SMS in animal shelters – small messages with big chances

Employees know it all too well: animal shelters are often overcrowded and underfunded. Personal and effective communication with adopters and volunteers is therefore particularly important, but internal communication also needs to be on point. SMS can help improve this part of the shelter’s work and simplify certain workflows.

In this blog post, we will go into more detail about how SMS in animal shelters can be used in a supportive way .

Useful: SMS the day before pickup

When an animal finds a new home, it’s exciting for everyone involved. However, due to the excitement, it can also happen quickly that the new family does not think of everything that’s necessary when they come to pick up the new family member.

Send a reminder text message the day before the pickup, briefly summarizing what is needed. Text messages are usually read within minutes and are remembered for their personal touch.

Advantage for animal shelters: Processes are improved, those picking up the animal feel well informed and taken care of.

Appreciative: Sponsored animals send SMS

Sponsors make a special contribution to the work of animal shelters. They voluntarily assume part of the financial responsibility of an animal from the shelter and thus relieve the shelter with regard to food or medical costs. Even though many sponsors are happy to take on their sponsorship without expecting anything in return, it is a sign of appreciation that they are kept up to date on how their sponsored animal is doing.

Perhaps you would like to send the sponsors the latest photo of their sponsored animal? Or a picture in the new (foster) family…. of course only if everyone agrees. Add the appropriate picture as an attachment to your SMS. There are no limits to your imagination and your sponsors will appreciate it. Last but not least, this kind of SMS in animal shelters can help sponsors tell other interested people about their good experiences and thus recruit new sponsors.

Advantage for animal shelters: Better bond between sponsors and the animals and your facility.

SMS in animal shelters can be used for many purposes

Efficient and personal: SMS for events

Summer party, fundraising gala, annual spring cleaning? Every great event depends on the guests. An invitation via SMS has a particularly personal effect and is more likely to be answered than an email. With the help of placeholders, you can make your message even more personal and address the respective recipients with their first or last name, for example, or insert the name of their sponsored animal.

Of course, you can also search for volunteers for your event via SMS. Make sure to only send those kind of message to recipients that they have agreed to receive. For example, if someone has given their consent to receive SMS from their sponsored animal, this does not automatically mean that you may send other SMS to the recipient. This is especially true if your message contains promotional content.

The good news: If recipients have consented to receive SMS from you, the response rate is much higher than with an email, for example.

Advantage for animal shelters: people respond faster to inquiries or invitations.

Optimized communication: Receiving SMS

With a flexible SMS gateway you can not only send many SMS easily and quickly. There is also the possibility to receive SMS.

Allow interested parties to contact you via text message if they have questions about an animal in your shelter. This way, communication is not only faster, but you also learn what information you should add to the corresponding ad.

SMS are answered more often and faster than emails and still allow asynchronous communication, so that each party can answer when it is convenient. This means interested parties are less likely to hesitate before contacting you, resulting in more inquiries – and more opportunities.

Perhaps you’d also like volunteers to contact you at your number? The connection via an SMS gateway also allows you to effectively receive many SMS at once and not just send them.

Advantage for animal shelters: Optimized and up-to-date communication with interested parties and (potential) volunteers.

Inbound text messages at animal shelters allow volunteers and interested parties to make inquiries

Reliable and without detours: Internal SMS

SMS can also be great for internal purposes in animal shelters.

Frequently, organizations use SMS in their alarm systems as a reliable notification option that reaches recipients even without Internet reception. Whether classically triggered by the alarm system or detoured via motion detectors, there are many ways to incorporate an alarm SMS.

SMS are also a reliable partner for last-minute changes in shift schedules or other messages that need to be read quickly. Not only is easy personalization a key advantage here – your recipients also don’t have to download an additional app and your messages won’t get lost between 20 junk mails.

Advantage for animal shelters: Reliable notifications make everyday life and exceptional situations easier.

The integration of SMS via automation systems such as IFTTT or Zapier offers particularly diverse opportunities.

Conclusion: SMS in animal shelters save time and strengthen your communication.

When animal shelters use SMS correctly, they can reach more people and ensure that communication processes run more smoothly. In doing so, the effort remains low while the benefits are great. SMS provides more personalized communication than emails, for example, and can be used in a variety of ways – whether you want to send updates or offer prospects the opportunity to inquire via SMS. SMS are also suitable for coordinating volunteers at short notice, not only because they are opened quickly but also because you can send a lot of SMS at once through an SMS gateway.

We hope this post helps encourage more shelters to consider SMS as a useful tool. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about SMS in animal shelters.

All the best

Your sms77 team

Header picture by StefaNikolic via iStock

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