Today we are proudly announcing a great feature that we’re sure you’re all going to like, one that has been in our backlog for a while now, but it’s time has finally come: we bring you SMS Schedules.
We know that most of you have been using cron jobs to schedule your deliveries (i.e: a PHP or Ruby script that runs every couple of minutes checking the time and date and deciding to send or hold a specific text message), and we heard you loud and clear. You can now retire those complex moving parts and start using this new feature for fun and profit 🙂
Schedules should allow you (and your company, of course!) to take more advantage of SMS marketing campaigns and A2P messages and lower the complexity of your own integrations, improve ROI and do less manual tasks to manage your deliveries. Read on to know more about them!
What are Schedules and Why you should schedule your SMS’
Schedules are a property of a single SMS or a full campaign, and they describe how and when a message should be delivered. This essentially lets you describe the days and hours allowed for a message to be sent. Let’s see a few use cases where you should be using them.
Schedule your Text Messages to show respect for your customers and users
Being able to send a text message to one’s mobile phone (i.e: to one’s pocket) is a great power and comes, of course, with a great responsibility. If you are “Doing SMS Marketing with Good Karma” your should be sending your marketing or A2P messages at standard business hours, where you know you won’t be bothering your customers and/or users (i.e: nobody wants to be awakened at night with a marketing message).
If you respect the hours where people might be ok with receiving your messages, if you show how predictable you are (in terms of number of messages and days and hours where you send them), it is less likely that you will be reported as a spammer, you will also improve your ROI, and customers will tend to consider joining a loyalty program once they know that they can trust you (see “How to Build a Successful Loyalty Program“).
Scheduling your SMS’ generates new business opportunities
Schedules provide an awesome business opportunity to “seize the moment” if you get creative enough.
For example you can schedule your marketing messages to be sent between 6pm to 8pm so they are delivered when people are getting back from work (chances are that they might pay more attention to your messages when perhaps waiting for the bus), or maybe send your restaurant menu from 11am to 2pm where you know you might be able to tempt more people with your offers.
In our post “Effective Customer Segmentation For Your SMS Campaigns” we discussed how to do customer segmentation so you can better target your customers, schedules allows you to take this one step further and also segment your day and choose the hours that could be more effective for your marketing messages.
How schedules handle the different time zones in the world
So what about time zones? There are countries (like USA, Russia, Brazil, etc) that have many different time zones at the same time.
What if your business requires to send a message from 6pm to 8pm to people in different time zones and you want to make sure that you reach everyone when you’re supposed to? Even more: What if you want to reach everyone between 6pm to 8pm and your targets are in Spain, USA, and Japan at the same time? This is where the true power of schedules resides, because we take care of everything.
When scheduling a message or campaign for a specific time or day we will take into account the time zone of each one of your targets based on their phone number (for example, destinations in Miami will use a different time zone than destination in Los Angeles, Madrid, or Tokyo, and yet everyone will still receive their messages from 6pm to 8pm in their own time zone).
How to Schedule the delivery of an SMS Message and your SMS Marketing Campaigns
To use a schedule, you can just set one up at the time of creating a new message or campaign in your user panel. Note that this is of course also available in our REST API, for both SMS and Campaigns. You can also use schedules from one of our Available SDKs.
We hope you enjoy this new feature, and feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions, we always like to hear feedback from our users and will be glad to help you grow your business with this new feature.
— The PortaText Team.