Using Smart Speakers for Citizen Alert Sign Ups

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We’ve been talking about the ability to deliver messages on Alexa-enabled smart speakers – a feature we call AlertSmart™– a lot.  And for good reason.  Since there are now more smart speakers in the US than home landlines, AlertSmart represents an important new way of getting emergency alerts to your residents. 

We mean IMPORTANT, because we’re projecting that more than 99% of homes won’t have a landline by the end of the decade.  So finding new ways to reach the public is critical to keeping mass notification systems relevant. 

But there’s another way that Hyper-Reach AlertSmart can help you deliver emergency alerts to your citizens.  Because soon, we’ll be able not only to send emergency messages to your residents through Alexa, but also to register those residents for message delivery by phone and email. 

As you might have guessed, Amazon has the name, address, email address and phone number of almost all of its Alexa users.  And Amazon is willing to pass that information on to us if we get the citizen’s permission.  So the dialog will go something like this: 

Citizen: “Alexa, enable Hyper-Reach”

Alexa: “OK, here’s Hyper-Reach. Also, with your permission, I can provide Hyper-Reach with your address and contact information so they can send you notifications by email and phone.  That way, you’ll get the notification immediately, even if you’re away from your Alexa unit.  Would you like me to do that?”

Citizen: “Yes”

Alexa: “OK, I see that you have all of your information on file.  Is the correct phone number XXX-XXX-XXXX?”

Citizen: “Yes” 

Alexa: “Great.  And is your address [reads address]?

Citizen: “Yes”

Alexa: “Thanks. You’re all set.  Now, when Hyper-Reach sends you a notification via your Alexa unit, you’ll also receive a text message and email, so you can get the information no matter where you are.  Thank you for using Hyper-Reach.”

As you can see from this example, signing up for Hyper-Reach using an Alexa unit is much easier than the standard method most emergency alert providers use. The standard method involves a web-based form, which requires the citizen to:

  1. Know the URL or address of the form or where to find the link. 
  2. Create an account (Note: we don’t require an account.)
  3. Fill out their name, address, phone number, etc. 
  4. Verify their submission with some other step, such as clicking on a link in an email. 

While all of those steps are well-meaning, they are also a hassle for many people, most of whom are filling this form out on the tiny screens of their cell phones.  Which is why so many communities have such poor signup rates. (We recently heard from one of the largest counties in the US, which has just 1.5% of its citizens registered for emergency alerts.)

Of course, Hyper-Reach also has a web-based form. But our process is simpler and easier than other mass notification companies. And we go way beyond just a form on the internet, with more ways for citizens to register than any other company.  Which is why we’ve hit registration levels of up to 35%.

With signing up via Alexa units, registration among our customers is just going to get better and better.

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