Esendex’s very own Ironman

Paurl Burton Esendex Ironman

Here at Esendex we’re strong believers in testing our limits to become the best we can be, both in and out of the office. One inspiring person who has successfully done this, showing both passion and integrity while doing it, is none other than our Corporate Development Director, Paul Burton.

As part of the Black Line London team of friends and inspired amateur athletes, Paul set off to Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i to take on one of the world’s toughest triathlons, the Ironman World Championship last month.

The annual triathlon, which took place on October 10 2015, combines a 2.4-mile open water swim, 112 miles on the bike and a full 26.2 mile marathon – all non-stop – into one event, with the added challenge of temperatures approaching 40 degrees celsius.

Focusing on only the most dedicated athletes, the vast majority of whom have qualified for the World Championship by finishing at the top of their categories at one of 40 Ironman races around the globe earlier in the year, Paul was one of 2,300 athletes on the start line.

Are you crazy we asked? Surely there are easier ways to see Hawai’i?

His simple answer “no!” Paul went on to finish in 9 hours 34 minutes, placing 123rd overall including the professional athletes. And 23rd in his male 30-34 age group, showing an inspiration to the entire Esendex team and is a great advocate to our staff for the commitment, dedication and desire he has shown.

He said: “Qualifying for the Hawai’i Ironman has been a goal of mine for years, and having finally qualified this year at South Africa to then go and perform really well in Hawai’i was a dream come true.”

“It’s not always easy balancing work and sport commitments, but it really helps that I enjoy both so much and that I have the support of my colleagues at Esendex, many of whom share a passion for endurance sports.”

Well done Paul! All that’s left to ask is when’s the next challenge?

“I’m completely addicted to Ironman, so the end of season break won’t last too long as the next race will be in Austria next summer, and with any luck I’ll be going back to Hawai’i again.”

Make time for ‘Mobile Monday’

Cyber Monday and mobile marketing

Retailers and consumers in the UK became captivated by Black Friday in 2014 with spends from retail search increasing 145% in the run up to the event. But as we approach that same period once again it seems there is a new spending event taking priority for marketers nationally.

If you are an online service provider or ecommerce store then the two words you’re likely to be excited about at present are “Cyber Monday,” but perhaps not in the way that you think.

As users slowly start to transform their experiences from desktop to mobile the way that people are consuming content and shopping on Cyber Monday is no different:

– 41% of online traffic came from a mobile device or smartphone on Cyber Monday;

– and 22% of online sales were driven by a mobile

According to a survey by KPMG, UK shoppers are embracing technology at a faster pace than many other countries with more consumers now opting to purchase technology, electronics and entertainment online than ever before. The fact that such consumers are now using their smartphones to make these purchases means that retailers can now better identify the most successful ways to target them; by mobile.

From promotion and first click, right through to purchase and dispatch, bulk SMS provides the perfect platform to enhance your customers’ experience of your business or brand.

It has been suggested that 88% of impulse purchases are prompted by a sale or promotion and 45% of these following a promotion received by mobile.   Does this mean Cyber Monday has become less about Cyber and more about mobile?

With 7 days until Cyber Monday arrives there’s still time to contact our sales team to make sure you have enough SMS credits in your account or get advice on creating your campaign. Call us today on 0345 356 5758.

Esendex show NUAST students some coding

Esendex show NUAST students some coding

The Esendex team welcomed some much younger faces to the office this week as the development team paired up with students from the Nottingham University Academy of Science and Technology (NUAST).

Big believers in the importance of inspiration, particularly when it comes to technology, technical manager, Sam Wessel coordinated the first of two sessions which took place on Thursday, with the aim of showing students what it’s like to be a programmer in a working environment, in the form of some interactive hands on sessions.

The day started with a mini presentation from Sam. But students soon got stuck in, pairing up with a developer to undertake a series of exercises based around tasks which are often supplied at interview stages.

The students, currently learning Python on their Computer Science module, were shown various tasks in different coding languages including JavaScript and C#. Many of them will have to complete a client based project at the close of the academic year, and their teacher Dan Wood, felt the hands on experience would be a great opportunity for them to think about this.

Edwin, a NUAST student, worked with our web team lead, Paul Smith on a JavaScript task and was pretty impressed with the Esendex office. He found working with JavaScript a lot easier than he expected.

Skye also at NUAST, paired up with Web apps developer, Tommy Ly. She liked how the work environment was relaxed and casual and said she was excited to see how developers applied code in the working world.

“I’m already enjoying it, and working in pairs with someone who knows how to apply the code makes all the classroom work come to life.”

The day came to a close with a resounding success.

Sam Wessel, commenting on the day, said: “Today’s pairing over this half-day workshop has enabled us to show pupils at NUAST not only how coding principles are applied but also that software companies can be fun and exciting places to work.”

“We were really impressed with the attitude and aptitude demonstrated by students, which bodes well for Nottingham’s tech community.”

Enhance your click + collect service with Voice and SMS

click and collect voice and SMS communicationsBuying online may be popular at all times of year, but waiting at home for deliveries is not always convenient. 45% of online consumers in the UK used click-and-collect for Christmas shopping in 2014 which has made it the third most popular purchasing service in the UK.

A retailer’s job is to ensure their products as well as the customers’ experience is as smooth and efficient as possible in order to promote repeat visits and purchases, but are you optimising your click and collect service to encourage that?

Not only convenient for the customers, but free of charge too, click and collect means more people in store and more opportunities to benefit from impulse buying. A great win win scenario.

Complement your service

Reach your customers with the most convenient form of contact through intelligent voice broadcasting. Sending a pre-recorded voice message eliminates the need for your staff members to spend time calling endless lists of telephone numbers and making manual calls, saving both their time and the company’s money. Proven to gain three times the response rate of traditional sales calls or email confirmations it is one of the most efficient services to exchange information over.

More personalised with specific, detailed information that the customer wants including where they can collect their delivery right through to stock updates when a desired item has reached their chosen branch, voice broadcasting makes for a well informed customer and an even better type of service to accompany it.

Showcase Your Services

Using a combination of both voice and SMS can enhance a customer’s experience of your brand, making their transaction one that is personalised and rich in customer value.

Consider using a two-tier process. Send an SMS once their order is confirmed by integrating with our API, or if you use Magento via our SMS plugin, then broadcast an automated voice message when it arrives in store. Keeping your customer up to date with a fresh and varied approach and one which puts to rest their shopping worries during holiday season.
For more information on utilising the power of Voice broadcasting and bulk SMS to aid click and collect please contact the team on 0345 356 5758 or sign up here for a free trial.

Could SMS automation be an early Christmas present for your delivery plans?

Logistics at Christmas

During December 2014, at least 225,000 parcels each day failed to arrive when promised, and it’s approaching that same time of year again. Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas will soon be here causing demand and deliveries to skyrocket. With an influx in demand upon delivery expectations and logistics companies, we take a look at the ways to combat this.

According to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, last year, retailers and delivery companies received a high volume of complaints due to the backlog of deliveries caused by Black Friday and Cyber Monday discount events. 60% of people shopping online said they had problems with the delivery of their item due to loss or damage. Preventing such occurrences could avoid leaving a sour taste in your customers mouths ahead of this year’s greatest shopping events. Being prepared can make all the difference and SMS could be the best approach for executing those plans.

Communicating delivery

If you are a retail company then deals promoted via SMS such as “free shipping” could be a way to encourage customers to shop online with you. 83% of people are willing to wait an extra two days to receive an online order if they get free delivery, a great way to relieve delivery pressure and give yourself some extra time that’s not at the customer’s expense.

Sending regular SMS order and shipping updates is also a great way to keep customers satisfied. With SMS Notifications+ you can select from a choice of automatic triggers varying from order creation right through to order completion, letting customers know when their order is placed and dispatched. Helping customers to have confidence in the brand they’re buying from by giving them the power to reschedule could save further delivery costs.

Communicating while out on the road

It is likely that retailers using free shipping to incentivise sale and pre-holiday purchasing will increase the demand placed on your delivery company paired with fact it’s the lead up to Christmas. This is where communication is important. Integrating your CRM or communications system with our API will enable automated text messages to be sent out to customers when their delivery is out, even allowing them to easily reschedule with the provision of a direct telephone number. Automation can also be used to contact staff where deliveries have been rescheduled while they’re out on the road.

As the fastest and most effective way to communicate, SMS can improve efficiency while cutting the costs of missed deliveries where the recipients are not in or unavailable. Make it easy for your customers to shop at the busiest time of the year with SMS.  For more information on this or any of our other services, please call us on 0345 356 5758.

Helping healthcare with handheld surveys


SMS surveys in healthcare

Patient satisfaction and comfort is the paramount concern within healthcare, whether you are undertaking clinical trials, running a busy dental practice, GP surgery or NHS Trust. In order to guarantee that comfort, having the right feedback to base key decisions on, which enhance that comfort, is necessary.

SMS surveys from Esendex can make a big difference between how your healthcare establishment is run, how satisfied your patients are and how comfortable they feel, often giving new ideas to reduce waiting times, drive down costs and improve staff efficiency.

But SMS surveys differ dramatically to alternative survey platforms such as email feedback, paper forms or kiosks, giving participants the freedom to answer questions at their convenience, while at home or out and about. This allows service providers to better engage with their customers which means that they will be inclined to give more thoughtful and in turn valuable answers.

In healthcare the chances that the information being dealt with will be of a sensitive nature, is likely, which is where SMS surveys fit perfectly, bringing a higher disclosure level from patients. Granting more anonymity than a phone call or paper form, patients or service users are more likely to respond, and with instant responses.

The uses for SMS surveys doesn’t just stop with external customers, they are often used to find out about your own staff and suppliers, be it health and safety, legislative questionnaires, improvement suggestions or even staff satisfaction.  

SMS Surveys provide maximum engagement and by using the Esendex platform we can convert responses into valuable management information allowing healthcare providers and other businesses to validate processes, capture valuable customer insights and ensure they are delivering the best possible service.

To discuss the opportunities that SMS surveys could bring your organisation, call us on 0345 356 5758.

Make Sure Your Event Goes Off With a Bang!

Events and staff organisation blog

The evening skies later this evening will light up across the country with fireworks and bonfires in memory of Guy Fawkes’ foiled gunpowder plot. Firework night among several other public celebrations, such as Halloween, falls during Autumn, spawning numerous celebrations and engagements in the lead up to Christmas and beyond. Events that need promoting and managing smoothly and efficiently.

If you are one of many businesses organising events or seasonal functions in Autumn or Winter then you will know that the weather can sometimes play havoc with your plans leading to further expense and inconvenience. Having the right communication tools to connect with security, bar or waiting staff and the perfect channels for promoting or contacting your guest list is key.

So how can SMS be used to promote your business events or seasonal occasions?

To spark excitement

Use SMS to give your attendees insight into what makes your event special, create some buzz. 160 characters should be enough to spark intrigue and get those bookings made, whether for Christmas parties or New Year’s Eve firework extravaganzas.

Pushing ticket sales

If you already have a long list of people you want to invite to your event then initiate bookings or the purchase of tickets by offering advanced ticket sales to the first 1,000 with a telephone number or link to your designated web page. 64% of event planners have said that early bird discounts are often the most effective promotion.

Up-to-date on event changes

The weather could be among numerous unexpected prizes in the lead up to your proposed event or occasions which is where bulk SMS sending could work to alert attendees. Use automated SMS and connect with our SMS API to push out notifications when something key or of note happens that is likely to change plans.

Staff alerts and updates

A popular way of communication with employees who are regularly on the move, particularly if security staff contracting or caterers travelling the country, regular SMS bulletins are an effective and instant way to make sure that your staff are kept in the know.

With the impending occasions of Christmas and New Year whether you’re a restaurant, events company or retailer now is the time to put the right communication tools in place.

For more information on setting up a promotional SMS campaign for your event contact the team on 0345 356 5758

SMS Surveys – Ask Questions and Get Ideas…

SMS survey retail SMS

Trying to determine what your customers are thinking can be a tough battle as a retailer. The right products to stock and the right approach for staff to take. Trial and error means nothing without results to base them on.

Asking your customers to fill out a short survey in store often doesn’t produce the desired results with lengthy queues as you wait for them to be completed and pens running out. It can all get a bit fiddly. It can often seem a waste of time with rushed answers and a waste of paper if the answers aren’t the right ones. So where do you get your feedback from and how do you know if your customers are satisfied?

Times have changed … 95% of consumers said they would respond to an SMS survey rather than a request to complete one on paper.  Email, voice and web surveys all have their place but all have relatively low response rates with SMS achieving eight times the response than the average email campaign. If you’re a retailer really wanting to understand your customers then SMS is the channel that is likely to provide you with the best statistics to make that important business decision.

As an instantaneous and on-the-go method of receiving feedback from your customers straight to their phone, SMS surveys is a simple and easy way to collect the answers to the questions that you want to ask and respond to the answers your customers give just as quickly.

Able to be personalised for your customers, to complete at their leisure, whether from the comfort of their own home or while on the train back from work, the chances are they’ll be more inclined to do it. This gives you the opportunity to gain better insights, ideas and valuable statistics to put to use in your online or brick-and-mortar store.

Keep your customers satisfied, make them feel valued as a part of your company’s shopping experience and use SMS as an opportunity to up-sell. Low cost and producing instant results SMS surveys could transform your retail business. To find out more call us on 0345 356 5758 or email us at

Prepare for Black Friday with SMS

Black Friday, 27th November marketing

If you’re a retailer the two words on the tip of everyone’s tongue is Black Friday. It seems the Brits are adopting American culture and it started with Halloween. Now consumers are eagerly awaiting the chaotic sales day, which year upon year has painted happy shoppers black and blue in the race for a good deal.

The promotional day is great for a consumer, looking for last minute bargains before Christmas and perfect for retail businesses who are looking to see bulkier profits in the lead up to Christmas.  In retail and ecommerce the key to a successful deal is building up the excitement and hype in the lead up to the event. If you want to pip your competitors to the post then finding the most responsive, low cost and intuitive ways to promote is key and this is where our web bulk SMS packages could help.

We know retail well, so if you haven’t already prepared your Black Friday campaigns, here’s 5 ways SMS can help:

– Shoppers in the UK spent £810 million on Black Friday last year which means missing the opportunity to get your piece of the business pie is just an SMS away. Find out whether your customers are planning to visit your store by asking them to opt in to receive Black Friday updates on deals your promoting throughout the day.

– 60% of traffic for online Black Friday sales came from smartphone last year. This means that sending an SMS with a link to a specified landing page or URL made for Black Friday could be a hit.

– Last year’s happy shoppers gave Black Friday the nickname “Black and Blue Friday” following a few pushes and shoves. If you’re worried about safety on the day send out bulk SMS messages to your customers with an ‘invite only’ policy. That way you will know how many people to expect and promote safe shopping.

– If you’re an online or ecommerce website, integrate your business system with our API to send out automated SMS efficiently when purchases are made to give your customers that extra peace of mind.

– Use bulk SMS to grow your database for those Christmas and January sale shoppers you want to attract. When customers purchase something off your website, get them to leave their mobile number and opt in. Alternatively when customers visit your store, print your chosen keyword onto in-store advertising to get them to opt in.

To get started with your Black Friday bulk SMS campaign contact us on 0345 356 5758 or email us.

Magento sales alerts – anytime, anywhere

Magento & SMS notifications+ for sales alerts

In sales, the mid-way point to success is being on top of performance, especially where targets are enforced, and in the ecommerce industry it pays more to know exactly how you are performing.  How you do this can be made even more of a challenge when you have a wide global presence and stores in several countries, each with their own performance profile.

The Esendex SMS notifications+ extension for Magento combats this challenge by enabling you to send sales reports, straight to the mobiles of sales managers and other key stakeholders daily, weekly and monthly. Send anywhere in the world to keep everyone on the pulse. Where language can be a barrier and to support a global team, we also support multiple languages and provide pre-defined templates so that your teams can receive personalised reports in the language that’s most suited to them.

Where time is of the essence and the need to pinpoint performance issues is required, the SMS notifications+ plugin for also enables almost instant delivery of reports on revenue, order numbers and even the individual number of units sold. Combine this with the high availability of SMS among employees and speed of the Esendex system, you can avoid the delays associated with overwhelming email inboxes reaching their size limit or email spam filters, afterall email open rates fall short of SMS at just 20% compared to 98% of SMS.

At Esendex we offer a number of solutions to help our customers be the best they can be at communicating internally as well as with their customers. We understand that good communication is all about the channels that you choose to use. 86% of employees say companies should use SMS for more than just customer communications. Is is time that your business did?

If you’re interested in installing SMS notifications+ for Magento or want to find out more about the various business communication solutions we offer, call us on 0345 356 5758 to discuss your requirements.