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

Nott Tuesday’s Tech Awards – here’s what happened…

Last night we sponsored Nott Tuesday’s Tech Startup of the Year Awards. We provided Esendex flavoured pizza and the drinks for the night!

Nott Tuesday supports Nottingham startups in all aspects of running a business and enables them to learn from other like-minded entrepreneurs.

For this year’s awards, six startups had just five minutes to pitch! There was a panel of 5 experienced judges who selected two winners.

Here are this year’s finalists:

New Startup of the Year

· Call for Participants offers a global place for finding research to take part in or for advertising your study to find the right participants.

· Cronofy (One Diary) is a platform for organising time, who are building tools to manage the flexible work-life balance of the 21st century.

· LockDock (Summus) integrates into existing electronic locks, turning your smartphone into a digital key for doors, garages, gates, padlocks and more.

· Tickityboom make mobile games for women aged 35 and older. They’re developing new apps with irresistible characters and compulsive narrative hooks.

Emerging Startup of the Year

· ENSEK are a software and data company dedicated to helping both energy suppliers and industry specialists to effectively manage their data.

· Highclere Interiors are shaking up traditional interiors by combining their cozy showroom with digital tools like PatternReference; a wallpaper identifier – a bit like Shazam but for wallpaper.

It was a fantastic evening; all of the startups did a great job of pitching and answering the probing questions (Dragons Den style). However, there could only be two winners! The winner of the New Startup of the Year Award went to Cronofy and the winner of the Emerging Startup of the Year Award went to Ensek.

Congratulations to everyone who took part!

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ShipIt day at Esendex!

ShipIt day winnersFollowing the success of our first ever ShipIt day back in April, on the 6th and 7th of November we dropped everything in the office so we could focus on another ShipIt day!

What’s ShipIt day?
We took inspiration from one of our favourite software companies, Atlassian, who have some great information on how they run their ShipIt days. At Esendex, it’s 26 hours for all staff (not just our devs), to work on whatever they want – whether that’s to improve what’s already there or develop something completely new related to the business.

Why would we take time away from developing our core products and services?
Esendex is good at hiring smart people and we’d be mad to keep all that brain-power and creativity locked up. Everyone has something that bugs them about their daily work, our products, or something they’d like to see happen. All that aside, ShipIt days are part of the package that make Esendex a fun place to work!

26 hours later…
87 ideas were suggested at the brainstorm sessions prior to the event and 16 distinct projects were worked on during the 26 hours. Everyone’s hard work and enthusiasm certainly paid off – there were so many great ideas to present on Friday afternoon. Each team had 5 minutes to showcase their project and it was then up to the staff to vote for their favourite.

Voting was carried out by SMS – naturally. Team Anti-un-social claimed victory with their project that allowed admin users on an account to specify which days and times messages can be sent

We also had another award voted for by our CEO which went to the team from our Australian office. They built “the world’s greatest online self-serve pro forma tool known to man”.

To be continued…
After yet another successful ShipIt day, we’ve no doubt we’ll be running more in the near future. I’m sure we’ll be blogging about a number of these projects as they make their way into our products and services over the coming months.

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We’ve just received the EE Gold Standard Award for Excellence

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve just received the EE Gold Standard Award for Excellence. This further reinforces our ongoing partnership and established relationship with EE.

EE selected us for this award because of our high levels of service quality that we offer to customers.

It’s a great achievement to add to our collection – we’re one of only three companies in the world who have received this recognition so far.

Lee Humby, Routing Manager comments:

“‘We are thrilled to have been selected for this award and to be one of such a small group to receive it. To have the EE Gold Standard Award for Excellence is a huge credit to the superb team here at Esendex.”

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5 ways SMS can improve efficiency in healthcare

SMS in healthcareWe’ll be at EHI Live tommorow – a two day exhibition concerned with all things technology in healthcare! So, here’s 5 effective uses of SMS in healthcare:

Appointment reminders
Missed appointments costs millions to the NHS each year – with more than twelve millions GP appointments missed each year costing over £162 million! Sending an SMS to your patients reminding them of their appointment is not only low cost, but extremely effective. With interactive SMS, your patients can also reply to either confirm, cancel or reschedule their appointment – time well spent!

Motivational messages
Send messages promoting healthy lifestyles direct to your patients phone – stop smoking, healthy eating, road safety etc. Sending motivational messages to a smokers’ phone doubles their likelihood of quitting (The Guardian). Also, promoting healthy choices prevents future health problems.

Medication reminders
Make sure prescribed medication works! Send a reminder straight to your patients phone to make sure they take their medication at the right time, every time.

Shift planning
Gone are the days of ringing all your staff in a desperate attempt to find cover at short notice – just send an SMS! It’s quick, simple and what’s more, it’s instant so your shift can be covered in minutes and your patients can get the care they deserve.

Outpatient follow-ups
Whether you need to follow-up with a patient to check how they’re getting on or deliver important information, SMS is the perfect channel to do so.

For more inspiration of how to use SMS in healthcare, read our best practice healthcare white paper. We’ll also be at stand C01 at EHI Live, so if you’re going to be there pop over and say hi – we can answer all your questions!

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13 SMS mistakes that could come back to haunt you!

Halloween pumpkinAs a Halloween treat to you, here are 13 deadly SMS mistakes you should never make:

1. Message overload

Don’t spook your customers and bombard them with SMS messages. If you’re sending text messages too regularly you will magically notice a soaring number of customer opt-outs and could earn yourself a bad brand image.

2. No opt-out

By law you must give recipients an easy way to opt-out of your promotional SMS messages. Nobody wants to be doomed with unwanted messages!

3. No opt-in

With mobile phones being such a personal form of communication, it’s your responsibility to make sure people have given you permission to text them! Not doing so is a sure fire way to annoy existing or potential customers – not to mention it’s also illegal.

4. Over the top

Long messages will just bore the recipient. Make sure your messages are clear and concise. Short and sweet messages will work a treat.

5. Bad timing

Understand your customers as much as possible and don’t send messages at a time you know they will be busy – the school run, bedtime, important meeting.

6. Who are you?

If you’re sending a text message to your customers or staff and don’t mention who it’s from there’s a massive chance they will never know.

7. Spelling errors

Every message you send contributes to your image. Don’t send messages with errors – check every message before you send it.

8. Txt talk

This brings us nicely on to using text slang! Not everyone you’re sending to will understand or appreciate any text talk – avoid it at all costs so each message is understood.

9. Irrelevant

Don’t have a reason to text? Just don’t bother. Each message has to be relevant!

10. Call to action

If there is no call to action the chances are you don’t need to text. Whether they should try your new service, confirm their appointment or cover a shift – they need to know what you want

11. Ignorance is NOT bliss

The more you’re sending text messages to your customers and staff, the more you get to know them. If you’re noticing things that are working well or not working at all and don’t act on it you’re missing out.

12. Make it personal

Sending a generic message creates the impression you simply don’t care. Even if you just address them by name, take the opportunity to personalise each message you send.

13. Supplier matters

Last but not least! When communicating with your customers you can’t afford to scare them away. Use a trusted, reliable SMS supplier, who has direct connections so you don’t face any problems.

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Congratulations to everyone who took part in Framework’s Walk the Walk

On Saturday 11th October, a few of our dedicated team were up at the crack of dawn to battle Framework’s Walk the Walk. Cat Mayfield, Kim Johal, Aman Johal, Francesca Lavelle, Thomas Mutton, Jonathan Relf and Richard Crossley all participated.

It was a tough 20 miles but our team finished it with smiles still on their faces! The walk started bright and early at 7.30 am and after a whole day of walking it finally finished at 6.30 pm!

It may have been a long day but they got to take in some stunning views of the Derbyshire Peak District and the weather was surprisingly good for October!

Well done to everyone who took part!

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We’re exhibiting at EHI Live 2014!

EHI Live logoWe’re happy to announce we’ll be at this years EHI Live. So, on the 4th and 5th of  November you’ll find us chatting about effective communication with a whole host of healthcare professionals – we can’t wait!

EHI Live is a fantastic two day event for those involved in healthcare to meet, refresh their knowledge, get their questions answered and to meet the experts.

If you’ll be attending pop over and say hi! We’ll help you discover how SMS can be used in healthcare and answer any questions that you may have.

In the meantime why not have a read of our healthcare white paper, for inspiration on how the healthcare industry can use SMS to become more effective.

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The winning formula for retailers in the run up to Christmas

Christmas tree

Christmas stock is starting to appear in the shops and no doubt the Christmas music will follow shortly. Our mobile phones are rarely out of sight and a whopping 98% of SMS messages are read. With this in mind, SMS is the perfect channel to engage with customers over the festive season, here’s our top tips:

Always in the loop
Keep your customers up to date! Send an SMS with new products, services or special offers. You’re suddenly pretty hard to forget and customers have an even bigger incentive to make their Christmas purchases with you!

VIP treatment
Send loyal customers exclusive offers and rewards. This is a sure fire way to get in their good books and keep them coming back. After all, no one forgets a business that offers something for nothing – especially when strapped for cash at Christmas!

Keeping it personal
Use the data you have lying around and tailor your SMS messages to each customer! Text Christmas greetings, birthday offers or products they’re interested in to make them feel special. This is such a powerful way to keep customers engaged with your brand and helps you build a strong relationship.

Find out what you’re doing wrong… and make it right
Don’t give customers a reason to leave. Send an SMS survey to understand what they’re thinking. It’s a perfect opportunity to find out what you can do better and then make a change.

Go that extra mile
When everything is frantic around the Christmas period, notify customers via SMS when the last order dates are for Christmas. Also let them know when their order is being shipped, send delivery confirmations and allow them to change their delivery day. If shopping with you is this easy, you have a customer for life – not just for Christmas!

Read our retail white paper for more ideas of how SMS can improve customer service, generate sales and reduce operating costs, not only at Christmas, but all year round.

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4 secrets to SMS survey and interactive text success!

SMS surveys and interactive texts are really powerful for engaging with your customers or staff – satisfaction surveys, amending delivery details, sales promotions and more!

Here are 4 top tips to make sure they are a success:

Interactive text example1. Short and snappy
Keep your questions as short and simple as possible. Not only is it so much easier for respondents to reply but you’re more likely to get the responses you need – win, win!

Make sure the interaction doesn’t feel endless to respondents – no one wants to be stuck answering questions left, right and centre. Try to ask no more than 5 questions and remember you can get in touch again at a later date.

2. Keep it personal
Make your staff and customers feel special and address them directly. The more you can personalise your messages the better.

3. Timing is everything
The secret to getting a high response rate is catching your customers, staff and whoever else at the right time! No one wants to be bothered when they’re rushing to work, fast asleep or trying to get their kids to bed – the list goes on but you get the idea!  For example, if you’re sending an SMS survey following a phone call, send it immediately whilst the experience is still fresh in their minds.

4. Testing can go a long way
Perhaps the most important thing is to test! Before you click send make sure you’re 100% happy. No one wants to be bothered by messages that don’t work or make no sense.

So there you have it – put our top tips to work and start sending effective SMS surveys and interactive texts today.

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Forget your diet, just open a text message!

According to a new study, a weekly text message reminder could be the key to a healthier lifestyle. Simply receiving an SMS reminder of the recommended calorie intake could help keep you on track to a healthier diet – who knew it was that easy!

It’s thought this is so effective because people are unaware of the recommended calorie intake – using such an instant and personal tool to communicate helps to keep people informed.

The study found that 58% of those involved couldn’t identify the recommended daily calorie intake but a text message turned this around! Those who received text message reminders were twice as likely to recognise the recommended calorie intake – so are more likely to make healthier food choices.

Here’s yet another way SMS can be put to good use in the healthcare industry. Feeling inspired? Read our healthcare white paper and Epilepsy Society customer story to discover even more ways SMS can be used in healthcare.

Text messages encourage healthy eating

 

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