Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Text alerts: Cutting costs, and saving lives

By Isa Soares, CNN
updated 11:47 AM EST, Fri February 22, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Text message alerts are now an everyday occurrence
  • For us they are gentle reminder, but they are also big business
  • Esendex, which creates the alerts, is going international
  • In tough economic times, it seems business are doing more with more with less

(CNN) -- We receive them almost on a daily basis; text messages alerting us that our taxi is outside or our dentist appointment is tomorrow.

To us they are just alerts, gentle reminders for our busy diaries.

For the company that creates the platform and those that use it, these messages are both money generators and cash savers.

Esendex, a mobile messaging service provider based in Nottingham, has been creating the means for clients to send a text message for more than eleven years.

More Marketplace Europe: Tracking love

Today, with 17,000 customers throughout Europe, the company is expanding to new markets and learning to be German, French and Spanish. In other words, it's learning to be international.

Its CEO Julian Hucker tells me, during a visit to their offices, that this has meant "adhering to some onerous rules around SPAM messaging" in France and other key Euroepan Union regulations.

Out of all their international markets, Spain has surprised them the most. In the midst of an economic crisis and with unemployment at record highs, Spanish companies have been turning to Esendex to help them do more with less.

Julian tells me companies are looking for inexpensive and alternative ways to communicate with their customers. They are looking, he says, to innovate their way out of trouble.

For Esendex, who has been signing up more customers in Spain than anywhere else, the economic crisis has been a huge opportunity.

More Marketplace Europe: Cornish pasties fill hunger for jobs

Last year, Esendex's profits totalled $15 million. Spain accounted for 15% of those sales and from July to December of that same year, the Spanish market grew 39%.

Esendex has 2,000 customers in Spain alone. The Centro de Hemoterapia y Hemodonacion, better known as CHEMCYL, is one of them.

The blood donor bank based in the region of Castilla y Leon has a blood bus that travels to small cobbled towns and big cities, enticing passers-by to donate blood. But there's little hanging around or time wasted.

Using Esendex's SMS platform, CHEMCYL sends text messages to donors on their list, alerting them as to when the blood bus will be visiting and where they can donate.

By receiving the text message the night before, donors are more likely to remember and make time in their schedule to stop and donate blood.

I saw the bus in action in Valladolid, when it stopped at the university square. In the few hours of the morning I visited, the bus received more than 17 donations, mostly all thanks to the text message they had sent out the previous night.

For CHEMCYL, who made a switch from sending half a million letters to SMS, this has meant a saving of $229,000 -- money they can invest in medical research and other new projects.

So the message is clear: In tough economic times, try to do less with more. It seems you only need a few dozen words.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Marketplace Europe
updated 11:31 AM EST, Thu January 16, 2014
Marketplace Europe visits Latvia to see how the Baltic country has made its transition to the Euro from the Lat.
updated 11:30 AM EST, Thu January 16, 2014
CNN's Nina Dos Santos visits Latvia to speak to the country's outgoing Prime Minister and the prospects for the eurozone's 18th member.
updated 11:40 AM EST, Thu January 2, 2014
Malta is the gateway to Europe and on the frontline of the immigration flows. Isa Soares reports from a detention center on the Mediterranean island.
updated 11:41 AM EST, Thu January 2, 2014
CNN's Isa Soares speaks with people on the streets of Valletta who say their country can't cope with more migrants from Africa and the Middle East.
updated 5:06 AM EST, Thu January 9, 2014
Malta cannot afford to continue supporting migrants from war-torn countries in its over-crowded detention camps, the country's foreign minister has told CNN.
updated 4:23 PM EST, Thu December 26, 2013
Slow recoveries, bailouts, and youth unemployment. Richard Quest speaks to Europe's top CEOs about the issues of 2013.
updated 4:14 PM EST, Thu December 26, 2013
CNN's Richard Quest speaks to economist Bob Parker about defining moments of 2013 and about what to expect in 2014.
updated 1:15 PM EST, Thu December 5, 2013
Estonia is setting the pace for other European nations with a thriving economy and its tech industry, according to the Baltic nation's leader.
updated 2:03 PM EST, Thu December 5, 2013
The Baltic nation of Estonia is developing its oil shale energy reserves in a bid to become energy self-sufficient.
updated 4:25 AM EST, Fri November 29, 2013
Europe must stop being nationalistic if it wants to help a lost generation of workers, the regional boss of U.S. conglomerate General Electric says.
updated 12:06 PM EST, Thu November 14, 2013
Peer at the windows and you'll spot big colorful chairs, plastic plants and a huge bed, but this is no department store.
updated 5:06 AM EST, Tue November 19, 2013
There once was a time, many years ago, when the sounds of bagpipes struck fear into the stomachs of Englishmen.
updated 6:16 AM EST, Mon November 11, 2013
Greece is on the way to economic recovery as investor faith returns to the recession-ridden eurozone nation, an executive at Greece's largest bank has told CNN.
updated 7:00 AM EST, Fri November 8, 2013
Could Greece's famous spice help the country's farmers through a four-year long economic crisis.
updated 9:07 AM EDT, Fri November 1, 2013
One of the masterminds behind the euro says Europe would have suffered a far worse fate if the single currency had never been created.
updated 1:41 PM EDT, Thu October 31, 2013
Nina Dos Santos visits the Dutch city where the European treaty carrying the city's name came into force 20 years ago.
updated 11:10 AM EDT, Fri October 25, 2013
As Spain continues its drive to slash budgets and cut spending, one of the nation's favorite pastimes is under threat as ministers look for ways to boost productivity.
updated 12:17 PM EDT, Thu October 24, 2013
The high commissioner of Brand Spain talks about getting the country back on its fee and attracting business.
ADVERTISEMENT