S6 Connect has been trialling a new SMS text messaging platform (also known as bulk SMS service) over the last few weeks, and we’re now preparing to roll the service out to customers across the UK.
With all the advances in technology and an ever-increasing array of messaging apps and options out there, it may seem strange to be reverting to SMS, but the big advantage is that everyone has it. We’re not doubting that Twitter, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, and other platforms have their uses – we use several still ourselves – but trying to determine who uses what can be a headache in itself. Email has it’s place too of course but – let’s be honest – how many of the emails you receive do you actually read?
We’ve used a number of SMS platforms over the years and found each to have its pros and cons of course. Building on that experience – good and bad – brings us to where we are today, and the launch of our own SMS text messaging platform.
As you can see from the screenshot, despite being a very powerful system with several options available, the interface remains clean and simple. Type in the message, select or enter the recipients, and press send. You can schedule it for later, add some merge fields into the message (the customer’s name is always good!) and choose what should be shown as the “Sender”. This could be a phone number or the business or brand name.
It’s not just about sending messages out though. All accounts have access to the “Simple Reply Service” which allows your contacts to reply to one of the (shared) numbers available on the system, but you can also purchase your own ‘virtual’ number. In both cases you can be notified of any replies in a number of ways.
SMS short codes and keywords are also available. You’ll no doubt have seen or heard adverts where you can text a message to a 5-digit number, often starting the message with a particular word. We do that too! For example, text CONNECT and a short message to 60777 and we can get back to you with more information about the new SMS platform or any of our other services.
Successful Trial Campaigns with Equal People & 4N
Equal People Performing Arts, a charity in South Essex that we do a lot of work with, recently held their annual ball and an SMS campaign was used to remind guests that there would be a raffle and photographer available on the night… so they should bring cash for this! A follow-up message was sent a few days after the event with a brief feedback survey to help with planning for next year. 80% of the recipients responded.
4Networking (4N) – “the UK’s only joined up business network” – has over 250 meetings each fortnight up and down the country. A personalised text message was sent out to members and visitors that had been to the Lakeside Lunch meeting when it launched, but that had not been seen more recently. Within five minutes of that message going out, some of the recipients booked into the next meeting. Coincidentally, we announced the new SMS platform at that meeting and are already working with fellow business owners there to help them further improve their customer relationships via SMS.
Do you use SMS?
We’d love to hear success stories from other business and organisations that have used SMS Text Messaging – whether using our platform or another!