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Some New Uses of SMS

Text messaging is becoming a common way to communicate with our clients. We are definitely past the Tipping Point on SMS (short message system – another name for text messaging). If you haven’t read Malcolm Gladwell’s book “The Tipping Point,” you need to. This book is in my top 5 all time favorites. It launched me into blogging and changed the way I do my business. Thank you Malcolm!

A tipping point is a small event that on its own doesn’t seem like much but it can effect great change. Text messaging is one of those phenomenons.

Even when I “paid” for my beverage on a recent USAIR flight, they made it very easy for people to sign up for a Dividend Miles number for their travel efforts. They put a short code on the napkin they served with the drink I had to pay for (did I mention USAIR doesn’t give you free water anymore?)  Just send a message to their shortcode  and they will hook you up with an awards number.

There is one way to use text messaging that has made a big difference in many of my client’s businesses. They have started sending text messages from the office to their sales associates for quick messages like: The lokbox number is . . ., there is a contract on your desk, your appointment will be 15 minutes late or your showing is all set up. That used to involve a phone call, a missed call, a voicemail, and voicemail round robin, you get the idea.

They do this by sending an email from a computer at the office to the “email address” of everyone’s cell phone. Why not just email? Not every one has an email enabled cell phone. Any sometimes text messages get through faster than voicemail or email.

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Every cell phone has an email address, even those good old regular cell phones that don’t receive email. It usually is your ten digit number@ your cell phone companies extension.

I use Verizon so mine is something like These numbers change so I found a great blog post that lists most major phone companies extensions. It is called “How to Send Email to a Cell Phone.” Click here to read it.

An office in Burlington, Vermont that I work with has a mass email list set up of all their agents “cell phone numbers.” When they have to reschedule office meetings because of snow, they just send out a mass email  to all their agents and everyone is alerted.

When I was speaking for them, the room that I was supposed to be speaking in was double booked. They sent me down to a hotel in town and told me to set up and that everyone would show up. We had over 40 people and no one was late because they checked their cell phones for text messages.

One last note – a student recently emailed me and told me that they are using this system for RED ALERTS. An agent had been abducted and it really scared everyone. She was alright, but after that they decided to send out messages to their office with the words RED ALERT if there was anything that was an emergency.

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How else are you using text messaging?

Written By

Amy is a national technology speaker who can inspire, train and help people implement technology strategies into their business. To find out about her training, coaching or webinars visit her website at



  1. Chris Griffith

    November 22, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    I literally mass text every member of my family a note that reads something like: Sunday, meatloaf, mashed, broccoli and good eats, be there at 6 or I’ll kick your arse. 🙂 They usually show up. I think it’s for the food.

  2. Amy Chorew

    November 22, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Very cool, I am going to use that. I am now jotting my family as a group, have you tried that as well?

  3. Lisa Sanderson

    November 23, 2008 at 8:10 am

    I, too, have been using txt for communicating with my family. Seems the teen-folk like this better than email. Have been thinking lately about how to use it in business because it is super-convenient, instantaneous & almost universal now. Thanks for the encouragement to pursue this line of thought, and for the ideas!

  4. Jim Duncan

    November 23, 2008 at 8:39 am

    @Lisa – Family – texting is great. For clients – I always ask what their preferred method of communication is. Surprisingly some grad students don’t have unlimited text plans and prefer old-fashioned phone calls

  5. GeorgeMcCumiskey

    November 23, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Since I work at home (most of the time) my texting has been limited to voting for the next American Idol. These ideas for business are great though. Once I tried to send hate text to Simon but couldn’t get through (probably others were lined up ahead of me or however it works when too many people are sending nasty messages to a Simon. (just joking about the hate text part – it was only strong dislike)

  6. teresa boardman

    November 23, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    I use text messaging a lot. and MMS too.

  7. Chris Griffith

    November 23, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Amy, I don’t Jott them. Everyone has a phone. One kid is in the construction field and not a computer user until late p.m., another is in college and can get text other than communicate via phone. It seems to be my version of the dinner bell to just announce a time and menu and have them all show up.

  8. Missy Caulk

    November 23, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    Hey I love it, call the kids to dinner via text they look at it more than listen to me.

  9. Ted Mackel

    November 23, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    All my Real Estate Signs have my Blog URL and next to my phone number it say’s Cell/Text

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