How to Use SMS During a Pandemic

Are you using SMS to boost your safety in 2020?

SMS is shown to be of extraordinary importance as we navigate the major challenges 2020 keeps sending our way. To survive during the coronavirus pandemic, businesses and other organisations need to be digital-ready, and open to embracing online trade, digitising processes, and finding new ways to operate. Doing this will benefit all parties, from managers to suppliers, employees, and consumers.

Modern technology has been the key to successful functioning for society during COVID-19, as the unprecedented isolation that’s required by this challenging situation forces us to find new ways of doing things. Some of the ClickSend team aren’t quite sure how we would manage without Netflix and UberEats.

Are you still watching? Netflix popup message

Changes that companies, schools, hospitals, community organisations, and others are making to adapt may last a long time after the health impacts of the pandemic are over.

SMS alerts are being used like never before in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. They enhance and ensure the safety of people worldwide. There’s no stronger nor more reliable channel for communication than person-to-person and bulk SMS, and it offers instant delivery and 98% open rates within three minutes of message receipt.

If you have not already implemented SMS for bulk text messaging and other communications, then now is the time to do so.

The Role of SMS During COVID-19

Fast, efficient, cost-effective, and reliable distribution and delivery of information is critical right now. It is also crucial that we, collectively, minimise our need for face-to-face, in-person contact with people outside our immediate family or social circle.

So, what’s the easiest, most economical way to achieve this enhanced level of safety for the vast majority of people, and at the same time help your business survive and flourish?

SMS.

Clever businesses and other organisations are using SMS in practical and creative ways in 2020. These include:

  • finding better ways to personally connect via uplifting messages and memes
  • sending promotional broadcasts
  • showcasing new products
  • offering special discounts
  • sending important alerts and updates
  • sending reminders to minimise no-shows
  • sending payment advice
  • confirming appointments
  • driving bookings and sales
  • reassuring clientele
  • logistics planning
  • minimising the need for face-to-face interactions

Enhancing Safety with Text Messaging – Health Alerts

1. Government Alerts

Information is power. In March 2020, the Australian Government sent every Australian mobile phone number (that’s 36 million!) a text message addressing the coronavirus pandemic, through all the mobile networks. These messages detailed important steps for people to take in order to protect their health and to reduce community transmission of the virus. The United Kingdom also used SMS to broadcast to residents to stay at home when lockdown rules changed.

UK Coronavirus SMS message - stay home

The Netherlands, as one of the first countries to implement a nationwide text message alert system, was able to push out a coronavirus message to residents without having to use the network carriers. Other countries are using SMS for more than just government alerts but triggered messaging from governments for quarantine enforcement or contact tracing. For example, in Singapore, SMS is used to send a unique link to those with a Stay Home Notice (SHN), where recipients can update their location – ensuring that quarantine rules are abided by.

2. Health Advice

Many states and countries have adopted new communication strategies that incorporate SMS. Residents who have undertaken a test for COVID-19 at a public hospital or fever clinic may now be sent an SMS alert with their test result once it is available. This is an opt-in service whereby negative test results are sent via SMS on the same or the next day, directly to the person’s mobile phone. This reduces thousands of phone calls and inquiries about test results. This then shaves off hours of time required for these calls and eases the pressure on hospitals and pathology labs. It also enables doctors and other health workers to focus their time and attention on patients who either test positive for COVID-19, or who require care for non-COVID related issues.

Enhancing Safety with SMS – Consumer Interaction

1. Ordering and Deliveries

The demand for delivery services has skyrocketed since the beginning of the pandemic as more people opt to shop online. From buying clothes and entertainment items to ordering in food, choosing to stay in and comply with social distancing advice and isolation orders is critical to stemming the spread of the pandemic.

Contactless delivery

Rather than greeting delivery workers at the door, it’s preferred that consumers opt for contactless delivery. This works best when drivers leave items at the door or in a designated place and send an SMS to communicate:

  • Delivery pending
  • Confirm delivery options (leave at door, take to post office, etc)
  • Delivery completed

2. Gyms, Fitness Classes, and Physical Activities

The pandemic has essentially shut down gyms and fitness classes around the world. All group physical activity appears to have stopped including sports, martial arts, yoga, and dance classes. To remain viable, operators have needed to adapt and find digitally enhanced ways of doing business. From virtual subscriptions to managing equipment rentals and selling fitness equipment, SMS facilitates active health without requiring physical contact. Gyms, studios, teams, and dojos can use text messaging to:

  • keep members in the loop
  • broadcast online classes
  • manage fitness challenges
  • check-in on progress toward goals
  • send content like meal plans and tips
  • enable staff group chats
  • send virtual class reminders
  • encourage feedback
  • send reopening/controlled access information

Be COVID-Safe with ClickSend!

Above are just a few examples of how SMS is being used across a variety of industries to help us all through the COVID-19 crisis.

SMS during COVID-19 – how can you benefit?

Whether you’re a retailer, a utility, a government organisation, a non-profit, or a community group, SMS is the solution for a variety of unique needs, including but not limited to:

  • Bulk SMS campaigns for business continuity
  • Send government or local community alerts
  • Send delivery reports
  • Two-way SMS for fast reliable communications and engagement
  • Provide status updates for re-openings or new closures
  • Community outreach and welfare checks
  • Trigger purchases/bookings
  • Connect congregations
  • Minimise social isolation

So, partner with ClickSend today.

ClickSend’s superior online SMS gateway is a powerful tool for your business or organisation to maintain and maximise safety for workers and consumers during COVID-19. We power billions of messages throughout Australia and worldwide, and we have the tools, techniques, and insights to help you get your message out to the right audience at the right time.

Open a live chat now to discuss how to use our SMS solutions with a friendly team member.