Increasing participation with SMS opt-in
Bryan Moran, Director of DevOps at Plentiful App, turned to Twilio Programmable Messaging to create a reservation system using text messages as the primary communication channel.
“The people we serve are not as interested in downloading mobile applications,” said Moran. “Texting is a lower barrier communication channel that has proved most effective at engaging our community.”
Today, clients text FOOD to the Twilio shortcode PANTRY (726-879) for users to opt-in to schedule appointments and receive important updates from local pantries. Using the chat experience, Plentiful gives New York City residents access to information on 270 pantries’ hours and the ability to manage appointment reservations in 9 different languages.
Plentiful also notifies users who have opted in when new reservations are open and when they are eligible for another meal. In addition, each food pantry can use Plentiful to send SMS messages to people who frequent their locations if they have last-minute cancellations or extra food to share.
With this simple and accessible text application, City Harvest, United Way for New York City and Plentiful now engage more people than ever before.
“Since adding an SMS experience powered by Twilio, we have increased our engagement in food pantry programs by 4X compared to our mobile app experience and have reduced wait times for food by 45 minutes per visit,” Moran said.
To see how the program is performing, Plentiful uses Twilio to send net promoter score (NPS) surveys on their experience, and clients have given the high rating of a 57.
“Overall, we’ve saved over half a million hours people would have spent waiting to get emergency food assistance by moving our notification and reservation system to Twilio SMS,” Moran said.
“Through our partnership with Plentiful app and Twilio.org, we’ve transformed the way City Harvest and United Way of New York City serve New Yorkers experiencing food insecurity,” Piotrowski added. “Using technology and reaching constituents on the channels they prefer—SMS—we’ve increased our ability to serve more people while also ensuring they are treated with the dignity they deserve.”