MessageBee FAQs

MessageBee FAQs

As a part of our ongoing staff question series, we wanted to answer some of the biggest questions about our MessageBee service.

What is MessageBee? 

MessageBee is a communication service designed specifically for public libraries to communicate easily and effectively with their patrons. MessageBee offers libraries two distinct advantages: One, a fully engaging alternative to ILS generated transactional emails, and two, an email and SMS client that includes all the features of a traditional mass-email service with added text message capability, all in one place.  

We streamlined the process of sending both mass communications and transactional notifications from one place.  

How does it work? 

We integrate with your ILS to make things as simple as possible.  

MessageBee has all the tools you need to send mass emails and SMS messages to all your patrons, groups of patrons, prospective patrons, and others – all with drag-and-drop ease with our template designer. From the same designer you can also control the exact look and feel of your automated transactional emails. 

How can it help my library? 

Replacing outdated, text-based ILS-generated notices with beautiful HTML-based MessageBee templates will take your emails to the next level. You can customize every aspect of the messaging – from color and logos, down to the “from” email address. Think about it: your emails are more likely to be opened and acted upon with fresh, 21st century design. It combines total control of your emails with a simple template designer that anyone can use, and add to. With flexibility to add in your own banners, you are only limited by your imagination. 

In addition to transforming your transactional emails, MessageBee is also the only communication tool you need to stay in touch with your patrons. By harnessing the power of your ILS, you can send emails to any group of patrons desired – all from one place. On top of the revolutionary email capabilities, you can also send text-based SMS messages to groups of patrons, or send transactional notifications through text, making sure it gets seen each time, every time.  

Engaging patrons through email and text is the way of the future, is your library prepared? 

Look at these examples from some of our partner libraries

How easy is it to setup? 

Setup lead times vary based on your ILS Operating System; we currently support these ILSes: 

  • SirsiDynix 
    • Symphony 
    • Horizon  
  • Innovative interfaces Inc 
    • Sierra  
    • Polaris  
  • Koha  
  • Evergreen koha logoevergreeninnovative logoSirsiDynix Logo

How much does it cost? 

MessageBee pricing offers tremendous value for money when compared to other systems that offer a fraction of the features. To get an accurate and up-to-date quote, reach out to a Unique representative today. 

What kind of messages can I send with MessageBee?

MessageBee has a number of ways to communicate with your patron base.

    • List communications

MessageBee is the best way to communicate en masse with your patron base. With both static and dynamic lists you can send emails to all your patrons, or those that meet particular criteria. We integrate with your ILS to make things as intuitive and comprehensive as possible.

    • Transactional notifications

 Replace your ILS notifications with emails that you control the look and feel of. No more text-based boring and confusing emails, now you can add color, links, pictures, and branding to your transactional emails. They’re still sent automatically, just with a vibrant and engaging look. 

What kind of marketing can I do with MessageBee? 

MessageBee opens a world of possibilities for your library. With MessageBee you can customize an unlimited number of templates and save them to create specialized communications for whatever occasion. Have a change in hours? Send a mass email to all patrons. Starting a summer reading program? Let patrons with families know.  

On top of direct marketing, take advantage of the customizable features of transactional emails to add your own library’s marketing to more regular communication. Add logos, links, images, social media icons, all right to a modern email message.  

What do you mean by ILS integration? 

Our initialization team handles the legwork of connecting your ILS to the MessageBee backend. Once we connect your ILS to the MessageBee system, log in is simple from our online email client.  

 Do I need to be a html or code expert to use MessageBee? 

Not at all. Our web-based dashboard you can access the template designer that makes designing emails as simple as clicking and dragging elements onto the field of your email. Advanced things like adding links and uploading images to your list messages are easy, too.  

You can experiment with different looks by sending test emails easily before sending messages to your full audience lists.  

 Can there be branch or location specific updates? 

MessageBee is fully compatible with consortiums and can be fully customizable to send branch-specific messages via SMS or email.  

Courtesy David Iliff
Courtesy David Iliff

What kind of reporting and insights do I get? 

Track delivered, opened, and clicked messages easily from the reporting tab on the MessageBee dashboard. You can also download reports in Microsoft Excel format to easily use the data.  

As a part of the setup process, your library will automatically be enrolled in MessageBee Digest Reports that breaks down your email activity and performance. You can elect to be sent these daily, weekly, or monthly.  

Check out this video about MessageBee

Do you have any other questions that weren’t answered here? Learn more about MessageBee or contact a Unique sales representative to learn more about what MessageBee can do for your library.