With so many of us working from home, staying connected with co-workers through conference calls and Zoom meetings has never been more important. But with so many virtual appointments, we can become numb to the calendar reminders that constantly pop up on our computer screens.
Thanks to technology, we can perform our jobs as well remotely as we did when we were in the office. But the sameness of our daily routines can make one day blend into the next, so much so that we often rely on our digital calendars to simply tell us which day of week it is.
Getting reminders for meetings, personal appointments and chunks of time that we block off so we can focus on a project means we get a lot of calendar notifications every day. At some point, we may start tuning them out. We set them up, so we know what they’re telling us.
On the other hand, getting a text reminding us about a meeting can get our attention, especially when it contains detailed and important information that we find useful. Emails get lost in crowded inboxes and 97% of people ignore phone calls. Texts get noticed.
Ensure attendees never miss a meeting with SMS notifications
Who hasn’t had that sinking feeling when you realize you missed an important event? We’ve all heard the excuse that a meeting just slipped someone’s mind. Things can get lost in an email thread or buried in a busy calendar. But a text notification sent to your smartphone is harder to miss. Having someone text you to remind you about an upcoming meeting can be more effective than seeing a calendar reminder. Outlook and Google alerts are helpful, but how many of us reflexively snooze or dismiss these notifications as soon as they pop up?
Over time, any tool designed to get our attention will lose some effectiveness if we see it often enough. It can become the noise rather than the signal. By contrast, a text alert stands out. Phone manufacturers and app designers made sure of that.
Setting up a reminder text can be done quickly with business texting software.
Some employees disable calendar alerts because they find them distracting. Or, they opt to be reminded when the meeting starts rather than 10 to 15 minutes beforehand, time they could use to wrap up their current project and prepare for the upcoming conference call.
For organizers, having even one or two people join late can affect the rhythm of the meeting. Not only can latecomers interrupt the flow of a discussion, information that was already covered often needs to be repeated for their benefit and so everyone is up to speed.
Reduce stress by using the scheduled text message feature
Two-way, conversational texts (unlike short codes) are more personal than calendar alerts. The sender can include last-minute details about the meeting and even attach an image of the agenda. Best of all, there’s no need to rush when creating a reminder text.
The Scheduled Message feature allows you to create the text in advance and schedule the date and time for it to be sent. If it needs to be edited or the delivery date changed, that can be done easily.
Zipwhip allows for 600 characters per text (compared to 160 characters for most other providers) giving you greater freedom and flexibility to share information. This higher character count means more meeting details can be included, a link can be added as well as a custom signature to automatically personalize your message.
How to set up conference call reminders
1. Log in to your Zipwhip account.
2. Choose the Scheduled Messages icon in the left nav bar.
3. Click the “Add Scheduled Message” button.
4. In the “To:” field, type the names or phone numbers of your recipients.
5. Type the conference call reminder message in the text window.
6. Select the date and time for the text to be sent.
7. Click the “Schedule” button.
Easily edit and update scheduled messages that are waiting to be sent
Once a message has been scheduled, it can be updated at any time prior to it being delivered. Additional recipients can be added, the date and time can be changed, and the copy can be edited or expanded upon as the highlighted words show in the image below.
To update a scheduled message, simply click the “Scheduled Messages” clock-face icon in the Zipwhip app. If multiple messages have been scheduled, you can sort them by the “earliest to send” or “latest to send” filter. A list of previously scheduled messages that have already been delivered is also available.
Why are texts so effective in getting our attention?
Texts are appealing. They capture our attention in a way that other message alerts and reminders can’t. A text message lights up our smartphone and signals to our brain that we should pay attention. It compels us to shift our focus to this unexpected stimulus.
Depending on the preference of the meeting organizer, a reminder text can be sent the day before the meeting and another text sent shortly before it starts to ensure everyone is aware of the importance of beginning on time. This is especially helpful for groups that may not meet frequently but nevertheless need to adhere to a tight schedule.
Check out these 5 tips for productive and professional video conference calls.
Text reminders are for more than just business meetings
Calendar reminders work well when interacting with co-workers between 8-5, but a lot of conference calls and Zoom meetings are now conducted with people outside of our jobs. In the past these gatherings took place in person, but with social distancing, most have moved online. School board meetings, town halls, various committees, social clubs and other group conversations are being streamed live.
Keeping attendees informed and up to date about the start time and discussion topics is key. While the initial invitation and details about a meeting might be sent by email, text alerts sent shortly before a meeting are a good way to ensure everyone comes together on time.
Whether you’re a company or a private or public group that meets regularly, business texting software can help you stay connected. And when in-person meetings resume in the future, texting will continue to be one of your most convenient and valuable communication tools.
Get started with an affordable business texting plan by choosing the one that’s right for you.