10 Best Tools for SMS & Email Delivery Notifications
June 29, 2022
There are many ways to look at last mile logistics software.
- You can compare route planner apps to see which one will do the best job building routes for your team of drivers.
- You can take a deep dive into route optimization algorithms to find out how the software can help you with load planning, what strategies you can use to cut costs, and how the algorithm considers vehicle types among other things.
- You can compare paperless apps for delivery drivers that help you take care of Proof of Delivery, load confirmation, vehicle cheks, and much more.
- You can even look into shipping reports to see which software offers the best real-time analytics and automatically populated historical reports.
Your findings on all of these would be valid reasons to invest or not invest in a last mile logistics solution.
Seeing how customer satisfaction is the cornerstone metric of any delivery operation, comparing software vendors is impossible without considering the customer's perspective.
We're talking, of course, about delivery notifications via email and SMS.
What should the customer know about the delivery after they've placed an order? How can you adjust the frequency, contents, looks, and channel of communication?
In this article, we compare 10 best last mile logistics tools for SMS and email delivery notifications.
SMS & email delivery notifications use cases
Before looking at specific last mile logistics tools that offer SMS & email notifications to customers, we need to understand the use cases. When do you need to notify customers? What features to look out for? Let's break it down.
As soon as an order has been placed, customers expect a confirmation in the form of an email or SMS notification. You might not have a delivery date or estimated time of arrival for them yet; still, it's important to notify the buyer of their order is being processed.
Last mile delivery tools, especially when connected to an order placement system or directly to an eCommerce store like Shopify, notify customers whenever an order has been placed.
This is the market standard in retail, and you can have it at no additional cost when you've invested in a last mile logistics tool.
Delivery date & time
Once in the system, the order can be put on a delivery route to later be dispatched to a driver and transported to the destination.
This is when your customers can receive a notification that contains data like the delivery date and a time window when the order can be expected. The key here is to make sure customers stay put for the delivery service.
The delivery process is complicated. Sometimes, there will be changes to the order of delivery addresses because of priority, traffic, navigation issues, weather conditions, or anything else.
Being able to provide a timely update to customers is key to remaining customer-centric.
Last mile logistics software also enables real-time communication between drivers and customers in case something comes up while the delivery is in progress. Regardless, having logistics management software that powers delivery updates is a big help in order fulfillment.
On the day of delivery, last mile software will notify the customer when the driver has departed from the warehouse or store location.
The customer can see their number in line, estimated time of arrival, as well as the driver's contact details. Probably the best part - this type of notification will include a real-time tracking link for the buyer to follow their package carrier on the mobile phone.
Real-time communication is an efficient way to up your rate of Delivery in Full, On Time aka DIFOT.
Next in line
To further improve the rate of successful deliveries, you can use your last mile logistics software to send updates on the driver's whereabouts.
For example, you can have the driver trigger an SMS or email saying they've left the previous stop and are about to deliver the package. Alternatively, you can set the system to send these updates on deliveries automatically.
Proof of Delivery
Proof of Delivery is a key feature in last mile logistics tools.
On the one hand, the driver's mobile app needs to support e-signature and photo proof. On the other hand, you need to have a Proof of Delivery document ready as soon as the service has been rendered. This will help you avoid misunderstandings and customer disputes.
To stand out from other retailers and providers of similar services, you can customize your Proof of Delivery PDFs to reflect your company voice and communicate a consistent brand image.
10 best tools for SMS & email delivery notifications
Now that you know about the use cases of customer updates, we'll look at some of the best last mile delivery tools that power order fulfillment through instant communication.
Track-POD is a last mile logistics solution that covers everything from route planning & fleet optimization to real-time order tracking and Proof of Delivery.
The software consists of two parts: a web dashboard for the dispatcher and an app for the driver. The technology behind Track-POD is cloud-based, with all order data synced across the web dashboard and mobile driver app online and offline.
SMS & email delivery notifications in Track-POD
Below are the types of customer updates that you can share via Track-POD.
- Delivery scheduled - can be shared at any time to let the customer know when the package will be delivered.
- Route start - sent when the driver begins the route, can have a live tracking link and a dynamic ETA.
- En route - triggered by the driver manually or sent automatically upon the driver's departure from the previous location, can have a live tracking link + ETA.
- Post-delivery - contains a fully customizable PDF with Proof of Delivery data.
- Customer feedback - appears in the live tracking window, with the option to rate the delivery service and leave a comment for the dispatcher to see.
All notifications powered by Track-POD, including the Proof of Delivery PDF, come in fully customizable templates. Email updates are free of charge; SMS notification costs vary from country to country depending on the local carrier.
Track-POD's pricing model is flexible: you can choose to pay per vehicle/driver or per number of tasks a month. The cheapest plan comes at $29/mo per driver. You can test the platform by grabbing a 7-day free trial.
Route4Me is a route planning and dispatching tool well-known across the industry. It provides last mile solutions to businesses that require dynamic and recurring routing.
The platform is a marketplace with many free and paid add-ons for features like time slots, priorities, driver breaks, etc. As far as delivery notifications go, SMS notifications come with extra charges, as does sending both SMS and email delivery notifications.
SMS & email delivery notifications in Route4Me
Route4Me offers the following types of email alerts for customers.
- Scheduled - sent when a delivery has been dispatched to one of the drivers.
- You are next - sent when the driver is in close vicinity of the delivery address.
- Geofence entered - sent when the driver has arrived at the customer's location.
- Geofence left - sent when the driver has departed from the customer's location.
- Completed - sent when the package has been delivered.
SMS notifications correspond to the same order delivery stages but come at an additional cost. All customer alerts are geofence-triggered, i.e. based on the parameters you've indicated for each stop, the system determines when to send a timely notification to each customer.
Route4Me's minimum flat fee is £149/mo (just the route planner without optimization) but the final costs will vary depending on how many add-ons you enable. You can also make use of Route4Me's free trial option for 7 days.
Tookan is a last mile logistics tool that supports delivery management for businesses serving consumers in many industries. The system is a big help for retail businesses, as it covers everything from automated order management to marketing campaigns.
Tookan's mobile app and web dashboard rely on cloud technology, which means your drivers can use their app not only online but also offline. This flexibility is essential for smooth order fulfillment in hard-to-reach areas.
SMS & email delivery notifications in Tookan
Tookan offers five types of user notifications that fall under the Pickup & Delivery workflow.
- Request received - triggered when an order has been created.
- Agent started - triggered when the driver is headed towards the delivery destination.
- Agent arrived - triggered when the driver has made it to the destination.
- Successful pickup/delivery - triggered when the service has been completed successfully.
- Failed pickup/delivery - triggered when the service has been unsuccessful.
Similar to other last mile logistics solutions, Tookan automates customer updates via email and SMS while allowing you to customize the messages until they meet every demand of consumers.
Tookan prices per number of tasks a month, which means you can have multiple drivers under all subscription plans. The cheapest plan covers 200 tasks and comes at $29/mo. A 14-day free trial is available.
Please keep in mind that some features like ETA or route optimization come as add-ons and entail additional costs.
Onfleet is a popular last mile delivery platform built for larger Enterprise operations. It supports varied fleet solutions, e.g. in addition to vehicles, you can run routing for on-foot deliveries.
Onfleet allows you to alert customers with SMS messages only. Email notifications are available via a Zapier integration.
SMS delivery notifications in Onfleet
For pickup and dropoff tasks, Onfleet offers the following notifications shared with customers.
- Task started - triggered when the driver starts the task on their app.
- Driver arriving - triggered when the driver is within 150 m of the delivery address.
- ETA is - triggered when the estimated time of arrival is less than a certain number of minutes.
- Dependency started - triggered when the driver has completed a task linked to the task in question.
- Task completed/failed - triggered when the service has been rendered, successfully or unsuccessfully.
All automatic SMS notifications sent by Onfleet are inherently anonymous, customizable, and versatile - meaning they can be fully automated or based on the actions drivers perform in their apps online.
Onfleet prices per number of tasks a month with unlimited drivers. The smallest plan that covers 1,000 tasks monthly comes at $149/mo if paid yearly. You have 14 days to test drive Onfleet for free.
Routific is a delivery route planning solutions provider built for local delivery operations. As such, it offers either SMS or email delivery notifications to customers awaiting their orders. Please bear in mind that all delivery notifications in Routific come with an additional fee.
Let's take a closer look at what kind of delivery updates you can share.
SMS & email delivery notifications in Routific
Routific offers the following types of SMS and email notifications for the customer.
- When a delivery has been scheduled - to share the estimated date and time of delivery.
- When the route has started and when the driver is about to arrive.
- When the driver is running late.
- Post-delivery notifications - to confirm that the delivery service has been completed successfully.
- Canceled delivery notifications - to confirm cancellation.
You can choose to share delivery updates via SMS or email but not both. The text of notifications is customizable so you can adjust the message to your liking.
Onfleet prices per driver per month, with the cheapest plan - Essentials - available for $39/mo. Your final costs will vary depending on what kind of notifications you will be offering to customers. You can also test-drive Routific for 7 days for free.
OptimoRoute is a delivery route planning and field service management software. It serves a wide range of businesses and specialized in route planning, route optimization, and delivery scheduling.
The system allows you to share SMS and email delivery notifications, with the option to enable or disable live tracking for customers depending on your needs.
SMS & email delivery notifications in OptimoRoute
Below are the types of delivery updates you can share via OptimoRoute - all fully customizable.
- Scheduled time notification - to let the customer know when the delivery service will be carried out.
- Driver is on the way - to let the customer know they will be visited soon.
- Order completed - after the delivery or field service has been rendered.
- Order failed - in case of force majeure that resulted in a failed delivery or field service.
It is possible to use both SMS and email delivery notifications but please keep in mind that SMS notifications come with additional charges.
OptimoRoute charges per driver per month, with the cheapest plan available for $35.10/mo. You can try OptimoRoute for free for 30 days.
Detrack is a courier management software provider that serves a wide range of delivery businesses. Live tracking, delivery notifications, and Proof of Delivery are the system's key features.
Let's review the types of instant updates you can share with your customers using Detrack.
SMS & email delivery notifications in Detrack
There are many types of delivery notifications you can set up in Detrack.
- When a delivery/collection job is added - to let the customer know the delivery is being processed.
- When a job is scheduled to deliver/collect.
- When a job is out for delivery - to let the customer know the driver has started their route.
- When heading to job location - to let the customer know they're next in line.
- When cancel heading to location - to notify of any changes.
- When arrived at location - to let the customer know the driver is there.
- When a job is completed or partially completed - to confirm delivery in full or partial shipment.
- When a job is delayed - to let the customer know the driver is running late.
- When a job is failed - to confirm unsuccessful delivery.
Detrack allows you to send SMS and email delivery notifications. Please note that in order to use text messages, you'll need to set up an account with one of the 9 SMS providers that work with the system.
Detrack prices per driver: you add the first driver for free and pay $20/mo for each additional driver. You can also make use of Detrack's free trial to see the system in action before you invest.
eLogii is a route planning and dispatch software provider that powers delivery businesses and field service providers alike. As part of the package, you get real-time tracking via SMS and email delivery notifications.
Let's take a closer look.
SMS & email delivery notifications in eLogii
Here are the types of instant delivery updates you can share via eLogii.
- When the route has started - to let the customer know the driver is out for delivery.
- When the driver is about to arrive.
- Post-delivery notification - to confirm successful delivery.
- Canceled delivery notification - to confirm cancellation of delivery.
- Customer feedback - to ask for feedback on the delivery service.
eLogii allows you to use both SMS and email delivery notifications, with extra charges associated with SMS notifications. All updates are customizable and can be triggered via rules and geofences.
eLogii prices per number of tasks a month and offers 4 plans: Starter, Premium, Professional, and Enterprise. The pricing is available upon request.
Circuit is a route planner software available in 2 versions: for individual drivers and for delivery teams with multiple drivers. Circuit for Teams offers SMS and email delivery notifications to help you keep your customers in the loop.
SMS & email delivery notifications in Circuit
Let's review the types of SMS and email delivery notifications you can share with customers via Circuit for Teams.
- After a driver starts their route - includes an estimated time of arrival (ETA) and a live tracking link.
- Post-delivery - to confirm successful or unsuccessful delivery.
Circuit for Teams prices per driver per month. The cheapest plan - Dispatch - will cost you $40/mo per driver. You can also try Circuit for free for 7 days.
Shippit is a logistics and order fulfillment software provider built for retailers.
Among the shipping solutions available in the platform are a fully customizable tracking page with order statuses as well as SMS and email delivery notifications that can be shared with customers at various stages of order fulfillment.
SMS & email delivery notifications in Shippit
Below are the types of SMS & email notifications that can be triggered and shared automatically via Shippit.
- On its way - triggered when the package has been scheduled for delivery.
- With driver - triggered when the package has been loaded into the truck.
- Delivery attempted - triggered after the driver was unable to complete the delivery.
- Partially completed - triggered in case part of the goods remains undelivered.
- Completed - triggered in case of delivery in full.
- Awaiting collection - triggered after the package couldn't be delivered and now needs to be picked up.
All shipping notifications can be customized and branded with your company logo to ensure brand recognition and visibility.
Shippit charges per number of orders a month. The cheapest plan covers 250 orders and costs $49/mo. Please keep in mind that there are extra charges for features like a branded returns portal or a branded tracking page. You can try Shippit for free for 30 days.
Instant communication at the last stage of order fulfillment is one of the industry standards that will only get higher. Customers demand transparency and involvement in the shipping process, and retailers have to deliver if they want to work towards customer satisfaction.
I hope this intro to SMS and email delivery notifications gives you enough context to make cost-efficient decisions and choose the best last mile logistics software providers for your business.
If you have any questions about last mile logistics solutions offered by Track-POD, book a free demo and we'll give you a guided tour.