Mobile is still king and SENDR is here to prove it: SMS and voice campaigns made easy

Brice BERDAH

10 min reading time

SMS and voice campaigns - a mobile phone linked to several different prospects represented by a contact icon

An overview of how three different companies use SENDR to generate leads, improve customer relationships and drive sales

Last year we saw a considerable hype growing around messaging apps such as Messenger or Telegram, and chatbots in particular. Now the act calmed down, as chatbot failed to deliver as many exploitable business use cases as expected.

Let’s go back in time to see what qualities of messaging apps or bots were deemed as the key to their future world domination of text exchanges:

  • 24h, 7/7 and Instantaneity: A bot is never off and always reply in seconds (if not bugged).
  • Personalization: You can use your customer data to personalize your messages. For instance, instead of a generic Hello, you can include the name. Based on different data entry, it’s also possible to create specific flows for pre-identified profiles.
  • One to one: A one-to-one channel gives a more personal feeling to the recipients that a mass media. It’s tied to personalization, but it’s more than that.
  • Interactive: However hard you yell at the TV, it won’t answer back. With bots, users can finally respond, and bots will try their best to understand them, and eventually reply appropriately.
  • Better UX/more practical than apps: It was one of the main argument used to promote bots. They were opposed to apps and their required installation and potential setup process. Hence, bots were seen as more accessible and more comfortable to onboard. The debate is still open.

WHY IS MOBILE STILL KING?

Now, this is where things get interesting. What if we tell you that there is a channel, available for 25 years already, offering all the features mentioned above and still underexploited? Welcome to the world of telcos!

Doubtful? Here are three facts to change your mind:

  • Users can and do disable notifications in their messaging apps. Do you know anybody who permanently turned off notifications for the calls or texts they receive?
  • Without notifications, the time between the emission of the message and the recipient reading it can be quite long. It creates an additional risk for the marketer, particularly if the communication is time-bound. On the other hand, SMS boast an average response time of 90 seconds, for a 98% opening rate.
  • You don’t need a smartphone, nor to be “app fluent” to be able to use SMS or voice. You also don’t have to install anything, and it’s available by default on every phone there is. It is particularly impactful for products and services targeting developing countries or population with a low rate of smartphone penetration (such as senior citizens).

Now that we have your attention let’s jump directly to the bulk of it: how to make the most of the potential offered by voice and SMS? We’ll go over examples while detailing the features used that were key to the success of the campaigns presented.

Note: The SENDR interface is available in both English and French. The screenshots displayed below feature both languages depending on the client’s account preference. We respect our users’ privacy – you won’t find any company name in this article.

HOW TO HARNESS THE POWER OF MOBILE?

As a global voice and SMS service provider, we’ve seen thousands of different SMS and call campaigns unfold on our platform. Let us walk you through it, and introduce the various features offered on our campaign management tool SENDR and how they were used to achieve significant results.

1. Grassroots Community Management for a political movement

Grassroots political movements are hard to initiate but even harder to organize and develop. They are made of many local branches that need to be able to synchronize at a regional or even national level. This kind of movement needs a fast a reliable communication system to coordinate the actions of all their supporters.

The solution implemented on SENDR

During the elections, but also in-between polls, the grassroots movement uses SMS for community management, and mainly to increase their rallies and events turnouts. Let’s see how they did it.

Key Feature #1: List handling

SENDR offers many options to handle your contact lists. Blacklists (people who unsubscribed to your messages by answering STOP) are automatically handled. Moreover, you can combine lists with addition and subtraction. A thoroughly organized contact database will allow you to reach out only to the most relevant people conveniently. It was particularly relevant for them, as one of the main internal use cases of SMS was for traffic generation at events.

Because of the geographical imperative, the movement needed a clear contact discrimination system to avoid reaching out to a supporter in the South of France about an event in Paris.

 

screenshot of the SMS and Voice campaigns management web interface SENDR

Preview of list combination features when creating a campaign.

Key Feature #2: The instantaneity of SMS

Campaign rallies are a communication tool, both internally to spike motivation and hope, and externally as a show of strength. The turnout is hard to estimate precisely until the very last minute. The movement cannot afford to appear weak if the attendance is disappointing. They needed a system to allow them to rally their members very fast if needed. Since SMS are opened and read very quickly, they turned out to be the best channel for the movement’s last-minute reminders. Besides, the recipients can answer to let the organizer know if they can make it or not which greatly facilitate the turnout’s estimation.

screenshot of the SMS and Voice campaigns management web interface SENDR

Here is a large scale SMS campaign: 30 000 SMS were delivered in a timely fashion

Your first SMS and voice campaigns are just a few clicks away!

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2. Lead Generation for an event with a communication agency

This communication agency is a company managing marketing campaigns for third parties. They specialized in car dealerships, their main customers. Their actions can increase foot-traffic to dealerships, boost customer loyalty and gather client feedback through automated, personalized voice and SMS campaigns.

The Solution implemented on SENDR

The agency needs to grab the attention of their prospects quickly. To do so, they develop a personal touch, using voice with recorded messages or by customizing their messages. To make it even more genuine, they have the car dealership owner records the message himself whenever possible.

Key Feature #1: Outbound Voice Campaigns

The agency uses push voice campaigns to drive traffic at a physical location, acquire new customers or advertise a sale. To do so, they use concise 45s short messages to introduce themselves and present their offer.

While they rely on automation for the outreach, they don’t want to lose the personal touch. With SENDR, they can use any entry in their database to customize their messages.

screenshot of the SMS and Voice campaigns management web interface SENDR

Preview of the results screen of a call campaign: the interface gives you a break down of the results of your campaigns in a visually compelling dashboard. To dive into the nitty-gritty, you can, of course, download a spreadsheet detailing the results.

Key Feature #2: Straight-to-Voicemail

For certain campaigns, such as the ones designed to increase customer loyalty, the communication agency needed a less pushy way to reach out. With the Straight-to-voicemail feature, they can leave a message on their prospect phone (and it won’t even ring!). The prospects will then be able to listen to it if he wants to, and when he wants to.

Several options can be given to the prospect once he listened to the message, such as pressing 1 to be contacted by a salesperson (who can be notified by email) as soon as possible or leave a voicemail.

Key Feature #3: Campaign scheduling

Timing is always key, and the adage verifies itself even more for voice campaigns. In order to generate traffic for car dealerships, the communication agency found that their best option was to call when people are willing to listen – essentially when they are at home or at least on a break from work.

The campaign scheduling feature lets them turn on and off the campaign automatically at set times (12PM-2PM, 6PM-8PM for instance) to maximize its impact.

 

screenshot of the SMS and Voice campaigns management web interface SENDR

Preview of the campaign scheduling options. You can set up pauses to only deliver your campaign at the best moments. The campaign can also be set up to automatically stop once a certain amount of pickups has been reached.

3. Debt Recovery with a debt recovery agency

Debt recovery is a highly sensitive topic. At first, we weren’t expecting to see this use case develops on our platform, but it makes a lot of sense and debt recovery agencies are now often the most demanding users regarding advanced features. Since debt recovery agencies make a creative use of most of our features to maximize their chances to reach their prospects, they pushed us to keep improving SENDR.

The Solution implemented on SENDR

Considering the sensitive nature of their activity, the debt recovery agency faced several challenges:

  • Prospects that would avoid answering, or refuse the call,
  • Prospects calling back at random time,
  • A strong need for accountability in their outreach, considering the legal dimension of the activity.

Using the campaign management interface SENDR, they were able to mitigate these issues, with two three key features:

Key Feature #1: Conditional Call/SMS/Voicemail Flow

SENDR lets you create flow mixing both voice and texts. For instance, you can set a campaign where the prospect will be called. If he picks up, he gets your default message. If he doesn’t, you can send a text or leave a voicemail. The flow can be repeated as many times as necessary for the prospect to answer.

 

screenshot of the SMS and Voice campaigns management web interface SENDR

Preview of the call scenarios: you can set up automatic callbacks and decide for a flow if the recipient doesn’t pick up. Each chosen action can have its unique delay.

Key Feature #2: Cascading Call Forwarding

It’s hard enough for debt recovery agencies to get someone to answer them, so when prospects eventually do, they don’t want to miss them! To ensure prospects always get someone on the other end of the line, the agency can set up several different agents the call is forwarded too. If one fails to answer after X seconds (you can choose how long to wait for), our call forwarding system automatically jumps to the next until one picks up.

Key Feature #3: Call Recording

Debt recovery agencies have a strong need for accountability. On SENDR, you can record any call made on the platform, and forward the recording to any email address or directly to your internal databases using the API.

Note: If you use the call recording feature in a campaign, don’t forget to tell your prospects about it. Recording a call without notifying the callee is illegal in most countries.

CONCLUSION

We made SENDR to let businesses and individuals reach out to their customers and prospects with voice and SMS in a convenient fashion. Through the different iterations of the platform, we’ve listened to our users’ feedback and added many features. With the latest version (v4), we went back to the drawing board to make the platform more intuitive and easy to use than ever before.

Yet, we will not lie to you: you’ll still have to learn a thing or two on telcos to make the most of SENDR. But we’re here to help! We’ve produced very detailed tutorials covering the four primary use cases, and an onboarding guide including an overview of the main features of SENDR. Don’t let the world of telcos scare you, behind all a few intimidating acronyms lie a real power: reaching out straight to your prospect’s pocket.

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