Expert Q&A: Using Text Messaging for Student Services (Curtis Marsh, KU Info)

Curtis Marsh, Program Director, KU Info

* Tell us about yourself and what you do at the University of Kansas.

I work at the University of Kansas for a program called KU Info.  It’s a collaboration between KU Student Services and the KU Libraries.  The program provides the extended KU community a place to go for their questions about KU life and beyond.

* How do you see text messaging helping students on campus?

With some highly visible violence on campuses the last few years, KU joined the growing number of schools that have an emergency communication systems using  text messaging.  Our Libraries offer an ask-a-librarian service with email, instant messaging and text messaging. KU Info uses a text message system through Mosio.  These are all positive uses of texting services for students, but I feel KU and other universities need to put more focus on such services to increase awareness and usage.  The emergency systems are perfect uses for texting students as long as they have strict parameters for what messages are sent. You want the user to be highly alert when a text comes from the emergency system, so resist the temptation to use it for any other purpose.

* When did you start personally sending and receiving text messages?

I started texting to communicate quickly with my student employees (Why r u late 4 ur shift?!).  Now I reach out via text to friends, family, neighbors, etc.  Like email, it is a good way to send your message when its most convenient for you, and give your recipient time to respond when its most convenient for them.

* How have mobile phones changed your industry?

The biggest change mobile phones have created in my industry is the expectation for instant information.  Before mobile phones (and the internet), KU Info would frequently ask for the user’s contact info so they could get back with them once the answer was obtained.  We rarely do that anymore because of the expectation that the information is immediately available. Thankfully, with well-maintained online resources, that information is indeed immediately available.

* What tips would you give to anyone considering implementing text messaging or mobile technologies for student services?

We almost never push messages to our users.  We would much rather them pull messages from us.  It is tough to give away that much control, but it is a much better way to strengthen the relationship.  I feel that every time our user perceives a message from us as unsolicited, we lose a small piece of their trust. We ask their permission to send messages, then ask them what kind they wish to receive. Again, not easy to offer truly customized messaging, but even an attempt in that direction increases the user’s perception of a one-on-one relationship.

* Any other thoughts about mobile technologies?

It seems right to communicate with our students the way they communicate with each other.  But it is so important to keep from intruding.  We don’t want users to feel the way they did the first time their parents looked at their Facebook page. We want them to view it as a convenience that they can communicate with us via text, not a nuisance that we are trying to use their social medium to do business with them.  A few well-placed messages will keep the user interested without the risk of them ignoring you or worse, blocking your number!

* What kind of mobile phone do you have and any thoughts about apps?

Just got an LG smart phone with Android. Still learning about all the cool apps, but certainly enjoying the voice recognition ones that allow me to speak everything from text messages to full dictation.  Advanced Task Killer is one I think will help me a lot with the to-do list.

* More about Curtis:

Curtis Marsh is on his 16th year at the University of Kansas, having spent five years in technology transfer, six years as Associate Director of Marketing for Continuing Education, and now Program Director of KU Info.  In the late 90’s, he left KU for a few years to work for the Kauffman Foundation and get an MBA from University of Missouri, Kansas City. The common thread between all these positions has been marketing and outreach for the university. In 2010, he added the function of Program Director for the Learning Studio.  The ultimate partnership between libraries and student services, the Learning Studio combines a major campus library with several primary student services offices to create an interactive study environment in the center of campus.

Free Text Messaging Character Counter from Mosio

Free Text Messaging Character Counter

Our software has a built-in character counter for setting up text message alerts and reminders as well as when our clients are responding to their customers, but we often have people asking about the best way to figure out how much information can be sent in a text, so we built and have hosted this text messaging character counter and you’re free to use it as well. Feel free to bookmark it or save it somewhere in case you need it in the future.

Internally we have an 800+ term “textspeak” translator that has an SMS acronym dictionary of nearly every possible short phrase texters have come up with. We’re currently speaking with the development team about hosting that outside of our service. If you’re interested in it, contact us, let us know and we’ll pass it along that more folks are looking for it.

Happy texting,

Noel

6 Reasons to Rethink Creating a Mobile App for Your Conference, Event or Expo

1. Only 28% of mobile users in the U.S. have smart phones.
What if 72% of your attendees couldn’t access your website or marketing materials. Would creating them be an acceptable use of time and money at your organization?

2. With literally hundreds of thousands of apps in the app stores, mobile app discovery is growing more difficult daily.
Even with developer confidence declining because of the fragmentation of mobile operating systems, there are about 2,000 apps submitted to the Android and iPhone app stores every day. This problem isn’t going to go away any time soon because the percentage of smart phone users will creep up over the next 5 years.  As the number of smart phone users increases so will the number of apps, creating even more noise.

3. Nearly 3/4 of downloaded mobile apps are used less than 10 times and 1/4 of mobile apps are used only once.
Quick Experiment:
If you are a smart phone user, take a quick look at your phone. How many apps do you see on there that you were excited to download and then haven’t used again? Maybe it’s no surprise to know free apps are used less than paid ones, but worth noting.

4. To justify the cost, mobile app features for conferences tend to be way more than anyone needs or uses.
Attendees using smart phones are already using many different apps to manage their travel, find local places to eat and figure out what’s causing buzz at the show via Twitter and Foursquare. Do attendees really need GPS-enabled map directions to exhibitor booths? Is there really a need to pay for development and then promote another service for them to do this on?

5. Developing mobile apps is more expensive than you think.
We recently wrote a blog post about the expense of creating an iPhone app, so I won’t go into it here, but people tend to think developing mobile apps for 3-5 different mobile operating systems is fairly inexpensive and doesn’t take a lot of time, even on providers claiming to use pre-packaged platforms. It’s really not.

6. Notifications for alerts, announcements and changes on mobile apps are not an automatic function.
How much can you ask of your attendees? After you ask them to download the app, then you have to ask them to push information or have to ask them to follow their location. When you update or change information on the app, attendees have to perform what’s basically a re-download to see the new info. What else might you have to ask of them?

So what is one supposed to do?
Use text messaging and the mobile web. Or just use text messaging. It’s available on 99% of all mobile phones and 95% of all mobile phone subscribers in the U.S. have it as part of their monthly plans. If you love mobile apps or someone you work with insists in them, we completely understand. We love them too and everyone here is a smart phone user. But we’re realistic about the fact that most mobile users are not. If you’re interested in hearing success stories our clients have had using cost-effective and engaging text messaging applications or mobile web solutions, contact us, or check out our mobile solutions for conferences, events and meetings, we can help.

Thanks for reading and happy texting,

Noel Chandler
Mosio, Inc.
Interactive. Mobile. Engagement.

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8 Great Text Messaging Uses for Communicating with Field Technicians

Working out in the field can be stressful and time consuming. For businesses who depend on the efficiency of technicians to increase revenues, every minute counts. Text messaging offers significant advantages over phone calls when it comes to communicating in the field, including time-shifting (enabling each party to reply when it’s convenient for them), avoiding “voicemail tag” and quick sharing of information with anyone needing to repeat it or write it down.

The most important thing for companies to consider when using text messaging is to use a system that makes it efficient for them to receive and respond to text messages from field technicians. There’s no point in your managers/dispatchers to be sitting in the office texting when they can type on a keyboard as well.

8 great uses of text messaging for communicating with field technicians.

1. Status Updates
Enabling technicians to report quickly from the field provides managers/dispatch with real-time information about how things are going without hounding or spending any time on the phone.

2. Upsell Opportunities
There is no greater opportunity to offer a client new products or services than when you are at their location in front of them. Text messaging lets companies provide their technicians with opportunities to offer specific additional services to customers based on their purchase history or needs.

3. Where’s my next job?
It seems simple, but so much time can be saved using text messages to answer this question. If your company uses text messaging to give status updates, dispatch can proactively send this information so technicians can begin thinking of the next service call as soon as possible.

4. Heads up info about the next service call.
No one wants to go into a client situation unprepared. Whether it is letting technicians know about animals, their point of contact or history about the last service call, sending a quick SMS with information about the next job gives them the information they need to succeed.

5. Purchase orders, job orders and cost sharing.
Every company does things differently, so there’s no reason to go into specifics, but being able to send/receive information without having to hear it, then write it down is always going to be more efficient and avoid mistakes.

6. Directions, maps and location based information.
Sometimes you get lost. It happens. GPS can help, but what about finding a store close to where you are to help you get what you need faster? Along the same lines as #5, anything sent and received by texting is more efficient than writing it down.

7. Efficiently receive and respond to support questions.
Anytime technicians are away from headquarters they are at a disadvantage. They don’t have all of the information, don’t have face-to-face access to project managers or sales people who sold the job. Being able to text in a quick question, continue working, then get an answer saves the company time and gives the technician the support they need to get the job done quickly and correctly.

8. Order parts quickly.
In a perfect world everything technicians needed for a job would be in a warehouse on wheels. Until that happens, the faster they can communicate parts needed, the quicker those parts can be ordered and sent.

If you have any other uses you’re seeing out in the field, please feel free to post them in the comments.

Noel Chandler
Mosio’s FieldForce

Looking to Improve QR Codes in Advertising? Use Text Messaging.

Google is no longer using QR Codes.

I saw an ad in the San Francisco airport last week (photos below) and it was perfectly placed. I was waiting to get on the plane, looked over and saw the advertisement and I read it. Being curious about the unusual QR code I saw and curious if my code scanner would be able to read it, I tried. It didn’t work. There was a link to where I could get the reader so I could scan the code on the ad. Huh? Was Microsoft trying to sell me on cloud services or a code scanner? A friend in line told me that the code on the advertisement was actually Microsoft’s technology. So the answer to my question about what Microsoft is trying to sell me is “both.” Ok, but what if you’re just a brand trying to get customers to take action regarding your product or service? Does it benefit you to distract them from your messaging to download a new technology so they can communicate with you?

Whoever executed this campaign for Microsoft did something very smart: They added a text messaging call to action with a keyword and short code. Why? Because they wanted to make the mobile extension of their campaign available to everyone with a mobile phone. 99% of all mobile phones are text messaging enabled. Those that aren’t most definitely cannot scan a QR code.

18 Reasons Businesses Should Go Mobile Now

There’s a ton of hype around mobile technologies, especially in business. Being mobile means being more competitive.

The numbers don’t lie, we love facts and figures about the growth and future of mobile technologies. Consumers are connected and more businesses are learning the power of implementing mobile to give them an edge. Companies starting now have a head start. In the near future, it will be a customer expectation.

While it’s not about simply sending a text to mobile devices from an online service, it’s definitely a start. If you need some more convincing or just like motion graphics and stats, the fine folks at Stocktown Productions have put together a quick, compelling video showing some great statistics (I counted 18 of them) about mobile technologies in the present day as well as the future.

And if you don’t need any more convincing, but are trying to figure out where to start, feel free to contact us (there’s a chat window on our site during normal business hours or you can email us via our contact page). We’ll listen to your company objectives and offer some quick, free advice on your best approach, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with buying from us.

PS: If you’re looking for a good mobile messaging company to help you get started, we’re glad to help.

5 Tips for Sending Text Message Alerts, Reminders and Offers

There are as many stats on text messaging usage as there are text messages sent every day, so I won’t list any here. You know everyone is texting, now it’s time to figure out the right way to go about it. Text messaging is the perfect medium for delivering brief pieces of information, offers or reminders to customers, members or employees with a nearly 100% chance of having it opened and read (open rates are north of 90%).

As I type I have 6 voicemails that need listening to and not a single unread text message. Reading them is too easy. Sending text message alerts, reminders and offers CAN be sent via your mobile phone, but if you’re sending them for business, it’s recommended that you use a web-based service to manage everything.

5 Tips for Sending Text Message Alerts, Reminders and Offers

1) Be consistent, but don’t send texts too often.

People want to be informed, not blasted. In fact, saying the phrase “text message blast” out loud on our offices will either get a giggle or a roll of the eyes, depending on who hears you say it. Before SyFy canceled Caprica (I’m still upset about it), I got Caprica SMS alerts every Friday reminding me that it was on, always with another little piece of information on the message. I already knew it, but the message provided me with a reason to get happy a little earlier in the day. Why not?

2) Don’t use “free” text message email (aka SMTP to SMS).

Kim Dushinski has a great post called “No Such Thing as Free Text Messaging“, definitely worth a read, especially if you’re using text messaging for marketing purposes. If you’re using SMTP or an un-certified text messaging service (“cheap, bulk SMS here!”, you’ve seen them), it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” you’ll get blocked by the mobile carriers. Mobile carriers love money as much as they hate spam and in quite a few occasions where free texting is concerned, they’re not getting anything they love.

3) Make it worthwhile for the recipient.

Whether it’s a special savings offer, coupon, a reminder to make sure someone shows up for a scheduled meeting or a last minute head’s up that something has changed, use the medium wisely. My dentist charges $75 if I miss an appointment, I’ll gladly take the day before text reminding me of it.

4) Use text messaging as a two-way dialogue, not a one way channel.

Imagine getting a phone call, email or text message from a friend or family member that you couldn’t respond to. Frustrating and the notion even sounds a little silly. The best thing about texting for businesses and organizations now is that there are plenty of services (not all, mind you) that enable users to reply back to an SMS once they receive it. It’s entirely up to you, but if a mobile service provider doesn’t let those receiving the text reply back to you to have a conversation with your customer and do so efficiently, you’re not utilizing “all parts of the buffalo” (apologies to any vegetarians).

5) Leave some character space for recipients to forward the message.

I was going to use a different tip and then someone told me about this from Yea-Nay Marketing’s blog that I think is definitely worth sharing. Text messages are 160 characters long (the length was determined by the average number of characters on a postcard). It’s plenty of space, so leave some in case the person receiving your text wants to forward it to some friends. Yea-Nay recommends only using 120 characters for your message, but it’s whatever you feel like. FYI: This is awesome! including the space after the ! is 17 characters, plenty of room for your customer, patron, member, etc to share with friends. If you’re looking for a SMS character counter, you’re more than welcome to use ours even if we never do business together. See? While there’s no such thing as free text messaging. There is a free text messaging character counter.

More info:

The MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) has published new guidelines for 2011. The guide is 165 pages long, so i embedded the slideshare version down below if you’d like to click through it. For something possibly a little more exciting to you, check out their mobile marketing case studies.

5 Great Uses of Text Messaging for Mobile Workforce Communications

People are texting more than they are talking on their mobile phones. While many businesses are using text messaging as a great marketing or customer service tool, more companies are realizing that text messaging is a more efficient way to communicate with employees, independent contractors and franchisees as well.

Mobile messaging makes it easy to communicate with your on-the-go workforce, whether your mobile workforce is made up of sales reps, field technicians, marketing representatives, service agents, drivers or maintenance workers. We’ve listed some examples below of how text messaging can be used to improve communication efficiencies, saving companies both time and money.

5 Great Business Examples Using Text Messaging for Field Staff and Rep Communications:

  1. Alerts and Announcements: Send real-time SMS updates and alerts to motivate and inform staff. Over 90% of text messages are read by recipients.
  2. Efficient Support: Enable your workforce to send mobile questions and receive answers, saving time over incoming phone calls and voicemail.
  3. Status Updates: Staff can notify the office while on-the-go of their whereabouts and activities, including posting photos with their phones.
  4. Close Sales and Check Inventory: Quick checking of inventory numbers or to secure sales on-site at the client location.
  5. Increase Visibility: Learn what works and what doesn’t by seeing common communication threads among your staff.

We offer free webinars that show how Mosio’s FieldForce can help you easily and efficiently use mobile messaging to maximize productivity, improve visibility and increase revenues.

Live Demo/Webinar: Text Messaging Uses for Field Staff Communications
Sign Up Here

Contact Mosio for a quick quote and see how our two-way text messaging software can help.


The Competitive Advantages of Mobile Text Messaging: Stats, Facts and Figures

Text Messaging Makes Businesses More Competitive

Clients often ask us about how text messaging provides them with an edge over their competitors. If you know your company needs to be mobile, why use text messaging? Our short answer is “because every phone is text messaging-enabled and nearly every mobile consumer in the U.S. has it as part of their plan.”

It’s 2017 and while many of the original statistics posted below pale in comparison to the data of today (we’re due for a new post), we’re constantly surprised at how new the SMS channel still is in many industries. We now get asked more about statistics and research showing the text message and mobile usage of older demographics.

We got a lot of great feedback from a blog post we did awhile back with text messaging and mobile facts and figures, so we put together another list of stats, facts and figures we found. Bottom line, adding text messaging to your business communications, whether it be with customers, employees, independent contractors, etc makes you more competitive.

Adding text messaging opens up a new, easy to use communication channel that helps cut through the clutter, costs and time associated with other forms of communication, like talking on the phone. Plus, it’s the preferred method of communication by most mobile consumers. We’re not saying don’t talk on the phone anymore, but if you have a faster, more efficient, cost-effective way to communicate, we think it warrants serious consideration.

Here are some bits of info for you and if you’re interested in speaking about your communication goals and how text messaging can provide you with a return on your investment, contact Mosio here.

The Competitive Advantages of Mobile Text Messaging: Stats, Facts and Figures
“90% Would Rather Use Text Than a Phone Number
GoIP Global, Inc User Survey, November 2010

…of the 82 percent of consumers who prefer on-device self-service, 35 percent are between the ages of 36 and 50 years old, 38 percent are between 25 and 35, and 27 percent are between 18 and 24.”
– Nuance Communications Mobile Customer Care Study

“44 percent of consumers surveyed said they would rather receive product information and other marketing messages through SMS campaigns than via any other channel.”
Direct Marketing Association, July 2008

“The average cost of a live-agent service call is approximately $12. An SMS interaction, on the other hand, costs mere pennies per message.”
ContactBabel Contact Center Analysis Firm

“Interacting with customers via SMS allows the issue to become what RJ Auburn (CTO of Voxeo) refers to as ‘a background problem’ — less of a headache and requiring much less of [company agent’s] time. Text messaging also gives agents a context for every inquiry. Unlike an IVR, SMS can move through these more complex inquiries seamlessly.”
DestinationCRM.com

“94%) have texting included in their phone plan. This makes texting by far the most popular feature of US consumer mobile phone plans. Other popular features include email (80%) and mobile web (78%).”
– New study from IHL Group and RetailConnections.

Texting Is an Underutilized Customer Engagement Tool

– Article by 1to1 Media, Insight and Best Practices from the Customer Strategy Experts

There you go, enough stats to shake a phone at. If you’re looking for text messaging solutions like live voting, live polls, or SMS surveys, contact us. We’re happy to help.

SMS Alerts + Announcements for Conferences and Events

Engage Attendees via Mobile Messaging

  • 4.1 Billion text messages are sent in the U.S. every day.
  • 72% of U.S. adults regularly send and receive text messages.
  • 94% of all mobile phone owners have text messaging included in their monthly plans.

90% of text messages are read by recipients.

Text Message Alerts and Announcements keep attendees up-to-date with the latest information before, during and after your event.

Mosio’s mobile solutions for events and conferences enable event organizers to build a text messaging subscriber list through a number of ways, including web widgets, phone number batch uploading or keyword self-registration so you can begin sending them important messages as soon as possible.

As a perfect add-on to our other mobile services, SMS alerts and announcements give your event a longer tail by letting you continue communicating with attendees after your event has ended, providing you with additional opportunities to

“Mosio’s texting service has become a standard for our annual conference.”
– Ryan Schniederjan, Information & Technology Committee Chair, AAPA

Contact Mosio – We’ll put together a quick and competitive mobile technology services quote for your next conference, event, trade show or meeting.

Our Experience:
We’ve worked with organizers and managers of all size events, from 50 attendees to 25,000. Our enterprise grade mobile messaging platform is able to handle large message volume, ensuring your messages get to your audience on-time, when it counts.

What about Mobile Apps?
We love them and think they’re great, but they’re not ubiquitous and in fact, 30-40% of conference attendees don’t have smart phones. Nearly 100% of your attendees are able to send/receive text messages on their mobile phones making it the perfect medium for event communications.

How much does it cost to develop an iPhone app? Hint: It’s more than most people think.

“It only takes 5 1/2 hours to drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles.” I can’t even count the number of times I’ve heard people say this and I believe I even said it once myself. “Well, without traffic or cops and with minimal stops.” Huh? When is there no traffic in San Francisco or Los Angeles? The truth is, it really depends on where in LA you’re going, but I’d argue most destinations are beyond the 5.5 hour mark.

I was reminded of this SF > LA drive-time claim when a colleague sent me a stack overflow thread today entitled “How much does it cost to develop iPhone applications?” It’s worth taking a look at, most interesting is an answer suggesting around $10,000 ($50/hr for a Developer and $50/hr for a Graphic Designer x 200 total hours), which the stack overflow community quickly jumped on, providing insight and information to back up a more realistic $50k-100k (and some say $200k) price tag.

At Mosio, naturally we get asked about mobile applications from clients all the time. I love my MacBook Pro, iPhone and iPad, but Apple has spent plenty of money in advertising to convince us all that “There’s an App for That.” They even spent money trademarking the phrase and that’s fine, they benefit by doing so. The craziest thing about the mobile apps hype is that it caters to less than 1/3 of the mobile subscriber market. Consider recent research about Mobile Content Usage for the month of July 2010 in the image below from Wireless Week:

Among all U.S. mobile subscribers ages 13+:
31.4% Used a Downloaded App
33.6% Used a [Mobile] Browser
66% Sent a text message to another phone

Why, then, do people think it’s so inexpensive to develop iPhone apps?
I’m not exactly sure, but my guess is that it’s a combination of people wanting to believe it costs less (much like we don’t want to believe it actually takes 6.5-7 hours to drive to LA) combined with the misinformation from people selling shoddy development services or app workarounds trying to capitalize on the hype. And before those of you developing “affordable” iPhone applications start flaming me in the comments, consider the fact that by saying it’s inexpensive and cheap, you’re essentially selling yourselves short, commoditizing your expertise. The misinformation hurts your skills and service.

And for those who claim a drive from San Francisco to LA is 5 1/2 hours? They’re simply remembering it better than it truly is, or convincing themselves that it’s quicker than it really is. It’s more beneficial psychologically to believe it, but it doesn’t make it the truth in practice.

Text Messaging is Used by Consumers Twice as Much as Mobile Apps

Text Messaging Use in Business Has Never Been Bigger

4.1 billion+ text messages are sent daily in the U.S.

99% of mobile phones are SMS-enabled out of the box.

95% of mobile customers have text messaging plans.

While much of the mobile industry is focused on apps, location based services and more recently tablet devices, many mainstream consumers are just now catching up to text messaging in the U.S. It’s becoming as ubiquitous as a phone call with plenty of personal reasons when and why to use it instead of calling.

I was recently interviewed by Rob Woodbridge @RobWoodbridge on UTETHER.tv in a piece he calls “Text isn’t dead, it’s just underrated but that’s about to change.” In the interview we talk about how my Co-founder/CTO, Jay Sachdev, and I got into the mobile business, a little bit about our first product “Text a Librarian” and head into our new mobile messaging software for mobile workforces, FieldForce Mobile.

While consumers are obviously doing a lot more texting, more and more businesses are looking for ways to communicate with them via interactive, two-way text messaging software like Mosio. But more exciting is bigger business interest we are seeing via internal communications and FieldForce Mobile is quickly picking up steam.

Some of the uses, functions and industries where we’re seeing two-way text messaging interest or used:

  • Sales and Marketing Representatives
  • Field Technicians
  • Franchises
  • Employee Dispatch
  • Field Rep Support
  • Pest Control
  • Alarm Company Technicians
  • Nationwide Remodelers and Repair
  • Field Service Agents
  • Couriers and Bike Messenger Companies

Our mobile messaging platform was built for any company with a nationwide, regional or city-wide mobile workforce interested in deploying mobile communications using the equipment they already have, without the need to buy new hardware (phones) or download mobile apps.

Texting isn’t dead. Far from it.

Special thanks to Rob for the fun interview. If you haven’t checked out his site, there are some great interviews in the mobile industry.

Video embedded below:

Client Testimonial: Mosio’s Mobile Text Messaging Services for Events and Conferences

We absolutely love when clients are happy with our service. It might sound a bit cliche, but it’s true. We love happy clients because they make our job so much easier. With a few of us as parents or parents-to-be, we’re proud to have the PTA as a client.

Taken from an article entitled PTA: The Power of Parents: “Educators, administrators, academics, parents-even the mass media-all have been awakened to the overwhelming positive effect parent involvement can have on students’ academic performance.”

The PTA is one of the most powerful associations in education and we were honored to be chosen to power the mobile technology portion of their recent national conference.

Below is a testimonial from the client who has since acted as an amazing reference for us as well. Thanks Rebecca!

Just wanted to drop you a quick note of thanks and gratitude for engaging our attendees in a new way through Mosio! The alerts, info center texting and polling during our general sessions were a huge hit and we are hoping to continue all three with even greater usage amongst our attendees next year. Thank you for your patience and ongoing support throughout the set-up process. We look forward to the possibility of working with both of you again in the near future.

— Rebecca Burns, Director, Meetings & Conventions, National PTA

For information on how we can help engage your attendees through our text messaging solutions for conferences, events, meetings and trade shows, visit us at www.mosio.com.

Facts + Figures: Mobile Text Message Usage in the U.S. (Hint: It’s Massive)

Text Message Growth in the U.S.

We hear a lot of feedback, questions and sometimes even a little skepticism regarding text messaging usage in the United States. Many folks understand and are part of the mobile messaging explosion in the U.S. and others need a little more convincing, asking “why don’t they just call or email us if they need something?”

While no one here sends 470 text messages per day, we love text messaging, are excited for it to be used everywhere, understand that it might be better to provide some industry facts regarding text messaging usage and show why we know we’ll see more and more companies embrace the mobile channel as an paramount addition to their businesses. We’ve compiled a quick list for you with links to the reports where possible, will add more as we find them and if you have any, please let us know or post them in the comments section.

  • On average, Americans send and receive twice as many text messages as phone calls per month. (Nielsen Mobile)
  • In 2008, teens and twenty-somethings were by far the largest users of texting, coming in at 85%. In 2009, this continued to be true with teens at 94% and 20-somethings at 87%, but usage also increased for older age groups. Among those in their 40s, usage jumped from 56% to 64%, and for those in their 50s it jumped from 38% to 46%. (The Vlingo Consumer Mobile Messaging Habits Report, May 20, 2009)
  • A new online survey of mobile users (sample size not disclosed) conducted in January, 2008 by Amplitude Research has found the following features and considerations to be most important among cell phone buyers:
    * Text messaging: 73%
    * Camera: 67%
    * Ability to access the mobile Internet: 61%
    * Music features: 34%
    * Video: 33%
  • Roughly two-thirds of Hispanics used text messaging services in the last 30 days, about one-fourth utilized mobile Internet, and the same percentage sent an email in the past month. (Nielsen IAG Study, July 4, 2009)


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Sex and Health Education for Teens and Young Adults via Mobile Text Messaging – Private, Personal, Anonymous and Effective

Mosio: Text Messaging for Health Education Services

Mosio’s Mobile Text Messaging Solutions for Health Services

There are a number of reasons health centers on campus and in the community are looking into new methods of communicating with Gen-Y, and it makes sense. In order to stay current and connected with teens and young adults, it is imperative to explore the technologies they are using the most.

Mobile text messaging is one of the best communication tools an organization can use today. Numbers tell the story:

  • 4.1 billion text messages are sent each day in the U.S. (CTIA Wireless)
  • Americans overall send and receive twice as many text messages as phone calls per month. (Nielsen Mobile)
  • U.S. Teens (ages 13-17) sent and received an average of 1,742 text messages per month in Q2 2008. (Nielsen Mobile)
  • Text messaging has overtaken email and instant messaging as the main form of communication for college students. (Technology Marketing Corporation)

Text messaging isn’t a fad and it isn’t a new social networking site that will be outdated for a new one in a matter of years. It’s not just growing by leaps and bounds. Texting has quickly become the preferred method of communication for the average American.

160 characters may not seem like enough to convey a question, answer or thought, but the nature of text messaging is quick and to-the-point interactions. In addition, there are new technologies enabling web-to-phone text messaging and conversation “threading”, so a person using a computer online can receive and respond to another person who is sending messages from his/her phone.

Organizations that are adopting these new “textnologies” are seeing a quick return on their investment simply by being able to reach more students, patients, guests, customers and young adults.

9 Reasons to use Mobile Text Messaging for Sex and Health Education for Teens and Young Adults

1. It’s everywhere they are. Phones are in their pockets and in their purses, everywhere they go. Text messaging offers a quick, discrete method of communication whenever and wherever advice is needed.

2. Text messaging technologies exist that provide anonymous interactions, allowing conversations to be private and confidential.

3. It is difficult to get over the hurdle of calling or coming in face-to-face for advice or help. Starting the conversation via text messaging can lead to more personal interactions (phone or appointment) once a level of comfort has been reached.

4. 80% of 18-34 year olds report cell phone as “lifeline” in a recent survey conducted by Sprint.

5. “Sexting” is a real problem. Utilizing the same medium to educate students can make a positive impact on negative behavior. They are obviously communicating about sex with their peers through text messaging & mobile photos, so this channel is open for healthier conversations.

6. 71% of teens and 90% of college students own a cell phone (Pew Internet and Student Monitor, respectively).  Not all own computers or have the privacy at home to be able to consult health professionals and sex education specialists.

7. Young people already understand texting can be used beyond peer-to-peer interactions. American Idol and youth-targeted marketing campaigns have done this for years, so there is no obstacle or major challenge for them to understand how a text messaging service works.

8. Quick, immediate, real-time availability by health services/information specialists can help prevent delayed, long-term issues.

9. It is a lot easier than you may think to implement a text message service and information helpline to reach more teens and young adults.

Need more information on how you can get started? Visit Mosio’s Mobile Text Messaging Solutions for Health Services page or contact us for a free live demo.

Case Study: Scarleteen