Start by browsing our list of below. If you can't find the answer you need, you will find the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page.

Recipients (Users)

 

Publishers

 

 

RECIPIENTS (USERS)

What can I do with Alerts Online?

Alerts Online is an innovative way to reach a lot of people quickly and easily. It's a place where you can subscribe to alerts and newsletters, without the publisher having access to your addresses. The user is always fully in control of what they receive, how they receive it and where. Alerts Online operate on a subscription basis and the user only receives those alerts which they have subscribed to. We will never automatically subscribe users to an alert, send any unsolicited mail or sell user details to a third party.
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Why do I have to verify my addresses?

By going through the verification process we confirm that you are the genuine owner of the address. This way we can be sure alerts only go to the people who genuinely requested them.

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What do I do if I fail to verify my address?

If you fail to verify your address you will not receive any alerts to that address. If you do not receive the verification message, you should do the following:

- For Email addresses: Check the address you entered to ensure it is the right address (is it .com or .co.uk - many people mix these up). If your address is correct, check your spam folders and spam settings.  Your spam filters may have incorrectly marked your verification message as spam. If these appear to be ok, contact your ISP or email provider to see why the message has not been received. Finally, you can request help from us using the Contact Us form (link at the bottom of every page).

- For SMS addresses: Check you have entered the right number. If you have not received the text message within a few minutes, check your signal strength, switch off your phone and switch it back on again. If you do not receive a text within an hour of this, you can request another Verification Pin.

You have 3 attempts to enter the Verification Pin in correctly and you can have 2 more Pins sent to you if you do not receive the first one. Please note that this gives you 9 attempts. If you have not managed to verify after 9 attempts, you should contact us for more help.

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Why do I have accounts and invoices if the service is free?

Alerts Online offers a range of services. Some publishers charge for their information (this will be made clear at the time you subscribe) and we will charge you. For clarity, we provide you with a monthly online invoice showing exactly what you have spent and with whom.

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What is Phish and Anti-Phish?

A Phish attack is where a dishonest third party attempts to trick you into clicking on a link in an email. They will fake the addresses so it looks like the email came from the genuine user. The web site link will also look genuine and the clever ones will make the end web site look genuine as well. They will try to get you to hand over your credit card details or user ID and password. Banking is usual target for this. Criminals will send you messages that appear to come from your bank. If you click on the link, it will take you to a site which looks like your banking web site. If you enter your user ID and password, the criminals will capture it and use it to access your bank account.

Alerts Online offers an Anti-Phish Function. You can enter a secret phrase on our site (for example "The colour of my house is green"). Then, every time we send you an email alert, we will add that phrase to the top of the email. So if you do not see the phrase, you can be suspicious about it and check on the Alerts Online website to see if it was genuine in your message archive. Don't forget to change your phrase regularly.

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What is the Suspend function?

The Suspend Function allows you to temporarily suspend an alert from being sent, or temporarily suspend a particular address. Why would you do this? The first reason is that you may not want to have a particular alert sent to your email address while you are away from home. Another reason is that while non-premium alerts will send to your mobile phone free of charge, if you are on holiday abroad, you will be charged by the international phone company to have it delivered to your phone. So the Suspend Function allows you to stop all messages going to a particular address without having to unsubscribe from all your alerts. What's more, you can set the duration of the suspension so you do not have to manually unsuspend. All your messages will continue to go to your message audit box to look at when you return.

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What is the Default Channel function?

Most people only have one email address and one mobile phone number. We allow you to pick your default address. The default address will receive all alerts to it automatically. People with multiple addresses can set a particular address to receive the messages from a particular alert. This means you can have full control over what information you receive to which address.

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Why can’t I delete an address?

You cannot delete the default address (you must allocate another address as default first). You can only delete the default address if it is the last address in your address book.

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Why do you ask for my date of birth and gender when I create and account?

This information is optional. However, we do not share it with anybody and we only use it so we can better target alerts.
Some publishers will send one message for an Alert to people who are female and, say, over 30 years old and a different message to males under 30. By supplying this data you are more likely to get better quality messages that are more appropriate to your personal situation. We suggest that you do supply this information unless you specifically object.

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Why do I have a choice of Provider when signing up and logging in?

Alerts Online supports multiple user ID and password providers. This means that if you have a user ID and password from one of these providers already, you will not need an Alerts Online user ID and password. The first supported provider is the Government Gateway, as Alerts Online providers Alerting services to departments such as HMRC, Defra and NHS.

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How do I make a payment?

To receive premium services you can use our Pay-as-you-go facility. Like mobile phones, you must have credit in your account in order to receive premium messages. You can pay with credit or debit card directly with us or via Pay Pal.

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PUBLISHERS


How do I become a Publisher?

Go to the sign in page and follow the intructions for new users. You will automatically become a publisher when you sign up. If you are an existing recipient user, simply sign in to your account and in your "to do" list you will see the option to become a publisher.

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Why should I use Alerts Online?

Alerts Online is an online application that allows publishers to communicate better with their current and potential customers. Because we operate on an Opt-In basis, alerts are published  in a controlled environment. This way the publisher is more likely to be communicating with recipients who actually want their information. The recipient is more likely to keep their addresses up to date. This leads to improved and highly targeted communication and keeps you within the latest EU anti-spam legislation.

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Why do I have to verify my addresses?

It is vital that the address you use as the “from” address on your outgoing alerts is genuine and belongs to you. If your address is not verified (see recipients section), no alerts will be sent.

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Invoicing and money

We provide online invoices and payment facilities. If your account is not in credit, we will not send your messages. At the end of each month we will produce an online invoice in the management site to show how much you have been charged and how much revenue you have generated from premium messages.

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What is the Orders view?

The orders tab in the management screen shows what orders you have created and what the success or failure of all the messages generated from that order is. You can select any two dates to target the particular order you are looking for.

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What is the Messaging view?

After selecting an order you can look at the messages that were generated from the order and the recipients to whom they were sent. For privacy reasons, we do not disclose recipient details to publishers.

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Why can't I see the recipients’ details?

Privacy. Alerts Online is designed to help prevent abuse of recipient details and at the same time improve the communications to publisher's present and potential customers. If we supplied recipient details to the publisher, the recipients would not trust the system. Also, we would be unable to prevent publishers from taking recipient addresses and using them for their own purposes.

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What if the directory entry I would like to be in is not there?

When you set yourself up as a publisher you have to state where in the directory tree you would like to appear. If you do not see a category which describes you as a publisher, contact us and we will consider adding it in. Please note that we watch new publisher placements and we reserve the right to move you to a position we deem appropriate. Alerts Online decision is final on this matter.

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Will my emails get judged as spam?

There are many things which will cause your emails to be marked as spam. The way you write the email, the subject matter and the time you send it can all have an effect. Unfortunately the spam filter companies do not publish their rules (or it would render them useless). There are ways to help this. The first thing to do is ensure that you have our IP address (see below) in your domain records on your DNS. You can also add an SPF record to your DNS system to show email servers that our systems are permitted to send your email.

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How do I send messages to Alerts Online?

You have a choice. You can utilise our SDK to send us the messages or you can create and send messages through our management interface.

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What kind of messages can I send?

You can send email in plain text or as HTML and have attachments (MIME) as well. You can send long SMS but you will be charged per message part of 160 characters.

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How do I control what channels my recipients can use?

The channels tab allows you to select how many and what type of addresses a recipient can select for any given alert.
You can also control which channels you will pay for, which ones the recipient will pay for and which ones you will get revenue from.

 

  • Example 1: you may set up a website alert to tell your customers when your website has changed. You might set that alert to allow the recipient to receive that alert on any number of emails for free (there is no cost implication for you on email), but if they want to receive it in SMS, they pay the costs (4.5p for example).
  • Example 2: you could set up a transaction alert to tell your customers when an order has been fulfilled. You could set that alert so that the recipient can only receive it on 1 email address and not SMS.
  • Example 3: you could set up a Premium Alert which provides news or specialist content (legal advice for example). You could then allow your recipients to receive it via email but they are required to pay a charge (£1 for example) and this will result in a revenue for you.

 

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How do I get a White Label site?

A White Label site is a copy of our website with your name on. You can then send your recipients or users there to manage their accounts and subscribe to your alerts. This means they get a more personal service from your brand. To get a White Label site set up, please contact us.

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What are the costs?

There are no costs for the basic publisher service; you only pay for what you send. The costs are £0.02 per recipient alerted plus the costs associated with channel delivery (£0.045 per SMS, email free). Alternatively you can make the recipient pay for the messages they receive (the user will be made aware of these charges before they subscribe).

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How many alerts can I send and when?

You can send as many alerts as you wish but you should not send more than the number you tell the subscriber when they subscribe. This is particularly important for premium alerts or where the recipient pays the costs. If you exceed the agreed maximum number of alerts the user will not be charged and you will be charged the delivery costs. This is to prevent recipients signing up for premium alerts which are advertised as weekly and then end up receiving them daily with all the cost implications.

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What information can I send in Alerts?

See our terms and conditions. You should only send information which you have described to the recipient when they subscribed. If the content you send goes outside of this description (in the opinion of Alerts Online Ltd) then we will prevent any further alerts from being sent and reserve the right to cancel your account. You should also be aware that your content should not be immoral, likely to cause offence, defamatory or illegal. You are responsible for the content and the consequences of that content.
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How do I make use of the parameters for my alerts?

When you create alerts, you can request the user inputs certain parameters. This way, when you send an alert, you can specify either all subscribers or just a sub set based upon a set of parameters. For example, you may set up an alert which contains news items. By asking the users to specify where they live (county maybe) you can send different news items to different subscribers determined by their location in the country. The more parameters you put in the more targeted your messages will be. For example, ask the user for their gender, age, and favourite colour and you could send alerts about your new product accordingly. If you were selling cars, you might send details of green sports cars to males, under 30 who like green and blue hatchbacks to females over 40 whose favourite colour is shown as blue. The possibilities are endless.

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Can I add attachments to my email alerts?

Yes. You can send us attachments to add on to your outgoing email alerts. These can be anything but please ensure they do not contain virus or malicious code. We will check them and will hold the publisher responsible, if the attachments cause issues. One example of how this might be used is to attach a product PDF (provided such content is described in the alert for the recipient when they subscribe) to your product alerts.

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Version 01, 16.07.2010.

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