To have a dedicated longcode or not to have a dedicated longcode? That's NOT the question!!!!
In case you have no idea what this post is about, a dedicated longcode is a mobile number assigned to you, and you exclusively.
To send and receive SMS you can sometimes use shared numbers, which basically means you and hundred of other companies are using the same number at the same time.
Why is this NOT GOOD and why do we recommend you go with a dedicated SMS number?
So you have a big event coming up, and you want to make sure not only that the most amount of people show up, but also that you engage with your attendees appropriately... We wonder, have you considered web SMS for your events?
From inviting your database, to reminding your registered attendees of the upcoming event or and engaging with them during the big day... SMS has heaps to offer!
If you already have a database, you can invite all of your contacts to register to your event via SMS by including a URL of your online form. You can also ask them to reply YES or NO to RSVP directly to the event.
Registration authentication (+database!)
When they are signing up to your event, you can request their SMS. This not also can send them a PIN to enable multi factor authentication, but also allows you to build a database of people attending the event. Which brings me to the next point.
SMS reminders work REALLY well (usually up the attendance rate anywhere from 50% to 80%). Usually best if sent 24-48 hours PRIOR to the event. So if I were you I would send it the morning of the day before (around 10am?), not on the day (that might be a bit too late).
Once you have the full list of all attendees, and the event is on, you can start engaging! From parking details, to session changes and lunch locations, SMS away anything else you need them to know right away... if your event is outdoors and it's sunny, you can also remind them to use sunscreen!
You can also run competitions (and, again, build your database). Attendees can message in a keyword, and you can send tailored and personalised auto replies; you can also assign them to different groups depending on the keyword they messaged in... the sky is the limit!
Are you planning on using web SMS on your next event?
We've been getting a number of peeps asking us whether they should use personalised fields in their SMS campaigns. Our answer is always the same: why wouldn't you?
Personalising marketing content has proven to increase conversion and engagement amongst audiences.
Wanna learn more?
Automating your SMS communications can not only save you heaps of time, but also ensure that you keep your target audience engaged.
One of the really cool features SMS Central's web sms portal has is the ability to create unlimited rules and triggers (R+T), which are the most powerful automation tool in the industry.
This video shows you how to set up some rules and triggers to manage inbound SMS.
Now why would you do that you ask?
automate internal processes
With R+T, you can determine what SMS get forwarded to an email address, a URL, what contact gets assigned to a group or unsubscribed, or which ones should automatically be marked as read. All of this can be triggered by keywords contained in the message. So for example, you can automatically unsubscribe anyone who replies STOP or fwd to an email if they reply NO to an appointment confirmation.
personalise your response, depending on the message
We've touched on Surveys on previous posts, so let's use them as an example. Imagine you run a survey and you go, "from 1 to 10, how would you rate your service". You can actually have different automated responses depending if they answer 1-3, 4-7 and 8-10.
If they answer 1-3, you might include a message saying "sorry to hear that, please let us know if we can call you" and forward that to a customer care representative; from 4-7 you can simply have an automated reply saying "Thanks for your feedback!"; whereas for your fans (8-10) you can engage further by asking them to tell you what did they love most (and again, have different responses trigger by different keywords).
This way, you can properly manage your Net Promoter/ Fan Base scores accordingly.
By triggering web SMS comms via inbound keywords, you are making sure your contacts remain engaged with your message. You know how the best customer support is the one that "always has the final 'word'" (as in, they make the last phone call or send the final email). It's the same with SMS; if your customers are replying back, make sure you've always got a comeback up your sleeve!
You know SMS has a read rate of over 90%. And that users respond to SMS calls to action within 5 minutes of receiving the SMS (yeah, "it's instant" is one of the reasons you and I love SMS communications!).
Therefore, one of the really good problems you might have if you run a very successful SMS marketing campaign is that the response collapses your call centre, website or email inbox.
And here's where sending your SMS campaign in batches can make or break its success.
When I tell people I work for an SMS communication company, 99.9% of them would tell me "Oh! So you are the one that sends me discounts via SMS!"
And even though it's true online SMS is usually used to send limited-time or get-onto-it-now promotions, there are many other ways in which you can unleash the power of SMS communications within your business.
In this post we'll explore alternatives in which businesses can use SMS for enterprise & business solutions.
Whether it’s an appointment reminder or a marketing campaign, you should always track the return on investment of your online SMS efforts to make sure you can change/ modify variables in order to increase it over time.
This way, your investment in SMS will yield higher returns so you can either invest more and get more, or invest the same... and still get more! Also, you'll be able to understand whether SMS as a channel is the right one to deliver the message to your customers.
Following are the 5 most popular ways to track SMS ROI.
Surveys are an awesome way to gather data. You can learn a lot from your current customers, as well as prospects who could start using your business (and what would make them tick).
In general, surveys are a quanti way of data gathering: you collect info from a large number of people, without a great deal of detail.
When asked whether or not running a survey via SMS is possible, our answer is YES. Now, the main question is: should YOU run an SMS survey? Go through this checklist and find out.
No one likes receiving SPAM. Getting a sly email about cheap pharmaceuticals is not great, but receiving a text message from a company you don't have any business with is a pain... it's invasive and a waste of time.
A recent case saw McDonald's warned over sending emails to people who had not requested them, as part of a 'send to a friend' campaign. In addition, there was no 'unsubscribe' facility for users to opt-out. Whilst they were not fined in this specific example, Coca Cola were not so lucky back in 2009 over a SMS message campaign which failed to identify Coca Cola as the sender, in addition to not providing a unsubscribe facility. Coke's agencies copped over $100,000 in fines from ACMA for this little mistake.
In part two of the SMS Central Christmas series, we introduce you to a really easy formula to help you get the most out of your text messages. It’s got a really (un)cool acronym: AIDA, but don’t let that fool you. If you take a look at all the effective communication out there, you’ll be able to identify these four points.
A is for Attention
The very first thing you need to do is attract people’s attention. You’ve got a head start on this one, because you’ve chosen an SMS campaign and we know that a huge percentage of people open text messages when they receive them.