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Texting 101

Mass texting explained: What is it and how to use it

Alia Paavola
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The widespread adoption of mobile phones made texting commonplace between friends and family. Businesses took note and are now adding SMS to communicate with their customers.

In recent years, more companies have implemented mass texting to enhance, differentiate, and scale customer communication. But what exactly is a mass text, what are some of the top benefits, and how can businesses use bulk texting? We will explore these questions in detail below. 

What is mass texting?

Mass texting, also known as bulk texting, is sending the same SMS message to a larger group of recipients at once. This type of messaging is commonly used for business or marketing purposes, such as sending promotional offers, appointment reminders, or emergency notifications to many people simultaneously with minimal lift. 

To enable bulk texting typically you have to use SMS marketing platforms, apps, or automation software. It is an efficient and cost-effective way to reach a large number of people quickly and easily.

Mass text vs. group text

There’s often confusion between mass and group texts. While they are both ways to connect with multiple people via text, key distinctions exist. 

Mass texting sends a single SMS message to multiple recipients simultaneously, creating separate, private conversations with each recipient. This means that any reply remains just between the sender and receiver. There are typically no limits on number of recipients. It’s built to reach thousands of people simultaneously.

Group texting, on the other hand, sends a message to a group, initiating a conversation thread with everyone involved. The entire group will see replies to that initial message. Group messages are typically limited to 10 recipients. It’s designed to keep a group of people on the same page.

Is mass texting legal?

Mass texts are legal. But, SMS is highly regulated, which means businesses must take necessary measures to comply with the laws like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991. Some of the provisions to know include:

  • Get an opt-in from customers
  • Honor opt-outs
  • Avoid off-limit topics
  • Text within daytime hours

Our SMS compliance checklist dives deeper into the regulations and how businesses can comply.

9 benefits of mass text

No matter your use case, mass text messaging has many benefits. Check out some of the top advantages below:

  • High open rates. The average open rate for a text message is 98 percent, more than four times higher than email. This helps your mass text messages get read.

  • Instant delivery. After a text is sent, it’s delivered and read nearly instantaneously. The majority of people read a received text within five minutes.

  • Wide reach. Most Americans, 97 percent, own a cell phone. The majority of them check it 344 times a day. This means you’ll be able to reach your target audience with a mass text.

  • Digestible messages. People have limited attention spans. The short, concise nature of SMS ensures your core message is to the point and understood.
  • Two-way communication. Unlike other marketing channels, like email, mass texting enables two-way communication with the recipient which means they can reply to your messages.

  • Cost-effective. Text messages cost pennies to send and receive. This makes mass texting cost-effective when appropriately used.

  • Trackable. With the right mass texting service, your SMS campaigns are measurable. You can view key metrics like unsubscribe rate, reply rate, and more.

  • Flexible. Bulk text messaging works whether you want to send promotional campaigns or reminders. It’s flexible and can be used to enhance communication with customers.

  • Personalization. Although you’re sending one message, you can personalize it for each recipient. Bulk text messaging services allow businesses to customize messages with variable fields. Plus, you can segment contact lists for tailored messages.

17 mass text use cases

Here are 17 texts you can send with a mass text messaging service. 

Send promotions

Use a mass text to inform your customers about an upcoming or ongoing sale. This could be tied to a holiday or simply a site-wide discount. See the following example from Aerie, which uses a mass text to promote a discount on its swimwear. 

A promotional sale mass text from Aerie. 
A promotional mass text from Aerie. 

Product launches

Product drops are another popular SMS marketing message businesses send en masse. Check out the example from SKIMS, which promotes its new performance shapewear. 

A product drop mass text from SKIMS.
A product drop mass text from SKIMS.

Restock alerts

Another way to use mass texting is to tell customers when a popular product is back in stock. Check out another example from SKIMS, which alerts customers to a swimsuit restock.

A restock mass text alert from SKIMS.
A restock mass text alert from SKIMS.

Limited-time offers

Encourage customers to purchase your product with limited-time offers and discounts. See the example below from Massage Envy, which encourages customers to book an appointment that day in exchange for a reward.

A limited-time offer bulk text example from Massage Envy.
A limited-time offer text blast from Massage Envy.

Fill open appointments

Send a mass text to fill in available appointments. This is especially useful if you have a last-minute cancellation and want to fill the open slot. Check out the following example from Urban Dental. 

Urban Dental’s mass text to fill an appointment slot. 
A mass text example from Urban Dental. 

Important reminders

Share important reminders with patients, employees, or customers via a mass text. Send reminders about appointments, check-in for a flight, annual service needs, and more. See the following example from United Airlines, which reminds customers to check into their flights.

A mass flight check-in reminder from United Airlines. 
A mass flight check-in reminder from United Airlines.

Emergency alerts

With near-instant delivery, mass texting can be used for emergency alerts. Make sure the right people get the information they need in real-time. See the mass text example sent to San Diego residents when there was a strain on the power grid.

A real-life mass text alert sent to San Diego residents.
A mass text alert sent to San Diego residents.

Proactive customer support

Use a business text to inform customers about important news that affects them. For example, let them know when your website will be down for maintenance, or if price hikes are coming.

A mass text example for proactive customer support.
A proactive customer support mass text example.

Employee memos

Use a mass text to keep your employees in the know. This is especially useful for connecting field teams or those working off-site at conferences or events. Share reminders, announcements, request help, and more.

An employee memo sent as a mass text.
An employee memo sent as a mass text.

Internal scheduling

Use a mass text to share when the team schedule is out or to help fill an open shift.

A mass text for internal scheduling.
An internal scheduling mass text message.

Request reviews

Use bulk text to request reviews from customers. You could request reviews from those who recently visited your store or used your service in the past month. See the following example from Canine Dimensions Dog Training.

A personalized SMS review request.
A personalized mass text requesting a review.

Thank you messages

Share a mass thank you message with customers. You can simply thank them for a recent purchase or for being a loyal customer. 

An example of a personable thank you mass text. 
A ‘thanks for your business’ mass text example.

Payment reminders

Send payment reminder texts to your contact list. Remind them about an upcoming credit card payment or when rent is due. See the following example of a payment reminder mass text you could send. 

A payment reminder mass text from Avail. 
A payment reminder mass text from Avail.

Business updates

Let your customers know about important business updates. For example, you could share a mass text alerting customers about business hour changes or share that a new doctor joined your practice. 

A mass text example sharing new restaurant hours.
A mass text example alerting customers to new business hours.

Request customer feedback

Use mass texting to ask for customer feedback. Send a CSAT or NPS survey to multiple recipients at once. 

An example of an NPS survey bulk text.
An example of a text NPS survey sent in bulk

Event reminders

Ensure attendees get important event updates and reminders directly to their phones with a bulk text. See the following example from Madison Marathon, alerting customers about the upcoming race and when price hikes will occur.

A Madison Marathon event reminder mass text.
An event reminder mass text from Madison Marathon.

Request donations

As a nonprofit or charity, use a mass text to request donations to your cause. Check out the following example from UW-Madison’s Day of the Badger.

A mass text soliciting donations for UW-Madison.
A mass text soliciting donations to UW-Madison.

Dos and don’ts for mass texting


  • Always get consent. Before sending text messages, make sure you receive an opt-in from customers. This is required by law.

  • Personalize your messages. When possible, personalize your messages with the customer's first name. This goes a long way in building customer relationships and keeping customers subscribed.

  • Keep it simple. SMS messages are short. Ensure your messages get straight to the point and only have one call-to-action.

  • Keep timing in mind. The timing of your mass texts matters. Remember your customer’s time zones and aim to send business texts during business hours.

  • Allow opt-outs. Make it easy for customers to opt out at any time. This includes sharing language like reply STOP to unsubscribe.

  • Introduce yourself. Always introduce yourself or your business in the message. This helps customers know who is reaching out and why to reduce unsubscribe rates and spam complaints.

  • Be prepared to reply. Text messaging is built for two-way conversations. Be prepared for this and have a plan in place to manage replies.

  • Pick the right phone number type. Three phone number types are approved for mass texting: dedicated shortcodes, toll-free numbers, and 10DLCs. Do your research and pick the one that makes the most sense for your business. Check out this explainer on the differences between the phone number types


  • Don’t send too many texts. Keep text message frequency in mind. Sending too many messages may generate feelings of annoyance from your customer base.

  • Don’t just sell hard. Use SMS to build relationships and go beyond just selling your product. Be creative with your campaigns and keep customers in the know.

  • Don’t use too many emojis or abbreviations. Don’t use more than one or two emojis or abbreviations in your message. This can confuse customers.

  • Don’t use complex language. Don’t overcomplicate your text messages with jargon or hard-to-understand language. SMS is built for short and clear messages; keep them that way.

  • Don’t share negative news via text. If you need to share a more serious message, email it or ask for a phone conversation. Mass texts are not the place to send negative news since you have limited characters to share the message.

How to send a bulk text

To send actual bulk SMS messages, you must use a mass texting service like Textline. That’s because these SMS platforms are approved for mass texting, and native texting apps don’t support true bulk messaging; they only support group messages.

Once you select a mass texting platform, it’s easy. In just a few minutes, you can send your first mass text. 

For example, here’s the simple three-step process for Textline:

  1. Upload a list of subscribed contacts to Textline
  2. Compose your mass text
  3. Click send or schedule your mass text

Send mass text messages via Textline

Take advantage of the efficacy and convenience of mass texting for businesses today. Textline makes it easy for businesses to join our platform and send mass texts. 

Give Textline’s secure and compliant bulk texting platform a try and start scaling your communication. Claim your free 14-day trial today.  

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