July 17, 2014 by

Managing your account

In the developing process of Messente’s platform we have taken into account that using Messente has to be extremely simple. While activating the API connection, managing the delivery information, and many more actions can be done with no hassle, we have made it simple to manage your account as well.

The “gear” icon

First things first, to make changes on your account, click the “gear” icon you can see at the upper-right corner on the web interface. By clicking this a window opens with adjustable information.

Gear
First information gap you will see is the current account name you are using. This makes it easier to switch between multiple accounts.

account name

 

Information for the invoice

By the end of every month, our accounting team will send out invoices for the sent out SMS messages within the last month. For correct invoices, Messente’s accounting will need this information to be filled out:

  • Company: registered name of your company
  • VAT code: for correct taxation
  • Email(s) for Invoices: if you need the monthly invoice sent to more than one address, simply divide them with commas like this: accounting@pennybag.com, uncle@pennybag.com
  • Website: official website of your company
  • Phone: so that we can reach anyone for quick inquiries
  • Country/City: country and the city where the company is registered
  • Address: where does your company situate

 

Users and permissions

Based on how Messente’s platform is being used, we have divided the users into two groups: “Account Administrators” and “Senders“. While the “Administrator” has the permission to do all the necessary changes, the “Sender” is able to use the web interface for sending out messages only.

  • Adding new users: can be done by “Administrator” by clicking the “Users and Permissions“ link at the “Manage account” window. There you can see all the listed emails and their level of permission. The drop down menu at “Permission” column allows you to change the role of users.
  • Inviting new users: can be done by clicking “+ Invite User“. Choose their level of permission and click “Invite“. The invitation will be sent to the inserted email address.
  • Deleting existing users: behind the user emails at “account permissions” you can see a small “x” that removes the user from Messente’s platform.

permission

 

E-mail and subscriptions

Accounting email and technical support emails should be provided for any cases that might need quick contact.
You can also subscribe to the Messente News - our monthly newsletter consisted of brief and useful info to keep you updated with most important topics
email

NB! All the information you provide on your company’s account is well protected and not available to third parties. From behalf of Messente we do everything what is necessary to keep our client’s information secure.

 

June 30, 2014 by

Top 3 Messente features that help you save money

reports

We have have done a few upgrades to Messente some of which we have talked about in this blog as well. However some upgrades are really too small to be covered in long blogposts and some of the very useful features we have had for a long time already.

We thought it’s time to place a few of them in the spotlight. So here’s the top three Messente features that are constantly saving you money:

1) Character substitution and character counter in messente.com

There are characters and letters which do not belong into the GSM alphabet and therefore using them in your SMS body text eats up space. You might end up with having typed only 70 letters and symbols but the character limit in your SMS is already full. Making the text any longer and sending it away would use up the space of two SMS messages and cost you double even though the recipient sees the text like it were only one message.

That’s why we have put a message counter on top of the field where you type in your SMS text.  It counts down from 160 and once you exceed this limit it will be counting down from 2/160 or 3/160. This means that if the current text were to be sent out it would cost the price of 2 or 3 messages respectively. So be be sure to check the symbol counter.

Additionally, whenever you enter a character which does not belong to the GSM alphabet Messente will bring your attention to it and offer a “safer” character to substitute it with. All in order to save space. Go to the compose view, enter “ˇ” for instance and see how it works :)

2) Automatic character substitution for API

If you’re using Messente’s API connections the features of the web tool won’t help you much. That’s why we added an automatic replacing feature for the API users as well.

Using automatic replacement is optional and you can turn it on from under API settings. After you turn it on you can open the replacing settings and fine tune what gets replaced and how.

3) Full delivery information 

When you open the reports section in messente.com the first thing you will see is your messaging history. We send you a monthly overview the total number of SMS sent out as well but from the history page you can download a much more detailed report by clicking “download full report”.

What you get is a .csv file with full information on every single SMS sent in the selected period including the delivery status.

And now for the cool part.

If you are sending messages to the same audience repeatedly (i.e. your client base) you can compare the failed statuses in those reports. If there are numbers that have not been responsive several times in a row, odds are that these numbers are outdated and it might be a good idea to remove them from your list. Needless to say that the more accurate your number list, the better.

June 15, 2014 by

Need help? Let’s chat!

Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 19.53.44

Deep down in Messente’s laboratories our team of scientists work around the clock to provide you with new and groovy ways to reach your customers and get more of SMS messaging.

Earlier this year we did an important upgrade to Messente’s SMS platform in order to ensure an increased SMS delivery speed and improved general performance. Needless to say that infrastructure upgrades and new features are great and necessary, but at times you might appreciate help from the team.

So whether you are new to Messente and fancy a demo tour or a seasoned user needing help with an API connection, account settings or anything else, head over to Live Chat tab on our site and let us have a chat, or simply drop us a line over email.

If there is something new or interesting that you wish to share or we can help you with, give us a shout. In case of an issue you would like to bring to our attention, we are here to help. There is a good chance we can solve it quickly and completely.

 

June 1, 2014 by

Hacking SMS text to fit more content

Cut Down on SMS costs

I would like to share some secret tricks we have been using for years to increase usable sms content length.

We have been sharing these suggestions with our clients to increase their revenues, lower costs and get most out of their 160 characters.

Characters You Can Freely Use

SMS length is up to 160 characters (but you already knew that) – only if you use characters in GSM 03.38 charset:

@£$¥èéùìòÇ`Øø`ÅåΔ_ΦΓΛΩΠΨΣΘΞ`ÆæßÉ!\"#¤%&'()*=,-./0123456789:;<=>?¡ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZÄÖÑÜ`¿abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzäöñüà

Save Characers by (not) Using Extended Characters

There are 9 characters in GSM 03.38 Extended charset, which take up 2 characers, not just one:

^{}\[~]|€
  1. Instead of using (curly) brackets, use regular parentheses. This way you can save one character!
  2. Also you can replace pipe “|” character with capital i – nobody notices the difference and yet again you save one character.
  3. Want to show some money in EUR? Use “€” sign instead of “EUR” to use up only two characters instead of three! The same goes for USD, GBP and JPY.
  4. Also swap all backslashes “\” with regular slash character “/” to save one more extra character.
  5. Lastly, just avoid using “^” for the sake of simplicity.

Did you know Messente can replace those characters for you automatically? Take a look at the Messente API Auto Replace settings.

Which Characters To Avoid In Your SMS

If you use characters, which are not in the GSM 03.38 charset, then the SMS is forced to Unicode mode and this way one SMS is only about half the length – 70 characters.

This is where you can win the most – don’t use any characters outside the GSM charset, unless it is really essential!

  • If your alphabet uses some diacritics, then replace those characters with regular letters or GSM-friendly alternatives

For example in French alphabet there is “ô” character, which is not in GSM charset. You could easily swap it with plain “o” or maybe “ò”.

Pssst! Messente has predefined replacements for more than 7 alphabeths, including French, Italian, Portugese, Polish, Lithuanian and Czech Republic!

Messente helps you to save on messaging costs

Invisible Characters Eating Up SMS Space?

Every now and then we have a client who is confused about their 160 character text being charged for two sms.

After some investigation it is clear, that they have accidentally used some Unicode space characters, which look just like regular space, so it is almost impossible to discover those.

If unicode spaces are used, the SMS is forced to use Unicode charset, which makes the SMS length to decrease to only 70 characters!

You can always check your SMS content for those characters using our Online SMS Length Calculator tool.

Messente shows invisible character's UTF-8 codepoing

Shorten Your Links

Useing some link shortening services like goo.gl will cut down your link to only 10 characters. Read more about links in your SMS from our Blog.

 

If you have any more neat tricks, let us know in the comments section!

May 4, 2014 by

Secure and auditable SMS service

Internet Security

Today companies have the unprecedented possibility of sharing information with the speed of light while channeling it very directly to selected receivers. Yet the fact remains, more complex systems have a bigger chance for loopholes. While growing quantities of business critical information is uploaded online, more companies stand against growing security threat that needs a solution in advance.

The rise of Enterprise Social Networks

Enterprise Social Networks are indispensable tools for business communication. The fact that everyday more and more classified information is being hacked is an alarming concern for every company that depends on password protected networks. Messente is increasingly serving more global companies who need a simple yet safe SMS solution for secure communication.

SMS security codes

The major benefit of sending security codes via SMS is that it keeps the information tied to one particular phone number. It is clear that a mobile phone is considered as a personal device. Therefore in the case of business critical communication it’s reasonable to keep the crucial information available to as few participants as possible through personal communication channel (i.e. mobile phone).

Messente avoids vulnerabilities proactively

We use the best practices in developing secure in-house applications to keep the server software always up-to-date. Lately we had a major server upgrade which made the SMS processing speed even faster while increasing security. Despite the fact that the system itself is quite complex, our engineers have developed it so that integration would still be very simple.

Read more about SMS service for enterprises in a global scale

April 21, 2014 by

Join the team

We are hiring developers who would help us build and develop Messente. Our product development team works hard trying to make Messente as simple to use as possible while making it powerful enough to easily process high volumes and covering the whole world.

Now they need an extra pair of hands.

Messente has grown fast. In fact we have at least doubled our customer base and message traffic each year for the past three years. And we’re on track to do at least a double-up each year for the next few years as well.

Our clients include web applications, banks, airlines, consumer brands and businesses from a wide range of industries. All of them are willing to give us excellent feedback on our platform. The cool thing about Messente’s development team is that everyone gets to be involved not only in coding but also business related decisions - for example whether to add a potential new feature or not.

So if you feel strong in C++/Java and feel excited to be building the coolest messaging platform in the world then take a closer look.

April 6, 2014 by

Hacking Simplicity

simplicity1

A fairly smart guy, Albert Einstein, once said that things should be made as simple as possible… but not any simpler. In reality simplicity has become more appealing than ever before, and for us here at Messente it has went on to become our mantra behind much of what we do, how we think and what tools we use.

The age of simplification

Companies have evolved and so have people, leading us to interaction on a scale you probably did not quite envision years ago. With the technology constantly evolving often there are way too many choices, variations or modifications, thus in an over-communicated world people actually look for an over-simplified message, wrote Al Ries and Jack Trout. The belief of simplicity has led us to a singularisation and people opt for easy-to-use products, straightforward guidance and things that work quickly, without lots of extra effort.

Is simple easy?

Whether it is easy and plain simple or not, it is more closely related to how intuitive it is. For us state of simple and intuitive is achieved when everything means something, combining just the right amount of details, complexity and difficulties. When all these things are tied together in just right amounts and ways, there is sense of clarity un purpose – everything belongs exactly where it is supposed to be.

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity”
- Charles Mingus 

Making Messente progressively more simple and seamless, has been amazing learning experience personally for me. It has been astonishing to see how much depth of understanding is necessary to create a simple interface, by relying on insights that drive certain ideas and motives behind it.

Of course not all of us have the same idea of what simple actually means in the unique context of, for example, software, communication, operations or even management. However, I believe there are common understandings that frequently encounter the meaning of simplicity.

Do you take any purposeful actions to simplify your services or products? How do you manage complexity?

 

March 25, 2014 by

Improve Your SMS Campaigns In Four Simple Steps

Last week I got sms from my local shopping center, telling me about upcoming event called “beauty night”. Instantly I had three ideas how they could have made it better.

It came from a shortcode “165″ and the mall name was not mentioned until at the very end. If they had used plain text “MallName” sender name it would have been clear from the start.

They also used some funny date format (15.3) And had one capitalised word in the middle of the sentence. Attention to detail will make your texts look more professional and appealing.

Lastly, I would have really loved to get a link to a page about this event. I really missed it.

Here are four simple tips for creating an enjoyable sms campaign for your customers.

1. Get The Text Right

Opposed to e-mails, text messages are very limited by text length and it has no visual effects. You have only plain ol’ text, so it is very important to get it right.

Here are some very simple rules to get you started:

  • Proofread – one simple typo can ruin the whole sms
  • Keep it simple – use short and simple sentences, so it is easier to read
  • Don’t use txt speak – nbdy wnts to rd ths
  • Put the link at the end – a good common practice
  • Use link shortening tools or even better – your own short link with your domain
  • Make sure the user knows what to expect from the link

Cut to the chase – leave out all unnecessary details and just get to the point. Chattering on without a clear aim will only drive away your potential customers.

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
― Ernest Hemingway

Dont be afraid to experiment with different keywords or highlighting some words with CAPITAL letters. You only have a few seconds to make the impression to the reader, until he closes the text.

2. Improve Landing Page

Make sure the landing page of the sms content link is optimized for tablets and phones. It should follow the basic requirements for any mobile-device optimised pages:

  • No clutter – cut down on any excess elements you can live without
  • Keep the images small – improve page loading speed on the phone
  • Use appealing images – images are the first thing your brain processes
  • Make sure the text is easily readable on the phone – get the font size right

Having a link to a fully featured browser, will decrease the conversion rate significantly, as the page will load slowly and it is hard to navigate on it using the relatively small screen of the phone.

Responsive Web by Chris Bannister
(Source: Responsive Web by Chris Bannister)

If you have some kind of forms, make sure you improve those the most. Forms are the most complicated part of your website and it is crucial to make the forms easy to fill in. Include examples where possible and fine-tune any error messages.

3. Measure Your Campaign Efficiency

There are lots of free tools to measure the link click rate and the conversion rate. Arguably the most popular is Google Analytics with its endless possibilities.

Google Analytics may be the Titan of web analytics, but it is also a bit difficult to grasp at the beginning. Fortunately there are alike services like HubSpot or Bit.ly, which make the whole analytics process a lot more straightforward.

If possible, set up a conversion flow funnel. This way you can see where most of the users get stuck and you can easily improve the landing page for your next campaign. Don’t forget to fine-tune your forms!

Finding out and removing any bottlenecks can give a significant boost your campaign performance.

4. Time Your SMS Right

Timing the sms right, can also significantly improve the results. Based on the Experian email marketing benchmark study, the best time to send your marketing campaign is around 8 PM and 12 AM.

If you have large enough client base (at least 1000 customers), you can easily make small experiments and improve your next campaign, based on the results. For example you can make A/B test, where test-group A gets SMS around 12 AM in the morning and test-group B gets the same text at 8 PM.

If you are making your first experiments, a quick tip is to look at your web analytics for mobile users. This will give you a nod in the right direction, when the mobile users are most active.

March 10, 2014 by

SMS in Financial Services

mobiil ja krediitkaart2

SMS messaging is a powerful mobile communication tool that allows financial service institutions to interact with their customers in a cost-effective, timely way. Global messaging volumes in the financial service industry will continue to grow and its estimated that it will be more than 1.6 trillion in 2015.

The most popular ways how financial institutions use SMS messaging:

  • Alerts
  • Authentication
  • On-time passwords and PIN codes
  • Opt-in marketing and special promotions
  • Payment behavior improving reminders
  • High-value withdrawal and payment notifications

The SMS has the unique advantage of reach. The vast majority of handsets support SMS, whereas less than half support mobile Web and even fewer support mobile applications. This mix may change over time as advanced handsets become more widely available, but text messaging is and will continue to be the most used feature of a smartphone.

Keep texting! :)

February 23, 2014 by

Happy birthday, Messente!

390ASP14352 Messente is moving fast – over the past year we have doubled in the number of messages. But for the year of 2014, we are excited to aim even higher.

We really worked hard though out the year of 2013. The messaging traffic in Messente was doubledour product is better to use, our team got bigger and we have many more clients we are excited to work with. Yet ‘simpler‘ is the concept we have really moved towards. We believe that connecting to Messente should be genuinely simple and fast.

Being there when needed

Lately we came up with several new features that make contacting Messente easier. In our last blog post, we introduced Live Chat for quick questions, but we also launched our first newsletter. There you can find the most important tips and news. To subscribe to our newsletter, leave a message to our Live Chat at the bottom right corner with your email address. We’ll take care of the rest.

Messente is attending Mobile World Congress 2014

Our team is attending MWC in Barcelona right now. If you are attending as well and interested in meeting up – contact either lauri.kinkar@messente.com or marcis.jurisons@messente.com.