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

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!

Don’t keep your stakeholders in the dark!

Solar eclipse - don't keep your stakeholders in the dark
A solar eclipse happens when the moon orbits between the earth and sun, either fully or partially blocking the sun resulting in darkness. With this set to hit on Friday morning, we thought we would give you a few ways you can use text messages to make sure your customers and staff are never left in the dark.

No matter what industry you’re in, SMS is the perfect channel – not only is it instant and effective but it’s the UK’s most popular form of communication (Ofcom). With this in mind, here’s just a few ways your business can use text messaging to shed some light for your stakeholders:

– Make online shopping that little bit easier! Update your customers about their orders via SMS. Send dispatch alerts, expected delivery times and potential delays so that your customers are ‘in the know’.

– Let your development staff know immediately that your website server is down to minimise any potential disruption to your customers, sales and service level agreements.

– If there has been a change in staff shifts or a shift needs covering there is no need to make dozens if not hundreds of phone calls, just send a text message to your staff and start getting responses instantly.

– When appointments have been made weeks or even months in advance they are so easily forgotten. Send an appointment reminder via text to make sure they turn up or have the chance to reschedule.

For more insight and inspiration why not check out our industry specific white papers. We also hope you enjoy watching the solar eclipse on Friday!

National Apprenticeship Week at Esendex

Today marks the last day of National Apprenticeship Week so we thought we would celebrate the success of our apprenticeship programme in the Esendex office, whilst reflecting on massive benefits to be had from taking on apprentices.

Here’s how our Facilities Management apprentice, Sam Ruddy has settled into his apprenticeship:

Sam Ruddy, EsendexI originally started out doing A-levels, but a year in I found that it wasn’t for me. After this I went to college for a month but didn’t enjoy it – this was when I found Esendex! I wanted to do an apprenticeship because it’s practical based, allowing me to gain valuable experience in an area that I’ve never worked in before – it was the right choice for me.

I couldn’t be happier that I chose an apprenticeship at Esendex, it’s a great way to earn while you learn, whilst getting hands on experience in a challenging but fun working environment.

Our Information Security and Compliance Administrator originally began as a Business Administration apprentice – here’s what she had to say about
her experience:

I did an apprenticeship in Business Administration but because I did my apprenticeship with Esendex, I was given the opportunity to work in different departments to gain a wealth of experience and knowledge. This meant that not only did I learn a lot about the business, but it gave me the chance to find the right career path for me.

When I completed my apprenticeship, Esendex went out of their way to give me an exciting job opportunity. I’m now an Information Security and Compliance Administrator, without my apprenticeship I wouldn’t have been given this opportunity.

If you’re looking to gain valuable work experience and learn new, transferable skills I would definitely recommend applying for an apprenticeship.

So if you’re considering taking on an apprentice here’s a few stats to help you make your mind up:

– 80% of companies who invest in apprentices noticed a significant increase in employee retention (Skills Training UK)
– 25% of consumers would pay more for goods and services offered by a business that employs apprentices (CEBR)
– 81% of companies say apprentices help boost the productivity of the whole company (Populus)
– 81% of consumers favour a company that takes on apprentices (Skills training UK)
– 71% of apprentices stay with the same employer (GOV UK)

Happy No Smoking Day!

No Smoking DayToday is No Smoking Day – over two-thirds of smokers say they want to stop but only a few actually manage to quit (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Here at Esendex we thought we could help healthcare providers out there to think about their tobacco control campaigns from a slightly different angle.  We’ve suggested some ways to bust some of the common myths that exist around giving up the habit:

Weight gain – It is common but it isn’t inevitable, as long as people keep moving, make healthy food choices and eat healthy snacks it may never even be an issue. Visit Change4Life for inspiration to help people make smart lifestyle choices.

Anti-social – What with the indoor smoking ban, smoking has become an outcast to social situations, who wants to stand outside in the cold smoking a cigarette whilst your friends have all the fun inside?

Roll-ups aren’t as harmful – Roll-up’s may be even more harmful than cigarettes as they don’t have a filter!

I’ll get awful withdrawal symptoms – Whilst some smokers may just prefer to go cold turkey, others may be put off by this thought. GP’s and Stop Smoking Clinics are able to offer medicines and NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) which can double the chances of successfully quitting.

I haven’t got time to go and see my GP - GP’s can provide support through a simple text message! According to The Guardian, sending a motivational text message to a smokers’ phone can help people to quit. Sending messages with encouragement up to ‘quit day’, help with cravings, and busting these myths can help double their chances!

Considering the overwhelming cost the effects of smoking has on the NHS and other healthcare providers, sending a simple and low cost text message seems a quick win to support those that are trying to give up.

For more inspiration on how healthcare providers can make use of SMS here’s our best practice healthcare whitepaper.