COVID-19 Preparation Checklist
1. Up-to-date Contact List
- Keep your contact list up to date by importing a current contact list to your touchSMS account
- Import names and numbers to personalise messages for future sends
- Before importing your list make sure numbers are clean and in the correct mobile format, removing any landlines
- Split contacts into groups where applicable
2. Set up templates
- Prepare your message content ahead of time where possible
- Clearly identify yourself in your message
- Consider your reply options. Do you need your recipients to reply? If not use your business name as your Sender ID
3. Send yourself a test SMS.
More information to prepare yourself to send important and potentially urgent messages.
Prepare your contact list
- Make sure you have the correct/verified contact information. Click here to learn how to create/import contacts in touchSMS.
- Ensure your contact mobile numbers are entered in the correct format. Click here to learn about mobile number formats.
- Ensure you remove any non-mobile number e.g. landlines 02 9518 7455 from your list before importing your contacts into touchSMS.
- When sending bulk SMS, it’s helpful to segment your contacts into groups. This will help you keep track of your campaigns e.g. Customers in NSW/ Wednesday Class/ Laser Appointments etc.
- Import contacts into touchSMS so you can use merge data in your message content e.g. name and surname.
Consider purchasing a virtual number
A virtual number becomes your own dedicated business mobile number to send and receive SMS. When you purchase a virtual number you are sending SMS from the same number every time, your recipients can save this in their phones and send you an SMS at any time, you can also set-up automatic replies. Setting up keywords will trigger specific messages when someone texts in with that specific keyword.
e.g. Text in ORDER and we’ll send you a link to our order form.
You can purchase a virtual number by logging into your touchSMS account and navigate to;
Click here to learn more about how they work.
Remember that sending SMS isn’t limited to our touchSMS online platform, you can easily send SMS from your email too. Click here to learn how.
- Remember to identify yourself/ your business in your messages so that your recipients know who the message is from. Sounds basic we know – but so easy to forget.
- Pre-save your message as a template. Be prepared ahead of time, in the case you need to send an SMS immediately you are well prepared, remember that you can still edit a template from the Send SMS screen. We recommend saving a basic template and modifying at the time of send with relevant details. e.g. “Thanks for sticking with us! Our shop will be reopening as of XXXXXX at XXXXam! We’ll be back at in a big way”
- Keep your message short and concise. Get straight to the point!
- Use merge fields to personalise your message content – e.g. add “First Name” as personalisation is effective and draws more attention than a general blanket text.
- Remember to include an Opt-Out to ensure you are compliant with SPAM regulations. Your customers still have a right to opt-out of any non-essential communication, regardless of the circumstances.
- Add links to your website or specific pages to include important information to your SMS.
Consider the context of your message before deciding to allow or block replies. Are you sending an important alert that you’re hoping prompts a reaction? If so, enabling replies is the best chance of getting immediate 2-way engagement. On the other hand, if you are sending a simple reminder, you might want to consider using a Sender ID, that blocks replies from being sent. Click here to learn more about Sender IDs.
Send yourself a test SMS
Its good practice to send yourself a test message before initiating a large campaign. This gives you an opportunity to see how it looks on your handset and make any changes to content.
touchSMS provides live delivery status of each message sent from your account. It’s important to keep an eye on reports over the course of the day as some carriers take longer to return a delivered status than others.
Be sure to take note of any failed deliveries – you should remove these numbers from your contacts to avoid wasting credits on sending to them in future.
To learn more about reporting and delivery statuses click here
Australian State Government Links
Below is a list of all Government, State and Territory health websites, which you may want to include in your messages:
|Country, States and Territories||Link|
|Australian Department of Health||https://www.health.gov.au/|
|NSW Covid-19 Specific||https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx|
|NT Covid-19 Specific||https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/|
|QLD Covid-19 Specific||https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19|
|SA Covid-19 Specific||https://www.sa.gov.au/covid-19|
|TAS Covid-19 Specific||https://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/publichealth/…|
|VIC Covid-19 Specific||https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus|
|WA Covid-19 Specific||https://www.wa.gov.au/government/coronavirus-covid-19|
|NZ Covid-19 Specific||https://covid19.govt.nz/|