This article is part of a series on Song Alerts.
Song Alerts are a great way to drive tune-in opportunities for your radio station. They engage your audience in the on-air experience and reach out to them when their voting is about to pay off, or when their favorite song is about to play on your station. The templates used with Song Alerts are customizable and are typically utilized as a sales asset.
With Tether and Futuri Mobile, listeners can sign up to receive an email, SMS text, or tweet when their requests are about to play on the air. This system is shared across the Futuri system, so users can manage all of their song alerts on any platform, and the same alert message templates are sent to users regardless of which product was used when signing up for the alert.
Nielsen has verified that song alerts drive ratings growth. Some key points from our study with Nielsen:
- Futuri stations using Instant Alerts (also known as Song Alerts) showed an average of 5.75X larger increase in Tune In Occasions compared to “control stations” that did not use Futuri’s systems.
- Futuri stations using Instant Alerts showed an average of 30X larger increase in Time Spent Listening compared to “control stations” that did not use Futuri’s systems.
- 62.5% of stations using Futuri’s Instant Alerts increased tune-in occasions within 90 days of launching instant alerts.
- Futuri’s Instant Alerts clients were 36% more likely to see tune-in occasion increases greater than 10% within 90 days compared to control stations.
- Futuri’s Instant Alerts clients were 45% more likely to see tune-in occasion TSL increases greater than 10% within 90 days compared to control stations.
See more data points from Nielsen's song alert study here.
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How Song Alerts Work
As part of your station's automation integration with Futuri, your station automatically sends daily music log exports to Futuri's system. The way these logs are delivered varies based on the automation system that your station uses, but if you have any questions about how Futuri receives your music logs, please contact Futuri VIP Support.
With your station's music log, Futuri can send Song Alerts to users a few minutes before the requested songs start to play, so the listener has time to tune in before their request starts to play.
In the event that Futuri cannot determine which songs are scheduled to play next (i.e. if it's close to the end of the hour and you're over-scheduled), Song Alerts will instead be sent as soon as Futuri receives a Now Playing entry for each song.
NOTE: If your station is not sending Now Playing information to Futuri, we will not be able to send Song Alerts at all. You will receive an alert from Futuri VIP Support if we detect that your station has stopped sending Now Playing information to us.
Opting In and Unsubscribing From Song Alerts
Most countries have laws in place that require SMS marketing messages to be opted-into, and each message must contain a clear way to unsubscribe. Similar requirements are in place for email marketing in most places. Because Futuri's Song Alerts can be considered marketing messages, our system makes every attempt to meet these requirements with email and SMS Song Alerts.
For more information on Opting In and Unsubscribing From Song Alerts click here.
Editing Song Alert Templates
The templates used when sending Song Alerts can be managed in the Tether dashboard under Social Engagement & Alerts > Song Alerts. Then, select the delivery method (Email / SMS / Push / Twitter) from the tabs. Remember to save the template for each delivery method before moving on to the next one.
For more information on Editing Song Alert Templates click here.
Note: Many stations include Song Alerts as part of the sponsorship packages for their Futuri platform(s). For more information on sales assets, see the relevant article for your Futuri platform(s): Tether | Futuri Mobile
Delivering Song Alerts
This section will outline how Song Alerts are delivered, broken down by service.
- Futuri generates an email from our system to deliver to each user who has signed up to receive an email alert. These emails will come from a no-reply address with your station's call letters, and the sender's name will be the name of your station.
- All email alerts contain an unsubscribe link at the bottom.
- Futuri generates an SMS message and sends it through our telephone partner. That partner then sends the message to the user's wireless carrier, and the carrier delivers it to the user's device.
- Messages longer than 160 characters will be split into two upon sending, but most carriers will assemble those pieces back into one message when displaying it on the user's device.
- In most cases, Futuri covers the cost associated with delivering SMS messages. In some cases, SMS alerts may not be available for your station if you are licensing the product at a deeply discounted rate or if your station's parent company has requested that SMS not be used.
- Futuri configures a primary country code for your station, so it should not be necessary for users in your own country to enter a country code in order for an SMS alert to be delivered. However, if you have users in multiple countries, any users who are international will need to enter a country code in order to receive SMS alerts from your station.
- In countries where phone numbers can have leading zeroes, Futuri makes every effort to account for those zeroes, and in most cases, a phone number's leading zero should be optional. Please check with Futuri VIP Support if you're not sure.
- Futuri generates a tweet and sends it using the station's Twitter account. In the event that your station has not provided Twitter credentials to Futuri, tweets will be sent using our @listenerdriven account...but we strongly encourage you to send these alerts from your own station brand instead.
- By default, all tweet templates begin with the @username of the user who signed up for the alert. Because of this, Twitter will only display these tweets to the following users:
- The @username who signed up for the alert
- The account who sent the tweet (your station)
- Users who follow both the @username who signed up for the alert AND the account who sent the tweet
- For more information about who can see tweets that start with the @-symbol, see this help article from Twitter.
- When possible, Futuri will tag multiple listeners in the same Twitter alert (as long as the tweet stays under 140 characters) in order to reduce the chance of being rate-limited by Twitter.
- When possible, Futuri will tag the Twitter handle of the artist in these tweets.
- Tweets that are longer than 140 characters will be rejected by Twitter, so it is important to keep templates short.