Texting allows businesses to be transparent

Transparency is an important business practice for many organizations, especially those in the private sector. Taxpayers are always cautious of misappropriation risks, so providing the public with a way to view daily operations and communication is vital because it can give taxpayers peace of mind in knowing that their money is being managed properly. As communication continues to become mobile, sending text messages can allow an organization to record important conversations.

The city of Jacksonville, Florida, is implementing a policy that requires all business-related text messages between public offices to be captured and stored. This will allow citizens the access to view communication records, should the need arise. For city offices, capturing SMS messages is the easiest and most efficient way to record communication.

Cole Cartledge, the director of Intra-Governmental Services for the city of Jacksonville, said to the online publication The Daily Record that his organization plans to work with various groups to determine the best practices of storing text messages.

"I've directed our staff to start holding those indefinitely and we are going to coordinate with the Office of General Counsel to see how long we need to hold those," Cartledge said.

It is unknown at this time how long these messages will have to be held for, as various legal factors will have to be considered before the policy goes live. However, the fact that this city office is planning such a policy shows how important text messaging can be in both public and private business settings.

All organizations must display ethical conduct if they are to remain viable, and recording SMS communication can easily show taxpayers in the public sector and investors in the private sector that operations are on the up and up. As such, businesses should consider using SMS technology to perform all work-related communications such as marketing and customer service. Swift SMS Gateway can provide organizations with the tools needed to implement a text messaging business strategy.

 

Kentucky neighborhood prevents crime by sending text message alerts

This blog has talked a lot about the advantages of using SMS services to conduct business and send marketing messages. SMS can also keep individuals safe, as many users can receive messages quickly and efficiently in the event of danger.

Police in Louisville, Kentucky, are now sending and receiving messages to and from residents via text and email to keep the people notified in the event of an emergency or to inform them of any suspicious criminal activity.

Regency Woods is one one of the neighborhoods in the area. Typically a quiet neighborhood, there has been an increase in car break-ins, according to a news report on WDRB.com. To combat the rise in crime, a system has been implemented that allows residents to text or email the police, who can in turn send out a mass alert to a number of citizens.

Sgt. Clayton Elliott with the Metro Police Department's 6th Division told the news source that while the system has been used as a way to prevent crime, residents can also report any crimes that happen to occur, which allows the department to alert the public of an incident.

"We notify them on burglaries, thefts from autos, thefts, robberies," Elliot said. "If one of the neighbors happened to have seen that individual they can give information to the detectives."

While the system allows for both SMS and email communication, the nature of the two applications makes sending these messages via text a better solution. Even though most smartphones have email, it is much easier to take out a phone and send and receive an SMS message than it is to do so via email.

Any organizations and communities looking to improve the communication between safety officials and citizens should consider implementing an emergency text service. Swift SMS Gateway can provide the tools needed to create a service designed to reduce crime and improve the safety of a community.

 

Tips for marketing via SMS

The rise in mobile usage and the fact that the SMS app remains the most popular application on smartphones means that more businesses are turning to text message marketing. However, those in the field can't simply dive into text messaging without formulating a proper strategy. The online publication Business2Community released a list of tips for effective SMS marketing.

The number one tip is one that this blog happens to agree with: Relevancy and timing are crucial. SMS recipients are more likely to act upon the messaging they receive if they are prompted to do so right away. The longer a recipient waits to act or respond to a certain message, the less likely they are to do so.

For example, a business hosting an event could send promotional messages to the phones of all the attendees. Perhaps there is an incentive to buy a product at the function sold by the host. Naturally, it would be best to send this information during the event so the recipients can capitalize on it. Sending a message with relevant information and a call to action will only be effective if it is sent at the appropriate time.

The blog also mentions that it's important to be conversational with the recipient. Users don't get excited by generic canned text. Messages should be engaging and should prompt some form of response from the customer receiving the message.

"Having a conversation with customers via sms is probably easier than you think too," says the article.

Implementing the right tools for SMS marketing can allow professionals to store any responses into a database and analyze them for business purposes. These tools can also allow businesses to schedule messages so they are sent at a relevant time. Swift SMS Gateway provides the tools marketers need to follow these helpful tips.

 

Texting can help preserve mobile phone battery life

The increased number of functions in smartphones give users a plethora of modern communication methods. Some have expressed a belief that the growing number of functions may eventually limit the popularity of SMS, which is still the dominant app on today's mobile devices. But, most of these new applications can be far more detrimental to battery life than sending and receiving SMS messages.

According to a number of news sources, the iPhone 4S is one of the more egregious offenders of poor battery performance.

"Not surprisingly, owners of the iPhone 4S complained about poor battery life, a much-discussed and somwhat controversial issue that was mentioned in 45 percent of the complaints about Apple's newest smartphone," writes Bill Snyder in a CIO.com blog.

Studies show that many users will attempt to use various communication applications that will eat up bandwidth and, in turn, drain battery life. In the case of the iPhone 4S and its iOS 5 operating system, the use of iMessage, Apple's text communication system run on the SMS application, can hurt the battery more than traditional texting.

An article in USA Today suggests that turning off mobile data and relying on text messaging to communicate may be the best way to preserve battery life. Since most SMS text messages take up only 140 bytes, texting will not have as severe an effect on bandwidth as any other communication method.

With the amount of time people spend on their smartphones these days, especially out of the house and in social situations, battery life is of the utmost importance. Users may be more willing to stick with texting if it means having a longer lasting battery. Marketers should take advantage of the immense number of texters by implementing an SMS marketing strategy. Swift SMS Gateway provides the tools needed to reach the massive number of users relying on text messaging.

 

Rising global adoption provides new opportunities for mobile marketers

It's hard to imagine today, but it was only 15 years ago when mobile phones were rare – dispersed sporadically throughout the world and really only used by a select few individuals. The global adoption of the technology around the turn of the century was unprecedented. Today, mobile phones rival televisions on the consumer electronics global popularity scale. And while usage is massive, analysts see it getting even bigger in the coming years.

According to an infographic compiled by a number of research firms, mobile traffic per user is expected to grow exponentially each year up until 2016. In 2011, global mobile media traffic stood at about 92 megabytes per user. By 2016, that traffic is expected to grow to 1.2 gigabytes per user. But, as previously reported in this blog, SMS is still the dominant application on mobile phones, so as adoption increases so will SMS usage.

The incredible growth is spurred by massive adoption in emerging markets. In 2003, only 61 percent of the world had mobile coverage. Today, that number is higher than 90 percent. These emerging nations are embracing text messaging the way the U.S. has as well. According to the source, countries like Kenya and Indonesia are leading this revolution. While 89 percent of Kenya's national population send and receive text messages, a staggering 96 percent of Indonesia's population do the same.

This is a big opportunity for mobile marketers. Global adoption is on the rise, and once these citizens get their hands on mobile phones, they are discovering ways to communicate that are more effective than phone calls. Marketers should be planning global SMS marketing campaigns to take advantage of this trend. Swift SMS Gateway provides the tools marketers need to implement a global mobile marketing strategy.

 

Study shows that text messaging is the most received form of communication

In today's age of social media and advanced communication methods, businesses may find themselves overwhelmed by an increasing number of options to contact customers. Facebook posts, tweets and emails may seem like valuable ways to communicate messages to the public, but according to a series of studies, these all pale in comparison to text messaging, which is still the dominant application on mobile phones and the preferred method of communication.

Information released by the online publication Mobile Marketer states that 98 percent of all narrowcast text messages are opened. Narrowcast messages are sent to a specific person or group of recipients. Sending an SMS message to specific recipients may seem like it would increase the chances of it being opened, but studies show that the general public are just as likely to receive this form of communication.

Broadcast messages – content sent to either the general public or a relatively large subset of the public – are opened just as frequently if they are sent via SMS. According to the infographic, only 2 percent of broadcast SMS and MMS messages are not opened. This compares to 84 percent of Facebook posts and 71 percent of tweets that go unread, according to studies conducted by the respective social media companies, and 88 percent of emails that get ignored.

Mashable contributor Allegra Tepper wrote that despite popular belief, broadcasting via social media and email is not as effective as once thought.

"Meanwhile, 98 percent of text messages are opened, and therefore, companies that market through SMS/MMS have a far truer reach."

One reason why SMS messaging is so effective is the sheer number of users. According to a report from comScore, there are 234 million U.S. citizens with mobile phones. Meanwhile, there are only 161 million U.S. users on Facebook, Pinterest and Google Plus – three of the top social networks on the internet – combined.

Businesses need to take advantage of these staggering numbers. Swift SMS Gateway gives organizations the tools they need to formulate an effective and profitable SMS campaign.

Study shows patients more likely to take medication when reminded via text message

Remembering to take medication on time is of the utmost importance. Depending on the severity of a medical condition, it could mean the difference between life and death. But, due to a number of reasons, many people forget to take medication at the times instructed by their physicians and pharmacists. However, technological advancements such as text message alerts have given patients a greater ability to remember to take their medication.

A study conducted by pharmacy benefits management firm OptumRx found that those who receive reminders to take their medication via text messaging are more likely to take it on time than those who don't. A total of 580 patients were studied and 85 percent of patients receiving text reminders took their medication on time versus 77 percent of those who received no reminders via text message.

Dr. Brian Solow, chief medical officer of OptumRx, stresses the importance of following medication instructions, also known as adherence. He explained in a statement that advancements in mobile technology could be a breakthrough in adherence improvement.

"Many of us are using our phones to do more – check the weather, read a news article, research information on a medical condition," Solow said. "It makes sense that reaching patients through technology could improve their adherence, and now we have the evidence to prove that it can, even among older patients."

Sending out alerts such as these reminders is just one way companies can take advantage of mobile technology and the popularity of text messaging. The growing number of mobile users has increased the effectiveness of sending out sms reminders. Swift SMS offers solutions that allow organizations to build, customize and send important alerts to a growing user base.

Tech battles transition from desktops to the mobile field

For several years, the battle between Apple and Microsoft existed primarily on desktop computers. The feud shifted to laptops in the mid-2000s, but Apple's first generation iPhone was a game-changer in 2007. Sparking a revolution in the tech industry, the rise of smartphones once again changed the war between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs' respective enterprises. Today, Apple and Microsoft duke it out on the mobile battlegrounds. As mobile usage increases, many businesses must adjust their procedures and take advantage of text messaging, which is still the dominant application on today's mobile phones.

Unlike its experience with desktop software, Microsoft was slightly late to the party when it came to designing mobile operating systems. In fact, Apple's true competitor on the mobile front has been Google. The search giant's Android mobile operating system and Apple's iOS platform currently hold the top two market shares, but analysts predict that Microsoft is quickly gaining ground.

Last month, research firm IDC reported that Microsoft's Windows Phone will reach a 19.6 percent share of the smartphone market by 2016. According to IDC's predictions, this could push Microsoft past Apple as the number two player in the global mobile software industry.

While this is big news for Microsoft, Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's mobile phone technology and trends team, suggested in the report that future functionality could skew projections.

"What remains to be seen is how these different operating systems – as well as others – will define and shape the user experience beyond what we see today in order to attract new customers and encourage replacements," Llamas said.

Regardless of what mobile operating system is used, text messaging is still the dominate application used on all mobile phones, and these numbers indicate that the mobile industry is only going to grow. As a result, marketers must rethink their strategies and execute campaigns that take advantage of increased mobile usage. In today's climate, text message marketing is an effective way to reach the growing number of mobile users in a short amount of time.

Study shows that users are more truthful when conversing via text message

Traditional conversations – whether they are face-to-face discussions or phone calls – may still be a valuable way to communicate, but one has to wonder, how much truth is being disclosed in these interactions? Without a record of what was said to refer back to, the value of an exchange may be diminished.

In May, a survey conducted by the University of Michigan revealed that users are more truthful when discussing matters via text message than in a voice conversation. The study was conducted by interviewing 600 participants, asking a series of standard interview questions such as how often they worked out and how much they drank in a given week. The results indicated that answers varied depending on whether they were given via text or spoken word. According to the researchers, text message responses revealed more information and were considered more truthful.

"The preliminary results of our study suggest that people are more likely to disclose sensitive information via text messages than in voice interviews," said Fred Conrad, a cognitive psychologist and Director of the Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Conrad admitted he was surprised by the results. "Many people thought that texting would decrease the likelihood of disclosing sensitive information because it creates a persistent, visual record of questions and answers that others might see on your phone and in the cloud."

This is important data for marketers engaging in SMS polling research. For one thing, it suggests that users are more apt to find value in messages displayed in text form. Additionally, they could be more likely to respond by disclosing valuable information.

Businesses that wish to capitalize on these findings should acquire the tools needed to formulate a mobile messaging campaign. Swift SMS Gateway is long experienced providing marketers with a simple network solution to enable text-back polling. Moreover, Swift SMS's experience provides a toolset that is flexible for easy customization for collection of data analytics.