“Suspicious activity has been detected around the office building. Please remain in the office. If you are not inside, please move away from the location.”
“ATTN Security — this is an EMERGENCY. Please follow the fire protocol. Your tasks are evacuating the library building, unplugging all electric items, and closing the doors on your way out. Reply DONE when you have finished your tasks.”
“Students: this is an ACTIVE SHOOTER ALERT. Try to remain hidden as you were taught. We have informed the authorities and help is on its way.”
“If you are still inside the collapsed building, please reply with L1, L2, L3, L4, L5 depending on your last location (L1- Main Office, L2- R&D Wing, L3- Basement, L4- Extension, L5- Entertainment Wing).”
All these examples are text alerts during different crisis moments. Each of the abovementioned messages performed specific tasks: taking precaution, recommending activities, sending out protocol tasks, requesting updates from disaster victims, etc., which are the end goals of any emergency management system. With emergency text alert systems as a primary communication option, these goals can be achieved in faster, more effective, and flexible ways.
So, what is an emergency text alert system? In short: An emergency text alert system works as a platform to send a mass notification that uses SMS text messaging as the primary communication approach to make people aware of dangers or critical situations.
Why Use an Emergency Text Alert System?
As one of the most regarded emergency management tools, text alerts for emergency purposes come with unique perks, and these are the reasons why businesses should include emergency text alert system in their emergency handling strategy
In the blog, I have listed the top 5 reasons why your business should have an emergency text alert system.
Let’s check them out.
#Reason 1: Quick Response Time
Emergency text alert systems are able to provide a quick response time for both the sender and the receiver. Although it is encouraged to have pre-set plans ready, every situation comes with different surroundings. In such cases, an SMS comes in handy because it takes less than a minute to create a 160-character text and send it immediately.
If a text alert is sent via a smart communication platform, receivers do not have to send back long replies. Instead, they can just select an option based on the instruction (check the collapsed building example). SMSs are short, straight forward, and easy to read on a phone screen. Therefore, time to respond is reduced drastically compared to email notifications or voice broadcasted notifications.
In this way, both parties take lesser time to communicate, which makes an efficient emergency handling system.
#Reason 2: Budget Friendly
Let’s face it, budget is a vital factor especially when you are sending out an alert notification to a contact list containing a few thousand entries! According to buildfire.com, the average cost of sending texts is between $0.01 and $0.05 per text. This means, if you are sending a mass alert to a contact list of 10,000 people, you are likely to be only charged between $100 or $500, depending on the types of messages and use of additional features.
#Reason 3: Higher Probability of Reaching Out
According to this article by Business2Community, the average open rate of a text message sits at about 98%, while the average open rate for email campaigns is about 20%. Here are a few more insights from Tech Jury:
- Over 66% of the world’s population can be reached via SMS.
- SMS campaigns get a response rate 209% higher than phone, email, or Facebook.
- Just within three minutes, 90% of SMS messages are read.
These facts are enough to draw the conclusion that in order to make sure that your recipients read the alert notification, SMS has the higher odds. It will be fair to state that a mass notification is useless if the people who were supposed to receive the alerts miss it out. Therefore, any emergency communication system will have more efficiency if it includes an emergency text alert service.
#Reason 5: Tracking Options
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could check who opened the notification about roaming bears near the local office building? I mean, it would be safe to check if everyone knows the news or else…
Using an emergency text alert service, it is possible to track the actions taken by the recipients. Some communication tools, such as SimplyCast’s SMS application, generate detailed reports about the open rate. Also, it is possible to send scheduled reminders if someone doesn’t open the alert SMS within a certain period.
In this way, emergency handlers can learn who is unaware of any situation or threat and take immediate measures to reach out via other tools or investigate physically.
#Reason 5: Segmentation
In some of the emergency scenarios, not everyone should have the same message. The best way to deal with this issue is to divide the recipients into segments and send them customized messages.
For instance, a business can send two different weather alerts to different groups of people: who signed up for work-from-home and the rest. If the condition is bad, then HR can send a text alert to the employees who signed up for home-based work, asking for their confirmation via SMS or any other means. The rest will get SMSs that call the day off.
Think of another scenario, a rural municipality founds out that some of the wells are contaminated with lead and some are infected by bacteria. Now, these are two different cases and will need different treatments. The local government can easily send customized chains of text alerts to make citizens aware of the danger and update them about the actions taken.
Want to Try It Yourself?
There are plenty of options out there for you to try. But, if you are looking for an emergency text alert system that can also be used for non-emergency purposes, which also comes with other benefits such as a free customer relationship management tool, try SimplyCast’s Alerts application.
This service does not only let you use text messages as an emergency alert channel but also provides you with other channels in case text messaging alert fails.
Try for yourself to explore the potential and benefits of having a text alert service. Click the button below to sign up for a free 14-day trial of the SimplyCast platform!