Group vs. Bulk Texting

By:  Amy Dean - Marketing Director

Group Text Messaging vs Bulk Text messaging

Group texts and bulk text, we’ve all experienced both, but may not know how very different they are. 

Group texts are obvious, they contain two or more names or numbers in the ‘to’ field. If sent by my sister-in-law, I would say there are way too many names and numbers in the ‘to’ field…organizing a birthday lunch or a group gift, but I digress. You can clearly see everyone the original message was sent to, then you’ll subsequently see who’s responding…along with the constant dinging of more slightly disjointed responses, often in the middle of the night with an ‘I’ll bring the potato salad’ followed by a ‘thumbs-up’ emoji…with which you only wishing that you could remember how to remove yourself from the conversation…sigh.

Bulk texts aren’t as obvious…on purpose…a bulk or mass text is when the same or similar texts are sent to multiple people simultaneously. But you’re not ‘sharing the thread’ with everyone else. It’s still a one-on-one conversation with the original sender, though. None of the other recipients of the original message see your responses, and you don’t see theirs. 

Personal vs. Business Messages

Group Messages (personal)

Bulk/Mass Texting (business)

  • Typically P2P (person to person) or many-to-many – one person starts the string, but everyone can chime in.
  • A2P (application to person) or one-to-many – one person starts the same string to many people, but they can only reply to the person originating the message.
  • Sent from a mobile device, most often a phone.
  • Sent from an SMS application, more commonly used on a computer, but it could also be an app on a phone (just not the native texting or iMessage app that comes on your phone).
  • Utilizes a personal number.
  • Sent on carrier sanctioned lines/numbers used for business; 10dlc numbers, toll-free numbers or a dedicated short code.
  • Uses the data supplied by mobile provider, nowadays, that’s typically an unlimited.
  • Use credits that are purchased through the business’ SMS provider. 
  • The exact same message goes to everyone at one time.
  • Allows personalization of each of the messages being sent within the same send, e.g., like swapping out the name, or amount that’s due, or date of the appointment…or heck, all three at once
  • Limits the quantity of people that can be addressed in the message.
  • Allows you to send to hundreds or thousands of people with one push of the send button.


Similar creatures for very different purposes…one makes sure the bachelorette party is planned down to the minute over give or take about 3,500 back and forths, the other can send 3,500 individual library card holders a notification of account status with the overdue books’ title and fine…without everyone else knowing about it. 

    With Bulk SMS by Red Oxygen you can upload a spreadsheet with specified columns to utilize your custom-built templates. If someone has a question about what you sent, it goes right into their email inbox…making it easy to provide excellent customer service! Learn more on our solutions page.

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