Apple’s iMessage application crashes

Just days before Apple was set to launch iOS 6, the tech giant experienced a potentially damaging incident regarding its mobile operating system. On Monday, iMessage – Apple's answer to SMS messaging – went down, which prevented users from sending "text" messages via the iMessge system. While the service was eventually up and running later in the day, the event showcased why many answers to SMS messaging are still pretenders and why traditional texting will continue to reign supreme.

Apple release iMessage last October, a service that runs on the SMS application but uses data networking. The advantage of this service is that users can send messages to other iMessage users when they only have Wi-Fi and are unable to connect to their carrier's local tower. However, incidents like Monday's show that any advantages gained can easily be lost.

Michael Harper, a contributor for the online publication RedOrbit, covered the story and mentioned that users had to switch off their iMessage service and revert to standard SMS texting.

"Therefore, iPhone users were still able to text normally with everyone," Harper wrote. "iPad, iPod Touch and Mountain Lion users, on the other hand, were out of luck when it came to iMessage yesterday, and likely had to resort to sending old fashioned email or just pulling their phones from their pockets and sending a text."

Companies should remember this incident when executing mobile marketing campaigns. Using channels such as iMessage or various social networks can hit a decent number of people, but if and when these services go down your marketing efforts will be wasted. SMS marketing relies on carriers to deliver messages. Therefore, not only will this communique hit a greater number of people, it has proven to be more reliable. Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools marketers need to launch effective SMS campaigns.

Texas bomb threat exemplifies the importance of timely messaging

The nation held its collective breath and prayed for the safety of the faculty and students at the University of Texas on Friday morning, as reportings of a bomb scare reached news outlets around the country. Thankfully, the incident was a hoax and no one was hurt, but many are saying the University should use the incident as a learning experience and adjust its emergency broadcast policies, particularly those concerning text alerts.

According to an article in the Daily Texan, the school sent out a text alert around 9:50 a.m., roughly 75 minutes after University officials were aware of the threat. The school used a text alert service to send a message to student's phones, telling them to evacuate the campus. Many are now upset, stating that the alert was sent too long after the threat was made and, had there actually been a bomb, the indecisiveness could have put everyone in danger.

"I think 9:50 a.m. was way too late to decide they were going to evacuate," said Daniel Cortte, a freshman at the University.

According to University of Texas Police Department chief Robert Dahlstrom, the threat stated that bombs were going to go off around 10:05 a.m. Had this happened, the students would have been given a window of only 15 minutes to evacuate the campus, even though the threat had been received 90 minutes before the text messages were sent.

This underlines the importance of finding a valuable emergency text service. In these situations, officials must not only relay important information, but they must do so in a timely manner. The school is fortunate that no such incident took place, but next time they may not be so lucky. Organizations looking to improve the efficiency of their emergency broadcasting efforts should look into an SMS services provider. Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools to send powerful messages to a large number of people in a short amount of time.

Mobile messaging to double by 2017 and SMS leads the way

As previously mentioned in this blog, global mobile traffic is growing at a rapid rate. This is fueling the growth of messaging services like SMS, which despite its immense popularity, is growing exponentially. According to one study, mobile messaging is projected to be twice as popular in the next five years.

The report was composed by Juniper Research, and indicates that mobile messaging traffic will hit 28.2 trillion messages annually in 2017. This compares to the estimated 14.7 trillion messages sent in 2012.

While this study consider other methods such as Apple's iMessage and social media services, SMS is still the mobile messaging leader and experts suggest that is something that won't change.

Daniel Ashdown, co-author of the report, said that SMS texting will continue to lead mobile messaging because it's a universal application. Social messaging services like Facebook messaging rely on users having an account and iMessage only works on iPhones, but SMS messaging can be sent from virtually any cell phone through any carrier.

"SMS is 30 years old, but it is still going strong because a text message will reach almost anyone," Ashdown said.

This is an important fact to consider for organizations conducting mobile messages and is why SMS services are still the most effective way to reach a large group of people. Businesses marketing to mobile phones experience far greater success by sending promotions through SMS than they do with any other method and text alerts are received at a far greater rate than through any other medium.

For companies looking to enhance their mobile messaging efforts, Swift SMS Gateway provides the tools needed to launch effective texting campaigns.


Promotional text messages leaves liquor stores drunk with success

Running a promotion is a great way to get customers excited, attract new business and increase revenue. The only problem is that it can, at times, be difficult to announce these events. Promotional emails are rarely opened. If customers aren't consistently coming into the store or establishment they may not see the signs posted in the front window. That's why sending promotional text messages is the most effective way to reach a large audience.

Kevin Opray, a new media expert and co-founder of the tech consultancy firm Impact Data, spoke recently at a global liquor summit, and explained that many of his alcohol-related clients – including bars, liquor stores and bottle depositories – are experiencing a wealth of success after marketing promotions via SMS services.

Opray stressed the importance of liquor stores running promotions on discounted beer or special services getting their message to the masses. His strategy is to have his clients ask customers for their mobile numbers, which they can send promotional messages to.

"If you've just bought a case of VB, of course you want to know next time VB is cheaper at the local bottle shop," Opray said.

He went on to give examples of his clients successes, saying that SMS marketing has produced an average unit sales increase of roughly 100 percent. His most successful client was a liquor store that sent mass text messaging to 493 customers for a cost of only $20. According to Opray, the message was a promotional special on Jim Beam, and the result was a nearly 200 percent increase in sales of that product.

Companies wishing to experience similar success should implement a text message strategy into their marketing efforts. Swift SMS Gateway provides the tools needed to launch effective SMS campaigns.


Suicide risks alleviated by SMS messaging

This blog has examined a number of efforts various organizations have made to promote safety by implementing an SMS messaging strategy. By sending out messages in the event of an emergency, recipients can quickly receive the information they need to keep themselves safe. Today, as part of the new national strategy for suicide prevention, those at risk are able to sign up for a service that allows communication via text message.

Like many other national organizations to help people, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention is utilizing technological advancements to its advantage. Evolving technology has spawned a number of efficient communication methods, and the alliance is utilizing them to help mitigate the dangers for at risk individuals. Collaborating with the Surgeon General, the alliance released a report summarizing its new direction.

"Technology is changing the way we communicate, and the pace at which tools are introduced continues to accelerate,"  the report says. "These media and applications include interactive educational social networking websites, email outreach, blogs, mobile apps and programs using mobile devices and texting."

As previously mentioned in this blog, while utilizing a number of communication methods is a good idea, none are more effective than text messaging. The SMS application remains the most popular smartphone app and text messages are opened by 98 percent of recipients, by far the best success rate of any method.

This exemplifies how any organization can benefit from an SMS service. As the number of mobile phone users continues to grow, those sending text messages have the ability to reach a large number of people quickly and efficiently.

Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools any company needs to organize effective SMS alert services. In cases such as this one, the ability to use these tools to open up strong communication channels can help save lives.


Maryland launching 911 texting service

As technology advances, a number of services are evolving to take advantage. Historically, 911 has served as an service for individuals to call in the event of an emergency. However, due to the decline of phone calls and rise of modern communication techniques such as SMS text messaging, dispatchers are being trained to receive emergency reports via new methods.

In an effort to provide more convenience to its residents, the state of Maryland is implementing a $50 million upgrade to its emergency communications system, which includes its 911 services, according to a report in the Baltimore Sun. Soon, individuals in an emergency situation will be able to communicate with dispatchers via their smartphones. This includes sending pictures, videos and SMS messages describing or showcasing the status of an emergency.

This is part of a national effort to utilize the increasingly advanced functions of today's mobile devices. Other states have already begun testing various services that mitigate the risks associated with having to make a phone call in the event of an emergency.

According to the Sun, Vermont has experienced success with its 911 text message service. David Tucker, executive director of the state's Enhanced 911 Board, told the news source the ability to relay an emergency message without talking can be beneficial in many instances. If an individual is unable to talk or if they are in a situation where talking would increase their level of danger, texting is a valuable service.

"In one situation, we were able to get a medical responder to a person's house and they saved the person's life," Tucker said. "[In the other] we were able to intervene in a domestic situation. That person was able to contact us without making a voice call and being heard by the other party."

This service can also benefit emergency responders, who can use it to send out bulk emergency messages and help protect the safety of recipients. Swift SMS Gateway provides the tools needed to launch services just like this one.


New York public schools implements text alert service

As public schools opened in New York City this week, mayor Michael Bloomberg launched a new text message service to assist students' parents.

As part of his efforts to improve public education under his watch, Bloomberg is allowing parents to receive text alerts displaying calendar alerts, reminders and tips on how to access school resources.

The mayor spoke with the Wall Street Journal about the service and stressed the importance capitalizing on the new school year.

"The new school year is a new opportunity to build on the important progress we have made over the last several years, and working with schools, students and their families, we will do better this year than ever before," Bloomberg said. "That work starts by doing more to make sure parents have the information they need to help their children succeed – even when they are on the go."

In today's fast-paced environment, it's imperative for parents to know what their children are doing, how they are performing in school and if any changes are made that will affect their schedules. However, acquiring this information just isn't feasible using traditional methods. Adults on the go can't afford the time to search for information on their computers. Some even lack the ability to take phone calls. With text messaging, recipients can read a message and put their phone back in their pocket in a matter of seconds.

This is why sending text alerts is becoming so popular. It is the most effective way to relay pertinent information while taking up the least amount of time. Organizations considering implementing this kind of service should contact a text messaging service provider. Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools needed to coordinate an effective and efficient text alerts service.


As texting grows, voicemail is on the decline

Every sales and marketing professional has, at one point or another, been frustrated by voicemails. They are rarely returned, due to being hard for the recipient to understand, or there just isn't enough time to listen to them. However, text messaging may be providing professionals with an easier way to communicate with customers and prospects.

According to a report from USA TODAY, voicemail is on the decline, and text messaging is a primary reason for the trend. The internet voice provider Vonage reported an 8 percent year-over-year decline in voice messages left in July. The company also said messages retrieved by Vonage users fell by 14 percent in the month.

Michael Tempora, senior vice president of product management at Vonage, told the news source users simply lack the time to listen to all of their voice messages.

"They hate the whole voicemail introduction, prompts, having to listen to them in chronological order," Tempora said.

Sales and marketing professionals cannot afford to have their voice messages go unheard. Business opportunities can be lost if messages are completely dismissed, but they can also be lost if recipients don't listen to his or her message until a later date. Moreover, if prospects or customers lack the time to listen to voicemails, they may not get an important message and not respond.

By texting, the message can be read quickly and clearly. The nature of SMS messaging means communication will be concise and to the point. It's much easier for recipients to read and respond to a text than listen to a voicemail, understand it and call back.

Companies that market themselves via text messaging may find greater success than making calls and leaving voicemails. Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools businesses need to launch effective SMS campaigns.

Canada finds success with SMS AMBER alert program

As mentioned in yesterday's blog, texting is becoming increasingly popular in Canada, as more citizens are adopting mobile devices and understanding the benefits of SMS communication. In addition to sending P2P messages and receiving marketing and promotional texts, Canadians are also using SMS messaging to receive alerts designed to promote safety in the community.

According to a press release from the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), a service which allows users to receive AMBER alerts via SMS messaging is becoming increasingly adopted among Canadian citizens. While traditional mediums such as electronic road signs and the emergency broadcasting system are still used to make AMBER alerts, this service is believed to be more effective because it reaches a large number of people scattered in various areas.

The incredible growth of this service has been fueled by a number of factors, including massive participation from Canada's premier wireless carriers. Bernard Lord, CEO of the CWTA, used the release to express a tremendous amount of gratitude towards everyone who has registered for the service – a number that exceeded 25,000 last year.

"The wireless industry extends its sincere appreciation to the thousands of Canadians and our industry partners and ambassadors that have joined together to ensure that our most precious citizens can count on us when they need us most," Lord said. "I encourage all Canadians to invest the few short minutes it takes to register, because when a child is abducted, everyone feels the loss."

This is just another way that SMS messaging can make a significant positive impact on the community. Organizations that embrace this technology can make a difference by implementing bulk SMS messaging to a large group of people. Swift SMS Gateway provides the tools needed to launch SMS marketing or emergency alert campaigns.

Texting is becoming increasingly popular in Canada

The mobile explosion certainly isn't confined to one country. Increasing mobile adoption and the growth of SMS text messaging is widespread across the globe, including Canada.

According to a recent study conducted by Canadian consumer electronics provider Future Shop, roughly 76 percent of the country's residents own cell phones. This number is up from 74 percent in 2007, 59 percent in 2004 and only 22 percent in 1997. The transition to mobile has happened at such an extreme rate, it rivals that of the United States over a similar period of time.

"Attached to our hips and charged at all times, we can hardly go an hour without checking our wireless devices and fear the day we forget them at home," the report said.

Additionally, more Canadians are texting today than ever before. According to statistics posted on the site, 23 billion SMS messages were sent in the first quarter of 2012 by Canadians. This is well on pace to topple the mark set in 2011 of 78 billion, which had already shattered the previous high of 56.4 billion texts sent in 2010. This year, March was a particularly busy month, as an average of 254 million text messages were sent by Canadian users each day.

The astounding growth in Canada opens up a number of new opportunities for marketers sending SMS marketing messages. The United States contains a tremendous amount of prospects and customers who rely on mobile communication, but efforts cannot be constrained to one general area.

Of course, marketers must be cognizant of various factors when sending international text messages, including rates and regulations. It is important to talk to an SMS marketing firm before embarking on such a project. Swift SMS Gateway provides the tools required to conduct effective text marketing campaigns as well as the knowledge and resources needed to expand across national borders.