Using Phone Alerts

Sometimes you may want the capability to not only send out mass text messages but also mass voice messages.  Your Mobile Text Alerts account can be set up to send out pre-recorded voice messages.  Using this useful “phone alerts” feature is easy!  Simply follow these steps.

  1. Contact us.

You can contact us via the contact form, email (contact@mobile-text-alerts.com), phone (402-805-1228), or the chat box on the Mobile Text Alerts website.  Request to be enabled for phone alerts, and a representative will get your account set up to use the feature.

  1. Record a message.

After we have enabled your account for phone alerts, you will receive an email with your PIN number.  You can then dial 201-351-4428.  The system will ask for your PIN number and then you can follow the instructions that the system gives you to record your message.  (Note: if you ever lose or forget your PIN number, contact us and we can retrieve it for you.)

  1. Send your message.

When you are done recording, log in to your account and go to the “Send a Phone Message” page.  (You can find the link on the navigation bar to the left of your screen when you are logged in to your account.)

phone messages

From this page you will first select whether you want your voice message to be sent out immediately, or if you want to schedule it to be automatically sent out at a later date/time.

send message now

Then you select which recipients you want to receive your message.  You can do one of the following:

  • You can check the “Send Message to All Subscribers” box. This will send your voice message to every number that is on your account.
  • You can type in the name of one or more of your groups. This will only send your message to the members who are a part of that group (more on groups here).
  • You can select recipients individually by checking the “Send Message” box of each number that you want to receive your message.

 

select recipients

Lastly, scroll to the bottom of the page to select the message that you want to send.  Click on the row of the message to highlight it.  Then click “Send Phone Message” and your message will be sent!select message to sendTo make sure that you have the right message before you send it, you can hear the pre-recorded message by clicking the “Preview Message” arrow.  You can also search for messages using the search bar.

 

Sending Your Message Immediately

If you want to bypass the steps involved in logging into your account to send your phone message, you have the option to send your message to all subscribers immediately after recording.  To do so, call 210-714-7668 and follow the system’s instructions to record and send out your message to all subscribers right away.

 

Phone Alerts Pricing

Phone alerts is priced according to how many phone messages you want to send out.  The usual rates are:

500 calls/month – $14.99/month

2,000 calls/month – $47.99/month

5,000 calls/month – $114.99/month

10,000 calls/month – $221.99/month

25,000 calls/month – $524.99/month

So for the 500-call plan, for example, you are able to send up to 500 phone calls in a month for $14.99.  Additional calls can be purchased for $.03 per phone call.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

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texting millennials

 

Millennials don’t like talking on the phone or leaving voicemails.  Intuitively we are seeing this all around us.  We hear about how for Millennials, texting is on the rise and about how nobody seems to call anymore.  We see businesses integrating texting into their customer service—from dentists sending out text messages reminding patients of upcoming appointments, to retailers answering customer questions via text message.

The Claim

As a Millennial myself, I personally can relate to this rise of the text message.  I would much rather have somebody send me a text than a voicemail.  Texts are just so convenient, if a bit impersonal.  This article from Forbes discusses research and other societal indicators of something that the general public already seems to know: that texting is on the rise while voicemails are becoming a thing of the past.

The Data

According to the Forbes article, recent (2014) data from Gallup and slightly older (2010) data from Nielsen offered evidence of this phenomenon.  Gallup’s study concluded, “Sending and receiving text messages is the most prevalent form of communication for Americans younger than 50.”  The Nielsen data pointed out how young adults’ average use of voice minutes declined by about 300 minutes per month between 2008 and 2010 (from about 1,200 minutes per month to about 900 minutes per month).

The Implications

For any kind of organization—whether it be a big business, small business, non-profit, or even a community or family—the implications of these observations are important.  No longer are phone messages the best way to reach out to employees, associates, customers, clients, patients, church members, community members, friends, or family.

Some organizations may have to do a complete overhaul of their internal communication methods or of their marketing methods.  Some families may have to restructure how different members relate to one another.  (As some of the articles mentioned, you who are parents and grandparents may be encouraged to know that your children/grandchildren aren’t intentionally ignoring your phone calls; send them a text, and see how quickly they reply back!)

 

Technology changes.  Society changes.  What do you think of these current trends in society?  Do you think young people text too much, or do you like the changes that are happening?

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Running a daycare or a preschool is an exhausting task indeed!  Chasing those pint-sized kiddos around, wiping noses, maintaining order in the midst of all the chaos—all in a day’s work.  Daycare workers (and the parents of children in daycare) certainly need all the help they can get.

daycare_lg

One way that some daycare and preschool workers have found to help keep everything organized is by sending out text alerts.  Here are 9 ways that daycares and preschools use text alerts.

  1. Holiday hours and closings

Parents depend on the childcare provided by daycares and preschools on a weekly basis.  They need to be reminded of what your special closing times are, especially during holiday season.  Will you be open Christmas Eve?  How about Labor Day?  Are you going on vacation?  A simple text can save parents (and staff) a lot of confusion.

  1. Payment balances and due dates

It is easy for people to lose track of their bills—to forget how much they owe or when payments are due.  Text alerts are a convenient way to send out gentle reminders to people about their bills.

  1. Supplies for children

Some of our daycare customers use text alerts to request parents to bring wipes, diapers, blankets, or other such supplies for their children.  These kinds of texts help ensure that every child has what he or she needs.

  1. Staff members

Sending out text alerts is not only good to help keep parents organized, it is also good for coordinating staff members.  Make sure everyone on staff knows where they need to be and what they need to be doing.  Let them know about meeting times, schedules, tasks, and anything else that concerns them.

  1. Weather-related closings and delays

When the weather outside is frightful, use text alerts to let people know if facilities will be closed or if opening times will be delayed.  Let parents know if you need to close early for the day or if special events need to be canceled due to the severe weather.

  1. Transportation availability

Some daycares and preschools offer transportation for picking up and dropping off children.  If your daycare/preschool offers this, then you can use text alerts to let people know when and where your transportation is available.  You can let people know if your transportation schedule needs to change or if transportation is going to be unavailable on a certain day.

  1. Child’s status

If a child in your daycare or preschool experiences a minor problem during the day, such as a minor health issue or injury, then parents will appreciate being kept updated on their child’s status.  Some of our daycare customers use text alerts to let parents know if their child has a slight fever, got a small cut, or if the child simply misses the parent.

  1. Updated forms

Many parents forget to hand in all the necessary updated forms for their child.  Text alerts can be a great way to remind parents to fill out health insurance information, immunization records, or any other vital forms for your records.

  1. Special days and events

Use text alerts to remind parents and staff about special days and events.  Let parents know to have their child dressed for Picture Day; remind them about the upcoming field trip to the zoo, or about any other special event.

 

Daycares and preschools certainly require a lot of coordination and communication among teachers, staff, parents, and everyone else involved.  Let us know if you have any suggestions on how you use text alerts to keep organized!

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doctor with female patient

A new study at the Yale Cancer Center is taking advantage of texting technology, according to WTNH News8.  Liz Fisher, a breast cancer patient, decided to sign up for this study, which is called the Breast Cancer Endocrine Therapy Adherence (BETA) study.

BETA allowed Liz to be texted reminders to take her daily Femara (a drug to help prevent her cancer from coming back).  According to the article, Liz said, “I’ve no family history of any kind of illness and I’ve never been a pill taker.”

She also said, “There is so much that’s new when you suddenly have cancer that one more new thing, taking, knowing that you have a medication every single day without fail regardless, that reminder is important.”

So with that line of thinking, Liz wanted reminders to take her medication.  She said that she remembered to take her medication every day.

Another facet of these text alerts is sending a message to the patients once per week about what kind of side effects they may be having.  The patients can then respond and give feedback on what they may be experiencing and can receive help and advice.

Dr. Sarah Mougalian is a lead investigator for the BETA study.  In the article, she discussed how “even as many as a quarter of patients don’t take their medication as prescribed.”  She would like more women to participate in the study so that they can receive these text alerts as reminders.

I think that sending these kinds of text alerts is a great way to use this technology.  Forgetting to take daily medication for these patients can have serious consequences for the future as the cancer has a greater risk of returning.  These reminders can help save lives!  And the capability to get feedback from patients makes the service even more valuable.

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The ability to organize your subscribers into groups is a useful feature of Mobile Text Alerts, enabling you to send out messages to different groups (such as “choir,” “staff,” or other relevant groups) rather than having to individually select recipients every time you want to send a message.  Getting started with “groups” is easy.

Table of contents:

I. Adding Groups

II. Adding Subscribers to Groups

III. Removing Subscribers from Groups

IV. Editing and Deleting Groups

V. Other Things to Know

 

I. Adding Groups

Step 1: Go to the “Manage Groups” page

To add a group, first log in to your account at https://mobile-text-alerts.com/login.  Then click on “Manage Groups” on the left side of your screen:

manage groups

You will then see this page:

manage groups2

Step 2: Click “Add a Group”

To add a group, click the green “Add a Group” button towards the top of your screen.  A new row will be added to the table:

add a group

Step 3: Edit group information

Information you can edit after clicking “Add a Group” includes the following:

  • Name – type in the group’s name. (This is the only information that is necessary to enter; the rest is optional.)
  • Hide Group – check this box if you don’t want your group to show up on your sign-in page.
  • Group Keyword – if you pay for extra keywords, you can type in a keyword for your group here. Then, when subscribers text in to be added to your text alerts system, they can use this keyword to be automatically added to this specific group.  Each extra keyword is $3/month.
  • Welcome Message – type in a welcome message for your subscribers. This message will be texted to anyone who is added to your group.

Step 4: Click “Save”

After you are finished editing information for your group, click “Save” to save your changes.  Click “Cancel” to erase your changes.

 

II. Adding Subscribers to Groups

Option 1: Add subscribers manually

You can add subscribers to your group manually from the Control Panel.

subscribers

  • Step 2: Click on the row of a subscriber (or hold shift and click on the rows of multiple subscribers) that you want to add to your group.

remove subscriber

  • Step 3: Click “Add Subscribers to Group” towards the middle of your screen and then select from the drop-down menu which group you want to add your subscriber(s) to.

add subscribers

Option 2: Have subscribers sign up for groups on your sign-up page

Your subscribers will have the option to sign up for your various groups from your sign-up page (unless you opted to “hide group” when you added or edited your group information).

Groups sign up page

Your subscribers can simply check which groups they want to be added to, click “Sign Up Now,” and they will be automatically added to those groups.  (More information about the sign-up page can be found here.)

Option 3: Have subscribers text in to a group

If you have numbers subscribed to your account but not attached to a group, your subscribers can text the words “join <groupname>” to 662-200-4303 (or to your custom number/shortcode, if you pay for those features) to be automatically added to your group. Note: they should not put in the quotes in their text, and “<groupname>” should be replaced with your group’s actual name.  So the format should look like this—

join staff

This will add your subscriber to the “staff” group on your account. (Note: this method will only work if the group name is one word.)

 

III. Removing Subscribers from Groups

Option 1: Remove subscribers from groups on the “Manage Subscribers” page

subscribers

  • Step 2: Click on the row of a subscriber (or hold shift and click on the rows of multiple subscribers) that you want to remove from your group.

remove subscriber

  • Step 3: Click “Remove Subscribers from Group” towards the middle of your screen and then select from the drop-down menu which group you want to remove your subscriber(s) from.

remove subscriber menu

Option 2: Remove subscribers from groups on the “Manage Groups” page

manage groups

  • Step 2: Click “View Members” on the row of the group that you would like to remove subscribers from. Another box will show up on your screen showing you a list of all the members in that group.

view members

  • Step 3: Click the “Remove from Group” arrow on the row of the subscriber that you want to remove from that group.

remove from group

 

IV. Editing and Deleting Groups

Go to the “Manage Groups” page to edit or remove your groups.

manage groups

Editing

To edit a group, click on the pencil-and-paper icon under the “Edit” column of the group that you would like to edit:

editing groups

You can then enter in new information regarding your group:

add a group

(For an explanation of what these edit fields mean, see Step 2 of “Adding Groups” above.)  Don’t forget to click “Save” when you are done editing!

Deleting

To delete a group from your account, click the trash can icon on the group you would like to remove.  Or select the group(s) that you would like to remove and click the red “Remove Groups” button:

removing groups

Note: this will not delete any of the subscribers in that group.

 

V. Other Things to Know

There are a few other features on the “Manage Groups” page that you might find helpful.

Search

Type a query into the search box on your keyboard to quickly find a specific group on your account.  This is especially useful if you have a large number of groups on your account.

Search

Copy to Clipboard

Clicking the “Copy to Clipboard” button next to the search bar will copy a list of your groups to your clipboard.  You can then paste the list into a different document on your computer or device.

copy to clipboard

Export

Click “Export” to transfer your list of groups onto a spreadsheet that you can download onto your computer or device.  You can export your list as a CSV, Excel, or PDF document, or you can select “Print” to see a printer-friendly version of the page that you can print from your browser.

export

View Members

You can see a list of all the subscribers that belong to a specific group by clicking “View Members” on that group’s row.

view members-2

Clicking “View Members” will cause this screen to come up, showing a report of all the members’ names, phone numbers, and email addresses:

view members-3

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It seems like gyms, health clubs, and fitness centers/studios are a dime a dozen these days.  They are everywhere!  I see billboards all over town advertising the latest gym promotion or the newest Zumba studio.  How can a fitness organization stand out in the crowd?  One way is by sending out text alerts.  Here are 7 ways that fitness organizations use text alerts.

gym

  1. Delays and cancellations

Is the dance instructor caught in traffic?  Is there a foot of snow outside and is the blizzard still raging strong?  A simple text message can let people know if classes will be delayed or cancelled, or if facilities will be closed.

  1. Other updates

In addition to updating people about delays and cancellations, text alerts can inform people about other pertinent updates.  Maybe the swimming class has to be rescheduled, or maybe your customers and members need to know some extra details about an upcoming event.

  1. Promotions

Text messaging is a great way to fill people in on your latest promotion.  Let members, or potential members, know about new discounts or new products.

  1. Advertising classes and events

Not only can you use text alerts to let people know about new promotions, you can also let them know about upcoming classes and events.  If they receive text messages on their phones, they will be more likely to sign up for your classes and attend your events.

  1. Reminders

After your customers have signed up for a class or an event, be sure to send them reminders when the event is drawing near!  Reminders greatly decrease the chances of having no-shows.  With all the craziness and busyness of life, people need reminders, and in this day and age a text message is the best way to remind them.

  1. Customer retention

Sending out all of these updates and reminders to your members will increase their chances of being involved.  Involved customers means happy customers.  Happy customers means renewed membership.  And renewed membership means happy you!

  1. Winning lost customers back

Losing a customer is a terrible thing.  But you can use text messages to try to win lost customers back!  Let them know how much you appreciate their business; give them discounts and special offers.  Use your powers of persuasion to gently convince them about what they are missing without your services.

 

There are many ways to take advantage of text alerts to improve your gym or studio and to get your members involved!  If you haven’t tried it out already, get started with a free trial at https://mobile-text-alerts.com/signup.

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