Newsletter distribution

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Southend in Transition use Gmail and the Android app Go SMS to send out monthly updates to their mailing list. When someone is added to the mailing list, both their email address and mobile phone number are stored alongside their name in the group’s Gmail contacts. These Gmail contacts are then synced with the contact list on a smartphone, allowing the Go SMS app to send text messages to the Gmail contacts. As the app is limited to sending 100 SMS per hour, text updates are set up to be sent in batches of 100 using the scheduling function of the app. This allows them to send their updates during a defined time period, usually between 9am and 8pm so as not to be intrusive, and a few days before an upcoming event to provide a useful reminder. This system proved easy and convenient once set up, and it takes them around 15 minutes to write and schedule messages each month. Feedback from those receiving the messages has indicated that the text messages are particularly helpful for people to keep track of the group’s events.