Automated Phone Blast

Automated phone blasts can deliver hundreds or thousands of pre-recorded messages to contacts.  It can happen very quickly and it is a powerful technology that can be used for a number of applications, including emergency or weather alerts, school closings, appointment and meeting reminders, and other time sensitive messages.  This is also called phone broadcasting or voice blast, and best of all, it is not only the fastest way to get critical information out to people, but it is by far the most inexpensive way -- just pennies per call.  So if you are interested in sending important messages to your contact list by phone, our automated phone blast service is just what the doctor ordered.  Give us a call and we can help you every step of the way.  Setting up an account is free and there are no monthly charges -- you only pay for the calls we deliver.  If there are busies or no answers, there is no cost.  And everything is web-based, so you can work the online system from any location whether you're at the office, home or on the road.

Phone Blast, Voice Blast Law: Legal Requirements and Regulations Sending Recorded and Automated Messages by Phone

If you plan on sending pre-recorded messages by phone to a list of contacts, you need to be aware of new legal requirements regarding phone blasting, voice blasting or phone or voice broadcasting (they are all the same but are referred to by various descriptions.)

We are not lawyers and do not offer legal advice, but we are in the business and are happy to provide you sources you can review to make an informed decision.  You can look at the new phone blast regulations at the Federal Trade Commission website and see for yourself:  http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/08/tsr.shtm

You should note that "informational calls" are perfectly fine to send, and don't have any restrictions.  For example, an informational call would be sending pre-recorded messages that would notify customers that their airline flight has been cancelled, or alert parents that school is closed for the day, or the location of a blood drive.  Doctor or dentist reminders would be informational.  Messages that don't attempt to sell a product or service could be considered informational and legal.

Also, non-profit agencies can also send, but as the FTC says, "charitable solicitation calls placed by for-profit telemarketers (telefunders) that deliver prerecorded messages on behalf of non-profits to members of, or previous donors to, the nonprofit, but require that such calls include a prompt keypress or voice-activated opt-out mechanism."  That simply means you can send pre-recorded messages but you need to include an opt-out feature so people can take their number off your list.

Making political calls is mostly regulated by each state.  Some states allow political candidates to send messages to everyone, even those on the Do Not Call list.  Other states like California are very restrictive and require that a live person is doing the calling and asks the voter for permission to hear a message.  (Our Online Phone Dialer system is perfect for that application.)  So, if you are sending political calls, it's best to check your state's laws.

If you're a telemarketer, your life is going to get very complicated.  Not only will you need to comply with the Do Not Call list, but you will need to get WRITTEN permission from each person before you can send a sales message -- a costly and time consuming process to say the least.  Before, just having a "prior business relationship" was enough.  But now, you'll need written permission, even from your existing customers, to be compliant with the law before sending a voice mail message.

Robo Calls: Candidates Getting Ready for Campaigns

There are a lot of state and local elections for public office coming up this year, and inevitably political candidates will be looking for robo calls to get their messages out.  Robo calling is simply the method of sending pre-recorded messages by phone to live voters or leaving them on answering machines.  Here are some "best practices" to consider when incorporating robo calls (voice blast) as part of your campaign strategy.

Why robo calls are very effective:  Unlike television and radio advertising that can be expensive and wasted on people who don't vote, robo calling is extremely inexpensive (5 cents per 30 second message delivered) and targeted.  In other words, you can direct your message to prime voters and don't have to waste resources chasing people who probably won't vote.  Even better, you can deliver different messages to different groups of voters.  You can one message for seniors and another message for the 20-somethings.  Moreover, there is no charge if your message is not delivered.

What NOT to do when conducting a robo call campaign:  Robo calling is a very powerful medium, and If not done properly, can be very intrusive to the point where it actually become counter-productive.  Candidates can lose votes if they aren't careful.  If candidates haven't properly prepared their robo campaign with the right phone lists and the right message, they run the risk of sabotaging their own campaigns.  Unfortunately, candidates and their handlers will spend weeks and months preparing radio and television commercials, and then decide to do robo calling at the last minute.  They hectically scramble to organize a robo call campaign with no serious consideration of what the candidate is going to say, who the message is going to, and what time to send the call.  Robo calls in the early morning or dinner hours are sure to upset potential voters, so it's best to send your calls during the day and attempt to leave as many messages on answering machines as possible so voters can listen at their convenience.  And do not plan on sending out more than two messages during the entire campaign.

If used properly and with some careful planning, robo calls can be a life saver for candidates who need to respond to last minute attacks or false accusations.  But candidates need more than a couple of hours to prepare their phone list, usually available at the state or local elections office.  That's why experienced campaigners plan ahead for robo calls by budgeting and preparing lists way ahead of time, not in the last two days.

Candidates are also advised to beware of robo call services that use the Internet for placing calls since the reporting capabilities are woefully insufficient.  You'll need rock solid, hardwired, fiber optic capabilities to insure your messages are sent out on time and delivered reliably.  Give us a call today and find out how our experience, technology and creativity (yes, we can help you write your script at no cost) can help you enjoy a victory on election night.  We've helped dozens of candidates with the best customer service in the business, and we stand ready to serve you as well.

School Alerts by Phone Help Administrators Communicate with Community

School administrators are becoming increasingly aware of their responsibilities to notify parents, teachers and the community at large about emergencies, events and schedules.  The last thing a principal or administrator wants to hear is, "Why didn't you tell us?"

By far, the fastest and least expensive way to get school alerts and notifications out is by phone.  It's instant and messages can be recorded and sent out immediately to both live answers and answering machines.

Why do we think our system is the best?  Three reasons:  1) There is no hardware or software to buy.  That alone can save a school district tens of thousands of dollars.  2) You can access the system from any Internet connection.  Superintendents or principals can use it from their homes if necessary.  3) You only pay for what you use, thus saving the taxpayers a small fortune in unnecessary costs.  There are no monthly usage fees, maintenance costs or long term contracts.  If you don't use the system, there's no charge.  How are you going to beat that?  (For those districts that need an exact amount to allocate every month for budget and planning purposes, we can make arrangements to make it work.)

The key is being prepared.  Schools should have their phone lists already uploaded on our system.  You can upload lists online in any kind of database or Excel spreadsheet.  You can have any number of separate lists stored on the system.  You can have one for parents, and/or each sports team can have their own.

So the next time there's a blizzard or school closing, or heaven forbid, an emergency, you can have the best phone broadcasting system ready 24/7 at your fingertips.  You'll know you are not only providing the best information to your constituent groups, but you're doing it in a way that will save the district taxpayers precious dollars that can be spent in other areas.  Give us a call today and we'll show you how it works.

Outbound Voicemail -- A New Way to Increase Profits

Over 80% of business phones are not answered by a live person, but by voicemail.  Voicemail can be a godsend for business people who want to be more productive, and at the same time, for those who like to hide behind it.  It can be a tool used to organize your day, or one that can cover up a 3 hour lunch or golf game.  Voicemail has been embraced in the business community, except for bosses who call, get voicemail, and fume because they can't figure out why everyone has disappeared.  Can this blackhole of the digital world be turned into a goldmine of opportunity and used to your advantage?  The answer is yes!

Why?  Because 90% of business people listen to their voicemail.  The key is how you deliver that voicemail.  Most businesses are dropping voicemail messages one of two ways.  First they try to use voice broadcasting which is unable to get through operators and receptionist and phone trees.  Or second, they use live callers who spend most of their day repeating themselves for every single voicemail.  Both techniques are ineffective and exceedingly expensive in the instance of using live callers.

The simple solution is using our Virtual Online Phone Dialing service that enables live callers to get to the targeted prospect and either speak live to the prospect or deposit a pre-recorded voice message to the prospect's answering machine.  That may not seem like a big deal, but the system can allow you to start dialing the next call while it's leaving the message to the previous caller, thus improving speed and productivity up to 50% or more.