How to Utilise Bulk SMS Services for Non-Marketing Purposes

16 March 2012

If you thought sending out bulk SMS messages was just for retailers to promote an offer or a competition they’ve got running, then think again. Bulk texting doesn’t have to be just for marketing purposes, you can use SMS solutions in any way you can think of. Reminders, notifications and providing or obtaining information are just a few of the other ways sending texts online can be used; for example, Orange text their customers to let them know if they could save money by being on a different plan.

Let’s run through two examples of how different institutions can use bulk texting.

Doctors Surgeries:

Probably the most obvious way a surgery can utilise a SMS service is to set up a text reminders facility for patient’s appointments, but here are a few other helpful ways texts can be used:

  • Cancelled appointments (e.g. if a doctor is absent).
  • Notify patients when any results are ready and if they need to come in or call.
  • Notify patients when their prescription is ready for collection to reduce queues.

Another way a doctor’s surgery could use a text campaign is for a quick records update. For example, finding out if your patients have started or quit smoking, sending out a message which patients can reply to (e.g. with: smoker, ex smoker or never) is an easy way to complete a full records update.


Colleges can potentially use online texting to update both students and parents; here are just a few examples:

For Students-

  • Notify of a change of classroom or lesson time (can’t say they didn’t know as an excuse!).
  • Notify if the college is closed (e.g. snow days, inset days etc).
  • Sending out exam or coursework results.
  • Notify if a teacher is absent or a lesson is cancelled.
  • Send out reminders for any guest talks or events.
  • Notify when coursework folders are ready for collection.


  • Notify when reports have been given out.
  • Send out a parents evening reminder.
  • Notify if there are any talks or meetings for parents.
  • Send out any important announcements, such as school transportation delays or timetable changes.
  • Set up a reminder service for inset days.

It’s important to always remember that your texts must add value, you don’t want to annoy people with constant or un-important messages, they will only opt out if you do. (NB: The opt-out option is a legal requirement, easy to set-up and excludes numbers which have opted-out automatically).

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