The Update: Menu Response Actions (MRA) and SMS Data Collection have been added as new features. MRA allows you to create quizzes and surveys with open ended or multiple choice answers. Data from customer answers are then collected and stored as subscriber data. Later in your messaging campaign, you can use this data as within messages using dynamic merge tags. You can also simply export the data as a CSV file for analysis. These special SMS questions can be scheduled as message blasts during a campaign. The response actions that are carried out after a customer replies are set up when creating the SMS MRA.
Benefits of the update:
Improved Customer Information: Before this update you were limited to gathering information during opt-in time, import or through the API. With SMS Menu Response Actions you can continuously gather customer information throughout a campaign and store it into simple variable names. Using dynamic merge tags you can create personalized SMS, MMS and emails using information gathered from many data sources throughout the campaign.
Data Collection: Recognizing who your customers are and what they are interested in is critical for any business. Through Menu Response Actions you can easily send surveys out to your audience to gather opinions about your products and services. Using this information you can better allocate your marketing resources.
Customized Responses: For each question in your SMS you can provide an automatic response for each possible answer. The response can either be another SMS or MMS. This can be a great way to create interactive message flows or be a way to redirect customers with links to specific products.
The Email Design Tool now supports adding “Background Images” to email templates. Before this update email templates could only have a colored background. The background option only allowed you to use a single color to fill the blank background space in emails. This update allows you to use images with the jpg, png, and gif extensions to serve as the background of the email template. Adding beautiful images to the background will make your emails more appealing to readers. You can also overlay text, buttons or other images on top of this background.
Benefits of the update
Adding images to your email gives it emotion and substance. The problem is that not all email clients display images by default. Therefore placing any text within your image means that many people will not be able to read it unless they ‘allow images’. The benefit of using background images are that you can still put html, text and buttons in the email over the background image. By doing so the recipient will be able to read your textual message with or without ‘allowing Images’. Placing the image as the background will free up space for your message and other buttons or links. If you have any questions on email backgrounds please visit the Email Help Section for Email Design Tool.
The security team at Skycore has been working to assess the impact for our customers following April 7th’s disclosure of CVE-2014-0160, also known as Heartbleed. This is a critical vulnerability in OpenSSL which can compromise the secret keys used for SSL encryption.
We have not discovered any intrusions or unauthorized use of our systems but it is important to ensure that the vulnerabilities are patched in a timely manner.
We have performed the following updates to our systems and procedures on the following dates:
* We have patched all OpenSSL libraries on all servers April 8th
* Skycore leverages Amazon Elastic Load Balancing infrastructure. This was patched by Amazon on April 8th
* We have reissued all internal SSH keys April 8th and renewed SSL Certificates April 11th
We recommend our API customers review the security of their own servers to ensure they are not vulnterable:
* Refresh API Keys if applicable
* Verify that any of your public and private SSL endpoints are not still vulnerable
Further background on the Heartbleed vulnerability: http://heartbleed.com/
To confirm our Heartbleed status visit: http://filippo.io/Heartbleed/#skycore.com
We hope this answers your questions about the impact of CVE-2014-0160. If you have any follow up questions, don’t hesitate to ask at email@example.com
All the best,
The Skycore Team
The Update: SMS Concatetenation now lets SMS hold up to 300 characters. Normally SMS are limited to roughly 160 characters. Messages longer than 160 characters are sent as multiple messages. SMS Concatenation will send these smaller messages with a special flag to combine into one long message on the device. For billing purposes concatenated messages will be charged as multiple messages.
Benefits of the update:
Organization: When an SMS is sent as multiple small messages it has the potential to be sent in the incorrect order. With this update you can send those longer messages knowing they will be read in the proper order.
More Information: SMS can now hold nearly double the amount of characters than before. Your messages now have more space allowing you to add crucial content. Adding more App information and SMS links will help promote your campaign.
How to access this feature: You can schedule SMS through the SMS/MMS Campaign’s “Message Scheduling” tab. Select a date so that the message select window appears. Choose the SMS tab and create the message with up to 300 characters in the text area.
The message will be received as one long fluid message.
The Apps economy has become so large and diverse that your app’s success depends on marketing both online and offline. Skycore’s Messaging Platform provides the tools to market your app offline through SMS and MMS. Of course offline marketing is not relevant for certain applications and games, but companies with a brick-and-mortar presence or service that are advertised through traditional channels should consider SMS.
Delivering an SMS with a link to your app saves the customer time and energy installing your app. With an SMS call to action, you can point customers directly to your page in the app store by delivering them a small convenient link with some text. The SMS call to action can be a keyword they text, such as your brand name. This keyword can be advertised anywhere, including in your store or on your marketing material.
You can also use multimedia messages with a link. When composing multimedia messages for your SMS campaign you can easily combine pictures of your app with text. If you have customers information linked to their phone number you can deliver personalized text using dynamic merge tags. For example, if you message a customer using their name, or refer to their interests, they may be more likely to hit the download button. Using these tools to create effective messages will help increase your download count.
The Update: You can now add social media follow buttons into your email templates! We’ve included 10 popular social media sites used by businesses and you can select which ones you would like to display in the email.
Benefits of the Update:
Simpler Integration: Previously, to add your company’s social media links into an email you had to manually add them via TEXT/HTML. With this update we have added a simple and beautiful way for you to add multiple social media links to your outbound email. You have the option of placing the social media links anywhere within the email and they will appear as small clickable buttons. You can also customize the links behind the social buttons have in order to direct the viewer to the applicable account or page.
Build your Followers: Cross promoting your communication channels is an important part of mobile communication strategies. Your customers communication preferences will change over time and it’s important you not only provide different communication options but let your customers know they exist and make it easy to follow your company with the apps they use.
The new SOCIAL button highlighted
A Quick Example of an email we can send out
The Update: This update allows you to promote you App on the back of your passes as well as using smart App Links and OS Detection to determine how and whether (or not) to present the material to the user.
Benefits of the Update:
Promoting your App: This update allows you to promote your application at the time when your users are most likely to want to download it, when they are already have your pass open. The promoted application banner appears on the top of the backside of the pass. This is set up to draw the attention of you customers.
OS Detection: The application will automatically detect whether the device using the app has the ability to download the application. If it does not, that user will not be shown the application promotion. For example if your application is only available for iPhones with iOS 7.0 or higher, iPhones with iOSs below 7.0 will not see the banner add.
App Links: The link within the promotional banner for your app will search the device and determine whether or not the application is already installed. The link will direct users based on the information gathered.
• If the application is not been installed on the device, the link will direct users to the appropriate app store page so that they may install the app.
• If the application is already installed on the device, the link, when clicked, will launch the app.
The Update: Previously MMS Inbox campaigns required a keyword submitted with the content to route to the proper MMS Inbox. With this update, MMS Inbox campaigns can receive MMS content from existing subscribers as a reply message. When an existing subscriber replies with a MMS content they do not need to use a keyword anymore and we can route that MMS content in the reply to the appropriate MMS Inbox.
Benefits of the Update: This update makes it possible to have subscribers submit pictures as part of a 2 way SMS conversation without requiring a keyword as part of their MMS content submission. Often times the instructions for MMS Inbox campaigns were overly complicated asking the user to add a keyword to the picture message. The keyword was often forgotten or misspelled the first time. Now you can use a standard SMS opt-in and then ask the customer to submit a picture in their next message. We believe this will drive increased adoption to picture submission campaigns and the resulting customer interaction.
SMS/MMS Campaign Settings for “Forward MMS Replies”
Example Message Flow
The Update: We have updated our HTML passes to display three buttons beneath the pass. These buttons will:
1) Display relevant map locations
2) Flip the pass over to show the back of the pass
3) Create bookmarks within the phone’s web browser
Benefits of the Update: Each button provides a unique benefit to the user experience.
- Map Button – The Map Button will appear only when relevant location data has been imported into the pass. The map will appear and show an interactive map containing all of the relevant locations that have been imported into the pass. We may extend this in the future to contain directions or other useful services.
- Flip Button – The Flip Button will turn the HTML preview of the pass over and display the back of the pass. This button provides a clear indication of how to access the back of the pass for those unfamiliar with Passbook’s (i) button in the lower right corner.
- Bookmark Button – The Bookmark Button will bookmark the HTML page so that users can easily gain access to their passes again from their web browser. This feature is specifically targeted to benefit those whose phones do not already have an application which can access .pkpass file types such as Passbook or PassWallet.
This update improves the customer experience in general and we expect it to increase the redemption rate of HTML5 Passes by providing useful tools to save, map and view the Pass.
HTML Pass Buttons
The Update: We now provide a consolidated page containing multiple CSV data exports from many of the various tools within the platform. This page is located in the “Account” tab.
Benefits of the Update: This update makes exporting data more convenient for our account holders by centralizing records and keeping a history of exports for them to redownload if needed. It also keeps a record of export requests made by the account holder for auditing and data compliance purposes.