Alert Solutions Blog

Creating an SMS Marketing Campaign? Don’t Forget a Short Code!

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Feb 09, 2017 @ 09:02 AM

SMS text messaging is a powerful communication method for organizations.  It’s a direct channel to subscribers’ mobile phones and, with 90% of messages read within minutes of delivery, the fastest way to get your message received.

Regardless of what the SMS text message conveys, organizations increasingly rely on short codes to send out their SMS marketing campaigns. Here’s why:smsshortcode-1.png

1. Short codes can be shared or dedicated. Either or, they both have benefits.  This flexibility allows organizations to choose the best option based on their budget, timeline and availability.

2. They are more easily remembered than long codes. With a short code, subscribers can more easily associate your identity over time by remembering a simple short code rather than a long (10-digit) code.  This helps with branding and reputation.

3. Messages sent by short codes have better deliverability. Mobile phone carriers have to vet and approve short codes for use over their networks.  Because of all this time, effort and licensing, SMS text messages sent this way are more trusted and likely to be delivered to recipients.

4. They make your SMS marketing campaign more reputable. Consumers are used to receiving all sorts of text messages.  A short code will make your SMS marketing campaign appear more credible, causing less people to opt-out.

Always Keep in Mind:  SMS text messaging is regulated by the FCC’s TCPA to protect individuals from unwanted and intrusive SMS text messages.  You need consent from each recipient in order to send out a SMS marketing campaign.

Learn more about how Alert Solutions can help you get started with SMS marketing.  Download our brochure today!

Guide to SMS Text Messaging Success

Topics: SMS text messaging, SMS Best Practices, mobile marketing, short code

Engage Your Subscribers this Holiday Season with SMS Text Messaging - 4 Tips

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Dec 15, 2016 @ 10:12 AM

This is crunch time for businesses looking to engage last-minute holiday shoppers.  With only 10 days until Christmas, your list of SMS text messaging subscribers could be the most direct and responsive segment.

Why the most direct and responsive?  Over 90% of SMS text messages are read within minutes of delivery!

For businesses looking to increase conversions and engagement before the holiday season passes by, check out the following last-minute SMS text messaging tips:holidaysmscampaign.png

1. Point Them to Other Marketing Campaigns.
SMS text messaging is a great tool for getting information out fast.  With high open rates, it’s the quickest way of directing subscribers to other marketing channels or promotions as desired.  For example, send a tracking link for a product page on your website or request email addresses for a coupon code.

2. Make Your Target Audience Feel Special.
90% of SMS loyalty program subscribers find their subscription valuable, Digital Marketing Magazine said.  Keep up this momentum with special offers that only your mobile marketing list can receive via SMS text messaging.  If an offer can be retrieved without opting-in by mobile number, what’s the point?

3. Pick The Right Send-Time.
Send-time is absolutely a contributing factor in mobile marketing campaign success.  Though there’s not a lot of time before the holiday season is over, you’ll still want to be careful about how and when to send your SMS text messages. 

BONUS Alert Solutions Tip! Segment by time zone.

4. Nurture for Year-Round Loyalty.
Why stop engaging after the New Year?  TotalRetail reminds us to leverage SMS text messaging to initiate deeper relationships with subscribers for better engagement and loyalty – all year round.

With careful planning, there’s still time to engage those last minute holiday shoppers.

Want more tips?  Download the Alert Solutions Guide to SMS Text Messaging!

Guide to SMS Text Messaging Success

Topics: SMS text messaging, holiday, SMS Best Practices, mobile marketing

Perfect Your SMS Marketing Strategy for the Holiday Season

Posted by Nina Caliri on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 @ 13:11 PM

The holiday season is usually one of the busiest seasons for brands and consumers alike. Consumers are always looking for promotions or sales and are willing to spend money when they come across a good deal.

A great way to engage your target audience and reach them directly is by leveraging SMS marketing. Here are some of the benefits of SMS text messaging:mobilepromo.jpg

  • SMS text messages have a very high open rate. Nearly 98% of SMS text messages are read within 15 minutes!
  • Since SMS text messages have a character limit of 160, SMS marketing campaigns tend to have more precise information.

Like any other marketing campaign, SMS marketing needs to be part of your overall marketing strategy.

Here are 3 tips to ensure you’re prepared for the holiday season:

1. Structuring Your SMS Text Messaging Content
Always put the most important part of your content in the beginning of the SMS text message. This will grab their attention right away!

2. Leveraging Your Current Marketing Communication Channels
Your email marketing campaign list is a great way to introduce your SMS marketing campaign. You can easily encourage email marketing subscribers to sign up to receive SMS text messages.

3. Building an Exclusive Opt-In SMS Marketing List
Telling a consumer they’re part of an ‘exclusive group’ makes them feel special and valued. Ask your target audience to join an Exclusive SMS Program and send them promotions that are only available via SMS text messaging.

Are you planning on incorporating SMS text messaging in your marketing strategy this holiday season? Let us know!

Guide to SMS Text Messaging Success

Topics: SMS text messaging, holiday, SMS Best Practices, mobile marketing

SMS Text Messaging Helps Improve Patient Medication Adherence, Studies Say

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 @ 10:10 AM

Medical providers sometimes struggle to get their patients to follow health care regimens.  Taking prescribed medications as directed is a major part of this.

patientmedicationadherance.pngDid you know that 10-25% of hospital and nursing home stays are blamed on poor medication adherence

The issue is also estimated to cost the healthcare industry between $100 and $300 billion annually through corrective measures.

Regardless, there’s been promising news!

More evidence now suggests that the use of SMS text messaging helps remind patients to take their medication when they’re supposed to.  This information comes from an article posted on MedCity News.

With its high open rate and widespread use, SMS text messaging provides healthcare providers with a friendly, direct communication method straight to patients’ mobile phones.  It’s perfect for medication adherence. 

Here are some facts from a JAMA Internal Medicine study on the topic:

  • 2,742 patients were sent medication reminders over a twelve week trial.
  • Reminders varied from personalized, daily increment and two-way communication.
  • Medication adherence was nearly doubled through the use of SMS text reminders.

The Biggest Benefit?  Fewer complications and lower costs!

With patients taking their medications at the frequency prescribed by their doctors, complications from missed doses are reduced and overall costs are cut.

Alert Solutions' Suite of Patient Notification Systems

Topics: health, SMS text messaging, Medical, patient communication, medication adherence

Want a More Successful SMS Text Messaging Campaign? Try These 4 Tips

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Oct 06, 2016 @ 10:10 AM

The unique benefit of SMS text messaging campaigns is that they produce a very high open rate – over 90%!  In fact, most are read within minutes of delivery according to Juniper Research.

To help get the best possible SMS text message on the screens of your mobile subscribers, there are a variety of SMS best practices out there.  Today, we’ll discuss even more great tips. 

Take a look:

Tip #1: Choose a Dedicated or Shared Short CodeMobileMarketing.png
Short codes are easily remembered and can provide better brand recognition for your organization.  If you provision one, you’ll need to decide between a dedicated code or a shared code.  Find the pro’s and con’s of each here.

Tip #2: Clearly Identify Yourself
The purpose of the SMS text message and who it’s from shouldn’t come into question.  If it’s not clear and concise, you could risk some subscribers opting-out of your mobile list altogether.

Tip #3: Include a Link
With only 160 characters available per message, SMS text messages are more urgent, direct and personal than other marketing channels.  Including a link in your campaign can get recipients to click-through to a landing page with more information about your content.

Tip #4: Make Your Mobile Subscribers Feel Exclusive
Offer special content and promotions to mobile subscribers only.  Not only will this help your list feel special, but prompt more of your audience to opt-in to your mobile marketing messages also.

Because of the level of intrusiveness in mobile marketing, organizations need to be especially careful before sending out one of these campaigns.  Read compliance information here.

Guide to SMS Text Messaging Success

Topics: SMS text messaging, SMS Best Practices, mobile marketing

Create an Effective SMS Marketing Campaign: Here’s 5 Tips

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jun 02, 2016 @ 11:06 AM

SMS text messaging remains one of the most common ways to keep in touch. 

Need proof?  8.6 trillion SMS text messages are sent each year all around the world.  This includes 6 billion in the United States alone, per day.

If you’ve already been launching SMS marketing campaigns, or you’re thinking about starting one, consider the following helpful tips:

#1: Promote your ability to send SMS text messages.  Although you will need explicit consent from each recipient in order to send a mass SMS text message, many businesses struggle to grow their mobile marketing lists simply because their customers aren’t aware of it.  Let them know!

Bonus tip! Incentivize your audience with exclusive offers only available to mobile subscribers.

#2: Pay attention to your CRM.  Your CRM (customer relationship management) systemcellphone.png has useful information about your audience and past interactions or sales history.  Leverage this information to help with list segmentation.  The more relevant your message is to each recipient, the less likely they’ll consider your message spam.

#3: Send messages at the right time.  Timing is everything in an effective SMS marketing campaign.  Sending too early or too late could cause your recipients to get a bad impression.  Keep in mind the local time of each recipient, also.

#4: Don’t elaborate too much.  Your SMS marketing message should be short, sweet, and 160 characters or less.  Anything more could cause your text message to truncate and send as two text messages, possibly causing confusion or miscommunication.

#5: Decide between a dedicated or a shared short code.  A short code is much more recognizable than a standard, 10-digit number. The question is, dedicated or shares?  There are benefits to each, so your own unique needs will dictate which type of short code is best.  Get more information here.

With some careful planning, you can create your most effective SMS marketing campaign yet.  Download our SMS Text Guide today to learn even more about Alert Solutions’ SMS capabilities.

Guide to SMS Text Messaging Success

Topics: SMS text messaging, SMS Best Practices, mobile marketing, short code

5 Industries That Benefit from SMS Text Messaging - Is Yours on the List?

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Mar 10, 2016 @ 11:03 AM

Do you know anyone that does not carry a mobile phone?  The likely answer is “No” – almost everyone has one!  That’s why SMS text messaging is such an appealing communication method for organizations.

Although nearly every industry can benefit from the use of SMS text messaging, there are 5 industries in particular that really see an impact.  Is your industry on the list?

1. Education – SMS text messaging is widely preferred by parents and guardians to stay in touch with their children’s schools. From weather-related closings and schedule changes, to fundraising event reminders and anti-bullying initiatives, the applications are endless.getting_text_messages.bmp

Important! The FCC has released updates to restrict the way schools and districts can communicate through text messaging.

2. Healthcare – Healthcare providers can easily reach patients for appointment reminders, notify them of test results, or collect unpaid medical bills. All purposes are made more efficient with the use of SMS text messaging.

3. Real Estate – When confronted with unexpected problems, property owners and managers reach their employees, contractors and tenants as quickly as possible through the use of text messaging.

4. Retail – Obtaining consent from customers opens many new doors for the retail industry. Send exclusive coupons and sale promotions or just notify customers of shipment updates.

5. Hospitality – The hospitality industry also benefits greatly with the use of text messaging. Hotels and restaurants can offer subscribers rewards for their loyalty through mobile marketing, in addition to special offers and advertisements.

Although there are certain exemptions, it’s important to remember that sending SMS text messages to your audience requires consent.  Any text message sent for marketing or promotional purposes is regulated by the FCC’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  For the latest information you need to know, check out this blog post.

To learn more about how Alert Solutions’ SMS text messaging can help your organization improve communication with its audience, regardless of industry, download our SMS Text Messaging Brochure today!

Guide to SMS Text Messaging Success

Topics: SMS text messaging, SMS Best Practices, mobile marketing

Appointment Reminder Study for Dental Patients: Most Prefer SMS Text

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Oct 01, 2015 @ 12:10 PM

Direct mail reminders just won’t cut it anymore.  That’s the message resonating with dentists as patient communication preferences shift to electronic forms of communication, especially SMS text messaging.

According to a study referenced by the California Dental Association, 30% of patients, the largest segment, reported SMS text messaging as their preferred method of receiving an appointment reminder.DoctorMobileApp-2

The full results of the survey are as follows:

With the vast majority preferring an electronic appointment reminder option, it’s clear to see the trend away from direct mail reminders.

Dentists should be paying attention; like other forms of medicine, missed appointments represent the most significant loss of revenue to dental providers.  And because retaining a current patient is far more efficient than attracting a new one, reminding them of their appointments is just as important as ever.

Below are a couple more interesting findings from the survey:

The Timing of the Reminder is Important
The same study confirmed that most dental patients prefer to receive an automated appointment reminder at least one to three days in advance of their actual scheduled appointment.
 
Scheduling and Re-Scheduling
Many dental providers may not know that as many as 40% of patients would rather schedule an appointment electronically than in person.
 
Don’t Forget!  HIPAA regulations prevent medical providers from including certain information in message content.  The patient’s first name, appointment date, time and medical practice information is permissible.
 
Are you thinking of implementing SMS text messaging or other electronic message reminders in your dental practice?  Alert Solutions offers automated SMS text messaging reminders in addition to email and voice. 
 
Check Out Our Suite of Healthcare Solutions.

Topics: SMS text messaging, appointment reminders, automated patient notifications, Medical, patient communication

FCC Telephone Consumer Protection Act – New Updates You Need To Know!

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jul 02, 2015 @ 11:07 AM

Just last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received over 200,000 reports regarding “robo” voice calls and SMS text messages, the largest category of complaints. The FCC still receives thousands of complaints each month.

In response, the FCC recently released new updates to its Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The purpose of this update is to sort out any loopholes and strengthen consumer defenses against unwanted voice calls and SMS text messages.

Is your business sending mass voice calls or SMS text messages? If so, pay careful attention to this latest TCPA update to see how you may be affected.

Below is a highlight of some of the new provisions:FCCUpdates

1. Call-blocking technology now allowed
Service providers can now offer market-based solutions to consumers for the purpose of blocking “robo” voice calls on their landline or mobile phone.

2. Consumers are more empowered
Voice call and SMS text messaging recipients have the right to stop automated messages in any reasonable way at any time, even if they had consented previously.

3. Clarification on Internet-to-Phone SMS text messages
SMS text messages generated from the internet are considered to be from an “auto-dialer”, meaning consent must be given before messages are sent.

4. Regenerated phone numbers aren’t loopholes
Phone numbers that have been reassigned to a new person, such as a through a mobile carrier, can only be called once.

All previous TCPA stipulations are still in effect, including the requirement for businesses to obtain explicit consent before calling or texting.

You May Be Exempt!
There are specific exemptions from these new TCPA updates. Financial institutions and medical providers sending alerts or reminders are exempt, but marketing-related or collection calls are not.

Brush-up on the legalities of marketing communication; download Alert Solutions’ Voice Compliance Guide today!

To read more of the FCC’s press release, click here.

Topics: compliance, SMS text messaging, voice broadcasting, voice broadcasting best practices, SMS Best Practices

Make the Most of Your SMS Text Messaging Campaign – Add Voice!

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Apr 09, 2015 @ 13:04 PM

SMS text messaging continues to be one of the most direct channels of marketing and advertising. According to Juniper Research, 90% of text messages are read within minutes of delivery. This rapid open rate is unmatched by other communication channels.

Nonetheless, businesses know that SMS text messaging isn’t the best fit for all of their subscribers. That’s the importance of sending a multi-channel campaign.

So what channel is best to incorporate with your SMS text messaging campaigns? That’s easy, voice! Think about the following when you are planning your next SMS text messaging campaign:voiceSMS

Advantages of Adding Voice
 
1. Accessibility
Voice calls can be delivered to land lines for those that don’t have a mobile phone or can’t accept text messages. They also allow businesses to better communicate with the visually impaired.
 
2. Flexibility
As a text is limited to 160 characters, voice call scripts can be much longer. Voice also allows you to send recordings in your own familiar tone, use text-to-speech or automatically translate into the spoken language of the recipient.
 
Considerations Before Adding Voice
 
1. Legalities
Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations before adding voice to your SMS campaign.
 
2. Send Time
Avoid making early morning calls or calling after 9 PM. If you want to target answering machine deliveries, launch your voice broadcasting campaigns in the middle of the day, and for increased live answers, launch voice calls from 6-8 PM.
 
Did you know Alert Solutions offers voice broadcasting? Download our brochure today!

Topics: multi-channel messaging, SMS text messaging, voice broadcasting, voice broadcasting best practices, SMS Best Practices, mobile marketing

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