SMS Broadcasts are a great way of getting information out to many patients quickly, however you'll want to make sure that you comply with Anti-Spam legislation.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) have guidelines that can be found here: https://www.acma.gov.au/Industry/Marketers/Anti-Spam/Ensuring-you-dont-spam.
There's a lot of information to read through, some of the main points are:
- Make opting out clear and easy in the body of the SMS.
- Have your practice name within the SMS, and phone number the receiver can reach you on.
- Don't send messages to those not opted in, if you think it may be 'advertising' services.
As these rules focus on sales/marketing type communications, there may be cases where this doesn't apply. For example, letting patients know about an unexpected clinic closure due to weather is simply information, not advertising services.
Other tips for good Broadcast Messages:
- Don't send to patients that haven't seen you in a while (more than 18 months) unless you believe ok.
- Decide your target audience with considered thought, using filters in your clinical software.
- Send SMS in standard business hours (not 8pm on a Sunday).
- If you have a large number to send, break up the amount and send in smaller batches. If you've made any mistakes, better to identify with a small group than everyone.
- Bad punctuation/grammar creates scepticism in the receiver, and can be seen as a reflection of quality in other areas of your practice. Be tidy.
- Avoid using exclamation marks, and ALL CAPITAL LETTERS - in text terms it's considered shouting, and can appear 'salesy'.
- Get someone else to check the message. We all have blind spots to our own typos!
- Always send a test sms to yourself, and check links work if you decide to use them.