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Tag: Company Success

Warm-up your Subscribers This Summer

It’s that time of the year that many of us are facing the summer slowdown…

Between the sunshine and lighter schedules, it’s natural to fall out of the swing of things around the office. Similarly, it’s natural for subscribers to unplug and become less engaged.

If you’re searching for some inspiration to keep your customers engaged this season, here are a few quick and easy ideas.

  1. Host a party: Everyone loves their share of summertime parties. Why not figuratively host your own by having a day of specials and sales. It seemed to work pretty well for Amazon. In fact, “Amazon Prime Day” was their biggest sales day in company history.
  2. Plan a contest to increase opt-ins: There’s nothing like keeping your subscribers engaged by having them actively compete for something. Choose a summer theme and create a referral campaign around it.
  3. Recommend activities: One of the best ways to gain happy customers/subscribers is to be a reliable source of information for them. Try switching gears by suggesting a few summertime activities for them to indulge in, tips to achieve their goals by fall, or ways to stay on track during the summer slowdown. Text your subscribers an article like this one: “6 Ways to Stay Motivated at Work this Summer.”

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Even Your SMS Strategy Can Be Stress-Free This Summer

Summer has officially welcomed itself in last week. And with the start of this stress-free season, now is the perfect time to take a look at starting or simplifying your SMS strategy.

Why not put some of that extra energy you may be feeling from the Summer Solstice to use? Click here to learn a few quick and easy ways to improve your approach.

You’ll learn:

  • Practical ways to grow your community
  • How to develop a content strategy
  • What to prioritize in your messaging

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There are over 6 billion texts sent via Americans every day, making text messaging the most prevalent form of communication, according to Gallup.  It’s no wonder organizations are jumping on board to use it as another platform to engage with their audience.  But for most of us, the thought of developing a strategy to start texting is just overwhelming.

In an effort to make this subject a bit easier to approach, we’ve compiled a list of a few quick and easy steps that will help get your organization well on its way!

Step 1 – Build Your List

One of the easiest ways to get people to subscribe to your list is to give them a chance to do so at every point of contact.

Brainstorm of all the places you can add your opt-in form.  For example, places like your website, social media accounts, and signature line are great places to start.  Also, train your staff to share the benefits of opting-in with your customers/clients/ network.

Step 2 – Segment Your List

When someone subscribes to your list, be sure to inquire as to how often they’d like to receive messages, and what type of information they want.  Then place them into categories based on these requests.

Segmenting your list will help ensure your audience is getting information that is most useful and relevant to them.  It could mean the difference between being a helpful, educational source, verses being ignored.

Step 3 – Learn Your Subscriber

After you’ve segmented your list based on preferences, take it one step further by personalizing your content.  Overtime, you may be able to analyze demographics, purchase history, and behavioral patterns to tailor your message even further.

Remember, being personable goes a long way when it comes to building your following.  Avoid using robotic and generic language.  Response rates are higher when the message feels as though it is addressed directly to the recipient.

Step 4 – Develop Short and Sweet Messages

With traditional SMS messages, you only have 160 characters to express yourself.  However, the faster you’re able to get to the point of your message, the better.

Before hitting “Send”, reread your message and eliminate any filler words and phrases.  Only include information that is most relevant, and communicate it in plain English.  Avoid capitalizing and abbreviating words, as well as using emoticons.  Keep it simple!

Step 5 – Include Calls-to-Action

The top priority of your SMS marketing program should be to have subscribers that are engaged and interact with the messages you send.  That’s why it’s important to include a clear call-to-action in your message.

If the goal of your message is to encourage your audience to take part in something, spell it out for them.  Make sure to not bury the objective in the message, or add too much fluff.  Also, use “buttons” whenever possible, such as “Click Here.” “Buy Now.” “More Info.”.

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Appointment Management With SMS

Can Texting Really Reduce Cancellations by 60%?

How important are meetings with new and existing customers for the health of your business? Although it is a very simple question to answer (hint: it’s very important), appointment management can be a tricky process.

For most business owners, appointment management is easy to maintain. The true challenge is ensuring that clients maintain their end of the bargain.

Late-arrivals and cancellations can be costly for any business. For example, imagine a doctor that owns her own practice. She averages about 10 appointments a day for $200 each. However, she has about five cancellations per week which is a $1,000 loss. By using texting (SMS) for appointment reminders, she can cut down her weekly cancellations to two thus bringing weekly cancellation losses down to only $400.

SMS is a great way to remind customers and clients about their upcoming appointments with your business. It provides the “just in time” reminder that automated emails may miss. In addition, using SMS with scheduling can help so businesses fill the gaps that cancellation leave behind. Whether it’s for a doctor’s appointment in the next few days or hair stylist confirming an appointment after it’s been scheduled, SMS can be an effective way to ensure customers keep their appointments with your business as well as maintain profit goals despite unavoidable cancellations.

 

Clients Never Forget With a Textscheduling management, sms integration, sms gateway, crm integraiton, scheduling software

Did you know that text messaging is the most common smartphone activity in the U.S? The average American sends and receives about 32 text messages a day (Informate).

Since SMS is both used often and checked frequently, it is an effective means for appointment management. Common best practices include:

  • An initial text can be sent immediately or a day after a client schedules an appointment.
  • After confirmation, texts can be sent the day of or multiple times in the days leading up to the appointment.
  • Because of ease of use, clients can easily respond to the text confirmation so they can move or cancel the meeting if needed
  • Having a confirmation text a few days before the appointment can provide time for businesses to fill a spot if a cancellation occurs.

Deployment is a Breeze – SMS & CRM Are Very Compatible

Now that the benefits of SMS to manage appointments are crystal clear, how do you implement it into your existing scheduler? One of the benefits of using SMS for appointment management is how easily it integrates with virtually any CRM or API. This simple integration translates to easy implementation. A gateway SMS campaign can be integrated with a business’s scheduling software application to send triggered alerts to clients with upcoming appointments. Running all scheduling activities through one system reduces the chance of human error and provides a more seamless integration experience.

Most SMS solutions have the integration process mapped out to make implementation easy as possible. For example, the 3Seventy integration process happens almost instantaneously – with one phone call we can have you up and running.

 

If you have any questions about using SMS for appointment management, feel free to contact us, we are happy to help.

Happy texting!

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The average person is bombarded with about 360 advertisements per day from TV, radio, Internet, and print media alone. In such a saturated marketing landscape, it is no wonder so many people opt for ad-blockers on their browsers or DVR shows so that they can skip the commercials. Since mobile marketing is so direct, mobile marketers have to rethink their strategies so that they can be effective without feeling like an annoyance. Here are some of our favorite tips for smart SMS marketing that won’t pester your customers.

 

mobile marketing, sms marketing, text marketing, mobile business1. Send the Right Message to the Right People

I know this is Marketing 101 but, it is still common mistake. Many mobile marketers might cast their nets a little too far, incorporating people who are in the wrong location (like the wrong country) or are not the target audience. Once you have incorporated the correct user segment, make sure that the message is clear, appropriate, and engaging. If you are sending mobile coupon code or links to digital coupons, make sure that those codes and coupons work.

2. Timing is Everything

Just like with telemarketers, no one wants to get a marketing text message late on Friday night or 6AM Sunday morning. Make sure that if your customers are subscribed to receive periodic messages from your company that the messages are going out during an appropriate time. So, when is the best time? That tends to vary based on your particular audience and product/service. However, research shows that text messaging is most effective between 10:00am and 8:00pm.

 

3. Don’t Be Clingy

Every company wants to have a positive and profitable relationship with their customer. However, like with romantic relationships, companies shouldn’t come off as overly attached. Try to limit the number of text messages sent to as few as possible as to not bother your customers. According to a survey conducted by Autosend, 67% of customers said they would like to receive texts from businesses at least 1-5 times a week.

 

texting, sms, mobile device, mobile marketing, smart SMS, SMS marketing

By now we all understand how beneficial smart SMS marketing can be to a company however, maintaining customer opt-ins can be a delicate process. It is important to strategize effectively to limit the number of opt-outs as well as to have a successful return on your campaign. Again, like romance, a good SMS relationship can grow into something much more valuable.

 

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Version 2.0

In this 3Seventy Portal Release: MMS, Long Codes, Bug fixes, Code Clean-up, Stability Enhancements, Future Action System

 

Major Changes

  • Channel Service is now deployable to different cloud instances.
  • MMS now supported
    Basic sending of MMS is now supported. You can upload an image and set the returned ID on content and in a push campaign event.
  • Push Campaign Changes
    • Gateway campaigns can now take an Image ID for pushing an MMS message with.
    • Specify a list of contact lists to push messages to. All contacts appearing in the lists will be sent the message. Any contacts that appear more than once across the lists will only receive the message once.
    • Specify a list of contact lists to for excluding contacts. Any contacts appearing in these lists will NOT receive the message; this is applied after the pull of all of the other contact sources.
    • Specify a channel name in the “Channels” field (instead of an arbitrary ID value):
      § Pushing to a short code, you need only specify the short code: “33898”, “370370US”, or “370370CA”
      § Pushing to a long code (or group of long codes): “+15125550100”, “+12145550101”, “LONGCODE”
    • The special word “LONGCODE” will push to all available long codes you have, this same effect can be accomplished via our old APIs by specifying the channel ID for the LONGCODE channel.
      (Note: acquiring a new long code requires a call to the new APIs)
      § Pushing to email: “EMAIL”
      § Pushing to null (for testing, does not actually send messages): “NULL”
  • Get a status of an event via a call to GET /account/{accountId}/event/{eventId}/status
    • For push campaigns, you can see the total number of contacts found and the total number that is being sent to. This updates approximately every 30 seconds until the event is complete.
    • This endpoint also works for contact imports, but does not currently have a running total as the push campaign does. (future release)
  • Long codes are now supported:
    • Search for new long codes via a call to GET /account/{accountId}/search-tn/
    • Order long codes via POST /account/{accountId}/request-tn/
      § Orders do not complete immediately and take a few seconds.
      You may get the status of the order via a GET call to the same endpoint.

 

Minor Changes

  • The NULL channel type has been changed to be identical as an SMS channel for all portions of the system except for at the ChannelService level.
    This will ultimately lead to us reducing code complexity in some areas and eliminating some bugs in the future.
  • The non-breaking space character was incorrectly breaking messages into separate messages.
    This was due to the fact that the system would see the character and switch to Unicode instead of GSM 38.08. This has been corrected, and nonbreaking spaces are now translated into a regular space when sending messages.
  • More aggressive retry logic in import-contacts, and several additional changes to improve its stability.
  • Improvements to the keyword response times for better servicing inbound text requests.
  • Various other bits of code clean up
    • Bits of unused code removed
    • Corrected some spelling mistakes in various comments and copy locations.
    • Removal of Unity in some additional places

 

Stay Tuned for Future Plans…

 

 Go to the API Documentation

SMS, Text messaging API, True Dialog API, mobile messaging, Mobile development

 

 

 

 

 

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One of the popular ways for clients to grow a SMS database is with an online form. This adds an extra step to your development work and could possibly slow down the launch of your SMS marketing program. Now you don’t have to build your own contact opt-in form, because 3Seventy has done it for you.

Customized Plugin for Gathering SMS Opt-Ins

We’ve built a simple plugin that allows you to generate a code for a Contact Form on your website.

True Dialog SMS, SMS Contact Opt-In, SMS Platform Plugin, Grow SMS Database

 

When you log into your 3Seventy account, you’ll see a new feature in the left navigation called “Contact Optin Plugin”. When you click on that feature it’ll bring you to the screen seen above. This is a 3-Step Process to get it live.

1. Fill in the form with the short code and subscription (which are likely to be pre-set anyway). Then you can either upload your Terms and Conditions or link to the existing Terms on your website*. And click the Submit and Generate Code Button.

     *Make sure your T&Cs include details about your SMS marketing program for compliance

2. The code for your plugin will be generated in the box on the left. Copy it to your clipboard and email it to your website administrator.

3. Your website administrator will add it to your website, and you are LIVE. Ready to go!

 

As customers visit your website and enter their phone number into the form, they will be added to your SMS marketing database so that you can message them in the future.

 

Ways to Grow Your SMS Database

  • Use a keyword on your SMS marketing campaign and promote it in other mediums (print, radio, digital, etc).
  • Online form (like the contact opt-in form above)
  • Over the phone with a call center
  • In-person at an event

No matter how you grow your database, always make sure that you are including mobile compliance best practices.

We Want Your Feedback

This is a brand new feature, and we are all very excited about it. There are always ways for us to improve upon new features, so if you’re using it and want to provide some helpful feedback on ways to make it work better then please email us.

 

 

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