After many requests, we are happy to announce a new feature that you can add on to your Mobile Text Alerts services: MMS Messages!

What is an MMS Message?

Your normal text messages are SMS (short message service) messages.  SMS messages are convenient and useful, but there is no capability for them to include images, audio, video, or any other media.

“MMS” stands for “Multimedia Messaging Service.”  MMS messages allow you to include images, audio, and other media along with your texts.

What Can I Do with MMS Messages?

The ability to include media files into your messages opens the door for a whole new realm of possibilities.  With MMS messages you can:

  • Send an image of the product you are trying to sell rather than just sending a listing with text only.
  • Send an audio file of your church’s choir so that choir members can practice at home.
  • Send text messages containing your organization’s logo.
  • Send a short promotional video to your subscribers.
  • And so much more!

How Difficult is It?

Once your account is enabled to send out MMS messages, the process is easy!  (If you would like to get your account enabled for MMS messages, contact us and we can get you set up.)

Step 1: Log in to your Mobile Text Alerts account.

Step 2: Click the “Send a MMS Message” link that should now appear in the navigation bar on the left of your screen.

send a mms message-

Step 3: Set your message up like you would a normal text alert (enter the recipients and type the message content on the bottom of the screen).

Step 4: In the “Upload Content” box, click the “Choose Files” button and select a media file from your computer.

choose files

Step 5:  Click “Send Message” on the bottom of your screen and your message will be sent along with the media file.

 

How Much Does it Cost?

Pricing to get MMS messages added onto your account is as follows:

  • Starter Package – $20/month – includes up to 500 MMS messages per month
  • Standard Package – $40/month – includes up to 1,000 MMS messages per month
  • Professional Package – $85/month – includes up to 2,500 MMS messages per month
  • Premium Package – $160/month – includes up to 5,000 MMS messages per month

For all of these packages any unused messages would roll over.

 

What are you waiting for?  Try it out now!  Please contact us if you have any questions.

 

4 Ways Banks Improve Communication with Text Alerts

How can banks improve communication?  The bank industry is ever-changing and adapting to keep up with the times.  In order to remain relevant, like any business, they must conform to the needs of their customers.  In addition, banks as places of employment are learning new methods to communicate with employees in a way that is effective for the new wave of young people that are taking their place in the workforce.

How do banks keep up with all the changes?  One way banks are finding success is text alerts.  Here are 4 ways that banks improve communication with text alerts.

  1. Internal issues

It can be extremely frustrating when things don’t work like they’re supposed to, hindering the daily operations for employees.  The email server is down.  The phone lines aren’t working.  The computers have malfunctioned.

Some banks find it useful to use text alerts to inform employees about these issues and to keep employees updated regarding the status of fixing the problems.  This helps eliminate frustrated phone calls and messages from employees wondering when the issues will be resolved.

  1. Weather cancellations

It’s 6 in the morning and the snow is already piled 3 feet high.  Employees wonder if they should come into work.  Or customers get frustrated because they show up to do their banking business only to find that the facilities have closed early due to the weather.

Sending out text alerts is an easy way for banks to remove all the confusion and let employees and customers know what the plans are regarding weather-related cancellations or early closings.

  1. New products and services

What is the quickest and most effective way for banks to get the word out about a new product or service?  Emails are often ignored.  Sales calls annoy customers.  Advertisements on the radio, television, or the paper (etc.) can be expensive and/or ineffective.

Some people find text alerts to be a solution.  It’s quick, easy, and inexpensive to type in a message and hit “send.”  And with text messaging you can be confident that whoever receives your messages will most likely open and read it.

  1. Promotions

Is your bank offering $50 to open a checking account?  Is there a special interest rate available for a new credit card?  Some kind of new incentive available for customers who refer a friend?

Banks can use text alerts to inform customers about these kinds of deals.  To really elicit a response, you can even create promotions that are exclusive to those customers who sign up for your text alerts.

 

Sign up for a free test account to get started using text alerts for your organization.

Christmas is a time full of friends, family, events, and numerous activities!  It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season.  How can text messaging help you stay organized?  Here are 10 ways you can use text alerts during Christmas time.

text alerts during Christmas

 

  1. Coordinate office holiday parties.

Let co-workers know times, dates, and other details about your office Christmas party.

  1. Keep people up-to-date on special holiday hours for your organization.

Inform your customers or members about whether or not you are closed for the holidays or have special holiday hours.

  1. Plan a huge Secret Santa event with all your loved ones.

Use text messaging as an easy way to bring a large number of people together for a fun gift exchange event.

  1. Coordinate and advertise church Christmas events.

Make sure people are in the know about Christmas programs, cookie exchanges, or any other special Christmas event at your church.

  1. Get the word out about holiday happenings in the community.

Let community members know about Christmas light showings, holiday concerts, live Nativity shows, or any other community event.

  1. Advertise holiday specials for your business.

Increase business during the holiday season by making customers aware about discounts or other deals on your services or merchandise.

  1. Organize a community caroling evening.

Bring the community together for a night of caroling door-to-door—spread the Christmas cheer!

  1. Coordinate your family Christmas gathering.

Simplify your family’s Christmas get-togethers by sending out mass text messages to help get everyone organized.

  1. Let members know the times and details of your church’s Christmas services.

Inform church and community members about special services at your church during Christmastime.

  1. Wish all the members of your group a merry Christmas!

Make people feel loved and appreciated!

 

What are you waiting for?  Get in the texting holiday spirit!

 

Merry Christmas!

Here at Mobile Text Alerts, we talk a lot about communication.  Thoughts, sentences, phrases, words—it’s what we’re all about.  Most of communication is simply sharing words in a meaningful way, and we know that sharing words with your group is important.

But there is a word that is more important than any word we could share with our businesses, organizations, and communities.  Christmastime is a perfect time to talk about this word, because this word is what Christmas is all about.Christmas2

The Word

This is the word that spoke all of the universe into existence.  This is the word that existed before the dawn of time.  This is the eternal word that became human—the event we celebrate at Christmas.

The book of John, chapter 1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The Word is Jesus Christ.  He is God in the flesh, God fully revealing Himself to us by becoming one of us.  This is the tremendous significance of the birth of Jesus: God revealing His grace (unearned favor) and truth.

“Good People”

Why do we need God’s grace and truth?  Most of us are “good people” who do our best to make a living for ourselves and our families.  We try to be honest, try to be decent citizens and spouses and parents and whatever other relationship we might have towards one another.  Many of us even go to church, sing the songs, and go through all the rituals. We seem to be doing OK on our own.

But are we really OK?

The Problem

God says that we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  No, we’re not all murderers or adulterers or rapists by action, but we have harbored hatred and lust and any number of sins in our hearts.  We have lied, become angry for no good reason, and are overall driven by selfishness and a desire to please self.  All of this and more makes us unacceptable to God and separates us from a right relationship with Him.  “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

The Free Gift

Our sin condemns us to an eternal Hell, but this is why the Word came.  He came to offer us the free gift (grace) of eternal life.  Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  In His death, Christ bore the punishment for our sin.  It’s not about being a “good person” or working as hard as we can to make ourselves acceptable to God—Christ did not die for us because we were worthy, but He died in spite of our unworthiness.  And there’s nothing we can do to earn His forgiveness.

Faith and Works

Romans 10:9 says, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”  It’s all about faith.  We must believe what God has said and put our complete trust in what Christ has done to save us from both the penalty of sin and from the power of sin to control our lives.

When we realize this and surrender our lives to Him as Master, He changes us from the inside out.  As a result, we do good things out of love for Him rather than out of obligation to try to earn His favor!  “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

 

This Christmas, consider Jesus.  Think about your sin and how it separates you from God.  Realize that you cannot earn your way to Him, nor do you need to.  The Word came at Christmas to give us a free gift.  Won’t you accept it?

“[F]or today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

 

Merry Christmas!

 

Texting while walking strikes again.  This really must be a more serious problem than I thought.  It even found its way into the Accident Prevention and Analysis journal in a study that concluded, “Using a mobile phone while walking puts pedestrians at risk of accident, injury or death.”

Sounds pretty serious!  Data from the study indicated that there was a significant increase in the number of pedestrian injuries related to mobile phone usage from 2004-2010.  According to Jane Brody of the New York Times, the number of these types of injuries more than doubled during that timeframe.

texting while walking

The federal government, says Brody, wants to do their part to help solve the problem.  They decided to offer cities $2 million grants to put toward preventing further injuries and deaths.  Brody continues: “Accidents among digitally distracted walkers can be as serious as being hit by a vehicle, falling down a flight of stairs, tripping over a curb, walking into a glass door or falling into a fountain or swimming pool.”

Dr. Alan Hilibrand, spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), discusses how “digital deadwalkers” are causing all sorts of injuries for themselves by tripping, falling, or otherwise wandering into places that they shouldn’t (such as into traffic).  That same article from the AAOS discusses how most Americans understand this behavior as serious but few recognize that they themselves may be a part of the “distracted walking” problem.

Obviously, people must really love texting to risk life and limb in order to text while walking.  I know that from now on, I’ll certainly (maybe) think twice before responding to a text message while I’m out on a walk!  Perhaps there should be a warning signs on cell phones: Do not operate while walking.  That plus $2 million from the government ought to solve everything.

Happy texting!

Setting up administrators allows several advantages.

  1. It allows multiple people access to send messages from your Control Panel.
  2. It allows group leaders to send messages by texting in with their own personal phones.
  3. It allows group leaders to send text messages from their own personal email addresses.

Table of contents:

I. Setting up Administrators

II. Explanation of Administrator Fields

III. How Administrators Can Send a Message by Texting In

IV. How Administrators Can Send a Message by Emailing

V. What is the Difference Between Setting an Administrator as “Super Administrator” or Not?

 

I. Setting up Administrators

Setting up administrators is quick and easy.  Here are a few simple steps.

  1. Go to your Manage Administrators page on your Control Panel.

manage administrators

  1. Click the green “Add an Administrator” button.

add an administrator

  1. Fill out the fields to add your administrator.

administrator fields

  1. Click “Save” and you’re done!

administrator save

 

II. Explanation of Administrator Fields

  1. Username and Password – This is the username and password that administrators can use if they want to log in to send messages from the Control Panel.
  2. Phone Number – Entering the administrator’s phone number will enable that number to send messages from your account by texting in to 229-299-8227.
  3. Email – Entering the administrator’s email address will enable that address to send messages from your account via email.
  4. Administered Groups – This field allows you to assign an administrator to a specific group or groups.
  5. Super Administrator – Setting this field to “on” will enable the administrator to have access to send messages to all groups. Setting this field to “off” will enable the administrator to send messages only to the group(s) assigned to them in the “Administered Groups” field.  (More on “Super Administrators” later.)

 

III. How Administrators Can Send a Message by Texting In

Once an administrator is set up on your Control Panel, it is easy for them to send a text message to your group by texting in to the system.

  1. Use the phone number that you set up from the Manage Administrators page.
  2. Set up a message in the following format: (GroupName) (Message)
    • For example, if your group’s name is “Staff” and you want to send the message “This is a test,” you will set up your message like this: Staff This is a test
    • Note: Your group’s name must be only one word in order for this feature to work properly.
    • Note: You are only able to send a message to one group at a time.
  3. If you are a “Super Administrator,” then you can send a message to everyone on your account by using “All” instead of a group name
    • For example: “All This is a test” (no quotes) will send the message “This is a test” to all the numbers on your account.
  4. Send your message to 229-299-8227, and everyone in your group will receive the message!

 

IV. How Administrators Can Send a Message by Emailing

Not only can administrators send a message by texting in, they can also send a message by emailing.  Administrators are able to email individual numbers or any group assigned to them, as long as that group has a “Group Keyword” (group keywords cost $3/month each; you can edit group keywords from the “Manage Groups” page).

  1. Use the email address you set up from the Manage Administrators page.
  2. Send an email to an individual number on your account by sending to PhoneNumber@gateway.mobile-text-alerts.com.
    • For example, sending an email to 4027188843@gateway.mobile-text-alerts.com will send the message to the phone number 402-718-8843.
    • If you are a “Super Administrator,” you can send a message to any individual phone number on your account.
    • If you are not a “Super Administrator,” then the phone number must be a part of the group you are assigned to.
  3. Send an email to an entire group on your account by sending to GroupKeyword@gateway.mobile-text-alerts.com.
    • For example, if your group keyword is “Office,” then you can send an email to office@gateway.mobile-text-alerts.com to send your message to everyone in that group.
    • If you are a “Super Administrator,” you can send to any group on your account.
    • If you are not a “Super Administrator,” then the group must be one that is assigned to you.

 

V. What is the Difference Between Setting an Administrator as “Super Administrator” or Not?

  1. Setting administrators as “Super Administrator” enables them to have full access to everything on your Control Panel. It also gives them unbarred access to send messages by texting in or by emailing (as described above).
  2. Administrators who are not set as “Super Administrator” are only able to send messages to the numbers and groups assigned to them. Although they can access the Control Panel, they will only be able to view and send messages to the numbers in their assigned group(s).  They will not be able to add, edit, or remove any numbers on the account.

Can investment firms reach out to clients via texting?

According to InvestmentNews, the answer is yes!  “[Text messaging] is a great way to keep in touch without being overly intrusive,” says the founder of Wilson David Investment Advisors, Kathryn Hauer.  Hauer and other investment firm leaders are beginning to see the value in sending out text messages to reach out to their clients.

investment firms reach out to clients

Edward Jones

Edward Jones is one of the major investment firms that have begun to use texting in this way.  They will start a program this month in which advisers will be able to send text messages to clients in order to help establish a stronger adviser-client relationship.

Jim Olsen of Edward Jones says, “It is particularly important to younger generations: the millennials, the younger Gen X … It is the preferred means of communication.”  The company leadership realizes the prominence of texting among young adults and understands how texting can add a personal touch to their investment services.  The goal is to connect as closely to clients as professionally possible.

Texting Uses

According to the InvestmentNews article, what kinds of purposes do these organizations use texting for?

  1. Some use it for sending urgent messages.
  2. Some use it for sending personal messages.
  3. Some use it “just to say hello.”
  4. Some use it as a means to offer to answer questions a client may have.
  5. Some use it for updating clients on the status of their financial analyses.

The Future

The future of texting for investment firms appears bright.  More and more companies are catching on, and the numbers are projected to keep growing.  I think it’s only a matter of time until texting becomes a standard for companies such as these!

 

How can text messaging be used to improve your business or organization?  Brainstorm your ideas and let us know in the comments below, or by emailing us at contact@mobile-text-alerts.com.  We may feature your idea and/or your organization in a future blog post!

We are excited to announce a new feature for Mobile Text Alerts customers: a message replies inbox!  With this new feature, when you send out a message, any replies to your message can be viewed from your “Message Replies” page on your Control Panel.

Message Replies

 

You can see the name, number, and date/time that your subscriber replied to your message.  And if you click the “Reply” link, you will be taken to the “Send a Message” screen so that you can easily reply back.

message replies 2

This new feature is automatically enabled for new customers.  If you are an existing customer and you want to get this feature added, contact us and we can get you set up.

We hope that this new feature will make things easier for you to communicate with your group.  Let us know if you have any questions!

Continuing from a previous blog post, here are Scripture verses from days 16-30 on the Biblica.com reading plan.  You can send out these verses as daily words of encouragement, or you can use them to help encourage your group to read through the Bible in a year.

read the bible in a year 2

Day 16: “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” -Proverbs 2:6

Day 17: “For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” -Matthew 12:50

Day 18: “O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed” -Psalm 10:17-18

Day 19: “So Joseph’s master took him and put him into the jail … But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him” -Genesis 39:20-21

Day 20: “But the wicked will be cut off from the land and the treacherous will be uprooted from it.” -Proverbs 2:22

Day 21: “The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.” -Psalm 12:6

Day 22: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man” -Matthew 15:19-20

Day 23: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; there is no one who does good.” -Psalm 14:1

Day 24: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” -Proverbs 3:5

Day 25: “But Joseph said to them, ‘… As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good'” -Genesis 50:19-20

Day 26: “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” -Job 1:21

Day 27: “So they [husband and wife] are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” -Matthew 19:6

Day 28: “For whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.” -Proverbs 3:12

Day 29: “With Him are wisdom and might; to Him belong counsel and understanding.” -Job 12:13

Day 30: “… whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” -Matthew 20:28

 

Continued in Part 3

(All Scripture passages taken from the New American Standard Bible.  Day numbers coincide with the Biblica.com reading plan.)