Wednesday, April 11, 2012
By Ryan Koven
The average media consumer is buffeted by television commercials, pop-up ads, streaming video on the web, and an array of print ads and other visual distractions over the course of a day. So if you’re trying to build your brand or win an election, it’s hard to get noticed. It’s even harder to surprise people. But there’s hope in one of the great science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke’s three “Laws”: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. We’ve got a new way for you to wow people. CallFire Long Code phone numbers will open new possibilities for interaction with people. You can communicate with a Long Code by SMS text messaging and by voice. So a text to your Long Code can trigger an auto-response text, and you can forward a phone call to your Long Code to an IVR, or another phone number. Let’s say you keep a Long Code number as a “voter hotline” that potential supporters of your candidate can call for information. Maybe you have a database of voters that includes the phone number and the address for each voter. You can create a CallFire IVR campaign that forwards the call to a volunteer call center, and (here’s the fun part), checks to see if the caller id for the phone that called the Long Code is a cellphone number for a voter in your database. If it is, you can have your IVR trigger a text message (sent from your Long Code) to the voter with the location of the voter’s polling place. The creative possibilities for a Long Code are essentially unbounded. You can capture the caller IDs for the people that call your Long Code, and send a text campaign to those numbers a later time, or periodically, knowing that any response texts will be captured by the Long Code. Your Long Code can become a true mobile contact for your customers—stored in a phone and ready for calls and text messages, just like the mobile numbers for friends and family. Your text and voice campaigns don’t need to be one-sided, hectoring, lecturing, and boring. Long Codes keep the conversation going. We’re just waiting to see what you’ll do with them.