By Jake Meador | 22 Sep 2020
Text alerts, or SMS alerts, are short text messages businesses send out to employees or customers alerting them to essential information. They are one of two primary ways that a business can use text messaging as part of their day-to-day operations. The other use for texting is text marketing, or SMS marketing.
Text alerts work by using special bulk SMS messaging software that allows mass texts to be sent by one person or organization to a large number of recipients.
This is done through the use of something called a shortcode, which is the phone number that sends and receives text messages.
With text alerts, you can message a large number of people just as you would with a mass email campaign or group email, but with text messaging.
If you’re sending out information as an alert message, presumably it is relatively time-sensitive and relatively important. It might be:
an unexpected change in business hours
a form your HR department needs employees to turn in
information about school closures
Here’s the problem: What is the most reliable way to get that kind of time-sensitive information to people quickly? You could email them, but if you email that kind of information you’re going to run into two problems.
First, email open rates on most emails hover around 20% or thereabouts. So only one in five of the people you message will see the email. But perhaps you’re thinking “we’re emailing our employees and employees will open emails we send them.” That’s kind of true, but you might be surprised. Even with internal company emails to employees, open rates in the US still only hit 69%. So even if it’s an HR email to your entire company, almost a third of your team won’t see it.
Second, people check email periodically throughout the day. So they won’t see your message until the next time they check their email. If the email is time-sensitive, they may not see it in time.
But if you don’t use email, what can you use? You could try calling, but depending on how you send the call people may ignore it if they do not recognize the number. Also, if people are away from their phone when you call them, they won’t pick up and they may or may not listen to the voicemail.
So then what?
Our suggestion: Text messaging. Text open rates are 95% or higher on average. Additionally, while people check their email periodically, most will check their texts right away. This makes it far more likely that they will see the alert when you want them to see it.
Text alerts, in contrast to text marketing, is generally used for internal messaging within a business or community. It is not used to promote a product, but to inform recipients about vital information.
Text alerts specifically can be used in many, many different situations. Here are some of the potential users:
That said, this list is non-exhaustive. Any business that occasionally needs to communicate simple but vital information to a large audience will benefit from using text alerts.
If you would like to get your own text alert system, you can sign up for free here. Our free trial comes with full account features and 50 messages that you can send to test things out.
Additionally, feel free to book a call with one of our experts and learn more about how a text alert system can help your business.