Learn the important terms you need to know for responsible and effective calling and texting campaigns.
Answering Machine - a device that records a message from a caller. In a voice broadcasting campaign, about 1/3 of the outbound calls are answered by a machine.
Answering Machine Detection - AMD technology not only works well on answering machines but also on voicemail systems.
Answering Machine Greeting - The greeting plays after the phone call is answered. After the 'beep', the recording will be played and recorded to the answering machine or voicemail box.
Appointment Reminder - One common use of automated calling and mass texting is to quickly and easily send out important reminders about upcoming appointments with customers. It's used by home services companies and medical offices as well as many other industries.
Area Code - Usually a 3-digit number that identifies a particular telephone service area in a country such as the U.S. or Canada. See the complete list of area codes.
Automated Calling - is a technology that delivers your pre-recorded telephone message to 100s or 1,000s of your customers in a very short amount of time.
Automated Survey - a type of voice broadcast that allows your customers to answer a series of questions using the DTMF keys on their phone. The responses are instantly collected and saved in the call broadcast report.
Billing Increments - indicate the minimum and incremental measures of time that are used to calculate the duration of each call for billing purposes. Billing increments can range from 60 seconds to 6 seconds.
Busy - is the call disposition indicating that a phone line is in use. There is no charge for these calls. Sigma Voice has an optional setting to 'retry busy' phone numbers up to 5 times to help ensure your message is delivered to every one of your contacts.
Call Dispositions - After each phone call is completed, the system will disposition the phone call. Below are a few of the most common dispositions.
Please note that Sigma Voice only allows customers to use their own contact lists.
Caller ID - Caller Identification refers to the caller’s phone number that is displayed on the recipient’s phone before the call is answered. In addition to the Caller ID, a Caller Name may be displayed as well. Sigma Voice allows our customers to use their own organization phone numbers as Caller IDs.
Do Not Call (DNC) - This is your block list of phone numbers that have requested to be removed from your call and/or text broadcasts. Sigma Voice automatically removes any DNC phone numbers from your call and text broadcasts every time.
Express Written Consent - Express written consent is permission for something that is given specifically in writing. Express consent contrasts with implied consent, which is an assumption of permission that is inferred from actions on the part of the individual.
GOTV Campaign - GOTV stands for "Get Out The Vote". The goal of a GOTV Campaign is to register new voters and increase overall voter turnout during elections and runoff elections.
Human Answer - is a call disposition. About 1/3 of the outbound calls are answered by a human. Typically, your contact will answer their phone and say 'Hello' and within a second or two, your recording will begin to play. With a human answer, there is an option to transfer or respond to survey questions using the keypad.
IVR - Interactive voice response (IVR) is a technology that allows humans to interact with a computer-operated phone system through the use of voice and DTMF tones input using the keypad. An IVR can be used for making outbound phone calls, receiving inbound phone calls or a combination of the two.
Live Transfer - is also known as a 'patch through' or 'press 1'. A live transfer can only happen when a human answers. In the recording, the voice will say something like 'press 1 to schedule your appointment. When that happens, Sigma Voice creates a new phone call and connects it to a phone number
Long Code - A long code number is a standard phone number used to send and receive voice calls and SMS messages. Sigma Voice offers long codes for mass texting.
MMS - Multimedia Messaging Service is a standard way to send messages that include multimedia content like images and video to and from a mobile phone over a cellular network.
No Answer - is a call disposition. Depending on the quality of the phone list about 1/3 of the outbound calls will not be answered by a human or a machine. Also, there is no cost for 'no answer' calls.
Personalization - refers to 'merging in' contact data like first name and last name in the recording or text message. It can lead to higher response rates if used properly.
Phone Lines - You have access to up to 50 Sigma Voice phone lines with your account. That means you can call about 50 contacts per minute or 3,000 contacts per hour. Keep in mind that a percentage of your contacts will call back the phone number of their Caller ID display.
Phone List - your phone list must be a list of your customers, employees or members. Purchased phone lists may not be used on the Sigma Voice platform. Your phone list can include first name and last name as well as the phone number.
Phone Number - must be in a 10 digit format. Sigma Voice can call the United States and Canada. If your phone numbers contain parentheses or dashes, that's ok.
Phone Tree - a system for contacting a large number of people quickly in which each person called then phones a number of other designated people. With a really large group of people, a manual phone tree may not make sense. Sigma Voice offers an automated phone tree that can call 100 people within minutes for about $6.
Recording - The recording can be as long or as short as you like. The average is about 30 seconds. The recording can be created by calling our dedicated toll-free phone number, uploading a recording from your device or typing your message using our free text-to-speech service.
Retention Marketing - Retention marketing, also known as lifecycle marketing or loyalty marketing, is all about maintaining existing customers and avoiding customer churn.
SaaS - Software as a service (SaaS) allows users to connect to and use cloud-based apps over the Internet. As a Sigma Voice customer, you'll use our phone lines and their no software to download.
STIR/SHAKEN - is a framework of interconnected standards. STIR/SHAKEN are acronyms for the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) and Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN) standards.
Short Code - A short code number is a 5-6 digit number used to send and receive voice calls and SMS messages.
SMS - Short message service is a component of most telephone, Internet, and mobile device systems. It uses standardized communication protocols that let mobile devices exchange short text messages.
TCPA - The TCPA is the abbreviation for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991. The law restricts telemarketing of certain phone calls, text messages and facsimiles.
Text To Speech - TTS is the artificial production of human speech. A computer system used for this purpose is called a speech computer or speech synthesizer. Sigma Voice offers the use of TTS voice broadcast messages for automated call campaigns.
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I have been using Sigma Voice for a few years now on a number of campaigns. They have always been reliable and competitive. Their customer service is phenomenal. I highly recommend.
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Check out the Sigma Voice blog to learn about mass calling and texting best practices.