By Darko Milojkovic
What is your preferred way to donate to a charity? Well it seems that charities think that their future lies with text message donations…at least in the UK. According to the UK regulator of premium rate telephone services that oversees charity text donation, PhonepayPlus, there has been a sharp increase in charity text donations last year and the trend looks set to continue into 2012.
More than 200 charities are now registered with PhonepayPlus, which means that they can ask people to donate by sending a text message to the charity’s short code number. Perhaps this isn’t too surprising given the end-of-year findings by nfpSynergy’s Charity Awareness Monitor which found that the monthly average for people giving to charity by text donations rouse by 40% in 2011.
As of 2011, around 1 in 4 people in the UK will donate to a charity by text. Forecasts predict that by 2014 around £96 million will come from SMS donations, which is a lot of money by anyone’s standards. And charities have been quick to realise that text donations chimes well with younger givers.
By Richard Fox
The latest International Communications Market Report from Ofcom has been making a bit of a stir within the telecom industry. Its survey of some 5,600 consumers in six major countries (including Australia, France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the USA) has found for the first time that some of us are more likely to use our mobile phones for non-voice purposes (i.e., text messaging) rather than making voice calls. Ofcom’s survey found that SMS usage levels ranged from a low of 64% (in the US) to a high of 86% (in Australia). Conversely, voice calls ranged from a low of 68% (in Italy) to a high of 80% (in Germany). The report found that on a per capita basis these countries had an average SMS usage level of 71.52%, while the usage figures for voice calls was slightly lower at 71.48%. So, it seems that while we may call it a mobile “phone” some of us are just as likely (if not more so) to use it for text messaging ignoring its voice capabilities.
Plus, if you consider that SMS usage is rampant in the developing world (thanks in part to its low cost) there probably is a strong case to say that text messaging is more popular amongst mobile phone users worldwide, rather than voice calls.
By Katarina Velickovic
As the economy contracts yet prices continue to climb many small businesses are finding it tough going at the moment. One surprisingly low cost way to make the most of your existing customer base and attract new ones is with a mobile marketing campaign. Many small businesses can also make use of text to streamline their business functions and save themselves a bit of money in the process. With today’s harder trading conditions in mind, here are five ways that small business can benefit from text messaging.
Important points to remember are that SMS marketing is very powerful and it will enable you to instantly target your audience, and as more than 95% of all text messages are opened and read you can also most guarantee that the receiver will view your message. If done properly, SMS and mobile marketing is a highly effective way to reach your customers. Best of all the process is very simple and affordable –it is just as easy as sending an email, but much, much more effective.
1. Start by building an opt-in list for your mobile marketing and SMS messages, with the promise of giving your consumers real value and special discounts. You will need to explain to your customers the benefits for receiving your text messages. Make sure that you communicate the benefits of opting-in to your mobile campaign in all your communications, including emails, in ads, in person and on your website. The key to collecting contact details is to make it worth your customers’ while to opt-in to your mobile campaign by offering special discounts, reminders, alerts …even VIP events.//As the economy contracts yet prices continue to climb many small businesses are finding it tough going at the moment. One surprisingly low cost way...
By Matthew Chung
2011 has certainly been a busy year for us at RoutoMessaging, seeing expansion for us on both sides of our customer base. Within the wholesaler market we’ve seen mobile operators and social networking companies, as well as software developers and marketing companies continue to turn to RoutoMessaging to deliver a message termination service second to none. At the same time we have seen growth with our enterprises customers (across a wide range of sectors ranging from retail to travel and everything in between) who depend upon our expertise, quality products and services to provide the SMS and multi-messaging services they need to help optimise their business objectives. We also have an increasing number of businesses turn to us to provide bespoke consulting and development for their SMS and MMS messaging needs.
Probably our biggest success in 2011 was the addition of excel2sms to our range of products. This Excel add-in is brilliant for individuals and companies that want to send bulk text messages to phone numbers stored on Excel worksheets. Best of all, as it is an add-in the user doesn’t need to exist Excel to send a text message (they just need to click on it within the Excel menu) so it is simple to use. Of course our other text messaging products, including Web SMS (offering web-based bulk SMS messaging) and Easy Messenger (for those who prefer to use a desktop application for their SMS messages) have both proved to be popular with different parts of our customer base.
Yet none of these products would be as successful or popular without TextGate, RoutoMessaging’s resilient, reliable and amazingly fast SMS gateway, providing access to more than 800 operators worldwide. Add to this the fact that RoutoMessaging owns and manages its own worldwide mobile messaging network. This provides our customers with direct access to destination operators the world over and helps us secure unbeatable destination termination reliability.
// 2011 has certainly been a busy year for us at RoutoMessaging, seeing expansion for us on both sides of our customer base. Within the wholesaler ...
By Chaitali Kotadia
In many countries Christmas Eve is usually the first or second biggest day in the calendar for sending a text message, though in some regions this honor falls to New Year. However, this traditionally busiest time of year has for the first time seen a decline in the number of text messages being sent in some countries. According to Tero Kuittinen, a senior analyst at M.G.I. Research, the recent holiday period saw a decline in the numbers of texts being send in several counties. In particular, there seems to have been a steep drop in the number of texts sent on Christmas Eve.
According to Kuittinen, in Finland one of the country’s largest network operators saw SMS messages fall to 8.5 million on Christmas Eve 2011, down from 10.9 million on Christmas Eve of 2010. Likewise both Australia (down 9%) and Hong Kong (down 14%) saw a decline in the number of SMS messages sent over the Christmas and New Year period. In Sweden, The Local (the Swedish English -speaking press) wrote that sending a text message to express Christmas or New Year’s greeting is passé here. Those in the know instead use a social network to pass on their holiday greetings.
In his blog, Kuittinen attributes the fading allure of text messaging to the increased popularity of social networks and BBM/iM, which allow smartphone users to send messages for "free".//In many countries Christmas Eve is usually the first or second biggest day in the calendar for sending a text message, though in some regions this ho...
By Dragan Zubac
Once again we've seen a government supressing mobile phone services in a bid to control civil unrest. This time it was the turn of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which forced network operators to suspended text messaging on their networks following the recent election in this country.
As you may expect in a country that has had a recent and very violent civil war, moving towards a democracy has been a bumpy road, with these elections being only the second time the Congolese have taken to the polling booths since the end of the civil war. The official results of the election claim that the serving president --Joseph Kabila – won the election with 49% of the vote. However the opposition --Etienne Tshisekedi—refutes these results saying that the election was "rigged" and has taken to the streets in protest. To help maintain order, the authorities have instructed Congo's network operators to suspend SMS services to prevent political disturbances by the opposition.
By Darko Milojkovic
There is no doubt that the Christmas and the New Year period is a time when people tend to eat , drink and be merry...sometimes too much so. Interestingly, some emergency wards in the US are trialling a new mobile campaign to collect information on patients’ drinking habits and help support their efforts to control their drinking. The goal of the mobile campaign is to gather data and offer support to young patients that have been discharged from an emergency ward who are looking to control the amount of alcohol that they drink.
As is the case in many parts of the world, in the US it is all too common for young adults to binge drink (even when it’s not the holiday period). Unfortunately many of these people end up in a hospital emergency ward, and around a third of them report that they are abusing alcohol and/or becoming dependent on it. Now, all these trips to the hospital get expensive so the Emergency Medicine Foundation (a non-profit organisation dedicated to reducing driving under the influence and under-age drinking) was given a grant to research binge drinking by young adults. It decided to use an automated text messaging program to gather information on these patients’ drinking habits and give support to those who need to reduce their drinking.//There is no doubt that the Christmas and the New Year period is a time when people tend to eat , drink and be merry...sometimes too much so. Interest...
By Richard Fox
The controversy surrounding Carrier IQ (a Californian-based mobile software company) continues to rumble on now that it has emerged that federal investigators are looking into the allegations that the company’s software monitors mobile users’ activities without their knowledge or consent. On December 14th representatives from Carrier IQ met with officials from the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The aim of the meeting was to discuss and explain how their product works and what it is designed to do, and I assume that the regulators wanted to establish potential problems regarding security breaches and concerns about mobile user privacy.
This meeting is just the latest twist in this controversy which stems from an allegation by Trevor Eckhart, an Android researcher, that Carrier IQ's diagnostic tools could be a security risk as they tracked personal mobile phone data. It seems that while he was researching part of Carrier IQ's software for smartphones he found that one element of it monitored every key press and SMS message that was typed, and sent this usage data on to the network operator. According to Eckhart, the software collected information such as the phone's location, which URLs the user visited, as well as data on SMS messages and phone calls, and forwarded it to the carrier—all worrying stuff as far as security and privacy are concerned.
Now Carrier IQ insists that their software (which is usually embedded on to American mobile phones by the network operators) is designed to give the carriers information about their network’s performance so they can identify where they can make improvements--that is it. However, the telecommunication software company hasn’t been upfront about collecting this type of sensitive and highly private information and it is this failure to inform and/or get permission to monitor this type of data that seems to be the real crux of the issue. Given that this could lead to security and privacy issues, at the very least you expect mobile users to be able to opt out of this data collection if they want. But this is easier said than done, and more often than not users can’t easily turn it off…which again sets off alarm bells.