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Communication Methods

With so many methods and notification types, what’s the best time to use push, SMS or email?

Ento offers a range of notification types and different companies like to use them in different ways. There are so many different factors to consider when determining exactly what notifications should be delivered by which method – how urgent is it, does it need to be tracked/recorded, is it just a friendly reminder, does it require actioning?
Along with the above, there’s also the fact that different users may prefer different notification types – it’s become increasingly popular for push notifications to deliver all alerts, but some less technical users may not appreciate them.

Push notifications vs SMS

Push and SMS have some similarities in that they’re both generally much more ‘immediately’ delivered and can even display very similarly to the end user. They’re often providing a much shorter message and alert the user when they come in. But while SMS goes through a traditional delivery process via a phone provider, and remains in that users messages app, the push notification will only display in the Ento app itself, and so has some more modern requirements and options available to the user.
Similarly, the process of going through a phone provider can be tracked, letting you know that the receiver actually received the message.  Push notifications on the other hand, need to go through iOS or Android queues, and aren’t able to be tracked as easily, instead just advising when it was delivered to the queue. Similarly, these can get caught behind permission settings, or missed if the user receives it before their phone restarts, they’re not logged in, or if they don’t have the app at all!
That said, push notifications provide a nicer, branded message to the user, and allow linking directly into the app for follow up, and separates these out from standard SMS messages. While some users will be more likely to open an SMS quicker, as it may be a message from a friend or family member, a branded notification does allow them to leave it until they want to handle it. Studies indicate that SMS are generally opened within three minutes of being received, whereas push notifications can range between seven and 48 minutes.
Push notifications can be great for general updates to leave, workflows and rosters, where they aren’t urgent but nice to keep the user notified about.
SMS provides a service that almost everyone is comfortable with, and can be tracked and easily handled. These are the most likely to be immediately opened, so shift updates, pickup requests, reminders, etc can all benefit from being sent via SMS.

Push/SMS vs Email

Email certainly allows for a few benefits over Push/SMS:

  • Longer messages
  • Depending on the user, doesn’t immediately alert them each time, which could be considered annoying
  • Remains in their inbox as a quick reference
  • Can have a ‘link receipt’ which will advise you when they’ve clicked the link with some providers.

All of these things are worth considering – it’s great to be able to see when some staff see their roster summary for next month, for instance, and they don’t need to get that absolutely immediately. Similarly, it would allow that information to be displayed in full, and not condensed, and they can refer to it later.
Essentially, a good mix can be a great idea, based on the type of notification, or even split based on your user base, as different employee Permission profiles can have different notification set ups.
If you have any questions or want a suggestion for your specific configuration, please feel free to get in touch with our support team at contact@ento.com

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