How to send SMS messages while abroad
Recent events across Europe have once again highlighted the need to be able to contact people at home when we’re travelling abroad. While those were man-made emergencies, sometimes mother nature can create disasters that also leave those at home wondering about our safety.
When the earthquake in Nepal hit last spring, two of the families in my area had relatives climbing one of the mountains in the area (not Everest). The families desperately waited for news on whether their loved ones were affected since they were out on their trip when it happened. It took several days, but they eventually heard from them (they were all safe). Believe it or not, there’s actually 3G coverage in parts of Nepal.
Send messages from anywhere
Thankfully though, you don’t need 3G, or 4G, or any G to send SMS messages back to the UK while you’re travelling. It used to be you needed a mobile phone to send text messages, but over the last 15 years or so the advent of cloud computing has enabled companies to offer many services online. SMS providers are just one of those services, but arguably one of the most in demand given the growth of mobile. Now, all you need is a Wi-Fi connection, a device that supports a browser and an account with a web-based SMS provider to send text messages to the UK from abroad.
The way it works is much like email. You log into a website where you can send SMS messages from your web browser. Each SMS provider has it’s own interface, but generally speaking you have all the elements you do with email: address book, inbox, and sent folder. You’ll usually find even more than those simple features, but those are the core of an online SMS service.
If you’re using NetMessenger, the fastsms web-based program for SMS messaging, you’ll find it as easy to use as email too (not all providers are easy to use!). You simply type in the number of the UK phone you want to text, type your message and hit send. Your friends or family will get the text on their mobile just as if you sent it from your phone.
To receive replies though, you’ll need to get a virtual mobile number (VMN). These are numbers that look just like UK mobile numbers, but they aren’t tied to a physical device (like your number is assigned to your phone via the SIM card inside). This allows anyone to send an SMS message to your VMN, and you can read it online wherever you are. You can also have it forwarded to an email address if you choose. But if you simply need a way to let your loved ones know you’re ok, you don’t need a VMN. Just know that they can’t reply to you without one.
The costs for sending messages with NetMessenger is incredibly low. Much lower than you’ll find on most network international roaming plans. But some networks in the UK include most countries in the EU in their calling plans. Others charge a premium international fee. Beyond Europe though, you’ll certainly be paying a huge fee for small amount of minutes and even less data.
Of course, you could just use email or social media to keep in touch with your family. But you’ll no doubt have some family members that don’t use either (although nearly everyone has a mobile phone that can receive SMS), and if it is an emergency then being able to get a message directly into the palm of their hand within seconds might just be appreciated.
You could also use our list triggering feature to send a message to all your friends and family at once without the need for an internet connection.
Finding Wi-Fi abroad
To avoid those high international rates, you’ll need to find Wi-Fi where you are. In most places you’ll be able to find Wi-Fi – even remote places like Nepal. In more populated areas, public Wi-Fi can be found easily or purchased from hotels where you might be staying. If you take your smartphone or tablet with you, you can also search for any number of apps that let you know where free Wi-Fi is available. Just be cautious using free networks as they are often insecure.
If you travel a lot, are concerned about security, or just want to have Wi-Fi everywhere – not just in your hotel – you can find networks of hotspots (Wi-Fi locations). There are companies that specialise in creating Wi-Fi networks around the world. They then open up that network to anyone who signs up for their service. Boingo and iPass are two, each with over 1 million hotspots globally and require monthly fees to join the network. If you’d rather just get connected during your travel, there are companies that will rent a Wi-Fi hotspot device you take with you (which then connects to their network), usually for a flat daily rate. When you get home you return it and there are no further charges.
So it’s easy to stay in touch wherever you go. You can assure your loved ones that you’re safe and sound by using a web-based SMS service like NetMessenger. You don’t have to wait until the next time you’re travelling though. Sign up for a free account today, take NetMessenger for a test drive and be ready for your next trip.
In order to appeal to new customers and interact with existing ones, businesses are always looking for new marketing methods. Whilst many companies are using traditional and online marketing techniques, these aren’t always effective. Email filtering, for example, means that many recipients may not even be aware that they’ve received contact from your company. As many email hosts provide in-built spam filters, it’s easy for email marketing content to be overlooked or ignored completely. SMS marketing, however, overcomes many of the obstacles associated with online and email marketing. Whilst potential customers may not see your company emails, SMS messages aren’t filtered in the same way. The delivery rate is, therefore, far higher for SMS messages in comparison to marketing emails.
Even great hotels sometimes have a mix up or some sort of problem that can affect a guest. And with social media and hotel review sites, chances are a disgruntled guest isn’t going to keep their complaints to themselves. Here are three examples of how to use SMS messaging to gauge customer satisfaction.
The travel industry has made some inroads into using SMS messaging, but hasn’t yet taken real advantage of the potential of A2P messaging. Find out how it can be used to save time and provide the high-quality service today’s mobile travellers expect.
The campervan and caravan industry grew 16% this past year. Campsite and holiday park owners can connect with the thousands of new travellers using SMS messaging. After all, 76% of travellers prefer to take their mobile on holiday rather than a friend.
For travel agencies, SMS messaging allows you to connect with travellers on a one-to-one, or one-to-many basis, yet still be personal. How can that be? People guard their mobile numbers and only share them with the people or businesses they really want to hear from. It's their personal number after all, and they won't hand it out to just anyone.
SMS marketing has seen a huge uplift in popularity in recent years, with big brands investing in the technology to better engage with their customers. There are so many benefits of SMS marketing, from the ability to directly to reach customers with your communications, to the fact that over 80% of SMS texts are read. With over approximately 90% of the world receiving mobile coverage, you’re highly likely to be able to reach your audience, regardless of where they are. SMS marketing is cost effective, and campaigns are quick to develop, in as short a time period as the time it takes to write a text message. This gives you the advantage of being able to communicate quickly, and effectively with customers, reacting to information almost instantaneously. With so many reasons to use SMS marketing, we’ve highlighted four sectors successfully using SMS messaging as case studies to highlight the advantages of investing in the technology.
With the summer peak season fast approaching, now is the perfect time for hotels to keep in touch with their guests and take advantage of upselling and cross-selling techniques to increase revenues. In this article, we demonstrate how to use SMS marketing to make the most of the opportunities in both and unlock added value for your business.
Online travel and review sites are great for travellers. They are good for hotels too, but they offer a double edged sword. User reviews are unfiltered – that is the travellers can say whatever they like both good and bad. And managing a bad review can be difficult, but how can SMS help?