Nixle: SmartPath FAQ



Nixle SmartPath FAQ


What does SmartPath aim to solve?

SMS over-messaging creates "noise" for recipients and reduces effectiveness of Emergency Alerting.

  • Reduce resident Opt-Out rates due to SMS fatigue.


Nixle asks new SMS subscribers for their email address, with about 40% response rate.

Subscribers can text their email address to 888-777 at any time, and it will be added to their profile.

How will SmartPath help?

Informational messages (Advisory and Community) will only be delivered to the email address on file (if any) and the Everbridge Mobile App, regardless of whether the agency also targeted the SMS channel.

  • This effectively reserves the SMS channel for Emergency Alerts, while still getting the Informational Messages out via email and Everbridge Mobile App.

Emergency Alerts will always go out via SMS, email web, and Mobile Push channels. (no change)

Why is email a better channel for informational messages?

Lower urgency and less interruption than Emergency Alerts, email allows subscribers to review the information at their own pace, while receiving more critical and time-sensitive SMS for Emergency Alerts.

Richer content is possible in Email and Web Messages. SMS is limited to 160 characters.

Is email rapid enough for informational messages?

Yes. Nixle received a back-end system upgrade to facilitate much faster email delivery (~10-15x faster).

What if a subscriber/resident does not provide an email address?

SmartPath will continue to send via SMS to those who have not provided an email address, assuming the SMS channel is targeted for that publication.

> 40% of Nixle subscribers have already provided their email address.

What if a subscriber/resident has both their SMS phone number and email address of file?

If the agency sends an Alert* (Emergency)

  • Both the SMS and Email will be used.
    • Residents will get both if they have a phone number and email on file.

If the agency sends an Informational Message (Advisory or Community)

  • Targeting both SMS and Email channel:
    • Residents with an email on file will only receive an email, not SMS.
    • Residents with only an SMS number on file will receive an SMS.
  • Targeting only the Email channel:
    • Residents with an email on file will receive via email.
    • Residents with only an SMS number on file will not receive (as-is today).




Alert* (Emergency)


Always, if email address is on file.

Advisory / Community With SMS & Email Targeted

SMS, only if no email address is on file.

Email, if email address is on file.

Advisory / Community With Only Email Targeted

No SMS is sent to anyone.

Email to those with an email address on file.

Advisory / Community With Only SMS Targeted

No longer an option. Email is always required whenever SMS is being sent.

*Reminder: Alert Messages should only be used for the most critical and time sensitive information.

What about existing templates?

Templates in both Nixle and Everbridge Suite should be immediately changed to include:

  • Content for Email Subject and Body.
  • Carefully pre-selected Alert type for Emergencies only and Advisory/Community for Informational Message.

How will statistics change within the system?

Publication stats will start showing fewer SMS sent and more Email sent.

Group Counts will begin to reflect more email addresses on file.

What changes are expected in the Nixle Agency user interface?

Email & Web Message

Updated tool tip icon to support this UI change.

  • "Email is always required whenever SMS is being sent"
Reach Recipients By:

Email & Web Message moved above SMS (Text Message) to encourage Email for non-Emergency messaging, which constitutes the majority of notifications.


ALERTSMA: Gov. Charlie Baker will deliver an update on MA COVID-19 response efforts at 1:30 PM. Tune in live:

Email Example
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