Envision - mobile marketing case study
Envision was founded in 2000 by four young people. The organisation aims to challenge the general perception that young people are apathetic and disengaged - unconcerned with the challenges that face Britain and the world in the 21st Century. Envision's simple model supports young people to develop the skills, awareness, confidence and motivation.
Envision uses a network of adult volunteers to go to a local school and meet with the sixth form students in the Envision Programme in their lunch break to discuss and offer advice on various projects that the students think up. The volunteers who generally come from a business background are really there to motivate and to keep projects on track, keeping momentum as it were. This partnership between the adults and students clearly needed some way of keeping in touch.
Envision decided that SMS text messaging was the way forward - especially since 80% of students had a mobile phones. Not all the students had access to email, so in that sense SMS was perfect and immediate. Matt Price the Envision Programme Manager, needed a way to inform of the students of forthcoming events and meetings. He also needed a simple way to individual teams of students all at once. "It was too time consuming to put all students mobile numbers into the phone of the volunteer. Also some volunteers do not want the students to have their personal mobile numbers, so it is quite handy that the messages come directly from the system."
We regularly send text messages to remind students of meetings the next day for example. Occasionally the volunteers might send project related stuff through via email and text as well.
Envision started to use the Sign-Up.to facility over four years ago. Previously they used the online system from O2 which was fine but had a limit of sending a maximum of 5 texts at a time. Some of their student groups are 40 strong, so this approach was beginning to be very time consuming.
Matt's student groups range between two and forty members. While you might think it would be easier for some of his volunteers to simply text two students directly from their phones, this approach is discouraged as it is useful for everything to be tracked in the system - so he can see a history of all the messages that have been sent by all volunteers in the one place. "Even with just maybe 6 or 7 students to contact, it would be a hassle without Sign-Up.to", says Matt.
Matt also uses the system from a more macro level for his organisation to contact their team of volunteers. It is essential for Matt to be aware of whether the students and the volunteers are meeting and with the system he is able to monitor this easily.
I asked Matt if there was any part of the system that he found particularly useful. "We think the "Timed Sequence" facility is brilliant. I need to be able to create campaigns when I think about them and when I have time and not just on the day that I need to send them. So I tend to do these around a week in advance and then set the timer. Also we now have over 80 schools taking part in our Programme and to co-ordinate all of these on the right day would be a real nightmare. It's far better for me to organise this at the start of the week or even month and to set the timer sequence to send the message on exactly the right day."
"Further, given the nature of our communications and target audience, actually telephoning students during the day simply wouldn't work. We rely on being able to send a less obtrusive text reminding students of their meeting that day."
"We are able to send messages to very specific groups within our total database. It's very flexible! I also like the fact that with the in-built security system, I can set it so that volunteers are only able to see the messages that they have sent, whereas I can monitor the sends of all the users at once. I also have control over who can and can't add new subscriber names to avoid any possible abuse. It's almost like I am giving the volunteers a slim down version!"
I asked Matt if using Sign-Up.to has made a difference to his business. "We'd definitely use text messaging a lot less, as other systems can be very cumbersome. In our line of work, sending out frequent, relevant and immediate text messages is essential - and Sign-up.to helps us to do that in a really simple and cost effective way."
I've found the Sign-Up.to team good people to work with. Whenever I've raised support issues they have been resolved promptly and the issues explained. The system works well for us and is convenient.
Visit Envision's website :
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