How to Use Internal SMS for Efficient Staff Communication

It can be frustrating to reach staff or volunteers for important updates, even more so when they are spread out or on the go. Fortunately, there is one constant – mobile phones.

With a texting tool like CallHub you can send internal SMS to your entire staff, letting them know about important organizational updates or urgent notices immediately. 

The tool also allows you to conduct employee surveys to collect important feedback from your staff.

What are some examples of internal communication?

You can use texts for anything from:

  • Meeting alerts
  • Weather alerts
  • Business updates
  • HR updates
  • Internal job postings
  • Cafeteria menus

Let’s talk about:

  • Why text messages are an effective staff communication channel
  • How you can get staff subscribed to your text alerts
  • How you can start sending alerts and conducting surveys
  • Text message templates you can use

Why use SMS for staff communication?

Here’s why SMS is such a great channel for internal communication.

  • Staff don’t need to download an app, or have a smartphone, or an internet connection
  • Texts have an open rate of around 98%, with the response rates going as high as 40% to 50%
  • 90% of texts are read within the first 15 minutes. 
  • Text messages are cost-effective (whether it’s pay-as-you-go or subscription)

Want to start sending internal SMS for alerts and updates to staff? 

You will need to get them subscribed to your contact list first:

Getting staff opted-in

Upload an existing contact list

If you already have a contact list with the phone numbers of all your staff, you can upload them into CallHub as a phonebook.

There are two ways to do this:

  1. Upload a csv. file of your contact list into CallHub
import-contacts
  1. Integrate your CRM with CallHub to import contact lists

View the full list of CallHub’s CRM integrations here.

If you don’t have an existing list, you can create a new phonebook by:

Gathering opt-ins through text

Step 1: 

Choose SMS Opt-in from the CallHub dashboard

Step 2: 

Select a phone number that is used to assign the incoming message to your campaign. You can also use a shared shortcode for SMS Opt-In campaigns. 

shortcode-vs-longcode

Read more about shortcodes here.

opt-in-number-keyword

Step 3: Creating prompt flow: 

You can collect additional details from staff to personalize your messages with the help of prompts.

The prompt message is the message that is sent to staff to let them know what data is required from them.

Response field determines the data you collect from the contact i.e by default – email, name, country code, city, state, zip code, address, contact number, etc. 

automated-prompt-opt-in

Select the response field and add a prompt message. Then click on “Next prompt” to add more prompts.

Step 4: 

All that’s left is to advertise your keyword and shortcode/long code to staff and ask them to sign up for internal SMS alerts.

  • Put up posters and signage at work events to prompt staff to sign up.
  • Include a CTA to opt-in in your emails for those staff not in your SMS list.

Sending updates through mass texts

Mass texting allows you to send personalized internal SMS to staff. You can schedule a mass text to go out, and it will autofill each individual contact’s details, as long as you have them in your database.

Step 1:

Choose Text Broadcast from the CallHub dashboard

text-broadcast

In a mass texting campaign, 

  • A campaign manager uploads a contact list. 
  • Creates a text broadcast campaign targeting that list. 
  • Drafts a text message, personalizing it with merge tags like {first-name}.

Learn how you can set up a mass text campaign with CallHub.

Once in campaign setup, you can name your campaign, choose the phone book you want to engage, and set a caller ID (shortcode/long code).

Step 2:

Enter the initial message you want to broadcast to your contact list

weekly catchup text reminder

Step 3:

In addition, you will need to enable automated replies within the campaign.

auto reply text

You can set a keyword that will trigger your reply to go out.

Step 4:

Once you schedule your campaign, your initial mass texts will go out. Any automated replies that were set up will only be sent within the start and end date.

schedule-mass-text

Conduct employee surveys

Here’s how you can use peer-to-peer texting to survey your staff with CallHub.

In a peer-to-peer-texting campaign, 

  • A campaign manager uploads a contact list.
  • Assigns a batch of contacts to each agent. 
  • Agents then reach out and engage people in one-to-one conversations. 

Each agent can send out around 3500 texts in the span of an hour with data collected from conversations instantly syncing with your CRM.
Learn how you can set up a peer-to-peer texting campaign with CallHub.

Step 1:

Choose peer-to-peer texting in the CallHub dashboard:

peer-to-peer-texting

Once you’re in campaign setup, you can name your campaign, choose the phone book you want to engage, and set a caller ID (shortcode/long code).

Step 2:

Add templates for your initial message and questions agents need to ask.

volunteer survey text

In addition, you can add saved replies. Your agents/volunteers can choose and send these standard replies to contacts. 

peer-to-peer-sms-survey

As your agents receive responses from contacts, they can fill in the survey responses. This data is synced back to your CRM if you have integrated it with CallHub.

If not, you can export them as a CSV file.

Internal SMS examples

Let’s look at a few ways organizations can send texts for internal communication with examples:

Meeting alerts

Scheduling a text message to go out in advance means you don’t need to worry about making last minute reminders to staff.

To everyone: The quarterly Town Hall is scheduled for 6PM on Monday. Check your Calendar for the link.

Weather alerts

Send mass texts to alert staff of cancellations and postponements because of bad weather.

Storm front alert this morning. Feel free to work from home. Contact your respective team leads to coordinate.

Business updates

Send company-wide updates, or just alert segments of staff by choosing the respective phonebooks to send a mass text message to.

Hey Joy. The Annual sales report is out. Take a look here: {URL}. If you have any questions, you can reach out to Ryan.

HR updates

Alert staff about deadlines for filling out and submitting paperwork through text messages.

Hi Jack. This is your last reminder to fill out the Insurance forms for this year by the 25th. Contact Carla at HR if you have any questions.

Internal job postings

Need help recruiting candidates. Gather the help of staff with a text alert.

Hi George. We’re looking for a graphic designer to spruce up our web pages. Let us know if you have any leads. Reach out to Carla with any questions.

Cafeteria menu

Something new in the menu? Let staff know with a text.

Hi all. Chef Mike has cooked up the perfect mashed potato dish in anticipation of Thanksgiving. See you in the cafeteria!

Internal SMS features

Here are some features from CallHub to make sending texts easier and more personalized:

Send a nudge

Set up an automatic follow-up message to go out if your contact doesn’t reply to your previous one.

You can schedule this message to go out hours or even days after your last one.

sms-nudge

Personalize your texts

Personalize your text messages using the contact’s first name and specific details with the help of merge tags.

Merge tags help you to customize your message by adding dynamic fields like the first name, email address, phone number, address or any details that are collected and added in the contacts for your campaign. 

custom-fields-sms

Set up automatic replies

Avoid leaving your staff hanging by sending automatic text replies for mass texting campaigns. 

Customize which reply goes out based on the keyword your contacts send in.

automated-text-reply

Collect data to your CRM

Create profiles back in Blackbaud, NationBuilder, Salesforce and Action Network for your contacts, with their survey answers. Take a look at our full list of Integrations, 

If you can’t find your CRM in our list, you can also use our Zapier integration to connect existing tools to CallHub.

integrations-callhub

Ready to start sending internal SMS to keep staff members in the loop? Sign up for CallHub and try it out for free.