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App Spotlight: DialMyCalls automates group calling, texting

Blast a message to your employees, sales team, or even a select group of customers. This free app makes it easy.

Are you managing a sales team? Running a small business with far-flung employees? Looking for unique ways to market to your best customers?

Then you know that email isn't always the best way to contact all these people, especially if the message is urgent or time-sensitive. But it's not like you have the bandwidth to pick up the phone and call each and every person.

What you need is a way to blast out a pre-recorded phone message or a text message. That's the idea behind DialMyCalls, an app that lets you blast out phone and text messages right from your smartphone. A new 2.0 version just hit Apple's App Store; an updated Android version should be along soon.

DialMyCalls comes from the Web-based service of the same name, but obviously it's way more convenient to set up and launch an automated call on your phone.

Suppose, for example, you just met with a supplier, and now you need to let your sales team know about a price or product change. Instead of having to fire up your laptop, just pull out your phone. The process couldn't be much simpler: record your message, choose the recipients, then schedule a delivery time. Presto: done.

The app lets you record (and preserve) multiple messages, great if you're using them for marketing purposes (like, say, a reminder to customers about BOGO Pizza Friday). It also lets you create contact groups, plucking from your address book or entering contacts manually. The Reports tab tells you when each "message blast" was sent and gives you a breakdown of how many live-answers/voicemails were encountered.

New in version 2.0: support for SMS blasts. That means you can shoot out a scheduled group text-message just as easily as you can a voice message.

DialMyCalls is a free app, and you can send one free phone-blast per week--limited to 30 seconds and 25 recipients. The service also offers pay-as-you-go credit plans (such as $10 for 140 credits, each credit being good for a 30-second call or single text message) and unlimited monthly plans, which start at $9.99.

The original DialMyCalls was pretty buggy, but I've found the new 2.0 version to be much more stable. If you're looking for a fast and easy way to contact multiple people by phone or text, this is worth a look. Of course, if you've found a phone-tree app you like better, tell me about it in the comments.

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