How Electronic Notifications Work

From fraud alerts to appointment reminders, electronic notifications have numerous real-world applications.
From fraud alerts to appointment reminders, electronic notifications have numerous real-world applications.

The increasing use of SMS messages (text messages), voice mail and e-mail has made it possible to continuously be in touch -- no matter the location. Many businesses are relying on these technology tools to reach customers. For example, banks notify customers of unusual activity on their account, airlines alert passengers to delays or gate changes, and retail stores send sale reminders to frequent shoppers.

These communications are called electronic notifications.

An electronic notification is any automated communication received by e-mail, phone, text message or fax. Electronic notifications have thousands of applications for businesses, governments, schools and individuals. Some of the simplest and most common electronic notifications include:

  • News and weather alerts received as text messages on your cell phone
  • Travel offers received as e-mail as part of a frequent flyer program
  • Automated political surveys conducted by phone
  • Targeted marketing campaigns sent via fax

In this article, we'll explain the many benefits of electronic notification, list some of its applications and describe how it works for both large organizations and individuals.

Many companies and organizations such as emergency management agencies and universities are signing on with third-party electronic notification services for their mass communications needs. With these subscription services, organizations can instantly and securely communicate with thousands of employees, customers, clients and constituents across all communication platforms.

Third-party electronic notifications services save organizations time and money because they automate nearly all of the communication process without requiring companies to invest in costly personnel, hardware or software. Organizations simply subscribe to the off-site service and manage all contacts and communications through a desktop Web interface.

Automated electronic notification also provides a way to easily analyze responses. For example, a CEO can send a voice message inviting all international managers to an online training session. The automated system will collect all the responses and present the CEO with an instant list of attendees.

This automated data analysis is particularly useful for marketing purposes. A company can announce a promotion or new product over a variety of platforms and easily track which messages and platforms generate the most purchases.

Next, we'll look at some of the most useful applications of electronic notification for both organizations and individuals.