<

CRM-integrated Texting... for FREE!

Published on
4,382 Points
1,282 Views
1 Endorsement
Last Modified:

The need for Texting

We all wear many hats. Part of this article's focus is the marketing hat... and another part is the consumer hat. Those of us who are consumers frequently are either ambivalent toward, or hiding from... those of us who are marketers. We marketers know this, and, like it or not, we have a job to do, and that's to get our message through to you, in any way that's both effective and legal.

It's tough!

Let's face it: it's crowded out there. The roads, the sidewalks, the trains, etc. But most of all, the marketing messagesphere is crowded competing for the attention of the consumer. Email is filtered out or ignored. Voicemail is screened. Almost everything else out there just forms a blurry blob of non-recognition, a "fabric of noise."
 
Hence the need for Texting, to poke through that fabric of noise, to get your message through.
This article is not about whether consumers love us for texting them. They don't. (Well, not 'til we text them an extra $50 off something at their favorite store, anyway.) This article is about the the nuts and bolts of texting in such a way that we are compliant with our CRM policies. This would mean tracking our text messages, logging them, and probably originating them from within our CRM tools.
 

Why CRM Integration?

CRM tools like GoldMine, ACT!, and others are the natural vehicle for sending and receiving Text. Features include: automatic logging of all Texts (along with other activity logs), the ability to easily and quickly send out Texts en masse, and the ability to share Text conversations throughout the organization.

So far, we understand that Texting is a foregone conclusion, we are going to do it, and, we really need to do it in a way that is CRM-integrated.
 

Texting Tools for Hire

Add-on Texting tools are available at a substantial cost. Here are links to a few:

but the truth is... you don't need to spend a nickel to send a Text message from your CRM system.

 

Do it for free.

Equally important, you can send someone a Text message from your current CRM system, right now... at no cost! All you need to know is their mobile number, and which carrier they're using. For example, if you know my mobile number is (248)111-2222 and I'm a Verizon user, you'd simply send an ordinary email to 2481112222@vtext.com, and I'd receive your message as a Text on my cell phone.
 

How does it work?

In the example above, the process works because Verizon has established a system for converting email to text, for any messages sent to mobilenum@vtext.com. It's that simple. Virtually every carrier in the world has a similar system, and once you know the pattern, especially the domain name (the bit after the @ sign), you can Text anyone.
 
Here's the key: you must find out (or know) your target's mobile number and carrier.
It's not a fatal flaw, necessarily, though that is one flaw from which the for-hire tools don't suffer. Texting can be done by permission only, so, if your relationship with the target is strong enough (i.e., perhaps you're offering something they really want, that they can only get by Text) they'll be willing to share that with you, even if they change carriers.

As of this writing, the email-to-text patterns for most major carriers worldwide can be found here:
 
http://www.emailtextmessages.com/

Here are some of the most common US carriers' patterns:
 
T-Mobile: phonenumber@tmomail.net
Virgin Mobile: phonenumber@vmobl.com
Cingular: phonenumber@cingularme.com
Sprint: phonenumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com
Verizon: phonenumber@vtext.com
Nextel: phonenumber@messaging.nextel.com
 

Happy Texting everyone!

1
Comment
Author:stevengraff
  • 4
5 Comments
 
LVL 11

Author Comment

by:stevengraff
Thank you for taking the time to provide such detailed feedback!

While your concerns are, primarily, irrelevant, from the perspective of a marketing person who is already committed to texting, I will give it another go, addressing these concerns... anyway!

Thanks again,
Steven
0
 
LVL 11

Author Comment

by:stevengraff
I think I have addressed every one of your concerns in my revision... please advise.
0
 
LVL 11

Author Comment

by:stevengraff
Nice. A little heavy on the hyperbole -- in some ways, reading it made me think of a late night infomercial -- but that's okay with a little less "here's why you should do it" and a little more "here's some real nuts and bolts about why this will help."
Thank you... I have attempted to bring down the excitement level, just a bit.

I'll be honest; if I started getting text messages from some company with whom I didn't have a very strong and ongoing relationship, I'd be rather annoyed, if only because I don't have much use for a lot of texts, and those daily texts telling me something I probably already know (let alone a sales pitch) are using up my allotment. So we have to allow for a bias here.
Thank you for recognizing this as a bias, one which I'm sure most of us share. It is, of course, irrelevant to the topic at hand, which has only to do with how this process is handled in conjunction with existing CRM systems.

I think I'd be a lot more impressed with this if you took the time to include information about other major carriers that might be used by EE members. For example, I'm currently on Verizon, but I expect that within a month or so that will no longer be the case, even though I'll have my same phone number. So, how would one change this for AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile? More importantly, only about thirty per cent of EE's users come from the US (the last I heard); is there anything different for carriers in the UK, Australia/New Zealand and the EU? And what about India?
You raise multiple good points here, which I believe I have addressed in my revision. I mention now that every carrier in the world has such a system, I mention that the permission-only element must pre-suppose a strong enough relationship for the marketer to obtain the consumer's carrier, I provide a link to another site with an extensive (if not exhaustive) list of carriers and their patterns.

This most certainly would be a useful article for a lot of people, but I think you need to add some substance to it first. See what you can come up with, and when you're done, set the status of the article to Editor Review and we'll take another look at it.
Presumably, above, I have done all that you have asked. If there's anything else specific that you'd like to see added, or clarified, please let me know.
0
 
 

Administrative Comment

by:Eric AKA Netminder
Steven,

Congratulations! Your article has now been published.

ericpete
Page Editor
0
 
LVL 11

Author Comment

by:stevengraff
ep,

Thanks again for your analysis and feedback.

Steven
0

Featured Post

Keep up with what's happening at Experts Exchange!

Sign up to receive Decoded, a new monthly digest with product updates, feature release info, continuing education opportunities, and more.

Join & Write a Comment

Hi, this video explains a free download that you can incorporate into your Access databases, or use stand-alone for contact management. Contacts -- Names, Addresses, Phone Numbers, eMail Addresses, Websites, Lists, Projects, Notes, Attachments…
Wrapper-1-Query. Use an Excel function to calculate a column for an Access query. Part 1. Shows a query in Access that has a calculated column with the results of an Excel worksheet function. See how to call a wrapper function from a query, and …
Other articles by this author

Keep in touch with Experts Exchange

Tech news and trends delivered to your inbox every month