You can use text messaging to make important announcements about upcoming events, emergency needs, final updates and reminders, and other items of interest to your community! The process of sending a text message from your site is similar to that of sending an email blast—only your message goes straight to the recipient's phone. If you want to enable texting on your site, contact us to get started! In this article, we cover:
- How do I get started?
ⓘ So you know: SMS means short message service—which is the formal name for text messaging.
Before you can begin text-messaging your site's users:
- You must purchase credits
- Users' mobile numbers must be validated
Your site must have text credits before you can send text messages. Credits are available for purchase at $100 per 10,000 units (messages), with a minimum purchase of $100. Purchases must be made with a credit card. We accept all major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover, and Diners Club. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase credits.
New users can opt-in to receive SMS messages when registering on your site. The option to opt-in is located below the Mobile phone number field.
Existing users can opt-in from their profiles. The option to opt-in is located under Basic Info when they click Edit Profile.
How do users opt out?
Users can opt-out at any time by going back into the Edit Profile area and selecting Stop Receiving Texts From This Site under the Mobile number field.
How are mobile numbers validated?
When a volunteer checks the box beside Send me texts from this site, they're sent a text message to confirm their selection. They must reply YES to validate their number and start receiving those messages.
Like the email blast tool, text messaging incorporates the user filter so you can send messages to specific groups of people.
To create and send a text message from your site:
- Go to Communication > Text Messaging.
- Filter your recipient list as you would for an email blast. The filter User Data > SMS > is > A Validated SMS User is applied by default. To filter it further, click the Plus icon next to Add New Filter and select additional parameters.
Note: To create a specific list that you can use again, name the list and click Save User Filter.
- Type your message into the Message field.
Notes: Maximum length is 160 characters. URLs are automatically converted to clickable links.
- Click Send Message to send the message.
When the message appears in a recipient's mobile phone, it will come from a five-digit "return" phone number. This number is determined by the system and cannot be changed. Responses to this number will not be processed, so you may want to provide an alternate response number or email address if you are expecting recipients to reply.
For each text message that is sent from your system, the History tab provides information described below for a specified date range. Note that you can filter columns according to message text, sender name, recipient name, and group.
- ID number - A unique ID number is automatically assigned to each text message.
- Message - The message text. To filter messages by keyword, type the keyword(s) into the field at the top of this column and press Enter.
- Sender - For validation code messages, the sender will typically be the user who triggered the code. To filter messages by sender, enter all or part of the sender's name in the field at the top of this column and press Enter.
- Recipient - While the column shows the number of recipients, you can click the linked text to view the recipients' names. To filter messages by the recipient, enter all or part of the recipient's name in the field at the top of this column and press Enter.
- Date sent - Both date and time of day are shown.
- Group - All text messages sent in a batch are part of a specific group, indicated by a 5-character group name. To filter text messages by group, type all or part of the group name into the field at the top of this column and press Enter.
Use the Table Filter as needed to show or hide columns.
To export the results of a search of text messages, click the Export icon above the data table.
Results are exported into a .csv file that can be opened with Microsoft Excel.
Ready to have the text-messaging module added to your site? Click here to send a request to our Customer Experience team!