FROM 8AM – 5PM? I DON’T WANT SMS ‘S SENT OUT LATER?

Yes, messages can be scheduled to go out at specific times, as required.

SMS Opt Out

IF I DO NOT WANT TO RECEIVE FURTHER MESSAGES, HOW DO I STOP IT?

Simply reply to the message with one of the following words: stop, delete or remove. Standard rates apply and you will automatically be blacklisted.

IF I ACCIDENTALLY REPLIED “STOP”, HOW CAN I GO ABOUT RECEIVING MESSAGES AGAIN?

You simply need to send us an email with your Username and cell number, and we will request that your number be removed from the blacklist.

HOW DOES A NUMBER BECOME BLACKLISTED?

If a number replies with one of the following words: stop, delete or remove, the number will be blacklisted.

WHAT IS THE COST FOR THE REPLY SMS?

Standard Rates apply and therefore is dependent on the network.

CAN PEOPLE OPT OUT OF THIS SMS COMMUNICATION?

Yes, you can opt-out by simply replying STOP.

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