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How to Integrate SMS Texting into Microsoft Dynamics CRM

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.

 

Engage in SMS texting directly from your CRM dashboard

 

Native integrations bypass the steep learning curve often associated with implementing 3rd-party solutions and make your organization more efficient.

Enhanced Security

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.

Improved Performance

Native apps (built using Microsoft Development Tools) share the same legendary performance and uptime associated with traditional Microsoft products. Because native applications live 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).

 

Cloud-based installations extend CRM functionality and reporting capabilities

 

Many of these add-ons benefit from including SMS text messaging and reporting functionality. For example:

PowerBI

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.

Web Portals

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.

Learning Paths

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

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

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.

image source

 

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.

The solution? Choosing a provider who offers all three options at once. Long Codes, Shared Short Codes, and Dedicated Short Codes to fit an array of business scenarios.

SMS Text Messaging Service and Support

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.

Salesforce SMS Text Messaging Integration

Salesforce SMS Text Messaging Integration

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 operates inside of 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.

Sending SMS messages via the Salesforce dashboard

 

Native integrations help employees increase productivity and reduce workloads on IT staff.

Security

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.

Performance

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.

Compatibility

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

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

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.

Ideally, you want to find a provider who offers all three options at once. Long Codes, Shared Short Codes, and Dedicated Short Codes to fit an array of business use case scenarios.

SMS Text Messaging Service and Support

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

Using SMS Texting to Boost University Enrollment

Using SMS Text Messaging to Boost University Enrollment

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 to communicate.

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 supreme.

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 thread throughout.

Students get better, faster customer experiences without jumping through hoops or worrying about falling through the cracks.

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 university stakeholders. 

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 student engagement.

, Texting Software for Admissions & Enrollment

Gentle 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.”

Texting in education saves time – another powerful benefit of incorporating SMS text messaging into university settings. Using an enterprise-grade SMS messaging platform allows you to integrate your existing CRM and pull student data automatically. 

With texting, higher education facilities can easily send students reminders about:

  • tuition deadlines – 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 busy periods.
  • incomplete 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. 
  • event 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 orientation schedules.

Texting Solutions for Enrollment

Proper segmentation – along with providing relevant updates – is key to earning and keeping student trust.

Access 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.

Students get their questions answered quickly and easily using their favorite mobile device. And because students are comfortable and familiar with texting, it’s a breeze to keep the conversation going and build rapport.

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.

Our 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 that was designed for the needs of both online and ground-based facilities alike.

Texting Solutions for Student Admissions

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.

  • Direct 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 comes close.

  • Professional 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. 

  • FREE 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.

CONCLUSION

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.

We 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).

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The Top 3 Reasons to Integrate SMS Texting into Your CRM

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. Imagine sending 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.

Unified Communication

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.

SMS Message Dashboard
SMS Message Dashboard

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.

TrueDialog’s Process Builder Overview
TrueDialog’s Process Builder Overview

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.

User Segmentation

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.

Custom Reports

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.

Conclusion

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.

Contact Us Today to Get Started

Text Message Updates for Alumni

As you know, higher education institutions around the world are using text message updates to stay in communication with students, parents, and graduates. Alumni associations have quickly learned that the best way to stay connected is by strategically integrating text/SMS opt-in forms into their processes.

Here are a couple of ideas and real world examples of effective alumni SMS campaigns.

Alumni Event Updates

Many universities are turning to text message updates to announce upcoming events for their alumni near and far. Events include everything from reunions, to fundraising events. SMS has been an effective solution for not only sending invitations, but also gathering key data from alumni to deliver better events. SMS allows your association to collect votes on the top venues for hosting events, ask about topics for workshops, and collect RSVPs for events too.

Alumni Giving

Alumni choose to give back to their university for a number of reasons. Whether they want to show appreciation for their education, help someone else have a similar experience, or just want to stay connected, alumni are among some of the most generous donors. And once a new class passes graduation, an immediate goal for the university is to quickly get graduates into the habit of giving back. A practical way to build lasting relationships and sustain generosity is to stay in touch with alumni via SMS.  Even for graduates who aren’t willing to make a donation, SMS provides an outlet to ask them to support the school in other ways (such as volunteer opportunities).

Student and Alumni News

More than just event announcements are being sent via text, institutions are using SMS to keep those on and off campus up to date about what’s happening. Schools like the University of Southern Florida invite anyone – students, alumni, and even sports fans – to sign up for the latest USF news. If done really well, this program could even segment news updates so that contacts in the SMS database are only receiving news most pertinent to their interests.

You can segment text message updates with a dialog SMS campaign. Rather than using a basic SMS protocol that replies to the contact with a simple, “Thanks for opting in and stay tuned…,” you can ask a question. Try using  multiple choice question such as, “What kinds of university updates would you like to receive? Sports, Events, Student News, Alumni News, All.” As people reply with their choice, their account in your SMS database will be updated with that preference so you know what information to send to them.

Miami University aims to send only the most relevant news to their alumni by offering chapter-specific updates. When you visit their text message sign-up page, the sign-up form offers you the option to choose a specific alumni chapter to receive text message updates.

Updating Alumni Information

As we all know, people move and change jobs on a fairly frequent basis. Mobile numbers are one of the few contact data points that rarely change, making SMS communications vital.

Sometimes we miss the opportunity to gather that mobile phone number while people are still students. Don’t let this opportunity slip by. Lay a foundation today and start communication with students via text. It’ll payoff for years to come.

Curious how mobile technology can improve communications in your school? Learn More
 

Mobile Solutions, Universities and Colleges

Social Media ROI Measurement With SMS

It’s no secret that social media is a huge component in many digital marketing strategies. Social media marketing expenditure in the U.S has reached $7.52 billion dollars (Statista). Virtually every business has some form of social media presence today. To avoid talking to an empty room, marketers use different tactics, such as social media contests and coupons, to measure things like engagement and conversions. But, how do you maximize your social media ROI?

Nearly 80% of social media usage is conducted on a mobile device (Marketing Land). Since social media is already a mobile activity, text (SMS) should be a key element of your social media strategy. When done effectively, Texting can provide valuable insight into how well your social media efforts are converting followers into repeat purchase customers.

Social Media and SMS are the Perfect Pair

social media ROI, social media measurement, social media, sms, social media marketing, mobile marketing

So, how do we put text messaging and social media together? Well, for the most part, it’s similar to using an 800 or vanity number. Businesses can attach a short-code for followers to text into for mobile coupons, contests, or to start a mobile club. Imagine you’re a small burger joint opening  in town. You want to encourage all the locals to try your specialty burgers and prompt them to make a repeat purchase. You can have a keyword for new customers to text in to a short code so they receive a coupon for a free burger when new customers buy fries and a drink. This keyword can be worked into all social media materials from cover photos on Facebook, to a specified hashtag on Twitter, to descriptions on your business’s YouTube videos.

 

Measure Social Media ROI Instantly With Texting

Social media is an instantaneous way to reach a large audience while text messages provides equally instantaneous feedback. While likes and comments are great, they are very passive forms of engagement. A ‘like’ doesn’t always translate into a sale. However, when customers text to your designated short code for a free burger, they are taking that extra step to committing to a purchase.

Promoting your SMS campaign via social media allows a more efficient measure of social media ROI. With a simple text, a marketer can measure a variety of different things about their campaign. A text can serve as a good headcount of active people in your contact list, a way to measure coupon effectiveness, show which keywords are most effective, and more. With 3Seventy’s RESTful API, you can easily track outbound texts during the time of your social media campaign. Our API can also be easily integrated into other systems to have one, cohesive place for all marketing measurement.

social media ROI, social media measurement, social media, sms, social media marketing, mobile marketing

Have questions on what SMS can do for your media measurement? Feel free to email us at sales@truedialog.com or call us at 512-501-5940.

 

Mobile Marketing, SMS Campaigns, SMS Marketing, Social Media

Broadcast Media Measurement With SMS

Currently, the advertising business in the U.S is worth over $111 billion.  By 2020, revenue from TV and radio advertisement alone is projected to reach $81.7 and $17.68 billion respectively. With so much money circulated around advertising, it is important to make sure that your business’s advertising efforts are effective across your media channels. Vanity numbers, specialized URLs, and other methods are very popular for measuring media effectiveness. However, text messaging can be a valuable media measurement tool as well. With a high open and response rate, low cost implementation, and easy integration, SMS can be a valuable addition to any TV or radio advertisement.

How Does Media Measurement Work With SMS?

It may seem counter-intuitive to use a mobile approach to measure the results of broadcast advertising SMS is not only cost-effective, it  simplifies the overall measurement process. The concept is simple, have a short code associated with your advertisement that allows the viewer to text in when they see it. For example, imagine you’re a restaurant with airspace on all local TV and radio channels. You include a short code in your advertisements that allows viewers to text in and receive a mobile coupon for their next entree. Since people have their cell phones on them 97% of the time, high response is practically guaranteed. This serves as an an instantaneous tally of how many people you’re reaching with your commercial as well as how effective the commercial is.

Kill Multiple Birds With One Smartphone

media measurement, sms solutions, mobile solutions, mobile advertisement

It is easy to see why the benefits of media measurements with SMS are substantial for your business. Let’s return back to the restaurant example. The first benefit of your SMS campaign is the prompting of customers to visit your restaurant with mobile coupons. About 74 million U.S smartphone users utilized mobile coupons in 2015; proving just how valuable they can be. In terms of media measurement, texting provides a few key benefits. As we said before, texting can provide an instantaneous count of how many people are seeing your advertisement at a given time. This means that you can figure out when and where your advertisements have the most impact. Maybe more people text in right before dinner time or around major holidays. Perhaps your commercial does better on stations with more family friendly content. Regardless, SMS makes it easy to see exactly where your advertisement stands.

 

Sources: Statista

 

Mobile Marketing, Radio, SMS Marketing, Television

Maintaining Student Engagement With SMS

One of the major indicators of success for universities and colleges is student retention. Out of all the first-time, full-time students that enrolled in a 4-year university in fall 2012, 20% didn’t return for fall 2013 (NCES). One of the main reasons students don’t return in the fall is lack of student engagement due to poor communication. Notification emails are effective but, may go unchecked for quite some time. However, SMS can aid in boosting retention rates for many universities by maintaining a direct line of communication between student and university.

SMS for Deadline Remindersstudent engagement, sms solutions, university alert system, university sms

In all the hustle and bustle of everyday student life, it is easy for important deadlines to fly under the radar. Unfortunately, missing important deadlines can drastically affect whether or not a student returns for another semester. Although email is still the preferred method of communication among many universities, it doesn’t boast the immediacy that SMS has. 90% of all texts are opened within 3 minutes, a drastic change from the 47 minutes it takes for 90% email response.

By using a basic SMS campaign, reminder texts can be sent out to students. Since these texts are more likely to be read than email, more students will be better prepared for upcoming deadlines. When students keep up with these important dates, like FAFSA or enrollment deadlines, they are better prepared to return for another semester.

360 Degree Student Engagement

Student engagement goes beyond communications between students and the university. Many university students do more than just study, they also engage in many different activities. SMS can keep students engaged both in and out of the classroom. Professors can utilize an SMS dialog campaign to facilitate class conversations while on-campus organizations, like alumni relations or Greek life, can send mass texts to keep members updated. Essentially, SMS can maintain 360 degree student engagement by simplifying communications from all aspects of student life.

 

Sources: Dynmark, The Atlantic

Education, Text Alert System, Universities and Colleges

5 Reasons to Attend EdTech Panel

We’re Talking about #EdTech and #MobileLearning on April 8th. 

 

At 3Seventy, we value higher education and we aim to support the education community by offering insights into how technology is enhancing the experience in an EdTech Panel webinar. Whether it is kids in a classroom, adults continuing their education from home, or people learning on a mobile device in a far away place, technology plays an integral part in how we learn today.

 

Here are five reasons why you need to attend the EdTech Panel

 

  • The Speakers:
    • Hear from Kathleen Denyer Hall, User Experience Research Manager at Civitas Learning, understands how educators are using technology in classrooms. She hears directly from the users of the Civitas Learning platform, which provides a detailed view of an institution’s historical and predictive student flow.
    • Hear from Sean Duffy, founder of EdTech Austin and marketing lead for the MakerSquare team in Austin, about the important connection between education and technology – especially here in Austin, Texas. He works with his team to offer outcomes-focused learning opportunities for those developing their engineering skills.
    • Moderated by John Wright, CEO of 3Seventy, has an extensive background in how people communicate. His professional experience with email communications, text messaging, and business to consumer relationship management supports the insights that he can offer into this conversation.

 

  • Get Answers: You will have opportunities to ask your questions about education technology, mobile learning, and how these technologies are integrated into institutions today. This EdTech Panel of experts will address your questions in real-time or following the webinar.

 

  • Thought Provoking Insights: You will be surprised by some of the insights you hear from these industry leaders about tools and ways technology is truly enhancing education – rather than disrupting it.

 

  • Easy to Join: We’re keeping this panel short out of respect for your time – only 30 minutes of presentation time. Plus you can listen in from your computer or phone, depending upon what is easiest for you.

 

  • Free to Attend: That’s right. There is no cost to register for the EdTech Panel webinar. We are so passionate about sharing information and starting the conversation that we see no reason to charge for this webinar.

 

So what are you waiting for? Register Today! 

EdTech, EdTech Panel, education technology, education innovations, mobile education, mobilizing education, mobile edu, edu tech, EdTech Webinar

Education, Webinar

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