Have you ever sent an SMS to someone when it was urgent and you just couldn’t call?
In such moments, we lose hope when the recipient doesn’t give any feedback.
After while, when we finally establish contact and ask why the silence, they respond saying, “I didn’t get your message”.
This is often perceived as dishonesty and has broken many relationships over time. However, the truth we fail to see is that we never sent any message in the first place.
What makes a message?
A message is often text, audio or video we can send to each other to give an impression or make an appeal.
However, when a conversation is started, messages are more often meant to strike a balance and not make the deal.
What types of messages do we have?
A word is well known to be the language component that constitutes of at least 2 or more vowels and consonants.
However, the meaning goes further to say, a phrase (long or short) can be called a word. In essence, relative linked phrases can be termed as a word as well. For instance, a sermon can be perceived as word if direct.
When sending this type of message, always remember that it must not have too many loose relatives. It must be direct and convincing to retain its meaning.
A word is composed of one or more statements that have a simple meaning. The message passed across is that meaning.
Before we conclude that the credential type of message includes just information required to access a system, we should remember that credential is also needed to use systems.
A JAMB Registration Number is a credential and a student to enter a Nigerian University would need this all the way.
When sending this type of message, at the most include a short definition and nothing else, e.g. JAMB Reg 3A444916G
Adding anything else can cause the recipient to lose sight of the credential. Don’t use such message to explain what happened last night and how you feel about the holiday.
This type of message can be elaborate but must consist of labels and meta data. If you want to send an address, define it in a statement. Don’t mix it with anything else.
Details are most often read when they are sent with a label word and nothing else.
What’s a notice? Of course, when you get a text message inviting you for an interview, that’s an example.
Now, we need to be careful here. I know many prospective employees who are victims in this area. When we get invites for interview, by SMS, we often don’t see it. Here’s why?
When inviting a job candidate for an interview, don’t include too many details. Don’t go ahead saying, “Your application for the role of a web developer was received by our company…” before making the point.
Just go ahead and say, “You were shortlisted for an interview at….” (address), then you can close quickly by saying the date and time and the phrase, “Pls be prompt!”
That way, the candidates would all see your messages to them. If you have another update for them, then you might want to send it in reference explained below. That is no longer a notice!
This is the most interesting of messages. However, it can become a burden to the recipient.
Transactions, also known as alerts are types of messages that inform you about activities on action items.
For instance, the SMS your receive when you transfer money to someone is a transaction type of message.
Most people read such messages depending on their situation at the time. It might be that they are too busy, feeling satisfied and well insured about the action items (their bank accounts, bills, etc) or they are expectant.
However, when sending transaction messages, you must include a user identifier (e. g. account number, username etc. as a whole or clue)
Secondly, you must include the transaction object (e. g. account number), old value (e. g. old balance), the new value (e. g. new balance) and the change factor (e. g. debited amount).
Everyone reading a transaction message wants to know, “what changed?”.
Lastly, you must not close with a descriptive note. Transaction messages are often better kept short and brief.
At the most, a link can be useful to the recipient of the message where the need arises.
Your first thought upon reading this might be, “Hmm…..transaction reference”. That’s a good thought. You were right to call that a reference.
When sending transaction messages, you might have a transaction ID. Now, let’s get it straight. That’s not the transaction reference.
A reference is similar to what we call a foreign key in database development. It’s an ID yes, but related to some other identity.
A valid transaction reference would be that number that relates a payment to a bill hosted in the bill records and not payments.
In other words, a reference is a message often seen as a piece of information that relates to a transaction or its object e.g. the payment or the subscriber.
When sending this kind of message, please don’t explain. Just define the primary object and it’s reference.
For instance, you can send a subscriber ID and payment reference to a customer support team so they can look up your credit card transaction.
This is a message that must lead the recipient to a specified direction. Links are often to websites, email addresses, and can even lead to contact addresses.
The difference between a link and a detail is the context of use. For instance, if I send my email address to you without you asking for it, you would receive it better as a detail.
However, if you need my help and I sent my email address or even phone number to you, that’s a link to reach me.
Please don’t send links to people who don’t know you. As a matter of fact, you might be wasting time and network resources doing that.
Social sharing is okay but remember to first make an introduction when dealing with a contact before sending messages you want them to refer as links less they be considered as Junk.
Let’s start sending messages with meaning and avoid making mistakes that affect our communications.
Ensure that when you send messages, they are as good as spoken to the receiver.
Have a great Sunday evening, a Happy New Month and Week ahead!