Thursday, 23 September 2010

Our new sign-up plans.

We've made a few changes at Taykt.com, including re-opened our free signups.

Our policy has been to charge the person receiving the text message to pay for the service. We're removing that, so no-one is being charged 25p any more. Instead, you can now respond to text messages for free. What we do is give you 25 messages you can respond to each month (this is for a limited time). After that, if you need more messages, you can buy them.

The number has changed: 82958 is on the way out, and instead we use 07786-20-111-44. Which works globally, meaning we're no longer limited to the UK.

Try out Taykt.com and let us know what you think.

If you need text-in words on a short code (5 digit phone number), or you want your customers to pay for the cost of the messages, then get in touch. We can offer those services for a fee.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Using Taykt to find local information.

Premasagar, Daniel, Sym & Tom found a great use for Taykt at the Rewired State hack day last month.

As Premasagar writes: "There are 61 million people in the UK and 10 million of them have never used the Web. How would you help someone to get online for the first time? [...] The job of the Government’s UK Online Centres is to help bridge the digital divide".

They did this by building a service with Taykt. "In just a few hours, we had created an SMS text message service, which allows people to text their postcode to a short phone number, and be texted back details of their nearest UK Online centre."

We think that's a great example of using Taykt, and nicely done. We received some wonderful feedback on the API from the team which we hope to use to improve the service, and they were kind enough to say that Taykt "takes the pain out of dealing with mobile networks" and Tom described it as an excellent service. Thank you!

Read more about this project:
We're making some changes to the service to make it even easier to use, and will be re-opening our basic plans shortly.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

FInd people for your group with Taykt

Text is so inclusive and easy to use it's a great way to find people to join your project or group. You put the Taykt number and your word on a poster in a place where you might expect to find likely candidates and they'll know what to do.

We saw a great example of this the other week. Alistair, who registered the word CHOIR, used Taykt as a way to recruit for his choir:



I asked Alistair how Taykt was working for him. He said:
"It's working perfectly, we're using it to recruit a choir for a concert we're putting on in Glasgow, so the number plus T&Cs line is on posters, and had about two responses a day since it went out at the end of last week, which is brilliant."
That's a great and effective use of Taykt.

You can get started with Taykt today. And you can follow us on Twitter.


Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Taykt for Radio

There are a number of radio stations using Taykt as an easy way to interact with listeners. The idea is you register your station name with Taykt (for free) and then ask your listeners to text the station name followed by their message to 82958.

What happens then? Well, the most popular approach we've seen is to turn on email forwarding in Taykt, and have the listeners' message arrive in your inbox.

To turn on mail forwarding, login, edit your word and select mail forwarding from the options on the left:

To pay for the service the listener is charged 25p when they text in. But that's just the basic plan: you can try the agency plan, and the texts don't incur the 25p charge. Try it out, see how it works for you, and let us know.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Using Taykt to enhance window vacancies for recruitment agencies



Window vacancies are a great way to start conversations with potential candidates passing by. But what about those who aren't able to engage? It may be after hours or an inconvenient time. Taykt allows you to provide your potential candidates with the information they need so they can start the conversation at a more convenient time. Better to defer the conversation than lose it.

Here are three ideas for how Taykt can achieve this:

1. Return a standard message containing relevant contact details. A phone number, email, address and business hours. Do this by having a banner either on each vacancy or somewhere prominent on the display. For example "Text jobs to 82958 for our contact details". For the image above the response message might be

Tate
Ph:01273 324255,
Hrs:10-6M-F,
Address:7 Queens Rd,
Brighton,
Sussex BN1 3XF‎
web:www.tate.co.uk
email:brighton@tate.co.uk

(We hope it's clear we're not associated with Tate : we're just using their windows as an example)

2. Provide specific information about vacancies. As with the previous example we ask potential candidates to text to receive take away information. In this example however we hand craft a specific vacancy response and use a custom text-in word per vacancy. For example "Text 'techSup' to 82957". An example response could be:

Technical Support Engineer,
£25000-£30000 per annum,
Permanent,
Burgess Hill.
Ph:01273 324255,
web:www.tate.co.uk
email:brighton@tate.co.uk

or perhaps include a link to the on-line description:



3. The previous method has the downside of being high maintenance as you need to manually add every vacancy. An easier approach would be, where possible, to use a Webhook to do the heavy lifting for you. As with the previous example we ask potential candidates to text to receive take away information but we add one extra bit of information: a job reference. Using a Webhook we pass their message, including the job reference to your servers. You can then dynamically generate a response. For example the candidate would text 'job 69803' to Taykt and using a Webhook we could retrieve the details for job '69893' and send it back.

Or, if the vacancy has been filled perhaps a different response.
Sorry that vacancy has been filled.
We have similar roles available why
not call us to discuss on 01273 324255
or visit the website www.tate.co.uk.

Any of these solutions lets potential candidates take your information away with them in an easy, no-hassle manner: No looking for pens and paper, no taking blurry photos with phones camera or trying to enter the contact details into their phone manually. Just text and go.

This plants the seed without taking valuable time and effort on the potential candidates behalf. They can then contact you later when it is convenient. You get the piece of mind that they have the correct details with them and they are legible.

You can sign up for free to try this at Taykt.com. If you want to integrate text into your vacancies database, point your developers at our API.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Better SMS Campaign tracking with Google Analytics

If you'd like to know more about how your text-in words are performing, Google Analytics provides a wonderful tool to let you do this.

Taykt can inform Google Analytics each time you receive a text, meaning you see all your SMSs received in the Google reporting tool:

You can enable tracking by supplying your Google tracking code when editing a word:

The tracking code tells Google Analytics which profile to record SMS events against.

You can create a new profile in Google Analytics just for Taykt SMS events, or you can use an existing profile and have Taykt SMS events appear in that report. Which route to take depends on how you're using Taykt. If Taykt is being used for a campaign, a single profile probably makes sense so you can see how different mediums compares (SMS vs web). If however Taykt is being used to enhance customer experience you may wish to use a different profile to keep Taykt traffic separate from existing traffic sources such as web. You choose when you decide which Google Analytics tracking code to use.

If you'd like to stop tracking on a particular text-in word simply remove the tracking code from the text box.

Google Analytic tracking is only available for the Agency plan. You can try the agency plan free for two months.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Pricing Plans

We've introduced several plans to Taykt to provide extra flexibility for those who need it. Some of these plans are free for a limited time.

Here's an overview of the different plans:

Basic

The standard plan, no changes here, still free to create words.

SOHO

Your words no longer expire, so no worrying if you'll forget to renew them. The number of words that can be created has been increased to 25. Plus you have the ability to send a follow-up broadcast (more on this below).

Agency

All the features of the SOHO plan with an increased word allocation to 250, and optional recipient charging. Normally all messages cost the receiver 25p, but the Agency plan allows you to do away with that and send the message without this 25p premium charge to the mobile user. We're adding Google Analytic integration, too.

Corporate

A dedicated short code, and your company branding.

Those are the plans, and here are the details on the new facilities.

What is a follow-up broadcast?

A follow-up broadcast allows you to reply to the people that have texted your word. It doesn't incur a further cost to the recipient.

An example would be informing participants of a the result of an SMS poll.
When someone texts the poll the initial reply would thank them for their participation. When a predefined date or a given number of votes has been registered you would send a broadcast text to all those who voted informing them of the result.

What is optional recipient charging?

By default all words that are texted to Taykt attract a 25p premium rate charge for the person texting in. This allows us to cover the cost of the service. However, this may not be ideal for you or your target market. With optional recipient charging you can choose whether the recipients are charge the 25p or if you would prefer to cover the cost. If you cover the cost the messages are deducted from your message quota.

What is a message quota?

This is the number of free messages that are included in your plan. Quota messages are used when either a broadcast message or an optional recipient charge message is sent. If you use your quota for the month we're planning to allow you to top up with a bundle of messages

What do you think?

We'd love your feedback on this, so we've made the plans available without cost for a little while. You can find out more and sign up from the plans page on Taykt.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Video about Taykt

We've created a short video to explain the idea behind Taykt and how you might use it. Watch it and tell us what you think.







Thursday, 13 May 2010

When to use SMS

Text messaging has some great features for your customers, which can only be good for your business or event. Understanding these features will let you know how to best use Taykt.com.
  1. Light touch compared to calling. When someone texts your word to 82958, they're getting to know about what you're promoting without having to commit to a conversation. Don't under-estimate the power of this way to engage with potential customers.

  2. Immediate action. If you have information to go (dates, times, places...) letting people text in to your ad, poster or blackboard means they can take an immediate action. How does that compare to hoping they remember?

  3. Everyone knows how to text, wherever they are. For all practical purposes, that is, all your customers can text your word and take your information with them. It's hard for other services to give you that kind of coverage, especially if your customers are in a cafe, walking around town, in the park, in a car, reading your publication, on the train... the list goes on.

  4. Text responses can change anytime you like. Fixed messages on a sign, printed page or poster are exactly that: fixed, and painful to change. Add a text in word and you turn that fixed message into something more dynamic, because you can change the message that's sent back whenever you like.

  5. Easy to type. Compared to a 11 digit phone number, an email address or a web site address, our 82958 number is easy for your customers to use. (Did you know that 82958 spells out "Taykt" on your handset?)

  6. Expandable. We've made it trivially easy to set up an auto response when someone texts in your word, but you can take it further and build apps that interact with your customers. Our API lets your app receive the text message and decide what you want to send back. Is this the second time someone has texted in? Well, maybe send back something different this time. You can do that.

That's a few pointers to how SMS is a little different from other ways to interact. You can put them into practice over at taykt.com.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

SMS: familiar, growing.

For a recent presentation we looked up the latest Mobile Data Association figures for UK text traffic, and we thought we'd share that with you here:

And there's a quote from Steve Reynolds, the MDA chairman, which nicely reminds us that text is a wonderfully familiar way to make contact:
"The majority of mobile phone users know how to quickly send a text message, wherever they happen to be. It will still be some time before the same can be said for other social messaging forms."

Give Taykt a go, and set up text interactions with your customers, so they can use your services "wherever they happen to be".

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Tech Note: Integrate Taykt with your existing application

If you would like to use Taykt with your own applications, you'll be glad to know that we have a great API to help with that. If your own app has an existing customer base, you might need a way to link Taykt messages to their account in your application. Assuming you currently use the customer phone number, you might be wondering how to do that because Taykt doesn't make the phone number available for privacy reasons. The answer is to use the unique ID we assign to each phone number, and this tech note describes how to set that up.

Although you can't convert a unique ID into a phone number, your customers can. There are several ways for your customers to get this information to you. You could set up a word and web hook and ask them to SMS a confirmation message with a piece of common information, such as their username. Your web hook would be triggered when they text in and supply you the unique ID (as we always do for any web hooks) along with the username the customer texted in. From that point on, you know the unique ID associated to the account, and the unique ID is the same for the same phone number.

Another way would be to setup a word and web hook that echos the customer's Taykt unique ID to them in the response message. Your customer would then able to login to your website and update there details.

A simple example of the web hook to echo customers unique ID to them can be found on github. A running example of the service can be found on appengine. To try the service, text MYID to 82958. Messages cost 25p. To try the webhook from the command line: curl http://taykt-demo.appspot.com/echo -d pid="MyId"

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Use Taykt to Market to Passing Foot Traffic.

@bradpollard spotted a great example of SMS being used to get information into the hands of anyone passing by:



If you're interested in yoga it's a great service, as you don't have to stop your journey: you can pick up the information as you're walking. If you're running a Yoga course this is powerful as you're contacting passing foot traffic that maybe wouldn't have normally taken that first step to thinking about your courses.

You can use Taykt to do this. Ok, you can't send a blank text to Taykt to get information, but you could send the word YOGA to 82958 (and its shorter in total than sending a blank text to an 11 digit mobile number :-)

Here's how you could set it up...

First, visit http://taykt.com and enter your word and message:



You're almost there: just give us an email address and password, so you can come back and change your message if you want to:



Congratulations, you've set up your word and message:



You can now say: "Text YOGA to 82958 to receive a copy of our current timetable. Text costs 25p".



Pop over to Taykt.com and give it a go. Or if you have ideas for using SMS, get in touch and we'll tell you how you can make them work with Taykt.