What’s the deal with this site?
Well, I worked in the messaging space from 2008 - 2019. My experience was with a few different approaches to the channel - broadcast messaging, Facebook Messenger and P2P texting. At certain points I had thought that messaging as a channel had peaked, but things still seem to be growing and this site is my way to stay involved.
Does this stuff only work with non-profits?
No, commercial businesses can be successful with messaging, but it’s harder. For a number of reasons, non-profits, healthcare organizations and government agencies have done much better on messaging channels than business. This is not what one would expect, but there are some really good reasons why non-profits excel on this channel and it’s a topic I write about often.
How Much does messaging cost?
There is a cost to send and receive text messages. Generally it’s about a penny to send a message in the US through someone like Twilio. Many organizations will need to license software to manage their lists and the software platform can have a cost, and/or the platform can package messaging costs.
Facebook Messenger doesn’t have a direct cost, but there could be a platform cost or an organization might need to buy Facebook Ads to drive list growth or send sponsored messages.
It’s important that there is a cost to messaging. The balance between cost and value has kept the channel relatively spam free and has helped to make messaging the best way to connect with someone that actually wants to hear from the organization.
Do you work in messaging?
Recently, I’ve taken a job where I’m not working in messaging day to day and I think this site is a good way to share what I’ve learned and also stay current. I’m employed at Engaging Networks, which makes software for non-profits, so it’s still related to some of the ideas that are discussed here.
Can you recommend vendors?
Sure, at the time that I’m writing this I have no financial connection to any of these companies although that might change in the future. I worked for Mobile Commons (now Upland Messaging) for years. The software was great and the company cared about their customers. Tatango does great marketing and is very invested in the SMS space. GetThru and Hustle are pioneers in the peer to peer SMS space. If you’re looking to build something yourself, Twilio is absolutely the place to start. For Facebook Messenger, Chatfuel and ManyChat seem to be the biggest players. I have my own software platform for FBM. I’m keeping the customer base limited. If you have checked out the site, we are on the same page about messaging and you’d like to try some messaging campaigns on the platform send me a note.
We tried messaging and it didn’t work
That’s OK, not every organization has people that want to hear from them. Messaging campaigns are a little like podcasts. To get it right, it needs to be engaging and not just promotional. Take the user’s/listener’s perspective and try to be engaging and informative.
If your organization isn’t good at story telling or doesn’t want to hear from people directly, messaging might not be a fit.