Are you using text messages to talk to your customers?

Services /

We are a telephone number company (the clue's in the name). We sell numbers and call services to work with those numbers. However, it always surprises me how few of our customers know that we also offer a range of SMS (text message) services. Customers that do know are using them in some weird and wonderful ways and I'd like to share a few examples of them.

Great for marketing, but plenty of other uses

Now, I'm not one for marketing. I do not know my CAC from my CTR but I do know that when I get a message to my iPhone (yes, I'm a fanboy) I read it, in full. How often is that true for other forms of marketing? Most marketing emails never make it to my inbox. Those that do get approximately 0.02 seconds in front of my eyes before I decide whether to hit the delete key or not.

But SMS doesn't always have to be about marketing. A few customers are using it very successfully in other ways. For example we have a couple of taxi companies that have their controllers send out messages to their customers when they book a car, telling them the ETA, the name of the driver, the type of car and registration. While that doesn't directly bring them more sales, it's a very nice touch.

Write now, send later - schedule messages

Another great example is a hair salon; they take appointments over the phone (using one of our Local Numbers, of course) and put them in their diary. Sometimes these appointments are made weeks or even months in advance. It's always a pain when the client doesn't turn up for an appointment. So now, as soon as the client books, the receptionist quickly loads up the Novero Platform, enters the details of the appointment into the SMS message field, and schedules the message to send 24 hours before the appointment is due. Even if the appointment is in 3 months time, the salon can be sure that the client will get a reminder message to their phone, automatically, 24 hours before it's due. That's pretty neat!

To schedule a message from the Novero Platform is really simple, follow these quick steps:

  • Login to the Novero Platform -
  • Click the SMS tab (in the top right of your browser)
  • From the left hand menu, click 'Send SMS'.
  • You can then enter the contact's name, number and a message.
  • If you want, you can save the contact so you don't have to enter their details next time.
  • Tick the box which says 'Schedule for later' and choose a date and time to send the message.
  • Click Send.
Schedule your SMS message in Novero

It's really that simple; even a hairdresser can manage it (can I say that?!).

A great tool in any marketeer's belt

As I mentioned above, the other obvious use for SMS is marketing. We provide a few tools to make marketing via SMS really straight forward. The obvious use for this is sending out special promotions, discount coupons etc.

Nearly every business will have an address book of their customers in one form or another. The Novero Platform allows you to import this address book and then send message en-mass to your clients. Again, you can even schedule the messages so they get sent at the best time of day for your promotion. For example, a Pizza restaurant might want to send out a promotional SMS in the evening before "dinner time", or just before the "big match" on a Saturday afternoon.

Bulk send, save time

To upload a list of your contacts and send them a message, you first need to collate your numbers into a file to upload. We've made the format of the file as simple as possible: Name, Number. You can create this file yourself in any basic text editor - Notepad, TextEdit etc. For those with big lists you can use Excel; just be sure to save your spreadsheet as a CSV file (it's an option when you choose Save As.).

Once you have a list of your clients numbers, this is how to import them:

  • Login to the Novero Platform -
  • Click the SMS tab
  • From the left hand menu, click 'Manage Groups'
  • Give the group a name
  • Choose 'Upload a CSV File'
  • 'Choose file' and browse to the file you've just created
  • Hit import contacts

    Upload SMS Contacts

    You will now have a group of contacts saved inside the Novero Platform. To send to them it's really simple:

  • Click 'Send SMS'
  • From the tabs on that page, click 'Send to Group'
  • Select the group you've just created
  • Enter a message
  • Click send and watch them go.

    Receive responses or push your brand

    One last thing to note - you can even choose who you want the message to appear 'From' when it arrives at the handset. By default we let you choose between all of the virtual numbers you have with us. However, you can use any 10 digit alphanumeric you like. So the message can arrive from 'Bobs Cabs' or 'Sam's Salon' etc. To set up a custom name you just need to email us.

Mark Burcher