tombola uses SMS via API to stay on top of its game

Turning SMS into a customer magnet by focusing on split testing to target new and existing  audiences, with the help of the Esendex API


Up to 106% uplift in promotional participation compared to when no SMS in sent

Instant ROI on contact with lapsed players when promotional content sent via SMS

Sending SMS reminders for big promotional bingo games has been pivotal to tombola’s success in recent years


To identify a fast, scalable and cost-effective customer marketing solution


SMS via Esendex API

SMS via campaign
(for file transfer)

Inbound SMS to shortcode
(for customer opt outs)


Sunderland, UK



tombola operates Britain’s biggest bingo site and is part of Flutter Entertainment plc., the global sports betting, gaming and entertainment provider to over 18 million customers worldwide. 

tombola partnered with Esendex in 2013 and selected SMS via the Esendex API, as it offered a fast, scalable and engaging way to communicate with existing customers while growing its player base.

Esendex and its SMS send speeds have been a game changer for us.  We like to reach our customers as close to the start of a game as we can, and we have lots of them to contact. Having the ability to send hundreds of thousands of messages – literally in minutes – is one of the features we love.

Stewart Wright, CRM Manager | tombola

Challenge & Key Obstacles

tombola originally launched as SunBingo in 2006 using traditional newspaper advertising to attract its playing customers. As its online presence and market position grew in the UK, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands, tombola turned to Esendex for its send in seconds SMS. 

As timing and dependability is key, tombola opted for the Esendex API platform to deliver its UK game time and campaign-based SMS.  

The Esendex API offers us an easy to use platform and faster and more accurate reporting as well as providing a secure and scalable way to engage with our growing list of opted-in SMS players.”

Stewart Wright, CRM Manager | tombola

The features that changed the game
Send economically and at scale in minutes
Accuracy of reporting
High open/engagement rates
Verifiable send/open receipts
Results & Improvements

tombola looked at the results from 10 campaigns for both its Bingo and Arcade promotions to inform their future SMS strategy. All results were also measured against a control group where no SMS messaging was sent.

  • When an SMS was sent to tombola’s most active players, it cost on average 25p per incremental participating player compared to organic – this was an instant ROI

  • This increased to £8.02 when trying to contact long term lapsed players, but also provided a positive ROI if players were retained past the month 2 mark

  • SMS also provided attractive X-Sell opportunities – with up to 7.5% of players trying a new product when contacted via SMS.

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