Open Sesame!

There are no magic words you can use to get everyone on your list to read your messages, but Bob Ward knows an effective way to capture the attention of more people.

“In today’s world, the timeliness of communication is key—it has to be brief but meaningful,” says Ward, the chief executive officer of United Prairie Ag in Kansas. “That’s why we use VistaComm’s Message Center.”

The Message CenterSM lets you easily create, schedule, and distribute timely alerts, messages, and even e-newsletters. Your recipients can choose the information they want to receive and when they want to receive it. As they make their choices, they simultaneously create email and text subscription lists and give you permission to contact them.

The results are impressive, Ward said. The open rates on UPA’s messages have soared by more than 200% in some cases, thanks to the Message Center.

We asked Ward to share more insights into why the Message Center has been such an effective tool for UPA.

What types of messages do you send?

We send a monthly newsletter, a daily market update for our customers, and a daily management note that goes out to our employees. We also send a weekly market summary to people who sign up for it.

VistaComm helps this cooperative send timely messages to key customers
 How has the Message Center improved your ability to communicate with customers?
The biggest piece is email, especially with the daily market information we send. The Message Center makes it easy for people to sign up through our website or in person. While there are multiple sources where our customers can—and do—get market information, the messages are much more effective when they come from a local source like UPA that handles their grain.

What customer feedback have you received about the Message Center?

Many people tell us they like our daily emails and market updates. The number of people who sign up is growing all the time, too. We have some subscribers who’ve been on there since the beginning—about two years now. That in itself is a sign, because if people didn’t find the messages useful, they would unsubscribe.

How have your communication metrics changed since you started using Message Center?

In addition to tracking our e-mail open rates, we monitor the number of hits and views on our website ( Compared to similar businesses in our industry, we’re getting a lot more hits. I think that’s a reflection of the pertinent, timely information on our site.

People need to have a reason to visit your site on a daily basis, and that’s where the Message Center helps. Our messages drive people to our website, whether they’re using a computer, a smartphone, or an iPad, so they can find more information. All your online communication tools need to be linked together if you want to get the most mileage out of them.

Put the Message Center to work for you

Want to see how the Message Center can help maximize your marketing? Contact us today at 866-752-7707 to start the conversation.