How would you like to have SMS from you come up on your custsomer’s phones with your name on it?
Usually this is done by paying the mobile operators for a special account that sends SMS messages with your company name in the origination field. In my previous article ‘Pros and Cons of Branded SMS’, I explained about the benefits and drawbacks of using this service. The main drawback is that recipients of these messages can’t reply, big problem!
But what if you could get your messages to come up with your company name AND recipients could reply? Well in this article I will explain how you can do this!
This is the messaging system that was meant to replace SMS. It is more advanced, supports photos, videos and other ‘rich’ content including vCards. The first time you communicate with the client, send an MMS message with your message and a vCard with the company contact details, landline and mobile numbers. The message will display a popup asking the client to accept the contact information, when they do; your company contact details are entered into the contacts list on the phone. Now any messages you send to the client will be displayed with your mobile number and your company name.
The problem with this is MMS is expensive to send MMS messages, not all phones accept them, and it is quite complicated to create the MMS message with the text and the vCard.
An alternative is to send an SMS message with a web link to a vCard on your website.
When the recipient clicks on the link, the phone will download the vCard to the phone and install it in the Contacts List. As with the MMS option above, when you send future messages to the recipient, the message will be displayed with your company name.
About vCard files
The vCard file is a text file with your contact information. An example of the file for Felltech Ltd is:
ADR;INTL;PARCEL;WORK:;;Milton Hall, Ely Road;Cambridge;Cambridgeshire;CB24 6WZ;United Kingdom
If your organisation has multiple SMS gateway numbers, you can put each one in the vCard. For each one have a new line:-
TEL;SMS:<International SMS Gateway Number>
You can cut and paste the text above into a text editor and then just replace my contact information with your own. Then save to a text file called ‘vCard.vcf’. Copy this file to the root directory of your website.
Text Your Contact
Hello and welcome to Felltech. Click the following link to add us to your contacts: http://outboxsms.com/FelltechvCard.vcf
From now on every SMS you send your customer will always come up with your company name and SMS gateway number. Now your customer will be able to either message you back via the SMS gateway, or call your main company number using the contact details.
You can download Felltech’s contact vCard from here: FelltechvCard.vcf