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Your intro to Viber Business API

Which messaging channel has over 1 billion users in 190+ Countries and is one of the top 10 downloaded apps of all time? If you guessed Viber – you’re right! Here, we’ll explain more about the Viber Business API, as well as its advantages and limitations.

 

The Basics of Viber Business API

Viber Business API is an interface that allows a business to communicate directly with its audience through Viber. Businesses are able to personally interact with customers and keep them engaged to drive performance and encourage specific actions. It’s free to set up but does include monthly fees and messaging fees. Viber Business Messages support

Additional features:

Viber Business Messages takes the best of both worlds from RCS and WhatsApp: in addition to the reach and popularity of the Viber app. We’ll go into more of the benefits below.

Have you seen our RCS series? We explain RCS’s history and market outlook, benefits and challenges, and how RCS works and how to have a successful campaign.

 

Multiple Forms of Communication

A business can choose between a one-way or two-way messaging. Each kind requires a different integration. One-way messaging delivers direct messages to customers without them being able to reply. Two-way messages create a dialogue between a brand and customers, allowing both parties to send and receive messages in a conversation.

 

Types of Messages

There are two types of messages that can be sent with Viber Business API: promotional messages and transactional messages.

Promotional Messages

A promotional business message is a message that contains information that promotes a business’s products or services, offers a discount, or provides commercial information. This message may include a button, emoji, image, video, and more.

Transactional Messages

A transactional business message is a message that contains text only, though it may also contain a URL.

viber business api

Business messages that are not transactional and/or targeted to a specific user will be considered and charged as a promotional message. When a first message is sent from a business to a user it  must  be a personal, informative, and a targeted message -  not  a promotional one.

 

Viber Business API Advantages

Viber has a lot of great features. It combines the benefits of other messaging apps to provide many advantages such as:

Limitations

Viber Business API does have some limitations for what you can use it for. You may not send Viber messages related to the following industries and services:

Viber business api

Additionally, they have policies for traffic and their market:

  1. Business Messages should be targeted and informative by nature.
  2. Business Messages’ content will not include any of the following:

Viber is a powerful tool that your customers already use. It’s time for you to get started as well. Contact us to learn more!

Your intro to Viber Business API

Which messaging channel has over 1 billion users in 190+ Countries and is one of the top 10 downloaded apps of all time? If you guessed Viber – you’re right! Here, we’ll explain more about the Viber Business API, as well as its advantages and limitations.

 

The Basics of Viber Business API

Viber Business API is an interface that allows a business to communicate directly with its audience through Viber. Businesses are able to personally interact with customers and keep them engaged to drive performance and encourage specific actions. It’s free to set up but does include monthly fees and messaging fees. Viber Business Messages support

Additional features:

Viber Business Messages takes the best of both worlds from RCS and WhatsApp: in addition to the reach and popularity of the Viber app. We’ll go into more of the benefits below.

Have you seen our RCS series? We explain RCS’s history and market outlook, benefits and challenges, and how RCS works and how to have a successful campaign.

 

Multiple Forms of Communication

A business can choose between a one-way or two-way messaging. Each kind requires a different integration. One-way messaging delivers direct messages to customers without them being able to reply. Two-way messages create a dialogue between a brand and customers, allowing both parties to send and receive messages in a conversation.

 

Types of Messages

There are two types of messages that can be sent with Viber Business API: promotional messages and transactional messages.

Promotional Messages

A promotional business message is a message that contains information that promotes a business’s products or services, offers a discount, or provides commercial information. This message may include a button, emoji, image, video, and more.

Transactional Messages

A transactional business message is a message that contains text only, though it may also contain a URL.

viber business api

Business messages that are not transactional and/or targeted to a specific user will be considered and charged as a promotional message. When a first message is sent from a business to a user it  must  be a personal, informative, and a targeted message -  not  a promotional one.

 

Viber Business API Advantages

Viber has a lot of great features. It combines the benefits of other messaging apps to provide many advantages such as:

Limitations

Viber Business API does have some limitations for what you can use it for. You may not send Viber messages related to the following industries and services:

Viber business api

Additionally, they have policies for traffic and their market:

  1. Business Messages should be targeted and informative by nature.
  2. Business Messages’ content will not include any of the following:

Viber is a powerful tool that your customers already use. It’s time for you to get started as well. Contact us to learn more!

Your intro to Viber Business API

Which messaging channel has over 1 billion users in 190+ Countries and is one of the top 10 downloaded apps of all time? If you guessed Viber – you’re right! Here, we’ll explain more about the Viber Business API, as well as its advantages and limitations.

 

The Basics of Viber Business API

Viber Business API is an interface that allows a business to communicate directly with its audience through Viber. Businesses are able to personally interact with customers and keep them engaged to drive performance and encourage specific actions. It’s free to set up but does include monthly fees and messaging fees. Viber Business Messages support

Additional features:

Viber Business Messages takes the best of both worlds from RCS and WhatsApp: in addition to the reach and popularity of the Viber app. We’ll go into more of the benefits below.

Have you seen our RCS series? We explain RCS’s history and market outlook, benefits and challenges, and how RCS works and how to have a successful campaign.

 

Multiple Forms of Communication

A business can choose between a one-way or two-way messaging. Each kind requires a different integration. One-way messaging delivers direct messages to customers without them being able to reply. Two-way messages create a dialogue between a brand and customers, allowing both parties to send and receive messages in a conversation.

 

Types of Messages

There are two types of messages that can be sent with Viber Business API: promotional messages and transactional messages.

Promotional Messages

A promotional business message is a message that contains information that promotes a business’s products or services, offers a discount, or provides commercial information. This message may include a button, emoji, image, video, and more.

Transactional Messages

A transactional business message is a message that contains text only, though it may also contain a URL.

viber business api

Business messages that are not transactional and/or targeted to a specific user will be considered and charged as a promotional message. When a first message is sent from a business to a user it  must  be a personal, informative, and a targeted message -  not  a promotional one.

 

Viber Business API Advantages

Viber has a lot of great features. It combines the benefits of other messaging apps to provide many advantages such as:

Limitations

Viber Business API does have some limitations for what you can use it for. You may not send Viber messages related to the following industries and services:

Viber business api

Additionally, they have policies for traffic and their market:

  1. Business Messages should be targeted and informative by nature.
  2. Business Messages’ content will not include any of the following:

Viber is a powerful tool that your customers already use. It’s time for you to get started as well. Contact us to learn more!

Jeroen Brüggeman on Tismi acquisition

On December 27, 2020, we acquired local market leader, Tismi, an innovative international telecommunications operator headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Former Tismi CEO, Jeroen Brüggemann, now Managing Director of LINK Mobility Netherlands, talks with us about his background, the Tismi journey, and what this acquisition means now and in the future.

What is your background and when did you join Tismi?

I have an master’s degree in Industrial Engineering & Management from the University of Twente (NL). After my graduation I joined Dutch incumbent KPN for 7 years and got to learn the essence of the telecom industry. In 2008 I started my own company together with Jan Willem Bogert.

 

Tell us about the history of Tismi since its founding in 2006.

Tismi was founded in 2006, and we acquired the company in 2009 after we joined forces for some time. Initially we focused on the cheap international offerings. Since regulation was difficult for fixed services, we focused more on the mobile telecom sector. In the beginning we bought a home location register (HLR) and were the first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) on the H3G network in the UK. Quite soon after we launched The Netherlands and Iceland as full MVNO. Since we were developing a lot of innovative services on these agreements, we decided to create our own full mobile core network so we were flexible in our development. In 2012 we launched our first virtual mobile numbers. This early offering enabled us to get all major CPaaS and API companies connected as customers. Although we solely have 40 direct customers, we serve many companies around the world with our virtual mobile numbers.

The company’s main business consists of providing virtual mobile phone numbers, smart traffic routing, and signaling services

 

What does this acquisition mean for LINK and Tismi?

We believe Tismi can add value to the LINK family by being active in the operator segment. We provide innovative signaling and infrastructure services. On the other hand, we can benefit from the professionalized sales channels within LINK and provide our services to the current LINK customers. We see huge potential for both organizations in building a super network and utilizing the sales potential.

From the press release: “Our acquisition by LINK is a significant step into a new chapter for Tismi. Over the years, we have proven ourselves to be an innovative business partner with top of the class technical capabilities and unique positioning with our mobile services. We are thrilled about joining forces with LINK and the opportunity to grow together into new markets. Our joint customers strongly benefit from advanced service offerings, enhanced infrastructure and team to address the needs of a highly dynamic CPaaS and mobile market”, says the management team of Tismi.

Read the rest of the press release here.

 

How does this acquisition impact customers?

The current customers will benefit from broader service offerings and from the companies having a wider geographic footprint (mainly within Europe). Since more resources will be involved, we will be faster to the market with new services and can also leverage the offerings LINK can offer to our customers. Lastly, they will benefit from more structured customer support, so we are convinced both our and LINK’s customers are gaining massive benefits through this acquisition.

 

What challenges and opportunities do you see our organization or industry facing in the near future?

Resources and regulators. We strongly believe using the best technicians will bring the best results, but we must acknowledge that resources are scarce. So continuous recruitment is important, but also leveraging the resources we have through LINK. In the market we can implement services rapidly, but the traditional MNOs and regulators tend to be slower in responses and adapting to new services in the market. Time to market can be slow and implies long processes which are often challenges to cope with.

Tismi

We look forward to offering our customers new opportunities for their customer engagement and optimizing our international connections even more. To learn more about the acquisition or discuss what we can offer your business, contact us!

The year of customer experience

The past year hasn’t been easy, so when it comes to interacting with brands, customers want a positive experience – and brands want to leave a good impression. Here, we explore how you can make 2021 the year of customer experience.

The pandemic has changed the way customers and brands interact. There are more digital touchpoints than ever before, meaning you have to understand the best ways to improve customer experience online. What better way to do this than by investing in mobile messaging and the benefits that come with it?

 

1. Communicate with customers where they want to be reached

One of the biggest developments within the mobile communications industry in recent years is the growing number of channels that are available to reach those who matter – your customers. Companies now offer a variety of ways to get in touch. There are the classics, like emailing or calling a phone number, but there are also plenty of innovative channels, such as:

Whether you’re a bank, retail store, insurance provider, healthcare provider, e-commerce site, or within another industry, using mobile communications is the place start. Then, you can move on to more advanced omnichannel messaging.

customer experience

Did you know? We’re a CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) provider and offer relevant channels for you to connect with your customers.

2. Make customer support a positive interaction

Everyone has their own horror stories of bad customer support, but what if you’re able to change the narrative and use this as a positive touchpoint with customers? Some of the most common ways customer support fails to meet customer expectations are service quality, response time, and general unhelpfulness or lack of empathy. These lead to decreased loyalty, higher churn, and ultimately poorer business results.

Allow customers to reach out to you on the platforms that are most convenient for them, like the channels listed above. You can also check out our customer service platform, LINK Mobility Chat. It connects with channels like SMS, email, WhatsApp, and a live chat on your website. Furthermore, you have the option to have chatbots integrated to save you time and money.

customer experience

3. Listen to your customers by providing the opportunity for a dialogue

Customers want to be heard. They want to be able to share their opinion, ask questions, search, submit an order, make a purchase, and more. How can they do this within mobile messaging? With a dialogue, of course! Gone are the days of one-way communications from brand to consumer. Now, we’re all about two-way conversations – and so are your customers. Chat both ways with apps like WhatsApp, Viber, and Facebook Messenger, as well as platforms like RCS and LINK Conversations.

customer experience

4. Delight with engaging interactions

Take advantage of all that mobile messaging has to offer these days! Channels like WhatsApp, RCS, Viber, and Facebook Messenger allow for rich media to be included within messages. You can send things like:

An engaging interaction increases customer satisfaction and the customer experience is greatly improved. You can also personalize messages, making customers feel that you’re reaching out directly to them with discounts, products, or help specific to them.

customer experience

5. Improve your services based on customer feedback and data

Don’t forget to gather customer feedback after an interaction, whether that be a purchase, customer service session, or booking a service. You can send a survey or collect data using LINK Collect. The key is using this feedback to make changes and improve for next time. You can also use our LINK Insight Dashboard to monitor how campaigns have performed or track end user activities. Then, you’re able to tailor future campaigns and interactions to better the customer experience.

customer experience

Are you ready to join us in making 2021 the year of customer experience? If so, get in touch to see how we can help your business.

International Women’s Day: Zornitza Yorgova

March is coming to a close, and today we’re sharing our final interview in our International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month series.

This week, we’re featuring Zornitza Yorgova, Managing Director of the Development Hub.

Check out our other interviews in the series: Ina Rasmussen, Frida Finnström, and Guro Røed.

 

Tell us about your background.

I studied International Business and have an MBA in Strategic Management from Sofia University, I’m also PMP certified. After a few years in sales, which proved to not be my cup of tea, most of my career developed in the telecom industry within the product management area at the borderline with technology.

I worked for 11 years in the Bulgarian subsidiary of A1 Telekom Austria Group where I led strategic projects for launching national convergent services, M&A, and system integrations. I had different management roles in product marketing, project, and process management.

 

How long have you worked at LINK and what has that journey involved?

I was recruited by LINK Mobility in 2018 as Managing Director to build a central software development unit in Sofia, Bulgaria called the Development Hub. Everything needed to be done from scratch – from defining the organization structure to hiring entire teams, from imagining how the entity operations should work to implementing the needed processes for that.

The journey has been very dynamic and exciting! A lot has happened during the last three years as LINK has been on the move. We need to stay agile all the time in changing conditions and expectations, and I’ve experienced it all – successes, celebrations, crises, and lessons learned. Today, it’s a sustainable organization run by a professional management team.

 

Tell us about your role now.

I’m MD of LINK Development Hub and Administration Manager for the engineering organization within LINK Technology. I’m also acting Head of the Quality Assurance team. My responsibilities are the entity operations, finances, and HR, as well as people management of QA engineers.

 

What has it been like as a woman in the tech industry?

Based on my experience and observations, the tech industry – and especially IT – is a male world; women are the exception, and this is noticed and discussed. It takes a woman at least twice as long to build a career than a man in this industry, if at all.

It wasn’t easy for me either, but I don’t mind the challenge or being the only woman in the room, so it never turned me off to this career. It’s great that things are now constantly improving, and more and more companies are giving equal opportunities.

 

What does this year’s theme of #ChoosetoChallenge mean to you?

This is another great way to raise the awareness that gender inequality in work and life still exists, even if it shouldn’t. I’ve heard statements about the differences in men’s and women’s brains as an explanation for the low number of ladies in tech. Then why is 30% of our software development unit made up of brilliant women? And there can be much more than that.

 

What is the biggest challenge working women face today?

Prejudice and obsolete expectations. In 2021 women can still be underestimated and not seen fit for some jobs or power levels. Genders have their differences, but these don’t make them more or less fit for any intellectual profession. The gender pay gap for same roles is another example of bias and prejudice.

Women who have a successful career are still seen as a minority and are expected to build their careers in between having a family or instead of their primary family role. Yet, Nordic countries show that it’s totally feasible to equally share parental absence from work with men. It was socially unthinkable only 50 years ago, so it really gives hope that gender equality discussions will be a thing of the past sooner or later.

 

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to your younger self?

Don’t worry about the future, your efforts will pay off.

 

Who is your biggest influence?

I can’t mention a specific role model. At different points in life and every day I get inspiration by different men and women I know, meet, or work with.

 

What are you most proud of?

How far I’ve gotten. I’m proud at how I’ve navigated my career up to this point and am now being interviewed as an influential female leader in tech!

Interested in a career at LINK? Check out our open positions!

What is the most important message from International Women’s Day young women should hear?

Dare for more – you deserve it!

 

women's history month

About International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day occurs each year globally on March 8th with the goal to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias, and take action for equality. They focus on philanthropy, collaboration, uplifting women, and call to action. This year’s theme is Choose to Challenge, meaning choosing to actively call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping each time you see it. It’s a commitment to challenge inequality and show your solidarity. Women’s History Month is each March.

International Women’s Day: Guro Røed

We’ve been interviewing four inspiring women in our organization each week of March to honor International Women’s Day on the 8th of this month.

This week, we’re featuring Guro Røed, Vice President of Sales.

Tell us about your background.

I have a background from BI Norwegian Business School. I was terrible in accounting but had a passion for investment finance, organization psychology, and international business. Most of my career has been within mobile engagement in the intersection of technology, business, and people. Before I entered into the world of technology, I did fun things like working as a guide and brewing teacher in a brewery.

How long have you worked at LINK and what has that journey involved?

I started in Aspiro in 2009 which was truly an early mover company that transformed the mobile ringtone business to a global music streaming service Tidal that was sold to the rapper Jay-Z. I joined LINK in 2012. Back then, we were a small crew but hungry and eager for success.

With roots in Scandinavia, we certainly had a good understanding of digitalization and the power of mobile services. We saw early on that we had valuable technology, and we had the experience for the big wave of digitalization across Europe.

I had the chance to take part in a lot of sensational projects, like our first IPO in 2013, our ambitious merger and acquisition race, and our first steps into RCS and WhatsApp. But most important and closest to my heart has been working with sales and creating value for customers.

Tell us about your role now.

Today I’m responsible for Global Sales. We take care of LINK´s global customers and partners. We have a truly international setup, meaning we can meet customer needs for global services. We serve some of our biggest strategic customers in addition to getting large new accounts. Our customer segment has complex needs so I have a team of specialists in messaging and mobile services that work with an advisory sales approach. My team works closely with our big technology partners, like Facebook and Google, to create the best user experience with mobile messaging in the market.

What has it been like as a woman in the tech industry?

No doubt it has been a male-dominated space. In LINK, we’ve always had good ambassadors that made the situation better, like the founder of LINK that had a clear, outspoken attitude when it came to gender equality in LINK. With our aggressive growth and acquisitions of over 30 companies with various cultural backgrounds, it has also been important to speak up about culture and gender equality.

Among engineers I always felt that gender equality was less of an issue since it’s more about how good your code is than your looks.

 

What does this year’s theme of #ChoosetoChallenge mean to you?

To put this in a LINK Mobility context, mobile messaging is our foundation, and I think we should challenge the current status where there is still a big gender gap in women’s ability to access mobile service. It might seem strange for us here in the Nordics, but the gender gap at a global level is substantial. According to GSMA, mobile internet access use in low- and middle-income countries is significant, with over 300 million fewer women than men accessing the internet on a mobile. We know that connected women means more equality and power since women would have access to important parts of daily life like payments, social media, and healthcare services. This would give socio-economic benefits for women and ultimately more equality.

I also think it´s important to empower girls and women to enter into a technical education. I strongly believe that programming should be a part of primary education so that more girls will get introduced to programming and nurture more talents.

Equal Pay would be another important #ChoosetoChallenge to me I believe any manager that wants to encourage a futureproof culture needs to do specific activities to tighten the gap.

What is the biggest challenge working women face today?

Here in the Nordics, I believe many working women face issues when it comes to work life and raising kids, despite having one of the best arrangements in the world when it comes to maternity leave. If you are not privileged enough to have help from a grandparent or relative, there are just not enough hours in the week to do everything, especially when the kids are young. I think an arrangement for women and men with small kids to be able to work a little less each week with full pay could be a good solution for many parents. It would make it easier for a lot of women to combine career and family life.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to your younger self?

Keep on going, girl! You are on to something big! But not every task is that important, remember to prioritize.

Who is your biggest influence?

I never had one specific influence. I get inspired by strong woman in my life like my mom, my daughters, my crazy girlfriends, and coworkers. Grass root movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp that are disrupting status quo give me a lot of energy to keep fighting for gender equality at all levels in work and social life. There are so many strong voices out there that influence me.

What are you most proud of?

I am truly proud that this Nordic company has been able to service companies with our mobile messaging solutions globally. We really did it one step at a time.

Interested in a career at LINK? Check out our open positions!

What is the most important message from International Women’s Day young women should hear?

There should be no limitation for young women. Keep fighting for equality on all levels and support your local girl gang!

 

international women's day

 

Our last interview will be shared next week. You don’t want to miss our final feature for International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month!

About International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day occurs each year globally on March 8th with the goal to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias, and take action for equality. They focus on philanthropy, collaboration, uplifting women, and call to action. This year’s theme is Choose to Challenge, meaning choosing to actively call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping each time you see it. It’s a commitment to challenge inequality and show your solidarity.

RCS is the multimedia successor of SMS

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much are videos, GIFs, audio, and other rich media worth? Find out with RCS – a powerful channel with countless benefits.

We’re continuing our series on RCS, this time with the benefits and challenges. We promise that after reading all of the advantages, you’ll be convinced that RCS is the future.

Look back at our previous article to learn the basics of Rich Communication Services.

Benefits

Rich media

One of the biggest draws of RCS is its ability to integrate rich content directly into a phone’s pre-existing messaging app. It supports:

You don’t even have to worry about text limitations like with SMS. Rich, dynamic content means higher engagement, increased satisfaction, and overall better ROI.

RCS

Furthermore, you can have a dialogue with customers. RCS is conversational – and interactions with customers are encouraged! The channel has quick reply buttons that can be customized to your needs, promoting higher click-through rates and captivating your audience.

For end users that don’t have access to RCS yet, use LINK Conversations! It’s our very own version of RCS using basic SMS.

Reach and scale

Get the best of both worlds with RCS: you get the reach and ease of SMS with the richness and interactivity of other messaging apps. It’s predicted that RCS will grow rapidly in coming years. By 2024, MobileSquared estimates RCS users will reach over 3 billion. The report also claims there is a potential to convert 5 billion messaging users globally to RCS in the near future, making it the biggest communication medium in the world. This is not only a revenue and cost-saving opportunity, but also a chance to remain future-proof as a business.

Trustworthiness and Branding

RCS Business Messaging, the A2P version of RCS, provides a measure of trustworthiness for end users with authentication. Brands are verified by both operators and signed off by Google. This is to ensure they are clearly recognized and to avoid fraud. They then receive brand verification and can follow their brand guidelines, using their logo and colors. Even the color themes for message chats can be customized. With branding possibilities comes more opportunities for brand visibility in each chat.

Additionally, Google is constantly making RCS more secure. In fact, as of late, they’re working on full encryption. Messages delivered over IP are already encrypted.

RCS

Ease of Use

RCS is simple to use for both customers and brands. Since RCS is a native digital platform, there is no need for end users to download an app, and once a user has agreed to use RCS, there are no more opt-ins required. This lowers the number of hurdles to usage, meaning increased utilization and reach. Call-to-action buttons and suggested actions make it easy for customers to do things like:

It’s also convenient for brands to use. The call-to-action buttons encourage the desired behavior of customers and quick replies makes answer questions effortless. Moreover, in contrast to WhatsApp, all use cases are permitted. There are no restrictions to the types of messages you send (such as marketing messages) and templates are not required.

With our LINK Flow Builder, you can seamlessly create conversational flows to send to customers.

Results

Rich features guarantee better results, more clicks, and increased engagement. MobileSquared reports, “Case studies show 73% read rate and 82% engagement rate. This is 730x better performance than digital ad industry comparables (e.g. CTR of a banner is 0.1%).” Call-to-actions are more effective and show better performance.

There are huge revenue and cost-savings opportunities for RCS, too. It’s estimated that one-to-one chats can lead to a reduction of up to 50% of service costs. Each year, brands waste billions of dollars from their digital media budgets on campaigns that don’t have high returns. For example, banner advertising has an average click through rate of 0.1%. If this rate is constant over the next several years, then MobileSquared predicts brands will waste $917.2 billion on banner ads between 20182028. With RCS, brands can shift digital spend onto the channel that delivers a better return on investment.

RCS

Challenges

We’ll be honest: not every channel is perfect. RCS has its limitations as well. To start, it doesn’t have the same ubiquity as SMS yet. This will take some time as both end users and operators enable RCS in countries worldwide. Additionally, compared with OTT channels, like WhatsApp, RCS is a bit more complicated to get started. This is due to the multitude of operators with different set-ups. Lastly, there is still the open question of how to reach Apple iOS users. Currently, RCS is a Google initiative that is not able to reach iOS users, which presents a challenge in countries where Apple has a larger market share.

Even if RCS can’t reach iOS users yet, we offer other channels and messaging products to access a wide audience.

Ready to take the leap into RCS? Contact us today! If you’re still not sure, next up we’ll explain how RCS works and tips for a successful campaign.

Sources:

“RCS: The Game Changer the Industry has been waiting for” published November 2020 by MobileSquared, in association with OutThere Media

https://lifehacker.com/how-to-enable-end-to-end-encryption-in-google-messages-1845845418

RCS is the multimedia successor of SMS

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much are videos, GIFs, audio, and other rich media worth? Find out with RCS – a powerful channel with countless benefits.

We’re continuing our series on RCS, this time with the benefits and challenges. We promise that after reading all of the advantages, you’ll be convinced that RCS is the future.

Look back at our previous article to learn the basics of Rich Communication Services.

Benefits

Rich media

One of the biggest draws of RCS is its ability to integrate rich content directly into a phone’s pre-existing messaging app. It supports:

You don’t even have to worry about text limitations like with SMS. Rich, dynamic content means higher engagement, increased satisfaction, and overall better ROI.

RCS

Furthermore, you can have a dialogue with customers. RCS is conversational – and interactions with customers are encouraged! The channel has quick reply buttons that can be customized to your needs, promoting higher click-through rates and captivating your audience.

For end users that don’t have access to RCS yet, use LINK Conversations! It’s our very own version of RCS using basic SMS.

Reach and scale

Get the best of both worlds with RCS: you get the reach and ease of SMS with the richness and interactivity of other messaging apps. It’s predicted that RCS will grow rapidly in coming years. By 2024, MobileSquared estimates RCS users will reach over 3 billion. The report also claims there is a potential to convert 5 billion messaging users globally to RCS in the near future, making it the biggest communication medium in the world. This is not only a revenue and cost-saving opportunity, but also a chance to remain future-proof as a business.

Trustworthiness and Branding

RCS Business Messaging, the A2P version of RCS, provides a measure of trustworthiness for end users with authentication. Brands are verified by both operators and signed off by Google. This is to ensure they are clearly recognized and to avoid fraud. They then receive brand verification and can follow their brand guidelines, using their logo and colors. Even the color themes for message chats can be customized. With branding possibilities comes more opportunities for brand visibility in each chat.

Additionally, Google is constantly making RCS more secure. In fact, as of late, they’re working on full encryption. Messages delivered over IP are already encrypted.

RCS

Ease of Use

RCS is simple to use for both customers and brands. Since RCS is a native digital platform, there is no need for end users to download an app, and once a user has agreed to use RCS, there are no more opt-ins required. This lowers the number of hurdles to usage, meaning increased utilization and reach. Call-to-action buttons and suggested actions make it easy for customers to do things like:

It’s also convenient for brands to use. The call-to-action buttons encourage the desired behavior of customers and quick replies makes answer questions effortless. Moreover, in contrast to WhatsApp, all use cases are permitted. There are no restrictions to the types of messages you send (such as marketing messages) and templates are not required.

With our LINK Flow Builder, you can seamlessly create conversational flows to send to customers.

Results

Rich features guarantee better results, more clicks, and increased engagement. MobileSquared reports, “Case studies show 73% read rate and 82% engagement rate. This is 730x better performance than digital ad industry comparables (e.g. CTR of a banner is 0.1%).” Call-to-actions are more effective and show better performance.

There are huge revenue and cost-savings opportunities for RCS, too. It’s estimated that one-to-one chats can lead to a reduction of up to 50% of service costs. Each year, brands waste billions of dollars from their digital media budgets on campaigns that don’t have high returns. For example, banner advertising has an average click through rate of 0.1%. If this rate is constant over the next several years, then MobileSquared predicts brands will waste $917.2 billion on banner ads between 20182028. With RCS, brands can shift digital spend onto the channel that delivers a better return on investment.

RCS

Challenges

We’ll be honest: not every channel is perfect. RCS has its limitations as well. To start, it doesn’t have the same ubiquity as SMS yet. This will take some time as both end users and operators enable RCS in countries worldwide. Additionally, compared with OTT channels, like WhatsApp, RCS is a bit more complicated to get started. This is due to the multitude of operators with different set-ups. Lastly, there is still the open question of how to reach Apple iOS users. Currently, RCS is a Google initiative that is not able to reach iOS users, which presents a challenge in countries where Apple has a larger market share.

Even if RCS can’t reach iOS users yet, we offer other channels and messaging products to access a wide audience.

Ready to take the leap into RCS? Contact us today! If you’re still not sure, next up we’ll explain how RCS works and tips for a successful campaign.

Sources:

“RCS: The Game Changer the Industry has been waiting for” published November 2020 by MobileSquared, in association with OutThere Media

https://lifehacker.com/how-to-enable-end-to-end-encryption-in-google-messages-1845845418

International Women’s Day: Frida Finnström

We’re continuing our celebration of International Women’s Day by interviewing four inspiring women in our organization each week of March.

This week, we’re featuring Frida Finnström, Managing Director of Sweden.

Tell us about your background.

I might not have the typical background you think a managing director in the IT sector would have. I studied at a culinary high school and after that I had different roles within the hotel and travel business. I love working with dedicated people and creating experiences that result in smiles and memories, both for the team and our clients.

How long have you worked at LINK and what has that journey involved?

I’ve been with LINK for 2.5 years, but I have known the company longer, I was a customer before I got the opportunity to join. I started working with products and projects, and pretty soon I got the responsibility to lead the customer care team as well. I couldn’t have had a better start – I got to learn the business from the inside and out. Two years of working daily with products and customers, as well as with a business focus in the leadership team, gave me a great foundation for my current role.

Tell us about your role now.

Today I’m responsible for the Swedish business in LINK Mobility and I’m leading the organization towards growth.

My strong conviction is that our staff is our greatest asset so I’m putting focus on culture, teamwork, and leadership. I want to succeed together with my team and with our customers.

What has it been like as a woman in the tech industry?

I love this industry and I have felt welcomed, even though I don’t have a tech background. I think it can be beneficial to have another background because I can see possibilities and challenges from another perspective.

However I have been in some situations, where I’m certain that I have been ignored or excluded in some way because of my gender. It‘s my male colleagues that get the questions, invites or offers, even though they should have gone to me based on job function or title.

 

What does this year’s theme of #ChoosetoChallenge mean to you?

It means that we need to make an active choice every day to not stop fighting for equality and equal rights. To achieve equality, we need to acknowledge not only the obvious differences between gender but also pay attention to the small things. It might be an unfriendly comment made in the lunchroom or the unanswered question during the meeting. Based on the fact that we create awareness, we can also change. Everyone needs to open their eyes and ears for this. It’s not just up to women to work towards change.

What is the biggest challenge working women face today?

I would say that it’s the never-ending expectations. We get them from society, but we also put them on ourselves, and we need to stop! Its enough to perform “killräckligt bra” (a play on the two Swedish words “men” and “enough” meaning that if you’re a man, it’s good enough, but if you’re a woman, you need to do more).

Women can’t be expected to be the mood managers, super performers, doer´s, yes-women, loving partners, present parents, best friends, paddle players and winter swim-enthusiasts. We don’t have to be top performers at everything we do. Women should be allowed to be human, just as men are.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to your younger self?

Don’t worry about what other people think of you and your choices. They either don’t care or they are busy worrying about their own stuff. Focus on what you want to do and what makes you happy. Create your own moment.

Who is your biggest influence?

Tough one. Like I’ve already mentioned, I don’t think we should focus on finding the perfect woman (or person) that has it all. Therefore, I’d like to cherry pick some qualities that I admire from different people. In my closest group of friends, I truly admire the motivation, self-leadership, determination and the ability to always be there for each other. Self-confidence and entrepreneurship is something that I saw in my grandma. And I admire the strength and voice of Fanny Widman (worked in the IT industry, but now has a podcast in which she discusses what it’s like being a woman in the tech industry and life as a working woman in general), and just look at Hélène Barnekow and her profession and calm appearance (MD of Microsoft Sweden). Just to mention a few.

What are you most proud of?

I’ll have to say that it’s the managing director position that I have today. I was pretty certain that I would have some kind of career in LINK, but I never thought I would get the benefit to lead the business and I never dared to dream about an MD position at all.

 

Interested in a career at LINK? Check out our open positions!

What is the most important message from International Women’s Day young women should hear?

The future needs you! The world is constantly changing and we need fresh new ideas to evolve and adapt. You will see and approach challenges in a way we don’t currently. Your openness and our experience will be a perfect match!

international Women's day

 

Next week, we’ll share another interview to celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. Stay tuned!

About International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day occurs each year globally on March 8th with the goal to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias, and take action for equality. They focus on philanthropy, collaboration, uplifting women, and call to action. This year’s theme is Choose to Challenge, meaning choosing to actively call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping each time you see it. It’s a commitment to challenge inequality and show your solidarity.

International Women’s Day: Ina Rasmussen

International Women’s Day is celebrated on the 8th of March every year around the world. In honor of this day, we’re talking with four influential women in our organization each week of March.

This week, we’re featuring Ina Rasmussen, COO Northern Europe.

Tell us about your background.

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a leader. I completed a master’s degree in economics at BI Norwegian Business School, and my first job was as General Manager for Telenor Telehuset in Drammen.

For 16 years, I worked at Telenor as a regional director and sales director. Setting good leadership examples was always on my mind, and it was an element of my profession that I constantly wanted to further develop and learn more about.

In 2012, I moved over to a company called PSWinCom AS, one of LINK Mobility´s competitors. I was CEO of PSWinCom when it was acquired by LINK in 2015.

How long have you worked at LINK and what has that journey involved?

When PSWinCom was acquired in 2015, my first role within LINK was Assistant Managing Director for the Norwegian market. I then became Managing Director of Norway in 2016. In September of last year, I was given responsibility for Sweden, Denmark, Finland (including Baltics), and Norway – COO of Northern Europe.

The journey so far has been exciting, educational, and challenging with many acquisitions and a lot of integration work. I´m especially proud of the fact that LINK Norway was named a Great Place to Work in 2019.

Tell us about your role now.

I am responsible for the business in Northern Europe, which encompasses over 1 billion NOK in turnover in 4 countries. I am part of the company management team, so an additional task I have is to help ensure that LINK succeeds on the road we have ahead of us to be among the five largest CPaaS suppliers in the world by 2025.

What has it been like as a woman in the tech industry?

The Boys’ Club” promotes each other and has a special jargon, especially in the tech industry. Personally, I have enjoyed challenging that status quo. I have experienced firsthand that if you are skilled in your subject and really engage in your work, you get respect for the work and results that you deliver.

Check out these articles on women in tech.

 

What does this year’s theme of #ChoosetoChallenge mean to you?

Both women and girls today are showing how technology is not just reserved for the male gender.

What is the biggest challenge working women face today?

Equal pay for equal work has been a slogan for many years. This is important for us all to focus on until we reach our goal. When we, as women, are in a position to negotiate our salary, we need to focus not only on ourselves but the company as a whole and what we contribute. Then if you are unsuccessful in getting what you ask for, you should ask the question “Why?” to try to discover the reason behind the decision.

I am not in favor of establishing quotas for women, but I fully support that working towards gender equality is both important and necessary. To me, the question of gender balance is not just about a specific ratio of women and men, but also about attitudes, structure, and culture for equality – in any workplace.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to your younger self?

Do not be so security-seeking. Take on the challenges.

Also, push for top-quality results without having to feel that everything must be perfect all the time. Sometimes good enough really is good enough. Your strengths will speak for themselves in the consistency of outputs you produce.

Who is your biggest influence?

Myself! I set new goals every day to be constantly evolving. Every Thursday I conduct a self-evaluation.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud that I am perceived as a good leader who inspires my employees to do a brilliant job with very good results.

What is the most important message from International Women’s Day young women should hear?

Be more – take more space.

international women's day

Next week, we’ll share another interview to celebrate International Women’s Day. Stay tuned!

About International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day occurs each year globally on March 8th with the goal to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias, and take action for equality. They focus on philanthropy, collaboration, uplifting women, and call to action. This year’s theme is Choose to Challenge, meaning choosing to actively call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping each time you see it. It’s a commitment to challenge inequality and show your solidarity.

Evolution or Revolution? RCS history, current state, and market outlook

RCS – Rich Communication Services – is slated to become the new SMS and MMS. In fact, it’s even been called SMS 2.0 as in the future, it will offer similar universality. Before explaining how and why to use it, we’ll share more about the history and where the market is headed.

RCS is a digital messaging channel primarily for brand and consumer communications. It involves rich media and superb end user engagement within the messaging app – meaning no need to download anything. We’re kicking off a series on rich communication services starting with the background and market outlook of this channel. Stay tuned for more!

 

History of RCS

RCS isn’t that new of a concept. It was actually started back in 2007 when operators decided they needed to compete with OTT channels. OTT stands for “over the top” because they are channels that are in addition to – or “on top” of – basic messaging channels. This new channel was meant to keep carrier-based messaging relevant in the age of OTT apps.

Learn more about the importance of OTT for key communications and why it’s good for your company.

In 2008, GSMA, an association of mobile operators worldwide, took over the development of RCS. With such a large group of operators, there were many initiatives in the following years. They tried launching in one market but never made it to worldwide coverage.

Then, in 2015 Google decided to compete with Apple iMessage, so it moved into the operator space and teamed up with the GSMA. Google acquired Jibe Mobile, a leading RCS services provider, to help bring RCS to Android OS. This led to the GMSA publishing the first globally agreed upon standard for RCS and its specifications called Universal Profile in 2016.

After 2016, Google offered the solution for free in P2P cases – so people could reach friends across the world. This requires an agreement between the operators in each country and Google. If an agreement is not there, then RCS is not available. For A2P instances, RCS Business Messaging (RBM) was created.

To ameliorate this problem Google announced in 2019 that RCS would be launched in the Google Messages app and hosted by Google instead of the user’s carrier. RBM support would still require an agreement between end users’ operators and Google.

Finally, in 2020, Samsung decided to support Google chat (RCS) on their devices, which had previously only supported operator driven RCS.

RCS

Market Outlook for RCS

As of 2019, 66% of consumers want rich communication services. According to a MobileSquared study, consumer research showed that after email and phone calls, business messaging (SMS and RCS) was the most preferred channel for brand and customer communication in 2020.

Business messaging for RCS is forecasted to explode. MobileSquared predicts the channel will become a 1 billion user platform by the end of 2021 and by 2028, 3.7 billion of the 4.89 billion Android devices globally will be RCS users. This means brands will be able to reach 61% of all smartphone users via RCS – more than double what Google or Facebook can reach today.* Penetration depends on several factors, including how many enabled users there are and the number of enabled operators in countries that offer rich communication services.

Furthermore, it’s predicted that “brands will spend $52.5 billion on RCS by 2028, equaling approximately 16% of total digital ad spend today” – and for good reason.* It’s already proven to be a huge success. Campaigns for McDonald’s and Disney in South Africa generated an average ROI of about 207% and an average read rate of approximately 72.4%.*

RCS

What about iPhone users?

RCS is currently for Android users, with Apple’s equivalent being iMessage. Apple has also developed Apple Business Chat (ABC) for iPhones (and iPads), which is comparable to RCS Business Messaging. It has features like in-app payments for purchases, calendar synchronization for scheduling, and automated responses for quick questions. Similar to WhatsApp, customers start the conversation. It is possible Apple will do something with RCS through ABC or another type of interaction, though it might depend on the market.

 

Now that we’ve piqued your interest in this channel, check back later for our next post on on this channel. In the second part of the series, you’ll learn more about the benefits of RCS – and some challenges. Already interested? Get in touch!

 

* “RCS: The Game Changer the Industry has been waiting for” published November 2020 by MobileSquared, in association with OutThere Media

Conversational messaging is coming up

Conversational messaging at its core is the communications between a customer and a business. Here we explain further what it is, how to use it, and why it matters to your company.

Conversational messaging used to be known for things like emails and SMS, but these have their limitations. For instance, email has a lower read rate and SMS only allows so many characters. Now, conversational messaging has grown to encompass the next era of channels and apps, with the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating this change. These include:

While new channels are growing, it doesn’t mean get rid of SMS. Incorporate SMS as part of your omnichannel mobile strategy to ensure you get the most out of conversational messaging and still have 100% reach. According to MobileSquared, over 36% of all people are only available on SMS.* With our proprietary product LINK Conversations, you can even leverage conversational features within the SMS channel that work seamlessly with the other channelsto ensure the best customer experience.

Want to learn more about LINK Conversations, click here.

Communicating with businesses and brands should be as easy as communicating with friends and family, and part of good business is knowing your customers. How do they like to communicate? Where do they want to receive messages? When is best to reach them? Conversational messaging is a great place to start.

 

Benefits of Conversational Messaging

Conversational messaging means a seamless exchange of information and messages between your business and consumers. Other advantages include:

conversational messaging

Did you know? We offer SMS fallback as an option for messages sent over apps. It’s a win-win!

 

Using Conversational Messaging

Whether you use one app or many, the uses of conversational messaging are extensive, no matter what industry you’re in.

Marketing

Create sales opportunities and relevant touchpoints during the customer journey. Communicate with members in a loyalty club, alert customers about new services, educate them about how to use products, or offer discounts.

conversational messaging

Customer service

Customer care says a lot about a company. Give your customers the best experience possible to create lasting loyalty. Different channels offer different advantages. For example, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have suggested replies for quick questions. You can also gather both positive and negative feedback to learn what you should keep doing and amend problematic situations.

Operations

Not only can you send messages within your organization, but you can also send notifications to update your customers on things that have changed or the status of their order.

All industries should take advantage of conversational messaging. Whether your company is in finance, retail, healthcare, logistics, travel, or IT, you don’t want to miss out on these multichannel mobile advancements.

 

Conversational Messaging Channels

Each of the channels offers something different, and customers want the convenience that they find in their day-to-day life transferred to their relationships with businesses. Offering one or two channels is a great start but offering several is a way to stand out from your competition. When using many channels, you get the benefits of an omnichannel experience, meaning you can move from different apps with ease.

SMS

This is the basic tool in the messaging world. It’s reliable and easy, with a 98% read rate. Yet, it has a 160-character limit, and more people are looking for companies to expand to other channels.

Viber

Viber offers both Viber Business Messages and Viber Chatbot, for business-initiated and customer-initiated messages, respectively. Like WhatsApp, it’s fully encrypted, guaranteeing security and increasing trust. Furthermore, it allows business branding and rich features.

conversational messaging

Facebook Messenger

More and more businesses offer Facebook messenger as a way to connect with consumers. Suggested replies means quick customer service, while a branded profile increases the trust of those contacting you.

WhatsApp

As the most widely used messaging app, there’s no doubt WhatsApp is where you want to be. But there are key things to keep in mind when using this channel, such as opt-ins, messaging guidelines, and more.

Check out this short video on WhatsApp Business API to learn everything you need to know.

RCS

Rich communication services has been on everyone’s minds for the last few years and is now coming to fruition as a well-known communication channel with rich media. It’s engaging and interactive, and its improved features like video, audio, and images means it will ultimately compete with SMS.

 

By taking advantage of today’s opportunity in conversational messaging, your business will be ready to face tomorrow’s challenges. And we’re here to help you. We’re experts in all the relevant channels and can help you get started today.

*Source: https://mobilesquared.co.uk/business-messaging-tracker/

Source from banner: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/focus/cognitive-technologies/conversational-artificial-intelligence-makes-its-business-case.html/#endnote-2

Values to live by

The world is constantly changing. Technology is advancing, education is improving, new styles are trending, attitudes are shifting.

This means that we have to adapt to these changes in order to stay relevant and embrace new opportunities. (Learn what it means to be a composable business, according to Gartner). After over 20 years in business, we’ve decided to renew our values.

Check out our interview with founder Jens Rugseth on how we’ve changed since the beginning.

CEO Guillaume Van Gaver says, “These refreshed values are important to unify and inspire us as we continue to grow as a newly public company. We want our culture and employees to reflect these values in our day-to-day work with each other and customers.

United

Our first value means that our differences make us stronger, together.​ We are a company of over 500 employees with offices in 17 European countries. Our different cultures, languages, attitudes, and practices are an advantage. Diversity brings us all closer and allows for new opportunities to learn and grow. We listen to each other, collaborate, and share knowledge across our markets. By working together effectively, we deliver on the promise of great products and experiences to our customers. We act as #OneLINK – and have been for a while. We have a rich history of acquisitions, meaning various units and local markets can learn from each other, share best practices, and ensure we aren’t competing against each other in Europe, but working together united.

Dedicated

With dedicated, our passion for our customers and our colleagues is what drives us.​ We strive to deliver the best possible customer experience and work in an environment where being curious and proactive are valued. Everyone contributes to reaching our goals, and we all keep the customer top of mind. LINKers always go the extra mile in everything we do.

Enthusiastic

Our third value, enthusiastic, means that we bring our energy to work every day. We aim to inspire each other, our customers, and their end users. Successes are celebrated together, and we work together to do our best and always improve. Were excited about what the future will bring and our role in shaping it.

Learn more about who we are here.

We’re excited about what these values mean to us – and to you! These are values to live and work by.

Stay tuned as we feature quarterly stories on how our employees embrace and exhibit each of these values.

Interested in being a part of our organization? See our open positions.

New possibilities for governments on WhatsApp

You know WhatsApp as a popular way for friends and family to get in touch with one another. You also know it’s a growing channel for businesses to communicate with customers. But did you know that WhatsApp can now be used for nonprofits and governments to stay connected with citizens and the community?

Governments across the world have started using messaging apps, like WhatsApp, to send messages. This is especially useful during the pandemic when accurate and timely information is critical. From Brazil to UK to India, governments are taking advantage of innovative channels like WhatsApp to help their countries and people.

For instance, the World Health Organization (WHO) offers quick answers on WhatsApp. Their phone lines and email had been overloaded, so they implemented a simple and direct solution: automated responses to common questions and requests via a WhatsApp chatbot.

Here are some recommendations on how governments and nonprofit organizations can reach out to their communities and embrace this newly available channel.

Answer Questions

Are your typical communication channels overwhelmed? Long waiting times become frustrating for people, but WhatsApp is a simple, yet advanced solution for this problem. Use quick replies for messages that you frequently send – great for commonly asked questions. You might also set up WhatsApp’s chatbot to answer questions for you.

government

Not only can you create automated responses, but you can also let people know if it’s a busy time and set expectations for how long it might take to respond. You can schedule an automatic away message to reply when you’re unable to respond or you’re closed for the day.

government

Share Information

Send important information that affects everyone in your local community or inhabitants of a specific city or region. WhatsApp allows you to include pictures, videos, text, and GIFs in status updates. Don’t wait until people have questions – be proactive and inform them of updates. Notify them when there is news or educate them about relevant information.

government

Showcase Your Services

Build a profile to explain who you are and what you do. This includes things like:

government

Inform the community about what services are available to them and how they can be used. Descriptions of services can be included in a catalogue, which is accessed through your profile. You can even set up automated greeting messages for when people first message you.

Communicate During a Crisis

As we’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, clear, accurate, and timely information is extremely important to counteract the spread of misinformation and to ensure the health and safety of citizens. Having an additional channel means it’s easier and quicker to reach citizens and communities with the updates and news they need. In addition to physical health, WhatsApp can be used as a channel to reach out to improve mental health as well by lessening feelings of isolation and uncertainty. Offer mental health services by allowing people to initiate a chat during difficult times.

See how we’ve contributed to improving the lives of many during the pandemic in our latest news post.

WhatsApp Business Policy

WhatsApp has recently updated  their  business policy.  Now, pharmaceutical, medical device, and body enhancement clinics are allowed  to  sell services (like appointments and  procedures), though not items (like drugs or medical devices). Additionally,  the government API program will expand to:

In order to begin using WhatsApp, you must connect with a Business Solution Provider, like us. Here, we explain the basics of getting started with WhatsApp Business API.

Want to learn more about WhatsApp? Check out this short video.

It’s exciting to watch as WhatsApp evolves with current events and grows to include even more relevant use cases. Don’t wait with getting started – take advantage of WhatsApp Business API today!

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