Alert messaging systems have the power to notify large groups of people in seconds in the event of an emergency situation. However, some people may not know exactly what constitutes such a system or how to choose the one that's best for their business or organization.
Here is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions we've received about Alerts, SimplyCast's new alert messaging tool, that can also apply to many alert notification systems out there.
What is an alert?
An alert is a mass message sent to notify stakeholders in an emergency, which can include members of the public. This message can be sent through multiple communication methods for maximum reach during the incident.
What is the difference between an alert and an email blast?
An alert message is a message sent to warn contacts of an impending or current emergency situation and is often quick and to the point, whereas an email blast is simply an email of any length sent to many contacts at once. Email blasts can be anything from a weekly or monthly newsletter to a notice of the release of a new product or feature.
How can I send my alert to contacts?
SimplyCast Alerts can send alerts via four different contact methods: email, SMS, voice, and fax. All these alerts can be configured in the same project to go out at the same time.
What is the benefit of sending a mass alert via more than one communication method?
Sending a mass alert using multiple communication methods ensures as many contacts as possible will receive the alert in a timely manner so they can do what needs to be done in order to make sure they and their loved ones are safe and prepared. With Alerts, you can send alerts to a contact's preferred communication method (so they only receive one message), fall back through the list of communication methods until the system finds one to send the alert to, or the alert can be sent to all methods the contact has on record (meaning they will receive multiple messages, increasing the likelihood the contact will receive the alert as soon as possible).
How can I be sure my contacts receive the alert?
With Alerts, you can enable the Confirm Receipt of Alert feature which will require the alert recipient to perform an action after receiving the message to indicate they have read and understood it. For email, recipients must click a link in the message body; for SMS, the recipient must respond with a string of letters to provide their confirmation; and for a voice alert, the recipients must press a number on their dial pad.
Can I limit my alert messaging to contacts within a specific region?
Yes. When selecting the contacts to which to send your alert you can choose to send to contacts within a specific map region, providing that the contact has a location listed in their CRM profile. You can draw a region on the SimplyCast Map and send the alert notification only to the contacts within that region.
Do my contacts have to opt in to receive alert messages?
Yes. In order to comply with anti-spam legislation, you are not permitted to send messages to anyone who has not opted in to receive communications from your business or organization.
Can users unsubscribe from alerts?
While SimplyCast does not automatically include an unsubscribe link in the alert, senders are able to add <a href="%%UNSUBSCRIBE%%">Unsubscribe</a> anywhere in the body of the alert message to provide recipients with the option to stop receiving notifications.
Does my organization need an alert messaging system?
Short answer, yes. Alert messaging systems can greatly streamline efficiency during emergencies as well as go a long way to ensure awareness during an ongoing crisis. The ability to send the alert via multiple communication channels ensures as many contacts as possible will receive the message within the shortest amount of time, so they can prepare themselves if need be. The SimplyCast Alerts tool can be used in day-to-day operations as well as during emergencies so your organization can be confident the system will work as it is supposed when you need it to.
To learn more about the SimplyCast Alerts tool, visit this page on the SimplyCast website, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.