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How to Launch A Premium Rate SMS Service in Kenya Using Bulk SMS


Why You Should Start A Premium Rate Service Sending Text Messages to Subscribers

Over 16 million people use mobile phones in Kenya. You are able to reach millions of people who are looking for information and are willing to pay you for it through bulk SMS . You would be earning upwards of Kes 2.78 shillings per SMS which, when you add the numbers up, is quite a return.

How to SMS using premium rate SMS How to text message using Premium Rate SMS

Say we have set up for you and shown you how to SMS Gujarati Language lessons to your subscribers:

(a) To introduce a client to your service, you simply ask them to SMS your chosen code word, say “Gujarati”, to 5242.

(b) Once your client sends a text message with the word “Gujarati” to 5242, he shall be automatically registered to receive the daily Gujarati text messages that you provide;

(c) You will have provided us with a list of SMS text messages of Gujarati lessons (say 30 SMS text messages, 1 SMS text message lesson per day for 30 days);

(d) Every morning your client will receive one lesson by SMS text message for the rest of the month;

(e) Depending on the volume of SMS text messages per month, you will make upwards of Kes 2.78 for every SMS text message that is received by your client;

(f) For example, if you have 5000 clients, you will be sending out 5000 SMS text messages per day. At a rate of Kes 3 per SMS text message, you will be making Kes 15,000 per day or Kes 450,000 per month. Kenya has 16 million plus mobile users. It is not difficult to secure more than 10,000 users for your service. Do the math;

How to SMS Business Tips using premium rate service or bulk SMS

Market for Business Tips

Kenyans are increasingly entrepreneurial with what is unfortunately called “the informal sector” dwarfing corporate business in the sheer volume of transactional volume and the claim on the population of Kenya.

With a 40% unemployment rate (a figure I believe to be a gross underestimate, especially when the authorities consider self-employment to be unemployment), many Kenyans wish, secondly only to getting a job, is getting education.

The wealthiest Kenyans are not employees but politicians with business interests and businessmen with or without political interests. Kenyans are therefore enamoured to business one way or the other. This makes them very hungy for tips on how to succeed in business.

Outside formal education books, the best selling titles in the book market are what are called management and self-help literature. As Kenyans become busier, tips on what they would have read from these books. There is a carvenous gap between the desired and possessed business knowledge. You can fil this gap using premium rate SMS .

Setting up the premium rate SMS channel

1. The first step is to contact a Premium Rate Service Provider.

2. In the first stages of completing the online registration form, you would be required to provide a keyword of your choice. If you are going to be sending premium rate text messages containing business tips, you would select a relevant keyword such as “Biz” or “Tips”, or something indicative of what the service is about. This is the word that subscribers would be sending by SMS to the short code we will provide if they want to be subscribed to your service.

3. The second stage of the online registration process would be to read and understand the terms and conditions of the Premium Rate Service Provider. These are very important as they set out how you will relate as an agent to Viva. Importantly, at the bottom of these terms and conditions is the table detailing the revenue share that you would be received. Section 4 of the terms and conditions provides for two ways through which you can be paid. Read them carefully so that you can understand them.

4. The third stage of the online registration process involves contacting the Premium Rate Service Provider.

5. Once the Premium Rate Service Provider confirms that it is available, you will pay your first month’s monthly fee.

6. Once payment is made, Viva will proceed to liase with our premium rate service provider to set up the keyword on our shared short code. Set ups are usually done on Mondays and Thursdays.

7. Once the keyword is set up on the short code, we shall send you an email confirming that the keyword has been set up. We shall also request that you send us an email message in MS Excel with 14 – 30 SMS text that you’d like us to begin sending out from the short code. Each message must not exceed 160 characters (including spaces). We shall also provide you with an online platform from wher you can monitor who has subscribed to your service, the number of subscribers, the number of SMS text messages sent daily and other important data.

8. The next step is marketing. You need to begin advertising your short code and keyword to the public. For example, you could put print advertisements saying “SMS Biz to 5242 to get a daily inspirational teaching from the New Testament”.

9. There are many ways of advertising, including radio, newspapers, classifieds, TV, or pay per click advertising.

10. When people see your adverts, they will SMS the keyword to the short code and the short code system will register their numbers.

11. Every day, the system will send out one text message (or two, depending on how you want it) to all the numbers registered on the premium rate SMS system.

12. At the end of the month, you calculate the amount of money due to you by visiting your online platform’s section on successfully delivered messages. Once you get the number of successfully delivered messages for the subject month, you multiply it by the amount per SMS that is due to you. This amount per SMS varies from Kshs 2.78 to 3.89 depending on the volume.