Guide to Phone Blasting:  What to Know Before You Start

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A phone blasting service, also known as phone or voice broadcasting, can instantly deliver thousands of messages and is becoming the preferred method to get notifications and alerts out to a wide audience quickly.  Here is a helpful guide to phone blasting and some quick tips to help you get started.

While not everyone has access to email (or even reads it), it’s a safe bet that most people are within reach of a landline or cell phone. Even if a recipient doesn’t answer the phone directly, phone blast preferences can be set to leave a message to voice mail that can be picked up soon after by the recipient.

Here is a short list of four important things you should know before you get involved in any phone blasting program.

Quick Set-Up and Ease of Use

The primary advantages of using a phone blasting service involve savings, both from a financial and time viewpoint, including a quick ramp up.  Organizations — business, non-profit, and political — can save a small fortune by outsourcing phone and phone blast services because there is no need to invest in any hardware or software or expensive telephone lines.  We already have the capacity and jobs can be literally conceived, launched and delivered in a matter of minutes.

Phone blast jobs are accomplished online.  You can simply organize your phone list in an database program (Excel spreadsheets work fine) and upload your list at the phone blast server website.  Phone numbers should be formatted in one column and include the area code.  After the phone list is uploaded, then you can do your recording over the phone.  Once that’s done, we can link your list and recording together and launch the job for you, or you can launch it yourself if you have web access.

All in all, the process is quick and easy and considering that it only costs a few cents to deliver each pre-recorded message, phone blasting is the fastest way to achieve a high penetration rate among a diverse audience of constituents.

Be Careful – You Need to Be Compliant with the Phone Blasting Laws

Phone blasting operates under strict federal and state law.  These laws are restrictive on purpose to prohibit junk robocalls and the sending commercial or non-informational messages.  The FTC has recently issued new regulations that prohibit messages offering goods or services being delivered without first having written consent.  Needless to say, 99.9% of the American public at least, has never given its written consent to receive any phone calls, let alone the majority of Americans who are on the Do Not Call list.

However, informational phone blasts such as school emergencies or closings, airline schedule changes, appointment confirmations, product recalls, health alerts, and the like are perfectly permissible.

Your Choice:  Go In-house or Use Outsourced Pay-as-You-Go

To set up a telephone notification system for messages and alerts, you have two options.  Your first option is to buy the hardware, software, and equipment to set up your own in-house system.  However, auto dialers can be expensive and you’ll need to install multiple outgoing phone lines that will each have a monthly charge.  Moreover, you’ll have a learning curve and maintenance costs to incur as well.

Your second option, and what most schools, businesses and non-profits choose, is to outsource the telephone notification service on a pay as you go basis.  This option significantly cuts overhead costs and requires much less experience to operate.

Getting a phone broadcasting service to send your messages and alerts is easy to do. And the process of launching your messages can be done very quickly.  So quickly in fact, that if you are thinking about it in the morning, you can have tens of thousands of messages delivered by the afternoon.  And if you already have an account set up, your messages can get out immediately.  That’s why if you are looking to set something up for emergencies or urgent messages it’s critically important for you to have your account set up BEFORE you actually need it.

Outsourcing messages and alerts to a phone broadcasting service still gives you the flexibility to be in complete control.  Once you get your account set up, your next task is to prepare your phone lists.  You can store as many different phone lists online as you like, and pick and choose the ones you want to use at any given time.

The Quality of Your Phone List is Critical to Your Success

It is advised that you are maintaining your list and keeping it up to date.   Generally, a spreadsheet is your best bet, and the popular Excel spreadsheet works fine. You’ll want to make sure the 10 digit phone numbers are in one column — don’t have the area codes in one column and the 7 digit phone numbers in another column.  Once you are ready to go, you can upload your list and the only thing left is do is make your voice recording to send out.  Usually, you can upload a wav file or just record your message over the phone with your phone blast provider.  Match the recording with the list you want to use online and you’re done.

Another thing you need to consider with your phone blasting project:  What phone number do you want to use for your Caller ID?  Whatever number you choose will be receiving a lot of calls, so think about this carefully.  If you don’t want to answer the calls, then have the Caller ID number directed to a number that has voicemail or just rings without answering.  That will save you a lot of aggravation.

One important thing you need to be aware of is the federal government has strict regulations on phone broadcasting and unless you are sending out “informational” messages such as appointment reminders, schedule changes, school closings, etc., most of the typical telemarketing or “junk” calls have been banned.  If you are selling anything over the phone, you now need expressed written permission to call — even from your existing customers. Fines and penalties can be heavy, so be sure you are operating within the law.

Guide to Phone Blasting Summary

Online voice and phone broadcasting are the wave of the future because it provides on-demand service without the need to spend a fortune in hardware or software. Organizations can use the “in the cloud” phone broadcasting service on a pay-as-you-go basis and can access it online at any time to deliver notifications to contacts instantly. (“In the cloud” is a term used to describe services that are accessed on the Internet without the need to install any software on a local computer. In other words, the software is already installed “somewhere out there” on a remote server, or “in the cloud.”

There is one big caveat.  Those who use the technology need to be very careful about securing collected data and making sure that all recipients have opted-in to receive messages and that no one ever receives messages who hasn’t asked to be put on a list.  There are several ways to compile your opt-in and a professional text messaging service can help you.

For more information about Phone Blasting and broadcasting your messages, please visit our website or call 888-387-8636 (good in the United States and Canada.)