The company blog
Keep up to date with current news and highlights from the SMS industry

Our latest feedback survey winner revealed!

Here at Esendex we’re always looking for ways to improve our products and services. With this in mind, we recently asked our customers to give us their feedback via a survey. Everyone who took part was entered into a prize draw – Moores Furniture Group were the lucky winners!

We thought this would be a perfect opportunity to give you a bit of an insight into how they use our platform…

moores-furniture-blog-image-thumbWith over 60 years of experience, they are known for their high quality kitchens and bathrooms. Moores Furniture Group use our platform to send their customers delivery notifications and updates. Sending text messages ensures the process of getting a new kitchen or bathrooms runs as smoothly as possible.

Esendex is officially a Great Place to Work

Geoff Love, CEO

Geoff Love, CEO

Last night we went to London for the Great Place To Work Award ceremony and were crowned the 38th best medium sized workplace!

Being recognised as a Best Workplace is a massive achievement for us – it reinforces our position as a great employer, brand and business!

The Best Workplace awards evaluates the organisation’s culture, the leadership and HR practices that creates the employee experience – recognising employers that really do go that extra mile for their staff!

Geoff Love, our CEO comments:

“We’re delighted to have been officially recognised as a great place to work and it’s all the more pleasing as these awards are based on staff feedback.  Esendex has gone through a lot of change over the last couple of years, but this shows that we are committed to retaining and developing our unique culture and investing in our most important asset – our people. “

It was a great night, the awards were presented by BBC News presenter Huw Edwards, the food was fantastic and there was great music by the truly amazing band Stringfever.

 

A breakdown of Hack24

hack-24-blog (1)

Last weekend we were the headline sponsor for Hack24 – a 24 hour coding competition in the heart of Nottingham, hosted by Tech Nottingham. We also set a challenge for the coders to get stuck into on the day, and just like our APIs our challenge was simple: use Esendex in your hack.

There were loads of great entries, but ‘The Undesirables’ claimed victory with their Esendex-powered big-screen film quiz, which provided near real-time feedback as players text in their answers. They were rewarded with our impressive collection of prizes consisting of:

– Kano computer Kit
– Touch Board Inventors Kit
– Makey Makey
– Arduino-powered DIY Gamer Kit

A massive congratulations to all the guys in the team – we were really impressed with your solution to our challenge!

Our talented team of developers always jump at the chance to get involved in the developer community and Hack24 was no different! Our team spent their all nighter (fuelled by lots of coffee) working on the 7digital challenge – they were also crowned the winners!

Check out our quick interview below with Moreton Brockley, George Frost, Dave Wood and Neil Kilbride following their win at Hack24.

What was the challenge set by 7digital?

It was to spend the 24 hours building a context-based or thematic music application, service or store using not only the 7digital API but also APIs from at least one other source.

Talk us through your entry…
To create our application we used the 7digital, Twitter, and Esendex APIs which were all super easy to use. We made an intuitive web application that allows people to input, tweet or even text their moods.

People from all over the world can then join certain rooms via our app. This will then use the 7digital music platform to automatically find and play music that suits the overall mood of each specific room.

It allows a group of people to listen to music that suits them whether they are all in the same room or on the other side of the world. It’s perfect for parties, events or when you’re working remotely. Think of it as a radio station that plays music depending on how you and your friends are feeling at the time!

How did you decide on your idea?
We all had loads of ideas for things we could work on so we had lots of brainstorming sessions beforehand. Ultimately this idea seemed like something we would actually use if it existed today.

What do you think made your application stand out?
Our solution takes a collaborative approach to music streaming and makes it more social.

Have you been to any similar events before?
We like to try and attend as many developer focused events as possible! We’ve all attended Hack Manchester and a few other events.

What made Hack24 different?
We found that there was a great atmosphere throughout (even in the early hours of the morning)! Also, because we all live and work in Nottingham it was nice to go to a local hack event – they’re surprisingly hard to come by.

The venue was pretty special as well; Broadway in Nottingham is a creative space so it really facilitates events like this. It was also nice to be able to take a break and get stuck into a film in the cinema.

What’s more important, taking part or winning?
Definitely the taking part, although winning does help!

Well done to all the teams at Hack24, we can’t wait for next year.

Busting the top 5 SMS myths

Busting SMS mythsSMS is undoubtedly up there as one of the most effective communication channels.There are however some common misconceptions about SMS knocking around, so we thought we would give you the truth about the trusty text message:

Myth #1 SMS is impersonal
We’re now in an age where we simply can’t live without our mobile phones. 91% of us keep our phones within reach at all times (Morgan Stanley) – it doesn’t get much more personal than that. You can even personalise each SMS you send with first names etc. to give it that extra personal touch.

Myth #2 SMS is on its way out
There is now more choice when it comes to keeping in touch with people – with texting, instant messaging apps and social media just to name a few! But this doesn’t mean that SMS is less powerful, in fact, 89% of execs say their company has or will implement SMS messaging over the next year.

Myth #3 people don’t like it
According to Ofcom, SMS is the most popular form of communication in the UK – if you think your customers don’t want you to text them you should really think again! On top of this, Hipcricket revealed that 57% of consumers would be interested in opting into a brands SMS loyalty program – and 90% of users that participated felt they gained value from it.

Myth #4 it’s not effective
The average SMS open rate is 98% (Frost & Sullivan) so you know your message will be read – not only this but it’s effective too! Cellit suggest that text message engagement rates are 6-8 times higher than email.

Myth #5 it’s just for young people
Although it is true that teens text a lot, all age groups are embracing their mobile for sending and receiving text messages. A study by Nielsen revealed 18-24 year olds exchange 1,914 text messages per month, whilst 55-64 year olds exchanged 167 text messages. These figures suggest a decrease in texting with age, but show that people of all ages are using SMS.

Now we have busted some SMS myths if you’re interested in giving it a go why not sign up for a free 7-day trial!

Esendex customer workshop in Dublin

On Thursday we will be holding an Esendex customer workshop at Bank of Ireland’s Dublin office. The day will be focused on increasing operational efficiency and improving the customer experience through the use of SMS.

There will be some really interesting talks and presentations throughout the day from some Ireland’s major tech companies.

Our first three customer workshops have been a resounding success and this time will be no different! What’s more, with 50 attendees it’s going to be our largest workshop yet. They’re ideal to encourage our customers to learn best practice techniques from their peers, network and catch up with their account managers.

We’ll be filling you in on all of the details after the event – watch this space!

Esendex Hack24 challenge revealed

We recently announced that we will be the headline sponsor for Hack24 – Nottingham’s very own coding event. As part of this event we’ll be setting a challenge for the coders to get stuck into.

The challenge

Just like our APIs, our challenge is simple: use Esendex in your hack. Our prize will go to the team that makes best use of Esendex’s APIs as part of their solution.

We’ve got a handy Push Notifications service for receiving messages and status updates, and a REST API for sending (and everything else). We’ll have details of how to sign up on the day, together with free message bundles and virtual mobile number for teams.

The prize

Hack24 is all about creativity, innovation and fun! We’re offering a whole caboodle of creative kits for unleashing your inner maker, and having a blast while you’re at it:
– Kano computer kit
– Touch Board Inventors Kit
– Makey Makey
– Arduino-powered DIY Gamer Kit

Esendex Hack 24 challenge prizes If you and a few of your mates fancy getting your hands on these prizes just sign up to Hack 24 and enter our competition. We can’t wait to see you there!

Our judge

hackJudging and awarding the prize will be our very own Sam Wessel. A keen coder and hack event veteran, Sam knows first-hand just how much code, sweat and tears it takes to deliver something great in 24 hours. As Esendex’s Technical Manager — overseeing our development teams, practices and processes — he also knows what makes a successful team. Impress Sam and maybe you can claim the Esendex prize.

Need some inspiration?

We’ve seen people use Esendex to power their services, engage with their users, and even transform their businesses. Previous innovative solutions include healthcare services reminding patients to take their medication, footy fans organising their five-a-side league, and drivers finding out how many parking spaces are free in each of the city’s car parks. Our Nottingham office was even opened by a Lego ribbon-cutting robot… triggered by an SMS!

We’ll be posting a special web page for this event soon so you can have a play with our SMS – watch this space!

 

Say goodbye to nuisance phone calls and text messages

New text lawsSending SMS is such a powerful way to communicate with your customers, staff and suppliers – but with this power comes great responsibility.

It’s not uncommon to receive nuisance phone calls or texts, in fact over 175,000 complaints were made to the ICO last year (The Guardian).

It’s now becoming easier for government watchdogs to stop companies in their tracks with fines of up to £500,000. In the past for action to be taken, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) had to have evidence that the company’s communication had caused substantial damage or distress.

This legal requirement has been removed, making it easier to take action in more cases. The government are also looking into introducing measures that could hold board-level executives accountable. Could this be the beginning of the end of nuisance calls and text messages?

Make sure you send responsibly!
If you’re planning on sending SMS marketing messages you must have permission and give a clear option to opt-out of any future text messages.

How to hunt for cracks in an SMS provider!

Easter SMSWith just a few days left until Easter, we wanted to share with you some key questions you should ask to make sure you bag yourself an egg-cellent SMS provider.

Do they have direct network connections?
By using a provider that has direct connections your message will be going straight to the customer, there’s no middle man so it’s much quicker. We have direct connections to all the UK mobile networks so we’ll always use the best performing network to deliver your message!

How secure is my data?
When you’re trusting a provider with all your valuable data, you need to know it’s safe. Protecting our customer’s data is paramount – we’re ISO 27001 registered so you can count on us.

Will I have access to support?
When things go wrong it’s vital that you know you have someone to talk to. Our technical support staff are available to answer your questions from 09:00 to 17:30 and it’s completely free! You can even upgrade to get 24 hour support.

Can I test the platform?
No one wants to hop straight into a purchase! It’s important that you get to have a look around the platform before you make a commitment. We offer a free 7-day trial, so you have 25 credits to play with.

Will my messages get delivered on time?
You need to know that your message will get through on time to get the most out of your communication. We commit to 90% of your messages being processed within 5 seconds and 95% within 20 seconds.

Thanks for taking the time to read our top tips for finding the right SMS provider. We hope you have a cracking Easter break!

Don’t forget to vote – does SMS present an opportunity to increase voting uptake?

Can SMS increase voting uptake?Voting for the 2015 UK General Election is set to take place on the 7th of May, but there still seems to be some confusion around the deadline for voting and being registered in order to vote. The Electoral Commission has now launched a campaign to quash some misconceptions following a YouGov survey that found:

21% of people who rent privately believe they’re automatically registered to vote if they pay council tax
40% of those surveyed think that it is not possible to register to vote online
69% do not know when the deadline to register to vote is, with 13% thinking its already too late to register

For the first time in election history its watchdog will use mobile advertising to target young people on EE, O2 and Vodafone networks. They will also be set to receive SMS/MMS messages encouraging them to register to vote in the run-up to May.

According to Parliament, in the 2010 election the turnout was 65.1% but what about the other 35%?

Is text messaging the answer to missed votes?

A study in the American Journal of Political Science found that sending an SMS reminder to registered voters increased participation by 3%.

With our mobile phones being such a fundamental part of our everyday lives, it seems only natural to deliver important messages direct to voters’ phones. By sending a text message prompt to voters who have already registered to vote, the likelihood for increased uptake seems likely.

Esendex will be Hack 24’s headline sponsor

Esendex sponsor Hack 24

After the huge success of coding events such as Hack Manchester, Nottingham finally has its very own coding event – Hack 24. We’re excited to announce that we’ll be the headline sponsor and we’ll be setting a challenge for coders to get stuck into on the day!

Hack 24 is a 24 hour hackathon hosted by Tech Nottingham on the 2nd and 3rd of May. Over the course of 24 hours (whilst battling through an all-nighter) the teams will be competing to create the best workable product.

It’s free to enter so if you would like to get involved just click here to register. We hope to see you there!