If you’re a business looking to meet the demands of today’s mobile-centric consumer, then text messaging must be included in your overall strategy.
Why texting? Because it’s fast and convenient, and everyone is doing it. According to a study by PEW Research, “on average, 97% of smartphone owners send text messages. During a one-week study, 100% of participants in the 18–29 age range texted at least once during that period (compared to 98% of participants in the 30–49 age range and 92% of participants in the 50 and older age range).”
Before businesses start texting with customers, there is one important thing to consider to ensure legal compliance and a great experience for customers, and that is whether to use a short code number or a long code number.
As with anything you do in business, you must have a goal in mind when thinking about texting for both external (customer) and internal (employee) communications. By understanding your needs, you can make a better decision when determining when to use a short code or a long code.
What is Long Code Texting and When Should You Use it?
SMS Long Codes are traditional 10-digit phone numbers (Ex. 512-501-5940) that are mostly used to send and receive text messages between personal mobile phones.
There are a variety of ways businesses are using long code phone numbers to text with customers. Smaller businesses sometimes use their personal mobile phones, but that approach is not ideal because it’s not efficient and it is difficult to manage.
Businesses that are serious about texting often use a software to send and receive text messages from customers and employees.
When businesses use a texting solution, they are often provided with a long code phone number that they can use for texting. Additionally, some texting providers can enable texting on existing business landline phone numbers, making it easy for customers to communicate either by text or phone call.
When should you use long code numbers for texting?
Long code texting is best when used for personal communication both internally and externally. Long codes are not meant for messaging a large group of people as long code text messages are capped at one message per second. This means if you try to send a text message to hundreds of people a day using a long code, most will not receive the message, as it will most likely be marked as spam by cell phone carriers.
Common use cases for long code texting include:
Birthday & anniversary messages
Order & shipping confirmations
The purpose of long code numbers is for businesses to communicate with customers and employees on a personal level. They should never be used for mass marketing as there are stricter regulations when it comes to consent for receiving messages. This is where short codes come in.
What is Short Code Texting and When Should You Use it?
SMS Short Codes are traditional 5-6-digit phone numbers (Ex. 370370) that are used by businesses to send and receive mass text messages.
The keyword here is “mass”. As stated earlier, long code text messages are meant for one-to-one communication and are restricted to one message sent per second. With short codes, businesses can send and receive hundreds of messages without issues as they are pre-approved by cell phone carriers to have a higher throughput at around 100 messages per second.
When should you use short code numbers for texting?
Short code texting is best when you want to communicate a broad message or emergency alert to a large group of people at once. No, this does not mean that you should spam people with a “special offer”.
Although short codes enable you to reach more people, they also come with tighter regulations for opting-in. With short codes, businesses MUST HAVE proof of consent from recipients stating they are willing to receive text messages from them.
Types of opt-in consent for short code texting can be:
A keyword opt-in (Ex. Text JOIN to 123456)
Checking a box on a website form that gives consent (Ex. I agree to receive text messages from Business X)
Filling out a consent form (Ex. Enter your number to subscribe to alerts)
A couple of important things to note for opt-in consent is that first, it needs to be documented in your business records. This is to ensure that you can prove consent should someone decide to take legal action claiming a text message is spam. Secondly, you should always include an opt-out message in every short code message you send, giving people a chance to opt out at anytime (Ex. Text STOP to Unsubscribe).
Common use cases for short code texting include:
Marketing & promotional messages
Company news and product updates
Polls & Surveys
There is no doubt that text messaging will become the main channel for customer communication in the near future. However, businesses need to first understand how they want to use texting, and then decide whether to choose a long code, short code, or both depending on the goals of the business and each department within it.
It’s important to select a texting provider that has experience with both long code and short code texting and can provide you with proper guidance on the best solution for your business and scale as your business continues to grow.
When it comes to Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM), there is no bigger name out there than Salesforce. (Note, this is not an advertisement for Salesforce or its products).
With over 150,000 customers using Salesforce, the software is used across various industries to manage customer relationships within areas such as sales, marketing, customer service, and finance.
The main purpose of Salesforce and similar CRMs is to provide businesses with a way to store information, communicate with potential/existing customers and partners, and track business performance.
When it comes to communication efficiency, nothing beats the convenience and speed of text messaging for both businesses and the individuals they are communicating with. Therefore, businesses need to look at integrating a text messaging solution into their Salesforce usage.
With a text message integration into Salesforce, employees in all areas of the business can enjoy many benefits like personalized and streamlined communication, as well as improved operational efficiency.
Understanding the True Definition of a Salesforce Text Message Integration
Before we get into the benefits of a Salesforce texting integration, it’s important to understand the different types of integrations that are available. Most text messaging providers will say they “integrate” with Salesforce, but you need to ask questions about how it’s integrated and what does it really do?
Here are a couple of types of common Salesforce text messaging integrations:
3rd Party Integration
This type of texting integration involves third-party software like Zapier to act as a bridge from a text messaging platform to Salesforce. This type of SMS integration is more widely used because it’s easier to implement from a development perspective.
However, there are many drawbacks with this type of integration due to additional vendor costs, as well as potential message delays that may negatively affect the experience. As an example, with a Zapier integration, “zapped” messaging delays can be upwards of 15 minutes or more. This can cause a poor experience and potentially cause the business to lose a sale or customer.
As you start increasing the volume of inbound and outbound messages, the additional service and messaging costs increase dramatically.
Another drawback of a 3rd party integration is the inability to send messages directly inside Salesforce. Users will need to send the message in another system, and the message will then be sent to Salesforce as a record. This makes the entire process more time consuming and inefficient from an operations perspective.
Text messaging providers that have a native integration with Salesforce that connects directly into the CRM, provide many more benefits. It eliminates potential vulnerabilities and delays in sending and receiving messages. It also provides additional security and reliability because there is no third-party vendor involved in the process.
A native SMS integration allows text messages to be directly sent and received inside Salesforce using their native user interface. There are no additional windows to deal with and no added 3rd-party costs. Native integrations are more difficult to develop but provide many more benefits. So be sure to clarify if your SMS provider has a truly native salesforce texting integration.
Here are 3 Top Benefits of Integrating Text Messaging into Salesforce
Benefit 1: Personalized Communication
In today’s digital world, businesses have a vast amount of customer information available. The key to attracting and retaining more customers is through personalization and convenience.
By integrating a text messaging solution into Salesforce, businesses can start personalizing communication with potential and existing customers in the most personal way – texting.
With text messaging capabilities available inside Salesforce, sales & marketing teams can create specific lists based on customer attributes/preferences and send them personalized text messages. Unlike phone calls, emails or even web chat, text messaging is the most convenient way to communicate with people today no matter where they are, and over 97% of text messages are read in 3 minutes or less.
Sending the right text message at the right time can significantly increase response rates and improve your chances of reaching that lead and closing the deal.
Benefit 2: Multichannel Communication
Even though phone calls and emails are becoming less effective, they are still necessary forms of communication. In today’s world, it’s all about omnichannel communication where businesses need to be available through whatever channel their customers choose.
Integrating text messaging into Salesforce adds another key communication channel for businesses to be there for their customers – anywhere, anytime, on their channel of choice. Whether customers like to communicate via phone, email, website chat, social media or text message, every channel needs to have a presence to provide a better overall customer experience.
Integrating a text messaging solution helps with process efficiency by enabling communication inside Salesforce with automation, which is only possible with a native integration.
One of the most powerful features of Salesforce is the ability to create custom workflows, which is now called Process Builder. It allows you to build custom processes (or workflows) based on specific criteria. For example, a workflow can be set up to send a notification to a VP of Sales when a high-value lead submits a form on their website.
In an example using a Salesforce text message integration, a salesperson can automate a text message to a potential customer if that person did not open their last two emails. Instead of having to look back and do it manually, this process is streamlined and can be personalized for every lead, enabling personalized communication at scale.
There are many other workflows that can be built with text messaging inside Salesforce based on the specific needs of the business.
Salesforce is a great tool on its own, but as we have highlighted in this article, integrating a text messaging solution into your Salesforce CRM can have great benefits. It’s important to work with a text messaging provider that has both a native integration with Salesforce as well as an enterprise-grade platform and the expertise to implement it the right way, so that it truly becomes a valuable tool for your business.
Emergencies happen, and sometimes they cannot be prevented. However, when emergencies do happen it’s crucial to have to right communication channel to ensure the safety of everyone that may be affected by it.
The Importance of Text Message Alerts
During your daily commute, you may have noticed signs on highways alerting you of different emergencies, whether it’s road closures or an AMBER Alert. Like me, you may even have gotten text messages about those emergencies.
Those text message alerts are proven to be effective and lifesaving. As study shows, as of April 2019, there have been 957 children rescued specifically because of AMBER Alerts. As of April 2018, 56 children were rescuedbecause of Wireless Emergency Alerts.
It’s no surprise that texting is an effective channel to communicate important alerts to the masses because we now live in a mobile-centric world where we manage our lives within this rectangular device. Additionally, texting has quickly become the main communication channel due to the speed and convenience it provides for consumers as well as businesses.
Why You Need to Have a Text Message Alert System for Your Organization
From a business or organization perspective, having a text message alert system in place to announce emergencies as well as other important/time-sensitive information can make a huge difference.
As an example, I speak with customers regularly and one mentioned how texting saves their employees from heading into a traffic jam of over 4 hours due to sudden heavy snow and road closure, which caused a couple of accidents. If it wasn’t for the ability to quickly send a text message to let them know to wait or take a different route, it would have potentially put employees’ lives at risk.
No matter what type of organization you are, whether it’s a university or a business that sells a product or service, it’s important to have a text message alert system in place to ensure everyone gets all important information relevant to them.
Examples of Text Message Alerts
Here are some examples of notifications you can send to your customers, members or employees.
Service-Based Businesses (Home Repair, Financial, Healthcare, Auto Repair)
Credit fraud alerts
Product recall alerts
Customer feedback surveys
Personalized marketing messages
Human Resources (Recruiters, Training, Compensation)
Employee benefits deadlines
Company or location closures
Building fires and hazards
How to Choose the Right Solution for Your Text Message Alert System
Now that you understand the importance of having a text message alert system and example of messages you can send, it’s time to understand some important features your potential text messaging alert provider should have.
Deliverability of Mass Text Message Alerts
If people don’t receive your text message alerts, why send them?
There are many text message software providers out there, however, many of them rely on third-party vendors to support their sending of text message alerts. The problem with that is the provider is entrusting their alerts to be sent through someone else, which means there can be a delay in the messages sent along with messages not being delivered at all.
When looking at a texting provider for your organization, make sure the platform does not use a third-party system to deliver their messages. Partner with a vendor that has their own system built in-house with their own API, which has benefits like higher and more reliable message delivery rate as well as lower costs per message.
Two-way Text Messaging Capabilities
It’s important to allow people to respond to your alerts. Many texting providers only offer one-way messaging, which means that recipients of the alert messages cannot respond to ask questions. Having a provider that can allow people to respond to alerts can greatly improve the experience and make sure there are important questions that are not left unanswered.
Additionally, when sending out mass text messages, short codes are often used, (short codes are special 5 or 6 digit phone numbers that allow for mass texting.) it is important to have a vendor that enables two-way communication through short codes as most providers only allow one-way text messages via short codes.
Although texting is by far the best way to reach people with alerts, it’s also important to communicate your message through different channels. Having a texting provider that enables you to not just send a text message but also different channels like email alerts, voice call alerts, and social media alerts can greatly improve the chances your recipients will get the alert. In today’s omnichannel world, it’s all about being there no matter which channel people choose to communicate with.
Time is of the essence when it comes to sending an alert or notification to contacts within your organization. By partnering with a texting provider that can integrate with your CRM or other internal systems, it enables you to make the process of sending alerts more efficient by quickly targeting the people who need to see the alert and sending it directly from the system, instead of having to go back and forth with different systems.
Every organization should think about how they communicate important notifications and emergency alerts to their customers, members, and employees. It’s crucial to have a plan and the right tools and processes in place to quickly send out alerts and texting is by far the quickest and most efficient way. As you think about your emergency texting alert plan, refer to the examples and areas to consider mentioned in this article to ensure everyone is getting your message.
Integrating SMS text messaging into Microsoft Dynamics makes this premier CRM system even better. Adding SMS text messages to your email communications can generate new leads, increase productivity, and boost sales for enterprise businesses. It’s important to find a truly native SMS text messaging integration for MS Dynamics in order to realize the full benefit. Here’s what you need to know.
The highest ROI MS Dynamics SMS Integrations are built using Microsoft Development Tools and operate seamlessly within your existing IT infrastructure. Truly native SMS integrations offer an array of enterprise-grade features built for scale and reliability AND operate inside of your existing Microsoft Dynamics 365 database.
When selecting a Microsoft Dynamics SMS texting solution, look for the following:
Native Microsoft Dynamics Integration
When adding SMS text messaging to Microsoft Dynamics, compatibility is a major concern. Native integration means that applications are built using Microsoft’s own development tools to improve security, performance, and reliability.
Although some SMS text messaging providers report having Microsoft Dynamics Integration, it’s important to clarify what they actually mean. Many times, such integrations are in fact data connections that merely sync contact info between the vendor’s application and your Microsoft Dynamics 365 instance.
This means you will have to open a separate window in order to send your text messages as opposed to having them embedded into the menu system right inside your MS Dynamics window.
Other vendors use automation tools like Zapier or Boomi as intermediaries between their messaging services and client databases. While tools like these have their place, 3rd party solutions are typically not the best solution for enterprise-grade SMS text messaging, and they can substantially increase your costs per text message.
Since both inbound and outbound requests count as separate transactions, the total cost of ownership grows rapidly as messaging volume increases. Automation platforms like these provide quick access to basic integrations but remain prone to unwelcome side effects.
For instance, Zapier adds its own fees to your messaging costs and 15-minute Zapier messaging delays are not uncommon (depending on the service plan and configuration). Most enterprise-grade businesses eliminate the middleman and need to avoid message delays.
Many non-native MS Dynamics SMS applications require using provider infrastructures to send SMS messages (not your own). A questionable arrangement subject to a host of vulnerabilities and problems. True Native Integration eliminates these concerns because SMS messages flow directly from within your CRM database.
Ease of Use
With native integration, on-boarding and training times can be significantly reduced. Since there’s no need for additional accounts or logins – users already familiar with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM ecosystem can take full advantage of native SMS integrations immediately.
Native integrations bypass the steep learning curve often associated with implementing 3rd-party solutions and make your organization more efficient.
Another benefit of native SMS integration is enhanced security and better control over data access. Built for large organizations, enterprise-grade SMS texting features make system administration easier. Because they use the same security protocols as other Microsoft applications, data security breaches or containment issues are minimized.
Most importantly, data never resides on questionable 3rd-party servers.
On-premise MS Dynamics installations utilize local data processing and storage servers while cloud-based setups reside on Microsoft’s trusted, ultra-secure network.
Administrators rest easy knowing critical data is protected and always available.
Native apps (built using Microsoft Development Tools) share the same legendary performance and uptime associated with traditional Microsoft products. Because native applicationslive entirely within the user’s Dynamics 365 instance, they’re naturally more efficient and less susceptible to problems.
Businesses that use native, cloud-based SMS Integrations have higher reliability and since native apps exist within your specific Microsoft Dynamics 365 environment, database updates are never needed between you and outside vendors.
As long as the Microsoft Dynamics database is operational, your data is accessible.
However, to take full advantage of these capabilities, you must choose a cloud-based SMS text messaging provider with a native text messaging integration. Ideally, an enterprise-grade platform with similar uptime and performance metrics as those of your Dynamics 365 database.
Compatibility and Extended Functionality
Because they’re built with the same software development platforms, native MS Dynamics apps integrate seamlessly with other Microsoft products and services. With so many powerful API and customization features, system configuration options are virtually endless.
You can connect freely with other Microsoft Core Services or create custom solutions of your own knowing that compatibility won’t be an issue in your CRM environment.
Partnering with an SMS Text Messaging vendor who supports cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 installations offers even more possibilities. Like taking advantage of Microsoft’s powerful, cloud-only custom integrations and smart reporting functions (powered by machine learning).
Many of these add-ons benefit from including SMS text messaging and reporting functionality. For example:
Microsoft’s flagship business analytics solution offers valuable data insights and customizable displays of performance metrics. These stunning reports can easily be embedded in apps, webpages, or shared with others both inside and outside of your organization.
Flow and PowerApps
A drag-and-drop suite of tools to create built-in workflows and custom automation sets. Users can easily personalize over 200 different Microsoft/partner applications based on business logic and enterprise needs.
Automated workflows improve productivity and enable collaboration at an unprecedented scale. They also provide the ability to create new processes without having to write a line of code or hire a developer.
MS Dynamics 365 cloud databases include native support for building self-service web portals. These websites are easy to share and maintain and can be used for a number of different internal applications.
A relatively new Microsoft Dynamics CRM feature allows organizations to strengthen and enhance user experiences. Administrators can build “paths” to deliver custom content to specific users/groups accessing the database.
Such automation can significantly reduce training times/costs by allowing the user to control their own learning experience.
However, these add-ons are only available for cloud-based MS Dynamics and Dynamics 365 installations. Thus, it’s paramount to choose providers who support Dynamics cloud databases to take full advantage of an MS Dynamics SMS text messaging integration.
Long Code vs. Short Code SMS Texting Options
A frequently overlooked component of selecting a vendor for an MS Dynamics texting integration is understanding when to use Long Codes Vs. Short Codes. Which is one of the most important factors to consider.
Long Codes are 10-digit numbers used for direct 2-way communication with two or more parties. Following the traditional number format of landlines and cell phones, long codes are used in voice calls, faxes, and text messages.
Being able to call and text from the same number has distinct advantages. The biggest of which is providing customers direct access to your brand via a single point of contact.
Long codes are ideal for creating personalized experiences and seamless two-way conversations.
However, carrier restrictions prohibit sending mass SMS marketing messages using long codes. Violations can incite legal action and cause vendors to forfeit long codes already assigned.
Hence, Short Codes are essential as well.
Short Codes serve entirely different purposes than Long Codes. These 5 to 6-digit numbers are used frequently for marketing, alerts, and mass one-way communication. Short Codes are designed for sending bulk SMS Marketing Messages and Mass Notifications.
Although less personal than Long Codes, Short Codes facilitate messaging millions of clients or subscribers at the same time. Yet, this messaging format also has limitations.
Shared Short Codes are the most common option among smaller SMS text messaging providers. A “shared” number means multiple businesses use the exact same code. The differentiator being the keyword brands use to connect with their customers.
For example, Short Code 95660 may respond to keyword “drive” for an auto dealer and “pedal” for a bike shop.
The problem is Shared Short Codes cannot engage in 2-way dialog using the same channel. Nor can they retain conversational data for administrative purposes for more than a short period of time.
While some SMS vendors claim this is possible, most implementations fall far short for enterprise brands focused on customer service.
The result forces customers to use alternate contact methods to continue the conversation, adding yet another layer of friction and creating a less personal experience. To combat this problem, some providers offer Dedicated Short Codes with unfettered access. However, this option can be expensive and still makes customers call back using a different number.
Incorporating SMS texting into Microsoft Dynamics 365 adds tremendous value. However, the right setup and support are crucial to fully leverage your investment.
Look for SMS providers who build and support their own technologies rather than piggybacking off other SMS APIs or generic integration tools. True enterprise-grade SMS vendors provide native SMS integrations, direct carrier connections and maintain their own fully documented SMS APIs.
Besides offering higher-performance and optimal pricing, top vendors employ dedicated technology teams and seasoned developers who understand how to properly integrate new SMS texting solutions.
Leading SMS vendors provide knowledgeable installation teams to assist with new setups or transition over from existing ones. Premium SMS solutions also include automated software wizards to help with common tasks and provide troubleshooting assistance should problems arise.
Seek out vendors who employ US-based support agents who understand the unique needs of enterprise businesses and large organizations. Overseas service options can introduce language barriers and create support hours outside of US standards.
Enterprise Scalability and Pricing
When integrating SMS text messaging into MS Dynamics 365, choose an experienced vendor who understands enterprise businesses, maintains direct carrier connections, and offers volume pricing and scalability.
SMS texting vendors who deal primarily with small businesses often lack the resources to manage mass SMS traffic volume – including reliable mass deliverability and proper queuing protocols for competing campaigns.
Insist on using cloud-based providers who have the bandwidth and speed necessary to handle large-scale volume.
You’ll find that market pricing varies as many SMS vendors simply build their interfaces on top of other provider’s SMS APIs. In most cases, these are resellers with little or no flexibility to offer volume discounts as you grow. The best SMS providers build their own SMS API and connect directly with carriers to eliminate costs and offer enterprise level pricing.
TrueDialog – Microsoft Dynamics 365 SMS Text Message Integration Experts
TrueDialog is the perfect solution for enterprise-grade SMS texting capabilities. Our cloud-based SMS text messaging solution is built for big business, yet made easy for small business.
Our five-star-rated platform includes an ISO 9001 database, direct carrier connections, 99.9% uptime, and true native Microsoft Dynamics 365 integration. If you’re serious about implementing an enterprise-grade MS Dynamics text messaging solution to deliver personalized customer engagement at scale, TrueDialog is an ideal solution.
Our proprietary “TrueDialog” feature enables seamless texting with both Short Codes and Long Codes all combined in the same thread, so businesses can send mass text messages and then effortlessly engage in one-to-one texting conversations at scale.
Unlike many other solutions, TrueDialog has invested in building direct carrier connections which eliminate the middleman and provide our customers with two huge benefits: 1) improved deliverability by reducing potential points of failure and reliance on third parties and 2) a lower cost structure which allows us to price our service significantly lower than the competition.
Additionally, we offer local US-based support (in tech-savvy Austin, Texas) from knowledgeable staff and developers who understand the unique needs of enterprise businesses. Our industry-leading features are state-of-the-art yet still provide the best value in SMS text messaging.
No other SMS platform compares.
If you’re ready to add integrated SMS Texting capabilities to your existing IT infrastructure, click here to schedule a demo or give us a call today at 512-501-5940 to schedule a demo of our Microsoft Dynamics SMS integration and let us show you why we have the best SMS enterprise-grade platform on the market.
Integrating SMS Text Messaging into Salesforce makes the world’s most popular CRM even better. Lightning-fast SMS text messages help enterprise businesses generate more leads, boost productivity, and increase sales. However, choosing the right SMS Text Messaging platform to integrate with Salesforce can be tricky. Here’s what you need to know.
When it comes to Salesforce® SMS text messaging integrations, there are dozens of options to choose from. Each one offering a different look, feel, and feature set. Yet, SMS providers and their view of what ‘integrated’ means can vary widely.
The best Salesforce SMS integrations with the highest ROI are built using Salesforce development tools and operate seamlessly within existing CRM environments. Top SMS integrations also include enterprise-grade features built for scale and reliability in a truly native integration that operatesinsideof your Salesforce CRM.
If you’re selecting a Salesforce SMS texting solution, insist on the following features:
Native Salesforce Integration
When adding SMS text messaging to Salesforce, interoperability is paramount. Native Integration means that applications are built directly within Salesforce’s own development environment. Using their proven CRM framework and tools ensures compatibility, high-performance, and rock-solid security.
While some SMS messaging providers promote “Salesforce Integration” it’s important to clarify exactly what is being offered. Often these integrations are merely data connections that sync contact info between your Salesforce account and the vendor’s application.
Some companies use behind the scenes automation tools like Zapier or Boomi to link Salesforce to their messaging services. Although highly useful overall, these 3rd party applications are seldom the best option for SMS text messaging.
Because each request (both inbound and outbound) counts as a transaction, the total cost of ownership can add up quickly. Zapier and other automation platforms do make custom integrations easier but may introduce other, unexpected consequences.
Depending on the service plan, “zapped” messaging delays can be upwards of 15 minutes or more. Timeframes that can be deal breakers for enterprise-grade businesses.
The vast majority of these solutions are NOT native in Salesforce and require you to send SMS messages via the provider’s infrastructure – not your own. True Native Integration eliminates these vulnerabilities/delays by sending and receiving messages from directly within your existing database.
Native integrations offer a host of other advantages over 3rd party solutions. For example:
Ease of Use
When apps are natively integrated, there’s no need for additional accounts, logins, or training. Users acquainted with Salesforce can take full advantage of native SMS integrations without the steep learning curve associated with a separate 3rd party solution.
Native integrations help employees increase productivity and reduce workloads on IT staff.
Native design also includes robust security features and granular control over user permissions and sharing rules. These are enterprise-grade SMS texting features designed with large organizations in mind. Native integrations must abide by the strict security standards that are part of the Salesforce CRM platform.
With native integration, information is never saved on 3rd party servers. Data storage and processing happen within the confines of your existing Salesforce instance. Local control significantly reduces the risk of a security breach or other data containment issue.
Native apps (those built on the force.com/lightning platform) also share Salesforce’s legendary uptime and performance metrics. Because native applications live entirely within the user’s Salesforce instance, they operate more efficiently and are less susceptible to errors or incompatibilities.
Businesses selecting a native SMS integration hosted in a cloud environment also reduce the risk of downtime from provider outages. Since native apps coexist in your existing Salesforce environment, database exchanges are NOT necessary between your IT infrastructure and 3rd party platforms.
As long as your local Salesforce instance is operational, so is your data.
However, to take advantage of these capabilities, it’s important to make sure your SMS provider is also hosted in a secure cloud-based environment with similar uptime and performance metrics.
Built using the same software development platform, native apps integrate effortlessly with other Salesforce applications. Additionally, powerful API and custom-coding features offer access to near limitless possibilities.
You’re free to connect with existing CRM applications and solutions or create your own. Knowing that each will “play” nicely with one another in any Salesforce environment.
CRM Services as Custom Objects
One of the most useful Salesforce capabilities lies in its data processing method. Using native apps, Salesforce classifies each data type as a separate object. Contacts, phone calls, and email messages all exist as unique entities in the CRM database.
When selecting a Salesforce SMS text messaging provider, choose vendors where SMS custom objects are natively incorporated. Doing so improves system performance, enhances data security, and makes generating reports, event triggers, and custom actions a breeze.
Additionally, should you ever decide to switch SMS messaging vendors, custom objects make the process easy. Whereas 3rd party integrations linked to your Salesforce instance can make uninstalling a nightmare.
Long Code vs. Short Code Options
An often-misunderstood element in SMS text integration is the use of Long Codes Vs. Short Codes. Yet, this single factor is one of the biggest differentiators.
Long Codes are 10-digit numbers traditionally associated with cell or landlines and behave in much the same way. These numbers are used for direct 2-way communication with two or more individuals – whether that be through voice calls, faxes, or texts.
The main benefit of long codes is calling and texting from the same number. Customers have direct access without being routed through different points of contact.
Long Codes are intended for a more familiar, personalized experience and provide for seamless two-way conversations.
However, using Long Codes to send Mass SMS Marketing Messages is not compliant with carrier restrictions. Doing so may result in forfeiture of the code and possible legal action against the owner(s). Thus, illustrating why Short Codes are necessary as well.
Short Codes are 5 to 6-digit numbers used specifically for marketing, alerts, and mass one-way communication. Unlike Long Codes, Short Codes are designed for Mass Notifications and SMS Marketing Messages. While somewhat impersonal, Short Codes allow businesses to send millions of messages at once to clients or subscribers.
Yet, Short Codes have their drawbacks as well.
Most SMS text messaging vendors provide shared Short Codes. Meaning, they are allocated to multiple brands at the same time. Each business chooses a different keyword to connect with customers using the same “shared” number.
For example, Short Code 27880 could have the keyword “Pizza” attached for a restaurant and “Weights” linked to a fitness center.
Shared Short Codes cannot engage in 2-way dialog using the same channel and retain conversational data for administrative use. Some claim to be able to do this, but it simply does not work well enough for an enterprise that is serious about customer service.
This often means businesses must jump to an alternate contact method to keep a customer conversation going. Switching numbers creates an additional hassle and makes the experience less personal.
Dedicated Short Codes can alleviate this problem but can be expensive (depending on volume) and still do not allow a customer to call back on the same number. Additionally, many SMS vendors don’t offer dedicated Short Codes.
Incorporating SMS texting into Salesforce adds tremendous value. However, proper initial setup and ongoing support are crucial for leveraging your investment.
Look for SMS Providers who have built their own technology rather than simply plugging into another SMS API. True enterprise-grade SMS vendors maintain direct carrier connections and offer their own fully documented SMS API. Not only does this ensure high performance and optimal pricing, but also guarantees that your technology team can communicate with a seasoned developer to properly integrate the SMS solution.
The right SMS vendor provides dedicated installation teams to help integrate new services or transition away from old ones. Enterprise SMS solutions should also have built-in software wizards to step users through everyday tasks and help administrators troubleshoot common problems.
The best options include US-based support agents who understand the needs of large businesses and organizations.
Many times, overseas support options can have language barriers and support hours that don’t align with US business standards. This can result in problems going unresolved longer than necessary and causing needless headaches for customers and clients.
Enterprise Scalability & Pricing
If you are going to integrate with an SMS provider, it is imperative to select a vendor that has experience with large enterprises, direct carrier connections, and volume pricing as you scale.
Many SMS texting vendors primarily serve small businesses and are not as familiar with the unique issues that come from mass SMS volume – including mass deliverability and queuing issues from competing campaigns. Be sure to select a vendor whose core platform is built to handle mass volume with cloud-based capabilities to surge bandwidth and processing speed.
Pricing varies greatly as many SMS vendors build a simple software interface on top of another provider’s SMS API, so they are essentially resellers that have limited ability to offer deep volume discounts as you scale. The best SMS providers for enterprise businesses are those with direct carrier connections.
TrueDialog – Salesforce SMS Text Message Integration Experts
If you’re searching for a provider with all these capabilities TrueDialog is the perfect solution. Our Five-Star-Rated Enterprise-Grade SMS Texting Software is Built for Big Business, yet Made Easy for Small Business.
With an ISO 9001 database, 99.9% service uptime, direct carrier connections, and true native Salesforce SMS integration, TrueDialog is the perfect Salesforce texting solution for managers serious about personalized customer engagement at scale.
Our proprietary “TrueDialog” feature enables seamless texting with both Short Codes and Long Codes all combined in the same thread, so businesses can send mass text messages and then effortlessly engage in one-to-one texting conversations at scale.
Unlike many other solutions, TrueDialog has invested in building direct carrier connections which eliminate the middleman and provide our customers with two huge benefits: 1) improved deliverability by reducing potential points of failure and reliance on third parties and 2) a lower cost structure which allows us to price our service significantly lower than the competition.
Additionally, we offer local US-based tech support (in tech-savvy Austin, Texas) from knowledgeable staff and developers who understand the unique needs of enterprise businesses. Our industry-leading features are state-of-the-art yet still provide the best value in SMS text messaging.
No other SMS platform compares.
Interested in learning more?
If you’re ready to add integrated SMS Texting capabilities to your existing IT infrastructure, give us a call today at 512-501-5940 to schedule a demo of our Salesforce SMS integration and let us show you why we have the best SMS enterprise-grade platform on the market.Contact Us Today to Learn More
SMS texting in college admissions is a
necessity. Research shows today’s students overwhelmingly prefer text messaging
and often don’t respond to traditional phone or email marketing. And while
enrollment and retention rates are critical metrics, higher education texting
offers many other valuable benefits as well.
COLLEGE STUDENTS PREFER SMS TEXT MESSAGING
Text messaging dominates the modern
communication landscape. And nowhere is this more evident than on higher
education campuses. You don’t have to be a genius to understand that times have
changed. But the extent to which it has may surprise you.
Recent studies show that 95% of 18-24-year-olds own cell phones and 97% of them use text messaging extensively. On average, this demographic sends around 110 texts per day or more than 3,000 text messages per month.
In comparison, these numbers are nearly
double those for ages 25-34 and triple for persons 65 or older. Clear evidence
that SMS text messaging has expanded rapidly and is now a critical part of
higher education marketing.
One of the most common complaints from university
administrators is that schools can’t reach students. They frequently won’t
answer their phone or respond to email. Texting is the only way many students want
And an estimated 97% of text messages
are read in 3 minutes or less.
However, institutions shouldn’t abandon traditional
forms of communication. They instead need to develop a holistic
communications plan that lets the student choose their preferred method – text
messaging, email, or phone.
Bottom line – higher education partners must
meet enrollees where they are in order to thrive. Sometimes that means a phone
call. Other times its email. Yet, for the vast majority, texting reigns
SMS TEXTING IMPROVES COLLEGE ADMISSIONS AND RETENTION
Admitting students is a complicated
process requiring coordination between multiple departments such as admissions,
registration, and financial aid. And, unfortunately, when one hand doesn’t know
what the other is doing, problems arise.
Records are lost, deadlines go
unnoticed, and students and their families pay the price.
That’s why SMS texting is a
high-value solution. Enterprise-grade platforms offer advanced options
which allow seamless communication between all parties. By using a cloud-based
communications platform, universities can be up and running the same day with
no technology expenditures or development required.
Admissions and enrollment staff can
effortlessly transition between mass notifications and engaging in one-on-one personalized
texting dialog at scale between students and multiple departments.
University staff can all chime into the
same texting thread with the student to resolve issues faster and create a
truly seamless experience. While students need only to make a single request to
receive all the help they need.
Once contact is made, departments can
hand-off tickets and keep entire case histories intact. Behind the scenes,
transfers happen as needed while still maintaining
a single conversation threadthroughout.
Students get better, faster customer
experiences without jumping through hoops or worrying about falling through the
The latest developments in text
messaging have created cloud-based, enterprise-grade platforms that can be
immediately deployed with minimal effort and allow multiple staff members to
all engage in the same texting thread with students and prospects.
A stark contrast to messages getting
buried in a forgotten email account or unreturned phone calls. SMS text
messaging is a high-value communication platform that offers incredible ROI for
BENEFITS OF TEXT MESSAGING IN HIGHER EDUCATION
The benefits of including SMS text
messaging are undeniable – both from the student perspective as well as the
institution. Students get the assistance they need in near real-time
communication, along with relevant reminders about upcoming events, due dates,
or submission requirements.
Universities receive value from improved
response rates, higher enrollment yield, stronger retention metrics, and overall
reminders add value – A recent Harvard Business Review study showed that many college students
welcome a proactive outreach program. Not only for staying informed, but also
to provide gentle “nudges” in completing required tasks and staying ahead of
admissions and financial deadlines.
In one example, Georgia State University
implemented a text-based program to help students navigate the admissions
process. The result? A 71% student engagement rate with less than 2% of
message traffic requiring additional staff intervention.
Students received the help they needed
using the format they enjoyed most (texting).
Texting improves admission and retention rates – In 2017, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission reported increases in both GPAs and retention rates after implementing higher education texting. Their “Txt 4 Success” initiative gives students information and reminders about registration, tuition deadlines, and advice for completing FAFSA applications.
Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the HEPC, said texting programs align perfectly with students who are “usually glued to their phones.” Hill also noted that the study outcomes showed, “retention rates and attempted credit hours increased” for students who opted-in to the program.
The Chancellor pointed out that students
were more comfortable using a medium so familiar to them (texting). Which made
asking for help less intimidating and proved to be “an effective way to open a door for conversation.”
With texting, higher
education facilities can easily send students reminders about:
– to inform students of upcoming fees and deadlines before it’s too late.
Preemptive text messages help students plan better and may reduce stress during
applications – such as courtesy reminders for
missing forms, transcripts, or other important documents. These notifications
ensure applications are received (and processed) in a timely manner.
notifications – for registration drives, career fairs,
open houses, or alumni events. Activities that students and parents might not
be aware of otherwise.
SMS text messaging can
also be used to quickly coordinate meeting times and schedule interviews with
support staff. Which eliminates the back and forth associated with traditional phone
calls or email.
Text messaging improves student
satisfaction – in multiple ways. Marketing
departments can segment their messaging to ensure the right content goes to the
proper audience. Engineering students don’t want to receive psychology
department updates. Just like alumni shouldn’t be bothered with new student
Proper segmentation – along with
providing relevant updates – is key to earning and keeping student trust.
to someone’s SMS inbox is a privilege.
Which can be easily lost if abused. University
managers need enterprise-grade tools with
powerful administrative controls to grant and restrict access, monitor
communications and compliance, and easily deploy and train their reps.
Besides the right message, an
outstanding customer experience makes a great impression as well.
Texting offers much higher response rates
than phone or email.
Support staff can use these
opportunities to share information about scholarships and grants, advising/mentoring
services, or invite students and parents to networking events.
Which – in many cases – are the updates they
care about most.
ENTERPRISE-GRADE SMS TEXTING SOLUTIONS DESIGNED FOR EDUCATION
Text messaging is becoming a critical
part of university outreach strategies. Thus, it’s important to choose the
right partner for your SMS messaging platform. A service provider that’s not
only affordable but built to scale and grow with you over time.
TrueDialog’s SMS education solution is designed to securely and reliably meet the needs of large universities and colleges. Yet, remains easy-to-use for smaller and midsize institutions as well.
higher education texting platform was custom-built over several years by
working directly with university partners. The result is an enterprise-grade
text messaging solution thatwas designed for the needs of both
online and ground-based facilities alike.
While other SMS texting vendors shoehorn their existing text platforms into the education marketplace, TrueDialog designed a solution from the ground up by working with and carefully listening to large universities. TrueDialog’s cloud-based, enterprise-grade software offers high performance and scalability, at less than half the cost of the competition.
TrueDialog’s scalable enterprise SMS solutions set the standard for value and ROI. Our unique message platform works on both desktop and mobile apps and includes industry-leading features that others simply can’t match.
carrier connections – means higher messaging volumes at
lower cost. We securely handle tens of millions of messages each month for
organizations of all sizes. And at pricing our competitors can’t touch.
Proprietary “Cross-Code” and 2-way mass texting features – enable two-way text messaging dialogs that create threaded, multi-user, many-to-one conversations with ease. Seamless texting with both Short Codes and Long Codes in the same agent thread allows sending mass text messages and then effortlessly engaging in personalized one-to-one dialog at scale.
No other SMS platform
administrative controls – provide granular system access based
on specific user needs. Give administrators full control while limiting agents
to view-only mode or other customizable profiles.
Unlike other SMS
messaging products, TrueDialog assigns a dedicated, company-owned text number
to each individual rep. Bypassing the headache of shared SMS inboxes or the unprofessional
use of personal cell numbers.
multi-channel campus alert – provides an emergency alert
notification system at no extra charge. Send mass notifications simultaneously via
SMS text, voice, email, or social media directly from within your dashboard.
To learn more about these and our other
unique SMS texting benefits, visit our website.
SMS texting in university and college
admissions is a high-leverage marketing channel that produces incredible ROI.
Universities adopting this technology report more engagement, increased
enrollment yield, higher retention rates, and better customer satisfaction. Not
to mention huge time savings and enhanced productivity amongst staff.
But in order to be effective, higher
education texting must be done right.
Enterprise-grade solutions like TrueDialog make the process easy. Our five-star rated, scalable SMS messaging platform is built from the ground up for higher education managers.
are the cloud experts in SMS text messaging technology and offer more features
than the competition – for about half the price.
Don’t sacrifice. Insist on getting more
value for less money. Give us a call and let us introduce you to the power of TrueDialog.
Interested in learning more?
Give us a call today at 512-501-5940 or sign up online for your FREE 15-day trial (no credit card required).
Integrating SMS texting into your current CRM is easy and low cost with our pre-built SMS integrations. Combine the power of your CRM with a Salesforce SMS, Marketo SMS or Microsoft Dynamics SMS integrated solution to improve efficiency, increase customer satisfaction and boost your ROI.
SMS/CRM INTEGRATION AUTOMATES WORKFLOW
The two main purposes of any hardware/software integration are to reduce workload and improve operational ROI. Adding SMS texting to your current CRM (e.g., Salesforce, Marketo, or Microsoft Dynamics) is a prime example. Many repetitive tasks are eliminated while those that remain can be greatly simplified.
Better Customer Service
Let’s face it – faster response times increase overall conversion rates. In fact, studies have shown businesses who respond in the first hour after contact generate 7X more leads than those who don’t. And that number jumps to a whopping 60X more when brands wait for 24 hours or longer.
TrueDialog’s unique SMS platform makes responding to customers easier than ever.
Our Contact Center solution allows agents, help desk teams, and employees to conduct threaded, multi-user, team-based SMS conversations at scale. While TrueDialog’s proprietary “Cross-Code” technology allows both short code & long code messages to appear in the same text thread.
This highly unique feature allows enterprises to seamlessly integrate mass sms marketing messages & text notifications with personalized 1-to-1 texting dialog for an unparalleled customer experience. Businesses respond faster and save time by allowing multiple agents to contribute to customer support conversations using a single group thread.
A much smarter approach than maintaining separate, single-agent conversations or frantically digging through a series of disparate texts or emails.
Automatic CRM Updates
Previously, sending text messages and updating your CRM records were separate functions. But with an enterprise SMS texting solution like TrueDialog, that’s no longer the case. Our integration suite intuitively translates conversations into CRM leads and automatically updates customer accounts.
A truly native SMS integration builds enterprise-grade texting directly into your CRM instance. Imaginesending texts and automatically logging them into your analytics CRM data for Salesforce, Marketo, Oracle or Microsoft Dynamics. No separate windows and no more copying and pasting. No more editing in multiple systems. Each new conversation seamlessly flows into your chosen CRM.
Not to mention that texting is a highly-efficient way to engage with customers. Statistics show that more than 90% of mobile users read text messages in 3 minutes or less. With the average response time being around 90 seconds.
A far cry from email or other traditional forms of outreach.
Reminders and Notifications
With SMS integration, both clients and employees stay up-to-date with the latest account information. Agents can use text messages to automatically remind customers of upcoming events. Or push instant notifications to fellow employees regarding updated tasks, assignments, or meetings.
Changes to your CRM database can be scheduled for delivery (or dispersed in real time) to those that need the information most. Doing so keeps customers happy and helps employees close more deals.
SMS INTEGRATION IMPROVES OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY
Efficiency is another key benefit of integrating SMS texting with your existing Salesforce, Marketo, or Microsoft Dynamics database. Merging your CRM and text messaging platform allows employees to be more productive and responsive. Easily see message history and customize message data flow into your CRM. The perfect combination to make better use of limited resources – whether it be time, personnel, or technology assets.
One of the biggest advantages of integration is bringing your communication and client data together under one roof. TrueDialog’s enterprise messaging solutions provide “native” integration between your existing CRM and cutting-edge SMS capabilities.
Imagine texting a customer account from directly within Salesforce. No more jumping between screens or having to duplicate your work in multiple systems. Sent messages (and responses) are automatically logged as CRM events with no extra effort required.
TrueDialog’s SMS integrations transform your CRM into a unified communication hub.
Now you can respond to customers and manage internal communications using one interface. Agents have instant access to client records and can easily view prior text, email, and call history in a single consolidated CRM record.
Customers decide how they want to interact with your company while reps seamlessly switch options to accommodate their preferences. And employees benefit too.
SMS integration means sales teams are notified about CRM account events or lead assignments as they happen. Leaving agents more prepared to respond to clients and better understand their needs before making contact.
Most importantly, increased efficiency means sales and support reps are able to manage additional client requests. Thus, generating even more leads while simultaneously expanding your customer service capabilities.
CRM SMS INTEGRATION ENHANCES MARKETING CAMPAIGNS
Brands using SMS messaging for opt-in marketing and mass texting see exceptional results. Not only is this medium fast and incredibly affordable, but obliterates the ROI of traditional advertising methods.
Research has shown that text message open and response rates exceed 97%. Email marketing, on the other hand, is lucky to hit 20%. Factor in that nearly all US adults own cell phones (with text messaging being the preferred means of communication) and these stats become impossible to ignore.
Blended Marketing Options
TrueDialog’s innovative SMS solutions allow brands to combine their email and text marketing into a single enterprise-grade solution. Once integrated with Marketo, Salesforce, or Microsoft Dynamics, businesses can deploy SMS texting campaigns just as easily as traditional email promotions.
Better yet, these same mass marketing texts can be effortlessly converted into 2-way personalized messages as needed. An ideal option for companies wanting to do both (at scale) with multiple contact center reps, client agents, or mobile field employees.
To take full advantage of these hybrid communication options, audience segmentation is a must. TrueDialog facilitates real time interactions with inbound leads and provides easy-to-use options for customer follow-ups and appointment requests.
Native SMS Texting integration with most CRMs means robust SMS segmentation options for promotions and/or retargeting campaigns. Send welcome deals to new customers while offering loyalty rewards to existing clients – at the same time.
SMS text messaging integration allows for process-driven campaigns as part of your marketing automation strategy. Using the built-in components of your CRM software, SMS texting can be included as a process or activity (since all users fall into different parts of your automation process).
All from within the comfort and security of your existing CRM platform using our cloud-based enterprise-grade texting solution.
TrueDialog’s pre-built SMS integrations provide an array of expanded reporting options to analyze data and extract metrics. Since SMS is defined as its own object, CRM administrators can easily build custom reports that include individual CRM objects for reporting.
For example, if you want to look at click rates or opt-out rates of email vs SMS, our native CRM integrations make the process simple.
RAISING THE BAR IN ENTERPRISE SMS/CRM INTEGRATION
When it comes to SMS pricing, reliability, and value TrueDialog leads the way. We offer corporate text messaging solutions with more pre-built features than any other SMS platform. All available through our turn-key, enterprise-grade platform or our brilliantly designed SMS API for developers.
Other industry-leading benefits include:
Direct Carrier Connections – to eliminate 3rd party middlemen and provide our customers with unparalleled reliability. Reducing points of failure improves deliverability while dedicated connections afford extremely competitive pricing.
Proprietary “TrueDialog” feature with “Cross Code” and 2-Way Texting Features at Scale – our unique texting software and Contact Center SMS Solution enables both mass short code texting and 2-way text dialogs with threaded, multi-user conversations all in the same platform.
Now you can seamlessly combine both short code and long code messages in the same thread.Imagine sending mass text messages and then effortlessly engaging in one-to-one conversations at scale.
No other SMS platform offers such advanced options.
SMSafe Dual Cloud-Database – TrueDialog maintains a duplicate ISO 9001 cloud-database for extra protection against accidentally texting opted-out contacts. To achieve this same level of protection on other SMS APIs, developers would have to build this expensive capability themselves.
TrueDialog incurs significant costs to provide this feature. But enterprise customers who are serious about compliance understand why.
Native SMS CRM Integration – SMS texting solutions for most major CRM applications including Salesforce SMS, Marketo SMS, Microsoft Dynamics SMS, Oracle Eloqua SMS, HubSpot SMS, and CampusNexus SMS.
All of these incredible features are available without pop-ups, plugins, or configuring additional networks. Start sending and receiving text messages from directly within your CRM to improve operations and delight your customers.
When it comes to SMS/CRM integration, TrueDialog simply can’t be beat. Our industry-leading services have garnered a 5-star rating and made us Capterra’s Top Rated SMS Software Platform. We provide enterprise-grade SMS texting solutions with more features than the competition – at about half the price.
Uninterrupted Workflows Use established workflows to import messages into ques or create new routes and triggers based on specific needs.
Persistent Conversations Quickly scan prior messages using existing CRM records. Agents stay informed and can handoff conversations without missing a beat.
Customizable Configurations Integrate SMS into multiple data objects (leads, cases, contacts, accounts, etc.) to effortlessly text individuals, groups, or entire organizations at scale.
Unified Analytics Easily port messaging data between systems for review and analysis.
No New Software Add text messaging functionality to your current CRM without having to retrain employees.
Maximum Agent Efficiency Monitor multiple cases simultaneously without needing to jump between screens or applications.
No other provider comes close.
If you’re ready to add integrated SMS capabilities to your existing enterprise infrastructure, give us a call today at 512-501-5940 to schedule a demo of our SMS integration for your specific CRM and let us show you why we have the best SMS enterprise-grade platform on the market.
Want to try before you buy? No problem. We offer a FREE 15-day trial with no credit card required. Just fill out the registration form, create your login, and you’ll be texting in minutes.
Taking your business to the next level this year with SMS
If you find yourself spinning your wheels on how to maintain meaningful relationships with your customers, leads and partners, you’re not alone. Business marketers are trying everything from social media, to email campaigns, to paid internet ads. And while those are certainly helpful tasks, developing an SMS marketing campaign deems to be a strong asset to the marketing mix that is sometimes overlooked.
Life inevitably throws us curve balls. Hazardous weather may cause an event to be delayed or canceled. A natural disaster may cause a widespread outage or leave behind damage. Campus violence or crime may put people in extreme danger. Even something as mundane as a technical difficulty may cripple essential functions. In these circumstances, students and faculty need to be informed. When time is of the essence, the most reliable way to instantly inform people of circumstantial changes is an SMS emergency alert notification system.
Before we dive into some of the best practices for setting up your urgent alert notification system, let’s answer the question of why we should use SMS / Text for alerts.
Benefits of SMS Urgent Alert Notifications:
SMS texts can be broadcasted to a large group in a matter of seconds
SMS text is the preferred method of communication among college students
Open rates for texts are at about 99%, while open rates for emails are at about 15%
Approximately 90% of texts are read in under 3 minutes
SMS provides no requirement for an internet connection to receive an alert
SMS will often work even when voice circuits are overloaded
SMS provides receipt confirmation to show your message was successfully delivered
Some systems, like TrueDialog’s, allow recipients to discretely text back to the administrator (1-to-1) with live updates.
It’s clear that SMS text is opening doors for rapid information sharing, as well as improving overall safety and security on campus. So, if you’re in the midst of developing (or improving upon) your urgent text system, here is some insight on the best practices.
Top 5 Best Practices for Creating an SMS Alert Notification System:
1. Determine who has the authority to send alerts
First, develop a protocol that establishes who exactly should be sending which type of alert, and under which circumstances. Only key people should be given the capability to send mass alerts, so start by building your team. Many alert notification systems will allow you to customize the rights and restrictions for each administrator.
2. Prewrite clear and concise messages
Spend some time carving out “canned” messages you know may be needed, such as campus closings due to severe weather. Certainly pieces of information within the message will need to be changed once an actual situation arises, but it’s helpful to turn to an existing template during a critical situation.
3. Promote your Urgent Alert Notification System
One of the easiest ways to build your database is to include a subscription form with enrollment materials for new students. Ensure both faculty and students know how the SMS Alert System works, and educate them on how they can reach campus security during an emergency via text.
4. Regularly train faculty and test the system
More than likely, your university won’t need to send out alert notification systems on a regular basis. As time passes in between each send, it’s easy for urgent alert administrators to forget how to use the features of the system. Periodically, you should conduct mock drills with faculty, and review the protocols your university has established.
5. Be conscious of how frequently the urgent alert notification system is used
Be courteous of your students and faculty by only sending urgent alert text messages that are absolutely needed. Remember not to overuse the system, because if students feel they are receiving too many alerts, they may fall into the habit of ignoring them. In order to avoid diminishing the importance of your messages, never blast your entire list (unless it is a major emergency, such as a campus shooting). Segment your list and only send an alert to the people who would be impacted depending on the situation.
Remember, the benefits of having a solid alert notification system in place at your university cannot be overstated, but there are important logistics that need to be sorted through in order to put a successful system in place. For more best practices download whitepaper, “Higher Education: Regulations to Know Before You Text”.
If you’re university is currently in the market for an SMS urgent alert solution, TrueDialog can help.Unlike other campus urgent alert solutions, with TrueDialog you can send mass SMS text, voice messages, email and social alerts in just one click. Additionally, you can continue the dialog, one-to-one, when students reply to your broadcast. Click here to learn more about the TrueDialog SMS text platform.
If you have questions, we’re happy to help. Call 512-501-5947 or Text “Easy” to 370370.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational and educational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes legal advice. The samples, suggestions, best practices and other information detailed here are provided as general background information only and may or may not be appropriate for your particular situation. You should not act or rely on any information in this document without first seeking the advice of an attorney, and you agree that neither TrueDialog nor its agents shall have any liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on this information to the fullest extent permitted by law.
It’s no surprise that the transition from high school to college is full of obstacles and unknowns. But what may come as a surprise is that the summer prior is the most significant period in the college-intending student’s journey, and it’s often the most overlooked.
During the time between confirming college acceptance and arriving on campus in the Fall, teenagers are faced with major responsibilities, decisions and tasks to complete the enrollment process. And as it turns out, universities are failing to bridge that very important last mile.
What is Summer Melt?
College-intending students who fail to show up on campus in the fall comprise a phenomenon known as the “summer melt”. According to the U.S. Department of Education, about 20% of students who have committed to enroll “melt away,” with minority, lower-income and first-generation students being the most vulnerable.
If you’ve found that your university has been plagued the summer melt, fortunately there are tactics to keep students actively engaged and committed. Continue reading to learn why the summer melt matters, current melt statistics, and successful strategies that other universities are using to mitigate the phenomenon.
Top 3 Summer Melt Factors
There are many factors that impact a student’s ability to complete the last mile of the admissions process, but most commonly they boil down to the following:
1. Financial Burdens
The reality of just how much it costs to earn a degree begins to set in during summer months. Students begin to receive bills related to tuition, housing, and health insurance, and working through the logistics of setting up payment plans and budgeting for other costs can be overwhelming.
2. Lack of Support
After graduation, students support from high school staff naturally disappears. Also, not every student receives adequate support at home, and even parents who are involved may be just as overwhelmed by the process. During the summer, students are now tasked with paperwork and deadlines, many times without mentorship from there chosen university. To make matters more difficult, often times universities run on limited staff during the summer, so departments may be closed and support services may not be accessible when needed.
3. Transition Anxiety
Aside from all the logistics, it is common for students to feel emotionally unprepared to leave home. This apprehension may stem from family dynamics, but more often than not, students feel a lack of connection with their new school.
Top 3 Ways to Keep Students “Cool” During the Summer Melt
1. Go Mobile
According to Cappex, 77% of students do want relevant information from their university via text. Today’s average college student no longer uses email as their primary source of communication. In fact, open rates for emails have fallen to about 15%, where text message open rates are soaring at 99%. And 90% of these texts are read by the recipient in under three minutes. Texting college-intending students can simplify the process of sending task reminders, and improve students access to their academic information, as well as the overall relationship between the student and university.
2. Assign a School Counselor
Once a student has confirmed acceptance, they should be assigned a counselor to help them navigate through the entire enrollment process. If possible, universities should extend the counselors contracts to include summer months. Universities should also provide workshops for students and their families over the summer, or create a web-based portal to demonstrate how to complete certain tasks.
3. Build a Solid Community
Establishing a community where students feel at home at your university before they even set foot on campus will create a sense of loyalty. As a best practice, universities should start this process right after a student is accepted, which will even boost yield rates.
In order to encourage your students to start their college careers, your university has a big role to keep them on track during the summer. Research has proven that interventions do reduce the melt. In fact, Georgia State University was able to reduce summer melt at their university by 21.4% just by utilizing smart text messaging (click here to learn more about the study). Therefore, it’s worth the investment to put measures in place to close the opportunity gap at your university.
If your university is looking for a SMS text solution, click here to learn more about TrueDialog, the preferred platform for colleges and universities, and start your free trail today.
What will your university do to keep students “cool”?
TrueDialog is the preferred SMS Texting solution for enterprise businesses and higher education. Send text messages one-to-one or one-to-millions in just a few easy steps. TrueDialog’s cloud-based SMS Texting software and SMS API are ideal for businesses serious about scalability, security and compliance.