Ever have to deal with a work situation where you had to inform a large number of people about something urgently? Even if you haven’t yet, it’s a very likely situation that can occur. Text alerts can be used to notify people of both good and bad news. Maybe a law firm just won itself a huge client and there’s a party on the 57th floor. Just text your colleagues about it! On the other hand, maybe there is a hurricane outside and you need to inform your employees not to leave the building until it blows over. The bottom line is, you can use texting to communicate absolutely anything!
How to send text alerts
For the beginners, here are five easy steps to get you started with text alerts:
- Find an SMS platform with the features you want
- Create an account
- Upload or manually add a list of contacts
- Choose a payment plan
- Type in your message, add your features and hit send!
For a better and more detailed guide on how to send text alerts, read SMS Advertising Campaigns.
Features of text alerts
So ExpressText is this really amazing SMS platform. It has its own application, it offers an insane number of features and to top it all off – its one of the most affordable platforms! Here are some of the best features that ExpressText (and other platforms in the US) provide:
If you’re using a method of communication that reaches thousands of people at once, it’s likely that you will receive hundreds of replies as well. Replying to each customer one by one is practically impossible and hiring a large number of customer representatives is a luxury only big businesses can afford. Your easy way out? Auto-replies! ExpressText allows you to send automated replies to your customers. Usually, these replies contain answers to the most frequently asked questions. Some companies use them just to assure the customer that their query will be responded to as soon as possible. This puts the customer’s mind at ease.
- Email Capture
What makes a platform really great is that it boosts other platforms, and that is exactly what SMS does! If customers join your text lists, you can add their email addresses to your list and send them promotional emails as well.
- Age Verification
Even though text alerts come at such a low cost, make sure you don’t waste your time and resources. Target only the market segment that you are catering to. For this purpose, there is an age verification feature. Most businesses cater to a specific age group, so what they can do is that when consumers opt into the text list, they are shown an option to select their age. The age verification feature only allows them to join it if they fulfil the age requirements. This way, consumers towards which the product is not focused are filtered out which automatically leads to a higher performance of the brand’s SMS Marketing strategy.
- Double opt-in
The usefulness of this feature is quite controversial. Some critics argue that double-opt-in will lead to fewer people joining the campaign as it requires more effort. While that may be true, double opt-in also means that only interested users will subscribe to the campaign, which means marketing tactics will work better. ExpressText offers both single opt-in as well as double-opt-in options, so you can choose whichever one you feel suits your business! (Word of advice: If you’re targetting a highly specific market segment, then you should go for double opt-in)
- One Per Person
Since opting in is an effort on the part of customers, especially when they have to double opt-in, brands give them incentives like discounts so as to get more subscribers. Now some people are always going to try to take advantage of this. Suppose you offer your customers 20% off on the next purchase that they make once they have joined the SMS Campaign. Some customers may opt-out later and opt back in just to receive this discount again! Luckily, ExpressText has got you covered with its ‘One per person’ feature. If customers do opt-in again, they will simply receive a welcome back message instead of the discount code.
- Unlimited contacts
Like I mentioned above, ExpressText is one of the cheapest platforms out there. Not only are its payment plans more affordable than others, but it also has no hidden costs. Some platforms may charge extra after you have uploaded a specific number of contacts or wish to make groups. However, with ExpressText there is no limit to contacts and you can add as many as you like!
- Adjustment of Plans
Imagine your business is doing well and expanding rapidly (we all want that, don’t we?) Expansion means a number of new clients, which in turn means marketing to a larger number of people. With ExpressText, each payment plan offers up to a limited number of texts. If your business is expanding, you’ll obviously need a bigger payment plan and ExpressText is there to assist you. Changing plans is no hassle. Since there is no contract, you can upgrade your plan or even downgrade it if it’s too big for you!
- Real text messages
You don’t want to make the mistake of having your messages end up in the spam or junk folder of your customers. Sometimes companies use gimmicky technology to send out promotional texts, and that automatically filters their texts into unwanted folders as they are from unknown numbers. ExpressText, however, ensures that all your messages are sent directly to your customers each time. The platform’s job does not end at selling you packages, it will make sure that your texts reach customers as well.
- Detailed analytics
This is a feature designed not for your customers but only for you. ExpressText will graphically display all your results i.e. how many texts were read, how many short links were clicked on, how many texts were undelivered etc. This makes it easier for you to analyse how well your campaign is doing. Strong points can be improved whereas weaker ones can be diminished e.g. the numbers to which text messages are not being delivered can be eliminated, thus reducing cost or texts being allocated to numbers with a better response.
When can you send text alerts?
This one’s my favourite. Nothing excites customers more than an impromptu sale. Girls will run to Sephora and guys will head to their favourite gaming store even at the last minute. It is also a good business tactic to use if sales are low. SMS is hands down the fastest medium through which you can communicate a sale to your customers, so it is the only one that you can use for spontaneous offers. Other mediums like email and social media are just not fast enough and thus ineffective in producing high customer turnout.
Corporations know the importance of preparing for contingent events. Whether its a fire or a natural hazard such as an earthquake, businesses need to be well prepared with proper exits as well as resources in order to minimise damage and safely evacuate personnel. A major part of this planning is communicating the situation at hand to the people inside the building. With SMS platforms like ExpressText, managers and relevant persons can just open the ExpressText app on their phone, use a template built for an emergency purpose and send it out immediately to up to thousands of people! Within a matter of seconds, everyone will have received an emergency text alert (given that texts are sent and read almost immediately after being sent).
Many times, system updates can slow down or completely halt websites. Suppose a big clothing brand like GAP is undergoing a system upgrade and their website is down. If the customers currently shopping online are unaware of the situation, they are likely to abandon their cart, thus losing the brand a lot of money. On the other hand, if the brand informs them of the system upgrade beforehand, customers will be more understanding of the situation. They are likely to shop after the website is up and running again.
Customers have a lot of options to choose from in most industries. If they’re not pleased with one place, they can just move on to another. This is why firms need to provide them with optimum security (especially those dealing with highly sensitive information). This includes financial institutions, banks, car trackers and other such firms. With texts, companies can instantly inform their customers if there is any suspicious activity e.g. the customer’s car is travelling in an unknown location or large sums of money are being extracted from an individual’s bank account.
While good weather can make for a great day, bad weather can do the opposite. Cities like New York and Ohio are absolutely inaccessible by any means of transport during the coldest months of the year. This means the shutting down of schools, colleges and workplaces. While adults manage to work from home, there is no choice but to close down schools in case of an unpredicted weather change. Suppose there’s been an unexpected hailstorm in Rochester. The roads are blocked, leaving people with no option but to stay inside their homes. Even if schools were supposed to be on the next day, no one will be able to make it! What should school management do? Simply pick up their phones and use the ExpressText app to inform parents, children and employees that school will be off tomorrow. It only takes a matter of seconds and the message is conveyed instantly.
Text alert statistics
Here are 5 mindblowing statistics which will make you sign up with an SMS platform right now:
- The average American checks their phone 47 times a day
- 48.1 million people will choose to receive business text messages by 2020
- While not everyone in the world has access to a smartphone, 5 billion people can send and receive texts worldwide
- SMS messages have a whopping 98% open rate
- 90% of SMS messages are read within the first 3 minutes
- Using short links in text messages boosts conversion rates in SMS campaigns
- SMS open rates beat email by more than 5 times
- Response rates to SMS are 7.5 times higher than email
- 80% of people use texting for business purposes
- It takes the average person 90 seconds to respond to a text
In conclusion, everything screams in favour of text alerts. There’s no better medium to communicate with your customers through. Texting is fast, direct and personal – but most importantly it is what customers want. Its popularity grows annually and it seems to be the one platform with all the right features. Whether you own or manage a large business or a small one, SMS is suited to all business types. Each day, more marketers add SMS to their marketing strategy. Text alerts come in handy especially in emergency situations, which is why their use has evolved even beyond the business industry itself.