month 05
day 19
year 2016

A first birthday with a difference – Give Blood

First birthday Blood Donor Centre Nottingham

Left to right: Stacey Smith, Ryan Bowden, Sophie Stanley, Sam Wessel & Debby Walsh

Today a few members of our team popped down to the Nottingham Blood Donor Centre, the second largest of its kind in the UK, with a specially made cake to help them celebrate their first birthday!

It’s estimated that only 4% of the UK gives blood and that more than 6,000 blood donations are required each day to treat patients across England (Give Blood).

Having given more than 30 donations collectively as a group since the centre first opened last May, Esendex have been one of the most supportive businesses over the past 12 months, the most recent of which was in April.

Customer support advisor Debby Walsh usually takes on the reins as the organiser and has already set up the next round of donations.

She said: “Booking as a group at the centre is so easy and we felt it a great idea to encourage group participation for moral support.

“The staff are great, and I even get to find out where my donation ended up with the addition of a text message – such a nice touch!” – Debby

Centre Manager, Sophie Stanley and Marketing Coordinator, Neil Simms were on hand to receive the cake and thanked the team for their support over the 12 months.

“We are very proud of our centre in Nottingham and humbled by the difference our donors make to the community. We look forward to continuing our fruitful partnership with you.” – Neil

Technical Manager, Sam Wessel added: “With the donation centre being so close by, giving blood is easy and convenient, and it’s an amazing feeling knowing I’m helping someone who needs it. It’s a great way of paying it forward.”

The next Esendex blood donation is set for September, and we can’t stress enough how important the difference giving blood can make. It’s simple to book an appointment and register online.

A vital part of our healthcare system, and saving lives each day: we wish the Nottingham Donor Centre a Happy 1st Birthday!

month 04
day 12
year 2016

How to get started with effective mobile promotions

mobile journeys promotions blog image

Did you know that the average time spent online by mobile increased from just 31m in 2011 to 2h 26m in 2015 (The Drum)? And that 93% of UK adults have a mobile phone (Ofcom)? It’s hard to believe that with this data readily available, 40% of marketers still don’t incorporate mobile promotions into their marketing strategy (Eleventy group).

Mobile journeys promo's blog

How can you incorporate mobile marketing into your communications strategy?

Mobile Special OfferIt starts with the humble SMS. An incredible 90% of text messages are read within three minutes (Mobilesquared), so this is a much more reliable means of getting your messages read than email.

Start by collecting mobile phone data when customers check out, or sign up for your newsletter or loyalty programme, ensuring of course that you’re offering and respecting opt-out preferences.

An SMS message can incorporate the promotion in and of itself, but if you want to really stand out from the crowd, use the SMS as the launching point for a more immersive messaging medium.

Mobile Journeys promotional platformThe example opposite is a simplified web page that’s been accessed via a link in an SMS. It removes the traditional challenges of accessing website content on mobile by having no distractions, and one clear objective: driving your customer to take advantage of the offer.

Why segmentation and personalisation is so important

The technology exists to allow each customer to receive a unique link within their SMS so that you can target the promotions by location, gender, purchase history, lifecycle etc.

Segmentation can make or break your mobile promotion. The Sr. Director of Relationship Marketing at Groupon, John Becvar, commented in 2011:

“We really began with no personalisation and no segmentation.”

This was causing well-documented problems as customers were receiving offers for products and services in which they had no interest, or were too far away for them to take advantage of.

They overcame these problems with one of the smartest segmentation strategies in marketing, something any marketer can learn from.

Timing is everything

Your business will benefit from knowing what to promote and, just as importantly, when, as usage fluctuates among demographics at different times of day.

50% of people aged 18-24 check their phones within 5 minutes of waking up. If that’s your demographic, mobile promotions, discounts and offers may be more successful when sent in the morning. Sending to adults aged 24+ may be more effective later in the day (Ofcom).

Can Esendex help?

With our Mobile Journeys you can provide a tailor-made channel of access for your customers, enabling them to receive promotions, discounts and deals instantly. Remove distractions by directing them straight to the information they want to see with a dedicated mobile landing page, sent by SMS.

For further information about mobile promotions  contact a member of our sales team 0345 356 5758 or take a demo here.

month 03
day 17
year 2016

Is it time to ditch the dialler?

Is your dialler compliant?

It’s estimated that a staggering 1.5 billion silent and 200 million abandoned calls are received from call centres every year (ICO). These calls are often companies who use a dialler to contact customers and followers of their business, enabling them to send out large volumes of outbound calls without the strain on staff.

The effects of this have spurred Ofcom’s latest intervention to knuckle down on abandoned and silent calls, and in doing so have updated a policy originally brought into action in 2010. These are the alterations they plan to make.

  • A reduction in the tolerance for abandoned call rates (ACR), from 3% to 0-1%
  • Expanding the definition of what abandoned and silent calls actually are.

These changes have not been established yet, but if put into effect could have a negative impact for debt collection agencies and their heavy dependence on the use of diallers, where they fail to meet the standards of compliance, such as an increased workload for staff.

Here at Esendex we take silent and abandoned calls very seriously, understanding the benefits Voice services can bring to the debt collection industry and the importance of compliance to avoid hefty fines. We’re able to work with DCA clients in order to proactively research, develop and implement solutions to common issues raised by the use of diallers.

Silent calls are usually caused by a dialler mistaking a human answering for an answer machine and therefore remains silent.

Our systems are 98% accurate in detection. What does this mean? In the event of a misdetection occurring, we offer an inbuilt answer phone function that is triggered when a human answers. Beep detection is offered for the opposite scenario when an answering machine is misdetected as a human and will play a recorded message on the beep.

Abandoned calls are often caused by staffing issues in contact centres, where availability of staff for dialler transfer is a problem, meaning calls are just ended, or abandoned – even when the recipient picks up.

Our Voice Broadcasting enables better control of the amount of outbound calls made at a given time, meaning that the transition between broadcast and transfer is seamless; employees won’t be overwhelmed with calls and your customers won’t be left annoyed.

The implementation of a Voice Broadcasting service can not only help you increase productivity levels, but also ensures you’re compliant with the new regulations with maximum satisfaction for customers.

To speak to a member of our team about ditching your dialler for a more compliant, cost-effective and efficient Voice system, call a member of our team on 0345 356 5758.

month 03
day 15
year 2016

Hack24 – Are you ready?

Hack24 hype build blog image

Hack24 is almost here! For a second year running tickets have sold out within minutes of release – just a small indicator of how great this event really is. Now with the backing of Nottingham City Council, the 24 hour hackathon is set to be bigger, better and more competitive than last year.

Just a few days away, the fingers of hackers are already starting to twitch, eagerly awaiting the much anticipated event. All the challenge and prize details have been released, so preparation begins now!

We’re extremely proud to be a gold sponsor for Hack24, supporting our local tech community as well as the development of young programmers and hackers, which is also why we’ve set our own challenge for hackers to get their teeth into.

As we’re all about communication, our challenge follows suit and prompts you to think of ways you can improve communication between humans, animals, the planet, work – anything or anyone. Think about the values Esendex adopt and get creative.

Want to get the most out of your hacking creation? Use our SMS API to give your team a boost and claim 100 free SMS credits, irrespective of whether you choose to enter the Esendex challenge

month 03
day 10
year 2016

3 Reasons Why Sending SMS via Email Works

SMS to email integration

Our new Integration Guides let you integrate SMS with hundreds of different applications, including sending SMS via email. Which is all well and good, but why would you want to do this in the first place? What benefits can it bring you?

  1. SMS has open rates of 98%, compared to 20% for email

When you also realise 90% of all SMS messages are read within 3 minutes of being received, it‘s apparent that SMS messaging is a more effective way to receive messages than email.

Why not send emails like you’ve done before, but instead communicate with the recipient in a much faster and more effective way, enabling receipt of email as a text message?

  1. You don’t need to change the way you work

Benefit from the familiarity of your existing email account while reaching customers and staff in a new and effective way.

Embracing change can be scary, but with the integration of SMS for email there is no change for you. Just use your email as normal and the recipient will receive an SMS instead.

  1. There’s no learning curve

Sending SMS via email is just as simple as sending an email, like you’ve done a thousand times before. You’ll receive responses via email too, so there’s no new technology to get to grips with.

Here are just a few reasons why sending SMS from your email can help you better engage with your customers, without the need to change your original method of communication.

Learn more about:

Start your free trial of Esendex Echo for Email today, or call our team on 0345 356 5758 for more information!

month 03
day 3
year 2016

5 Top Tips for a Successful SMS Survey

Use of SMS surveys on a mobile

When you want feedback fast, SMS Surveys work harder than any other platform. 93% of us have a mobile phone (source: Ofcom), 98% of text messages are read, and 45% are responded to (sources: mobilemarketingwatch.com and smartinsights.com).

Furthermore, an IPSOS study revealed that 95.3% of consumers would be likely to complete an SMS survey,  so you’re looking at a highly effective, and affordable, means of gathering customer feedback. 

It goes without saying the quality of the feedback you receive will depend on the quality of the survey questions, so to help, we’ve compiled 5 top tips to consider when building your SMS Surveys.

  1. Maximise engagement

Make sure you introduce yourself by having an opening message with a sender identity your recipients will recognise. When it comes to questions keep them numbered (to indicate how far through the survey the recipient is) and to the point.

Aiming for a maximum of 4 to 5 questions will maximise your response and completion rates and therefore improve the quality of the results.

  1. Personalise

Depending on your target audience you should include merge data to personalise the survey for each recipient – their name, the event they attended, the product they purchased etc.

This should achieve a higher volume of responses and better quality feedback as recipients feel more engaged.

  1. Vary responses & encourage interaction

In order to get the most out of the survey it’s a good idea to use a branched survey so that you are asking questions relevant to the responses provided by the recipient.

For example, if a recipient had a great experience, then find out if they would buy again. If the recipient had a bad experience,  you can instead find out what went wrong and take action to ensure this does not happen again.  

  1. Timing is everything

The speed in which your SMS Surveys are sent is a big factor in responses.  Make sure you’re asking your next question within 5 seconds of a response being received to create a conversation.

Also consider your audience and determine the best times to gauge their opinion. Sending out an SMS Survey at 8:00 AM to a demographic who largely work office hours may not achieve the best results, whereas lunch time would be the perfect time to catch your audience while they have time to look at their phones.

  1. Incentivise your SMS Survey

Whether through a competition, discount or limited-time promotion, further your response rates by offering an incentive for your customer’s valuable time and feedback.

If you would like more information and best practice guidance on putting together your first SMS Survey then contact our team on 0345 356 5758.

month 02
day 24
year 2016

Possibilities of SMS with Zapier

Man inputing data on laptop and holding mobile phone in another hand.

Having the power to automate your communications with clients, customers or members of your team, whether for marketing, critical updates or sales, can save a lot of time and money – especially when they can be done from one place.

Earlier this month we launched our SMS software integration guides. Our Zapier option opens up business to business and business to consumer communications by SMS from more than 500 applications, but what are its possibilities?

Alerting

Improve performance and monitoring by getting critical updates and alerts about things that matter to your business. When servers go down, experience anomalies or actions occur on your website you and other stakeholders can be notified by SMS alerting. Set up specific rules to trigger the automated SMS within Zapier without the need for development support.

Applications: StatusCake, Airbrake, Monitis, Crittercism

Highlight opportunities

Complete your sales cycle and processes to enable you to stay in better control of business opportunities.  Get alerted when leads or potential customers are added to your CRM database. Set up automated SMS notifications whenever a new contact is added, converted or changed all without having to construct any code.

Applications: Salesforce, Bullhorn, Solve CRM, Capsule CRM

Surveys and forms

Surveys and forms can involve input from multiple parties and keeping on top of new entries, new submissions and responses can be difficult. This is where our Zapier integration can prove useful, alerting important stakeholders about specific actions which take place on your shared documents. Get alerts straight to your phone by SMS and ensure that the messages are read without information being missed.

Applications: Google sheets, Survey Monkey, Webflow

Project management

Use SMS to be the ultimate manager of important projects. Use to keep stakeholders up to date about any updates to your projects and make it easy for issues to be raised or changes made. It’s simple to create specific triggers which depend on your software platform and actions being tracked, then all you need to do is select Esendex SMS.

Applications: Trello, JIRA, Basecamp

To access our SMS app via Zapier to send SMS from hundreds of apps click here. Or contact our team on 0345 356 5758.

month 02
day 3
year 2016

Esendex take Action on Hearing Loss

Esendex are raising money for Action on Hearing Loss

It seems four members of the Esendex team have taken their January resolutions to keep healthy and fit that little bit further, this year, by opting to take part in the Great North Run. The “greatest half marathon in the world”, a 13.1 mile route in Newcastle will take place on Sunday September, 11 2016 and will see four of the Esendex team join more than 50,000 runners on the day to raise money for Action on Hearing Loss.

Project Manager, Robyn Charlton, Software operations lead, Jonathan Relf, Digital Manager, Nadya Ahmed and Web apps team lead, Oliver Tomlinson all decided to take on the challenge, each for differing reasons but with one shared goal – to raise a collective £1,200 for Action on Hearing Loss.

The charity, Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) is the largest UK charity helping people who are confronting deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss. It gives support and care, develops technology and treatments, and campaigns for equality.

Robyn, who is originally from Newcastle has been going to watch the Great North Run with family for years. She said: “Every year I think ‘I’m going to do it next year’, well that next year, is this year!”

“I love the buzz and excitement that the event brings to the North East and I’ll be proud to run over the Tyne bridge and raise lots of money for a great charity!”

Donate via Robyn’s JustGiving page.

Nadya loves to run and said it was the perfect opportunity to raise money for a charity so close to home.

“My mum suffers from tinnitus and as a result is deaf in one ear – to support a charity which is raising awareness about the condition is important to me.”

Donate via Nadya’s JustGiving page.

Oliver said he was taking part in the Great North Run to give himself a target to aim for in his running ambitions.

“I want to raise money for a great charity in the process.”

Donate via Oliver’s JustGiving page.

Jonathan has chosen to take part as he has asymmetric tinnitus.

He said: “I’m fundraising for Action on Hearing Loss to continue to provide support & research to help others with hearing conditions.“

Donate via Jonathan’s JustGiving page.

Technology plays a huge part in assisting those with hearing loss. SMS has been one of the key contributors to this transformation, in the way that emergency services, businesses and consumers all communicate with those suffering from conditions resulting in hearing loss or tinnitus – just one of the many reasons the four members of the Esendex team have chosen to support the charity.

month 01
day 28
year 2016

Put a Spring in your step with Mobile Journeys

Mobile Journeys blog images

It may not surprise you to know that 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to do their shopping. You could be missing out on a lucrative opportunity for your business if you’re not targeting mobile. Not only will you be giving customers a user-friendly platform to access your product or service but you will also be making it easier for your business to reach them when it’s most convenient.

With the January sales now over, thoughts are already turning to the next big product launches, promotions or Spring sales, which is why now is the time to plan the best approach to promote your next product, service or initiative – that’s where Esendex Mobile Journeys offer the perfect solution.

76% of consumers have purchased via a smartphone (OFNS)

Whether your intentions are to boost sales, spread awareness or shout about the latest deals and offers, adopting our tailored Mobile Journeys is a great way to achieve these goals. Design a thorough user experience that is specific to your product, service or customer that can be sent instantly by SMS.

Accessed via a simple URL link in a text message, the customer simply has to click the link to explore the journey or collection of mobile landing pages you have created for them.

And while timing can be everything, the instant method of SMS means that the customer can choose to explore the journey immediately or at a time more convenient to them – a perfect opportunity to maximise Spring sales and promotions while they’re in the comfort of their own home.

Direct your customers to promotional pages without the need to navigate awkwardly on a non-responsive site – take them to where you want them to be.

Seize an opportunity to reward loyal customers by personalising landing pages with everything from your own branding to the user’s personal details, such as their name.

Navigation can be made as simple or as complex as your business requires taking customers through simple steps from first click, right through to purchase, with the added extra of secure mobile payments, at the press of a button, where transactions are required.

There’s still time to give your Spring promotions and sales a boost with Mobile Journeys. Contact our sales team to discuss your requirements on 0345 356 5758 or try our interactive demo here.

month 01
day 20
year 2016

Automate customer contact with Esendex Voice

Blog image for voice blog

While many consumers are looking to save money at the start of a new year, so too are businesses, and in the midst of the financial year, big savings are always welcomed. Whether your customers are looking to save money by switching utility providers, renew membership packages or repaying debts accrued over Christmas, before interest hits – communication with them is key.

Introducing an automated Voice solution to your business could be a potential fix to your existing contact strategy. Cutting the amount of time your contact center staff spend on the phone and in turn the amount of money your business spends on wasted minutes, all while improving processes.

Integrating our Voice Broadcasting platform to your existing system is simple using pre-recorded message options from a real person rather than a computer processed voice. With the option to include several numbers in each of your customer’s records, you can prioritise the time of day certain numbers are attempted for maximum effect. Use to increase your customer’s satisfaction, by serving gentle reminders about renewals, offers or even payments which are overdue, all without the embarrassment of having to speak to contact centre staff about private information or unnecessary lengths in conversations.

Where contract or membership renewals are due offer a gentle, well-timed reminder in the form of a voice callback, sent by SMS, with a dedicated call handler on the other end or through an interactive voice messaging solution. This provides the customer with various options including contact where an agent’s assistance is required. Perfect for handling large call volumes and collecting more payments or processing more renewals at a time of year when they often decrease.

Voice can also be used to reward frequent customers by promoting various loyalty scheme events or offers through simple automation.  Consider integrating Voice Broadcasts or Interactive Voice with SMS, email and even web to create multi-channel campaigns.

Customers can receive a text message detailing their account and prompting a response, to which they can schedule calls for times convenient to them, avoiding queues and premium rates which all encourage them to keep their account or custom with you.

For more information on the various Voice services or other products that we offer to help automate your contact strategy this year, please contact the team on 0345 356 5758.