Thursday, 5 October 2017

That YES SMS Kerfuffle

Did you get a text message from the YES to Marriage Equality campaign?

YES, me too. So how did they get our numbers?

The campaign director said they used a random telephone number generator, which raised a few sceptical eyebrows.

Yes these random mobile generators exist and they are usually in the form of an Excel plugin or program.

The issue with doing it this way is, yes it's cheap to generate the numbers, but it would generate millions of wrong numbers.

And even if they used what's called 'grey routes' for sending the text messages out (cheap SMS servers based overseas that are not plugged directly into Aussie telcos and can arrive at 3am!), it would still be a very expensive exercise and they would be charged for the dud numbers.

However, it is certainly doable and they may have got the SMS at a really cheap rate.

The other option for the Yes Campaign: buying a list of mobile numbers, which is not cheap, and then pay to broadcast to these numbers.

But are they allowed to do this? Isn't it spamming?

No it is not. Under the Spam Act, political and informational electronic messages are allowed.

Thankfully we don't get these SMS messages very often because they are expensive compared with email, and cheap (but usually more effective) when compared with snail mail.

It certainly highlights the power of engaging people via mobile messaging. We are likely to ignore an email, but a beep beep SMS? No way...we'll read that for sure.

For good or bad, SMS leaves mail and email in its wake!


Monday, 11 September 2017

Prices Are Down Yay!

Thumbs down is good news for our wonderful customers at SMS Express...

...we have overhauled our pricing for SMS and now rather than wade through a list of "pricing tiers", it is now a flat price of 8.5c INCLUDING GST.

That's for 1 credit right up to 50,000 credits. No minimum order.

If you want to go large, then please...ask us to down down even more!

And just to remind you that you only pay for outbound text messages on our platform.

Everything else is 100% free. That includes replies, sub-accounts, custom sender IDs, use of the Birthday Module...

Any questions, we also have 24/7 support: 1300 668 287


See you soon!

Friday, 25 August 2017

Keeping your phone charged during a disaster

Hopefully you will never need to use the following tips, but we thought they were very handy.

The article on Click2Houston has some advice from the Red Cross on how to conserve and charge your mobile phone battery during a disaster:

Conserve phone battery:

  • Leave an outgoing message on your voicemail that includes your status and location, and then turn off your phone.
  • Use SMS text messaging, which will go through cellular networks easier than a voice call.
  • Turn on “flight mode,” which keeps your phone from transmitting or receiving and greatly extends battery life (SMS will not work on this setting)
  • Disable or turn off apps that you’re not actively using to save the battery power
There's other tips on charging your battery...the full article is here: https://www.click2houston.com/tech/how-to-keep-your-phone-charged-during-disasters

Friday, 18 August 2017

Coles & Woolworths SMS scams

Scammers are now sending out text messages purporting to be from Coles or Woolies.

The scam texts trick people into clicking a link which leads to the scammer's site.

Scammers are probably using SMS because email is starting to become ineffective, and junk filters will pick them up.

Due to the great cut-through that SMS has, and no "spam filter" on text messages unfortunately means scammers see SMS as being more effective too.

The scammers also use a SenderID pretending to be from Coles or Woolies, which makes the text seem legit.

The frustrating thing is, anybody can spoof a SenderID and make it appear to come from any company, like you can on email.

So if you do receive an SMS like this, delete it!

Here's some more info here: http://www.smartcompany.com.au/industries/retail/coles-woolworths-gift-card-scams-prompt-warnings-fake-text-message-offers-increase/

And to keep an eye on scams visit: https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/news

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

More women developers and a great app

Came across this story about the great app Baby Diaries which was developed by Tara O'Connell: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4790427/baby-app-grows-up/

Tara also has a great quote:

As a woman, there has never been a better time in history to start a business.

I couldn't agree more..and I suspect that there are a lot more women coders and developers than we think...we tend to hide our lights under a bushel.

Or we just don't need any "lights"..we just get on with it.

Tara's site is here: http://thebabydiaries.com.au/


Friday, 21 July 2017

Direct marketing - done well and done poorly

SMS Express sits in the direct marketing space,  and I love seeing how businesses market themselves, and not just with SMS.

Some businesses do it very well. One example of great opportunistic marketing that I remember is the time I found a fridge magnet on my Jeep driver's side door from a Jeep Servicing business...clever!

Even though I don't personally use a mens' urinal, a memorable "convenience" advertising campaign encouraged men to aim for the square sticker to uncover the ad's message.

In women's loos, we're in there for at least 3 minutes, sometimes staring at the back of the door, or on our phones texting while..ahem..you know..

Advertising in airport toilets can work very well, especially if you ask people to text you for more info, or give people your website address to browse while they're doing their business.

But sometimes direct marketing can be done very poorly and cost the business money and reputation.

Two examples that I experienced:
- Our business got an email from a trucking signage company in Sydney. Firstly, they probably bought an email list online, so were breaching the Spam Act by sending spam.

But that aside, even so...surely you'd look at the businesses you were spamming before sending your unwanted email to all and sundry? Poor form on many levels.

- And last week, we got a paper flier in our mailbox advertising roofing and guttering solutions from a business had the longest email address I have ever seen.

Apart from that, the street where we are in Prahran just off Chapel Street...it's buildings and apartment blocks..in fact most of our neighbouring streets are the same. Hardly any houses that need a roof or guttering.

So I called the roofing business and asked them if they might want to give their pamphlet company a huge kick up the backside..and after our conversation, that most likely happened.

I felt really sorry for the business owner who wasted good money on bad marketing...or should I say a bad marketing company who did not care about their client.

Whatever advertising medium you use, whether it be dunny door ads, fliers or SMS, or all media, think of your target audience, the timing, and does the message match the audience?

And if you engage another company to do this for you, keep an eye on what they're doing.

Friday, 16 June 2017

The Mobile Phone & Medicine

Using SMS reminders is not a new thing. But did you know that you can use SMS to remind you that you forgot your tablet? And I don't mean your iPad...a reminder to take your pills.

In fact, using mobile technology to assist us with every day living is becoming a big part of our lives.

Recently there was a fascinating (but kind of creepy) story about "smart pills" that could enable a text message reminder to be sent when you forgot your dose, thanks to an implant under your skin that could detect a certain enzyme in the drug. If this enzyme was not detected in your body, an SMS reminder would be triggered.

I cannot find any further info on this story so it may be been a pie-in-the-sky thing or a hoax...but I don't doubt the technology does exist!

Nontheless, if you prefer something less Orwellian, a couple of guys in the USA have invented Pillsy, which is a smart pill bottle that talks to your mobile phone via Bluetooth.

Pillsy can track when you take a dose, reminds you when you forget, alerts you if you take too many, plus you can monitor other family members' tablet schedule.

Pillsy is a fabulous example of how the not-so-humble mobile phone can seriously benefit our lives, plus offer a simple health tool, especially for an ageing population.