SAM is coming to IHRSA This Year, What Does It Mean?

Smart Automated Messaging is coming to IHRSA this year. It is convention season in the health and fitness industry and tomorrow one of the biggest trade shows in the nation and is being hosted by IHRSA for the 38th time.

What is IHRSA?

IHRSA is a global community of health and fitness professionals that includes over 8,000 member clubs in 70+ countries. “IHRSA’s mission is to grow, protect and promote the health and fitness industry and to provide its members with benefits that will help them be more successful (Source: Ihrsa.com).

This year the convention is in San Diego, California which is only a 1 and half hour plane ride from our headquarters in pleasant hill, california. This will be the first year that our mobile engagement platform SAM; since its formal deployment, will be in production during the scheduled event.

A Medium for the Health and Fitness

SAM is an approach that aims to append the three relationships within the health and fitness space which include: club operators, technology providers and the member community through a medium we can all relate to. visually expanded quote from blog text SMS or more colloquially known as text messaging. IHRSA has an assertive innovative nature it places on all of the technology in the health and fitness. The culture at the convention is to bring the cutting edge of your niche to the table. This belief has lead all of the innovative software backed ideas to create some pretty special solutions for all. SMS service providers have proven proposition when it comes to developing member communication and steam lining club operations. There are numerous case studies that tell exactly how effective SMS can be on operational processes such as:

  1. Accounting and billing collections
  2. Day-to-day member outreach
  3. Lead generation
  4. New member onboarding
  5. Member retention and loyalty

The exciting take away about it all is it is only the beginning for how this medium will enrich these processes. What was once imagination is now coming to fruition.

From SMS to RCS

Text messaging functionality began somewhere in the early 1980’s (source: Wikipedia). To be completely honest with you, as connoisseurs of the medium and trying to understand its history, it hasn’t changed much. Which is a true testament to its value. That says a lot for the short-form, 160 character medium. SMS is evolving into a more rich message protocol called RCS. The updates would make the medium offer a lot more multimedia capabilities to your messaging experience. Instead of the alphanumeric version we see today (text, numbers, and symbols), it will give the message thread a more engaging canvas, creating functionality for participants that allows creates a path of least resistance when it comes to the buyer journey. You may ask, what that means and that is the big curiosity in the hub surrounding the topic. visually expanded quote from blog text RCS will make the business to consumer messaging experience very conversational and data friendly. Imagine being able to design conversational layouts for sales scenarios that will guide your leads to the right details, product and cost they are looking for all from within the message thread.  You can get a glimpse of how we are currently designing it for two clients here.

SAM is even offering more

SAM is launching, even more, features this year! On top of all the solutions we are bringing other engaging features that include:

  • Mobile Scratcher: a digital scratcher that makes unveiling promotional offers more fun! Similar to the experience you have when you make a run to the local convenient store and buy lottery scratcher to reveal your fortune.
  • Enhanced loyalty program: a fun rewards scheme that’ll encourage your members to continue the relationship with your health club.

We are extremely enthusiastic about sharing these ideas on what we have been developing for the health and fitness this week. Are you going to be at IHRSA and would like to learn more about what SAM is bringing this year? Footer - blog author

SMS in 2019: Why Businesses Must Fully Adopt The Medium

Digital asset for blog that reads SMS in 2019

What a year it has been for SMS as a medium. The most used communication method known today has continuously helped solve so many engagement challenges that marketers in the digital age face.

It has also done it in a such an intuitive way that the teams that make up SMS engagement providers know that there is so many more ideas and effective use cases to harvest from the ubiquitous medium.

Whatever your product or service, this era has proven that their is a huge dependence on the mobile engagement experience we have with our consumers and how we must surround it with our brands.

This is evident because consumers put so much pressure on the mobile experience that businesses provide and you may ask why? Well, consumers love being on their mobile phones so business should feel invited to join the culture.

Reflecting on SMS

Since we are in a bit period of reflection before the new year arrives. Let’s zoom out on the value driven methods behind the power of SMS and what it has done for business to consumer communication.

Immediacy of engagement

SMS communication is instant. In an elementary understand, you type of message, pick a recipient, hit send and that it. We know you have already heard it before but we’re happy to tell you once more. Benchmark research shows that SMS has a 98% read rate within 3 minutes.

Ubiquity

The proof is in the pudding. Next time you are leaving your home and in transit to your next stop. Just look up and observe what every person is doing, you’ll notice the gesture of humanity all gazing into their mobile devices, their smartphones.

Directness

SMS communication is like a dart on its way to the center of a dartboard. Since your mobile audience is and should only be in your campaigns because they chose to. You know exactly who your message is going to.

Trackability

What is done, has to be measured as George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham would say who are responsible for creating the SMART goal acronym. Reporting used to be very simple for service providers, only giving our clients data on successful deliveries. Now we can see the details on who gets the message, if they opened it, what they received, and if their were any other interactions such as clicks.

Automating engagement

No question, this has to be one of the most profound benefits of the medium. Which is also kind of bias for a service provider like us who has been the leading health and fitness SMS engagement provider for almost 10+ years. Hooray! We have a collection customer success stories to back up that accolade as well, you can visit them here.

The idea of SMS automation has birthed the branch of so many uses and ideas behind SMS outreach. With the addition to automation in the mix now your business has a tool that can do more for less. Here is a list:

  • Automated birthday alerts
  • Automated new prospect alerts
  • Automated cancellation alerts
  • Automated billing decline alerts
  • Automated new member alerts
  • Automated we miss you alerts
  • Automated appointment reminders
  • Automated acknowledgment alerts for keyword, webform and keypad opt-ins.

That is just a short digest because with the trajectory that the SMS technology is on, now you don’t have to have any constraints at all. With the boundless barrier of our imagination we can start think out more sophisticated engagement models that uniquely fit our business and consumers specific needs, through the involvement of APIs. We have instruction and documents for those by the way, you can view them here.

Friction against the idea

Now there are two stigmas that our team has uncovered from research and development that we still see as a cognitive friction against the full adoption to SMS engagement providers. They are:

  1. SMS is a too intrusive medium
  2. SMS is too personal for business to be involved with it

Our answer to both of those fears is one word, compliance. Now, what exactly is compliance or practicing mobile engagement, especially SMS engagement lawfully? For those that like to dive into the legal texture of it, you can find that information on FCC’s domain. Here is directory to that.

Although for a more easier version from our team here, you simply must have your mobile audiences consent and a record of it. There is a lot of underlying meaning when we speak of the consent though. It is the reason your SMS strategy will or will not work. Understanding your consumers will definitely help and we get it. Just because everyone is on their phones, doesn’t mean a business has to text them. It is ultimately how you brand the subject and invite topic into the minds of the most important thing all businesses service, you, me, us, the clients.

Happy New Years, farewell 2018 and a warm welcome to 2019.

What is an SMS API?

SMS APIs help developers create simple to complex communication services that give web applications the ability to send and receive text messages through code. Read on to learn more and how it can be done with us.

What is an SMS API

Why SMS APIs Are Needed

Does your software need an SMS gateway to send text messages? Do you so happen to be a API developer? If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you are most likely looking for something called an SMS API. Well, you’re in the right place! So what exactly is an SMS API. The whole term is literally an acronym. Let’s start by breaking it down.

In review, we all know what SMS stands for. It’s short message service or more commonly known as text messaging. Now, what about API? API stands for application program interface. APIs provide a set of functions for developers who build web applications to program graphical user interface components (Source: Patent.Google). That definition is pretty technical, but in more simple terms, SMS APIs allow your application to send text messages through an SMS gateway. SAM our web application, is an SMS gateway since it enables users to send messages to mobile users from it.

Pretty simple when worded like that huh?

The design of SMS communications and the internet are kind of separated. That is why SMS APIs are meant to sort of, close that gap between telecommunication carriers such as at&t, sprint, verizon, and the web.

Integrating an SMS API

Let’s define one more term when speaking about APIs. It is called endpoints. So what exactly are they? Endpoints are URLs that allow you to authenticate, send or post requests to a server so that you can communicate with an API (Source: StackOverflow). Sounds a little complicated, but your programmers would know exactly what that means especially in a discussion regarding SMS APIs.

If you are a health club and you are using a club management software, you can speak to someone on our sales team and they can show you how our API can easily give you gym text message automation.

So now that you know what an SMS API is, how exactly does it work? This is where your development team comes into play. If you like to take a look at our API documents and give it a try, you certainly can! We have lots of endpoints for various communication objectives. You can sign up and explore our API docs here.

Textmunication’s API documentation provides an array of endpoints so that you can build robust communication models for your application.

For each phase in the API development process, our team will work closely with yours to ensure that it is successfully set up and going in the right direction. The time to start creating your very own communication model is now and it’s made easier than ever. As always happy texting.

What is Smart Automated Messaging?

This is an introduction to SAM, Textmunication’s newly developed mobile engagement platform and how it will create a smart automated engagement experience for its users.

An Introduction

The next generation of application to mobile engagement is here, offering a carefully crafted user-friendly design that is a testament to the user interface. A system that is designed to for daily use, on the go or at your desktop, as quick as reality and as honest as it is engineered.

Blog image of a simple blue printed mock up of SAM.

Why is it different?

So what’s so special about SAM? Fundamentally, mobile engagement platforms allow marketing professionals to engage, report and manage all of their subscriber data from the same place. This makes it easier to understand campaign performance and impact. Although, more or less, those are qualities that all mobile engagement platforms would ideally offer. SAM offers all of those traits but in a super polished fancy. Here is why SAM is different:

1. Speed and capacity

SAM can send up to 400-500 SMS per second! That makes engagement instant no matter what the subscriber size is.

2. TCPA compliant platform

Since SMS is a consent-based medium, SAM has inherited platform level compliant elements in its design that remind the user about data integrity, so your mobile marketing experience is safe and protected.

3. Inbox feature allows for 1-1 communication

Text (SMS) campaigns where you send outreach in one direction is over. Now you can have full dialogue with your subscribers directly from within the application, just as you would on your mobile.

4. Mass texting automation

With SAM you can automated campaigns for mass text messaging assignments. This will enable users to set up text drip series so you can nourish your prospects strategically.

5. Sleek User Interface (UI) for easy navigation

The user interface is modeled quick navigation so all components are easy to learn and memorized whether you’re a daily user or a periodic one.

6. Programmable Text (SMS) API

With programmable text message APIs, you can build custom and automated messaging experiences right within your application and have SAM power it all for you.

Want to learn about our SMS API? Talk to sales.

7. Easy to get started

The system is an out of the box solution so once you log in, users can instantly add numbers and start sending your first campaign within minutes.

8. Campaign reporting on key metrics

SAM gives you an observation of campaign insights like no other, giving you the ability to visualize your data summaries based on time parameters so you can draw real feedback. For example, non-deliverable numbers are segregated so you can measure accurately.

 

What is Smart Automated Messaging?

Automation has improved the efficiencies of almost all manufacturing and communicative processes. That is without question. When automation was applied to text messaging, that is when great progression for the mass engagement was reached.

Smart automated messaging was is an ideology which is being created into a reality by software solutions like SAM. The enablements of engagement platforms of this competence will be a huge breakthrough for communication scenarios. Since SMS is already short and simple, why not apply it to situations when your brand has to speak to your customers,  members or clients? Let SAM do it for you, that way you can make time for areas where human involvement is needed more than less.

You know, you can try SAM for free for 30 days, no obligation and no credit card? Just sign up!

MO and MT, what do they mean?

April 9, 2018 | 5 min read

When it comes application to mobile engagement there is some important acronyms and terminology that would be helpful to memorize. Two important terms that you may find mentioned regularly are MO, which means Mobile Originated and MT, which stands for Mobile Terminated.

These terms are important and may come into play during discussions that you may have about an SMS marketing campaign once it is completed. You may be with your marketing team analyzing your most recent campaign performance and your team may put forth questions such as “How many total MO responses did we get for the most recent campaign?” What exactly does that mean? First, let’s review their definitions then we can talk about some more examples.

What is an MO Message?

As we stated earlier the term MO stands for “Mobile Originated”. This is a type of message that can be understood as a text sent to a mobile marketing platform or web application. Here is a little trivia question! What are some standardized keywords that subscribers may commonly send to an engagement platform or SMS gateway? Well, the answer is words like STOP, HELP, YES and NO. For example, when you are opting into a keyword, like when texting DEMO to 52236, that message can be seen a “Mobile Originated” message to the application telling it to opt your mobile number into the system. We are pretty certain you have seen many keyword opt-in call to actions for SMS marketing campaigns, but as a refresher, you can check out some of these examples on our site. If you were to opt into any of these, the message you send to communicate to that SMS provider can also be seen as “Mobile Originated” message. SMS platforms generally timestamp these types of messages into their systems for the record.

What is an MT Message?

MT is very similar, but the inverse of MO. As mentioned MT stands for “Mobile Terminated”. This is a type of message that can be understood as a text sent from a mobile marketing platform or web application like Textmunication’s web app SAM! MT messages are basically any and all messages in your campaigns that are sent to your subscriber’s mobile phones. Let’s say you get a notification on your phone from a dedicated or vanity shortcode. Well, that was an MT! Similarly, web application generally timestamps these types of messages too.

So get MO’s so you can send MT’s!

Hope this helps.

CMS Messaging Vs Mobile Messaging Platforms

Authors: The Textmunication Team | March 6, 2018 | 15 min read.

The focus of this comparative analysis between CMS messaging extensions and mobile messaging platforms.

Before we proceed, it might help to review how each could be defined. CMS (club management software) messaging extension are add-on text messaging web service that allows SMS engagement to the software datasets.

Comparing the two

A mobile messaging platform is a full suite of SMS engagements tools that not only allows SMS engagement but includes tracking, reporting and lead acquisition channels so data can enter the system in various formats, from consumer and admin perspectives.

Let’s think about it, there are so many engagement platforms that are available in the marketplace today that allow us to connect with others. These platforms rest within the interface of our computers screens, magically giving marketing professionals the ability to navigate; scroll, click and hover–until digital outreach is made and our footprint is left.

When it’s just right

In overall comparison, all of these mobile messaging platforms come offering a different array of features. It is kind of like the 19th-century fairytale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

The story goes that the bears made some hot porridge and went for a walk so it can cool off. As they did Goldilocks appeared and tried them all until she found the one that was just right.

So if your business is like Goldilocks, yearning for the engagement solution to reach out to your prospects, leads, and customers. It can be hard to choose, especially if you don’t have the time to try them all out.

The question is, how do you decide between a CMS messaging extension or add-on and a mobile messaging platform? The obvious answer is to just pick what is more suitable for your business, but that can still be tricky because with marketing tools certain aspects of your business like size, the purpose of your communication objective and your service radius can be huge determiners.

Let’s match them up and conduct a little bit of competitive analysis between the two.

First, let’s compare code provisioning and some of the details about associating a code with an web-application.

CMS messaging extensions can only use vanity and random long codes, which can be harder to memorize for branding.

Mobile messaging platforms on the other can used both vanity or random shared short and long codes.

Since provisionee’s are given the options between shorter codes, it may be easier from a branding perspective to memorize. That can make a huge difference especially when you think about all the impressions your marketing will go against. You can read more about the realities of our advertising environment here.

Both can have codes associated, but the mobile messaging platform gives you more options, so the

Next, let’s compare the sending competence and the details associated with each.

CMS messaging extensions only allow the user that is piloting to send singular messages to recipients.

Mobile messaging platforms allow you to send singular to high volume mass campaigns to more than one segmented group.

Both allow you to engage your database, but the mobile message platform gives you more scalability and outreach potential, so the

Third, let’s compare SMS automation attributes and details associated with each.

CMS messaging extensions don’t offer automaton, just manual sending.

Mobile messaging platforms offer automated text messaging alerts that allow you to instantly engage with multiple subscribers simultaneous based on specific criteria.

Mobile messaging platforms clearly take this category because automating your text message campaigns reduces human intervention and gives your team more time to focus on areas where human involvement is needed. So the

Lastly, let’s compare how each can be used as an effective lead generation tool.

CMS messaging extensions don’t have lead acquisition methods on the consumer side. The only way data can be imported is by file upload, which can create spreadsheet assignments before you can even start sending.

Mobile messaging platforms have compliant based lead generation avenues that allow your subscribers to place themselves into your database using opt-in sources such as keywords, web forms and keypads.

This can be a very valuable tool for any mobile messaging application because if consumers can participate themselves, it makes the experience breed more involvement.

Both have methodologies to create data, but the platform creates lead generation solutions that allow you to strategize ways to convert subscribers. So the

Our comparative analysis of club management text messaging extensions or add-ons and mobile messaging platforms is based on contemporary research conducted by our team on mobile messaging extensions for club management systems.

Making the decision

Choosing the right marketing tool can take a bit of research, but we definitely hope after reading this that you have a better sense of direction in where your decision is going. Sometimes it even helps to be like Goldilocks and just try some out, it may be the only way to really figure out what works for you, your customers and your business.

Like to learn more about our mobile messaging platform, feel free to contact us.

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TERMS OF SERVICE | PRIVACY POLICY |  ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY | API SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT COPYRIGHT © 2019 TEXTMUNICATION HOLDINGS, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
TERMS OF SERVICE | PRIVACY POLICY | ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY | API SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT
COPYRIGHT © 2019 TEXTMUNICATION HOLDINGS, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.