Determine which parents have clicked through to complete the online form
Monitoring trackable links and responses to your notification campaign or event
In our last post, the importance of knowing the delivery status of notifications was highlighted – has it been sent, has it been delivered successfully. Being able to easily pull all such data together for a particular notification event or campaign enables a far slicker means of tracking, monitoring and reporting results. Administrators can then take appropriate follow-up action – check details, send alerts via another channel.
However this is still very much in the realm of one-way communication. For a number of solution providers being able to not only gain a response back, but also easily collate, monitor and report on such responses is a where the value added really lies.
For many solution providers this is a complex issue. In this second of our two-part post we take a look at the challenges and trade-offs typically encountered and how these are managed and overcome through the Alerting Hub platform.
Part 2: Two-way messaging and notification responses
There is growing demand for mass notification systems – whether for marketing, parental engagement, invoice chasing or emergency situations – to support two-way messaging. It is not enough to know that a message was successfully delivered; there is, in addition, a valid need to demand acknowledgment of receipt, or to understand actions taken following receipt of a notification.
Being able to collate this information allows clients to make informed decision. It could be as simple as tweaking an invoice chasing SMS message to encourage more clicks through to payment pages or could mean first responders are aware of which employees haven’t responded to a public safety alert in their building and are at risk.
What are the use cases?
Whilst the objective for enabling and tracking responses to messages may vary greatly from solution to solution, they all allow informed follow-up activity – who hasn’t clicked through to pay their invoice? Which parents haven’t acknowledged a request for a child to isolate at home? How many clients clicked through to gain further guidance on a product recall alert? Who clicked through to a product promotion but didn’t buy?
Understand who has yet to acknowledge the safety alert
Track which employees have not yet viewed up-to-date safety information
Know which customers haven’t clicked and provided a meter reading and send a reminder through a different channel
Ensure critical follow-up action can be taken – sending alerts through alternative channels
Trackable SMS messages
By default SMS enables two-way messaging, but SMS notifications have developed way beyond the simple sending of an arbitrary 140 character message. Today you can send longer messages (known as multi-part) which are concatenated 140 character blocks, embed links and phone numbers and change the Sender ID to your company or client name to boost trust in source. However the latter brings certain complications. Where a sender ID has been modified the recipient no longer has a number to send a ‘reply’ to.
Depending on whether you stick with a reply number or change to a ‘no-reply’ sender ID, with Alerting Hub you have the ability to track who opened and responded or took a desired action. With the latter not only can you embed a link to a landing page but a unique trackable link, so that you know exactly who has clicked through, from which notification.
Trackable voice messages
When you think of a phone-call, for many that equates to a real-time, two way mode of communication – instant feedback is provided. However with voice notifications, typically a voice message is being played to the callee, so you have to enable and track a response another way. It is possible to use a system such as CNAM such that a company name is automatically presented to the callee. Usually (although not exclusively) the number presented is routed back to the platform which generated the call. This provides the ability for the callee to call back if necessary and either leave feedback or receive more detailed information.
Another feedback route is to prompt callees to hit any key to confirm they have heard the message. A slightly more sophisticated solution is to provide a simple IVR menu, which presents callees with options such as: “Press 1 if you are safe; Press 2 if you are in need of assistance; Press 3 to speaker to a first responder”. Whichever option you choose the unique event-ID makes it easy to see who has or hasn’t responded and how.
Trackable email messages
Similar to SMS and voice, with email you have the choice of providing a reply email address or a no-reply address. In those instances where the sender ID has been modified and is a ‘no-reply’ address it is still possible to track if a recipient has engaged with any embedded links within the email itself, or potentially to embed an ‘image’ that you can track the loading of.
Result collection options
Having the ability to easily collect results means corrective action can be taken – manually by the administrator or automated (follow-up notifications sent via alternative channels). With Alerting Hub this data can be gleaned in two ways – polled or real-time (event driven)
- Event driven– notification of when something has happened (real time) – we will report on every state change on every call made – delivered to a designated end point such as a web server
- Polled– at any point you can poll for updates on delivery/task completions. To poll you would use the collectevents API call; the example below asks for any progress on any alert, with a maximum of 50 progress events to be returned at a time.
Every event or campaign is assigned an ID. Consequently every notification sent, regardless of channel has that event ID associated with it. Unlike other platforms, this enables Alerting Hub to easily tie any responses/results to a single API call.