Conversations for Agents
This application is a cloud-hosted, centralized and collaborative messaging solution for managing and tracking one-on-one, conversational-style communication between Agents and end-users which eliminates the need for locally installed applications, requiring only a web-connection and browser via desktop, tablet or mobile device. Users can send and receive messages from any web-connected device.
In this guide, you will learn all about the basic concepts and functions for Agents using the application, such as conversation ownership, groups and views. For an in-depth, step-by-step instruction for Admin setup, see the For Admins guide.
Personalized Business Texting
This application is not for automated bulk marketing promotions with system-generated auto-replies—it’s live and personalized, just like messaging on your native phone application. You don’t even have to have the application open. Your profile can be set to automatically forward new conversations to your email address, and you can reply to that email, which the application will then convert back to a text for your end-user without you ever needing to open the application.
A history of every conversation between an Agent and a single end-user is retained, allowing Agents to view an entire message thread in a single, scrollable window for easy reference to past interactions. This also keeps conversations automatically stored for an audit trail in compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
User Roles & Permissions
The application defines a number of user roles and permissions key to managing the feature privileges, account configurations and workflow of conversations.
Each user’s role is defined when they are added, but may be changed at any time as needed. And, when users sign in, they are only shown the parts of the application that they are allowed to see and use.
Download the Conversations Permissions Levels spreadsheet for a detailed view of the permissions by feature and by role.
The application takes a Shared Inbox approach to managing end-user messages, and offers Views to quickly organize the contents of the Inbox based on what the Agent is looking for. By using the “Just Mine,” and “My Groups” Views, Agents can go straight to conversations they own or that are owned by their group. This helps them keep the conversations they’re directly responsible for up to date and prioritized. With the “Unassigned” View, the Agent sees unassigned conversations still in need of attention. They can choose to be the first line of contact, acting as a “receptionist hub” for that conversation, after which they can “cherry pick” the best Agent for ownership. The best part? Agents can quickly toggle between views, allowing them to keep track of their own personal conversations, unassigned conversations, and all conversations across the board simultaneously.
End-Users by Name
Want the name that belongs to the number ready and available when an end-user texts in? Once an Agent saves a name to a number, it will be visible across all of conversations from that point forward.
Ownership is not required in order to respond to a conversation, it is simply a feature that helps a team with conversation assignment. An owned conversation may be replied to by others. Groups can hold collective ownership of a conversation. If an Agent within that group takes ownership, the other Agents in the group will still have visibility to that conversation while utilizing the Group View. An Agent may claim ownership of a conversation or transfer the ownership to another Agent or group. Ownership can also be auto-assigned one of two ways: by business number or by keyword, available through Admin access.
The following web browsers are supported:
- Google Chrome*
- Internet Explorer 10, 11
- Mozilla Firefox*
*The application supports the two latest versions
Below you will find a list of terms unique to the application, so that you can fully understand the guide.
- Admin: A default group type with a permission level for administrative tasks such adding and removing users, codes, groups, et cetera.
- Agent: A business-side user of the the application who corresponds with mobile end-users.
- Auto-Assign: A feature which allows the application to automatically assign ownership of incoming messages to specified Agents or groups.
- Compose Field: The portion of the Reading Pane where you enter conversation reply text.
- Conversation: A conversation is created when a message is received from an end-user and responded to by an Agent. It may be initiated by either an Agent or an end-user.
- Conversation ID#: A System-generated ID for every conversation that is initiated.
- Conversation Thread: A collection of all conversations—both open and closed—between the company and a single end-user.
- Distribution List: An Agent-defined list of multiple end-users, used to send a single message to many recipients.
- End-User: An individual who corresponds with an Agent via text messaging.
- Number: A text-enabled number used by the company to send and receive messages.
- Owner: The Agent or group assigned to a conversation who is responsible for correspondence with the end-user.
- Reading Pane: The Reading Pane is the area on the right side of the screen in the Message Center where you view and manage your conversations.
- Status: A feature that marks a conversation as “open” or “closed.”
- View: A method of organization used to filter messages in your shared inbox.
- Go to https://conversations.aerialink.net/login
- Enter your email address and password.
- Click “Log In.”
If you’re having trouble with your password, click “Reset Password” and enter the email address associated with your account. A temporary password will be emailed to you.
Edit Your Profile
To access your User Profile:
- Click “User Profile” under the Company section under Settings, or select “Settings” from the drop-down menu from your own name. This will open your “User Profile” page automatically.
- Click Edit.
Choose Your Screenname
Your screenname is the name by which other Agents will know and see you on the application, and can be edited as-desired at any time.
- Locate the “Screenname” field between “Last Name” and “Email.”
- Enter your desired screenname.
- Click “Update Agent” to save.
Set Inbox Idle Alert Time
“Inbox Alert Idle Time” is the length of time which will pass before you are considered “idle” and will be notified via Idle Alert. The default idle time is set to five minutes (three hundred seconds).
- Locate the “Idle Alert Time in Seconds” field below “Confirm Password.” (Remember - you should be on the edit page of your Agent Profile, not the viewing page!)
- Enter the desired number of seconds after which you would like to be considered “idle” in the application.
- Click “Update Agent” to save.
Idle Alerts notify Agents about:
- New messages in the inbox
- New notes in a conversation currently open in the Reading Pane
To trigger an Idle Alert, an Agent must be “idle.” To become idle, an Agent must be logged into the application’s Message Center but have tabbed away from or minimized the application long enough to go “idle.” The Idle Alert consists of a sound notification paired with three visual effects in which the following begin to “flash”: browser tab, Message Center header, conversation tab in the Reading Pane (if multiple conversations are open).
To stop the alert features, resume activity on the Message Center page.
Bear in mind that if you have multiple conversations open at once and a conversation you are not currently viewing has received a new message, the tab for that conversation will still blink, even if you are not idle. This is a “Conversation Tab Alert,” and as it is not dependent upon Idle Time, it cannot be modified under “Inbox Alert Idle Time” settings.
Set Email Forwarding
- Locate the four checkboxes below the Idle Alert Time.
- Select the desired combination of application events which you would like to trigger an email alert:
a. Conversation transfer to or from you
b. Conversation transfer to or from your group
c. A new message in your conversations
d. A new message in your group’s conversations
- Click “Update Agent” to save.
Choose Your Time Zone
The time zone in your User Profile will affect the time stamps visible to you across the application.
- Locate the “Time Zone” drop-down menu below the email notifications settings and above “Upload Your Avatar.”
- Select a time zone from the menu.
- Click “Update Agent” to save.
Add a Profile Picture
Your profile picture will be visible to other users and will appear in the upper-right-hand corner of your interface when you are logged in.
- Locate “Upload Your Avatar” at the bottom of the User Profile page, just above the “Update Agent” button.
- Click “Pick File.”
- Browse and select an image from your hard drive.
- Click “Update Agent” to save.
Using the Interface
Understand Your Inbox
There are a few icons to keep in mind when viewing the inbox in the Message Center.
- Arrow: The last response in the conversation came from an Agent. Conversations without arrow icons displayed in the inbox were last responded to by an end-user.
- Lock: The conversation has been closed.
Your shared inbox can be organized into different Views. There are five by default:
- Open: All open conversations regardless of ownership or company number used
- Just Mine: Only the conversations of which you have claimed Ownership
- My Groups: All open conversations assigned to your groups.
- Unassigned: Conversations that have not been assigned to an Agent or group. This view is helpful to quickly see which conversations may need attention.
- Closed: The 150 most-recently-closed conversations. This count will never exceed one-hundred and fifty and should therefore not be referred to as a metric. Admin users can utilize the Report tool for a full count of closed messages.
Beside each View name is a bubble which displays the number of Unread conversations within each view. To select a view, simply click the View name (or Unread number). The Current View will have a darker background behind both its name and the Unread counter, and its name will be white rather than gray.
You may customize views by changing the filter criteria, thus changing which messages are visible within the View’s inbox. Doing this allows you to “search” the application. Be aware that alterations made to Views are retained across all Agents. To do this:
- Ensure that the View you wish to edit is your Current View by clicking on its name or Unread number.
- Click the “EDIT VIEW” button, located in the upper right-hand corner of your Inbox.
The following filter criteria may be changed:
a. Conversation Status
b. Agent Owner
c. Group Owner
d. Company Number
e. “Last Replied By”
f. End-User(s) by name or number
g. Message Content
h. Conversation ID#
i. Default “Sort By”
A preview of your results by your altered View criteria is visible directly below the edit fields.
- To save your View changes, click the “DONE” button in the upper-right-hand corner of the inbox.
View Online Agents
Agents can see the names and email addresses of other Agents currently logged in. To see who’s Online:
- Click “Online,” located to the right of the View names on the Inbox bar.
- The Online Agents will be displayed in a drop-down menu.
- To minimize this menu, simply click elsewhere on the screen
- To access that Agent’s User Profile page, click the Agent’s name.
Message Center Views include a handy column that flags a conversation with an icon, serving as a visual cue for conversation information. The icon appears on the far left of the message preview in list format. Note that a flag is not a data field, and therefore cannot be used as a search criterion within the Search tool.
There are five types of flags:
All outbound messages generated by the application will be flagged with the gear symbol.
There are two types of Auto-Replies:
- Time-Based Auto Replies which respond based on the time of day and day of the week.
- Text-Based Auto Replies which respond based on specific word or number patterns within inbound texts to a specified Business Number.
See the Admin User Guide for instructions on configuring Auto-Replies.
Waiting for Reply Flags
When an Agent has not replied to a conversation flagged as “Customer Replied” within a set amount of time, the flag will change to Waiting for Reply. At this time, the conversation will be flagged with the red warning symbol and will be highlighted in red. These Waiting for Reply conversations can be viewed in all Views with open conversations, but take note of the Waiting View which provides a quick and organized way to identify conversations with this flag. Once the Agent has replied to the conversation or it has been “closed,” the flag will no longer be applied. See the Admin User Guide for instructions on configuring this flag.
Follow-Up flags help you stay organized by allowing you to mark which conversations require additional action or tracking. Some things to keep in mind about Follow-Up flags:
- A Follow-Up flag is specific to a conversation and is visible by any Agent who has permission to view the conversation. When a conversation is transferred, the flag remains active until an Agent removes it.
- When a conversation changes in status from “open” to “closed,” the application automatically removes the Follow-Up flag.
- The Follow-Up View shows all conversations tagged with the Follow-Up flag.
Tip: Use the Notes tool to make comments regarding the Follow-Up details.
To set and remove a Follow-Up flag:
- From your Message Center View, select a conversation and click the gray Follow-Up flag icon. Once you’ve clicked it, it will change from gray to red, indicating that it has been activated and the conversation has been added to the Follow-Up View.
- Click the red flag again if you want to remove the Follow-Up flag. When the flag is gray again, the flag has been lifted and the conversation has been removed from the Follow-Up View.
Utilize the Reading Pane
Whether selecting a conversation from the inbox or creating a new one, you will see the following when viewing your conversation in the Reading Pane on the right-hand side of the screen:
- Conversation ID#
- Company Number
- Time Stamps
- Mobile User Info
Conversations with end-users who have messaged in before will display an entire thread, which is set up in an accordion so that Agents may collapse and expand as-needed to review the following:
- Transfer and Ownership History
- Closure Date & Time
- Internal Notes
Multiple conversations may be opened simultaneously. They will be visible as multiple tabs in the Reading Pane, titled by End-User number or name (if a name has been saved under Mobile User Info).
Compose a New Message
- Click the “New” button (or bar) at the top of the Reading Pane.
- In the “From Number” field, select the Number you would like to use for the conversation.
- In the “To” field, enter the number of the end-user with whom you would like to begin your conversation.
- Click “Start” to open your new conversation. It will now be visible in your Inbox as well as in your Reading Pane.
Reply to a Message from the App
Keep in mind that your messages will arrive to the mobile end-user as texts or SMS messages in their mobile device’s native messaging app, so treat it as you would a text message and pay attention to character count while avoiding the use of special characters, as they are sometimes translated inconsistently from mobile carrier to mobile carrier.
The max number of characters for non-concatenated messages is 160, and for concatenated messages is 459. Depending upon your administrative settings, messages in excess of 160 characters will either be disallowed completely, or will be concatenated into 157-character segments and arrive as individual messages. If you would like message concatenation turned on, please speak to an administrator of your account. However, regardless of whether concatenation is allowed on your account, it is highly recommended to keep message counts to under 160 characters if possible as networks using pure CDMA technology (Sprint) are unable to handle concatenated messages gracefully at this time. You can keep track of the number of characters remaining in your message by utilizing the character countdown in the lower-right-hand corner of the Reply Box.
To reply to a conversation in the application:
- Locate the Reply Box at the bottom of the Reading Pane in the Conversation & Notes tab.
- Enter your reply.
- Click the “SEND” button.
Reply to a Message Using TXT Relay
TXT Relay notifies Agents via their mobile handsets when a new text message has arrived on their business number and enables Agents to receive and reply to conversations directly from their mobile device’s native messaging app.
All conversations handled through TXT Relay also show up in the application.
How does it work?
When a mobile end-user initiates a conversation by sending a message to the business number, the TXT Relay number works behind the scenes as the bridge, forwarding the message to the Agent’s mobile number where it arrives in their device’s native messaging app. When the Agent replies to the message, the TXT Relay number forwards it to the business number and back to the initiator. The inbound message body must contain the conversation ID, the phone number of the initiator and the message content. The conversation ID is required at the beginning of each Agent reply as it maintains the thread of the conversation, thus allowing concurrent conversations to take place not only with multiple customers but with the same customer simultaneously.
How is it set up?
If an admin has enabled TXT Relay for an Agent, that Agent’s profile will contain two numbers: their mobile number and a unique TXT Relay number. The Agent can turn TXT Relay on and off as-needed via their profile. If TXT Relay is turned on, it is automatically activated any time the Agent is not on the main Message Center page of the application (or is logged out). TXT Relay automatically deactives when the Agent is on the main Message Center page.
The following four criteria must be met for TXT Relay to successfully forward a message:
- The Agent cannot be on the Message Center page in the application. They can, however, be logged in and on a different page (e.g. Settings).
- The Agent must have ownership of the conversation. This can be set up automatically using the Auto-Assign feature.
- The Agent must have a TXT Relay number designated to them.
- The Agent’s profile must have TXT Relay enabled.
To use TXT Relay:
- open the text message you received via TXT Relay
- begin your reply with the conversation ID #
- finish with the rest of your reply
Note: Agents cannot initiate conversations via TXT Relay. TXT Relay is for the purposes of notifying Agents of new mesages, and for reading and responding to those messages.
Send Outbound MMS
The application currently supports sending images via outbound MMS. In the future, audio capabilities will be added.
To attach an image to your reply:
- Click the camera icon beside plus sign in the Compose Field.
- Select media source.
Due to the complexities of video format playing on differing mobile devices, the application does not support outbound video MMS at this time.
MMS Text-Only (beta)
We’ve added a new feature to Conversation which allows Agents to send up to 2,000* characters in a single message without concatenation by processing these messages as MMS. Bear in mind that handsets and carrier networks differ in how they process MMS via long codes, which is why we have opened this beta test - to discover the limits of various carriers and handset devices. If you test out this process, formally or informally, we’d love to hear your results!
To send a Text-Only MMS:
- In the “Compose a Message” box, click the paragraph symbol (if it is properly selected, the background will become darker).
- Type or paste your content. The character count maximum is 2,000.*
Note that you may save the content of a Text-Only MMS as a Quick Reply if it is fewer than 160 characters. Mobile end-users may send MMS with text only if it is accompanied by an image (a small image works), or if it is sent as a group message.
*Will be raised to 4,000 some time during the beta
Before sending a video, we recommend you follow these quick steps:
- Convert your video into .3GP file format - this file type is small in size and widely supported across the mobile industry. (We recommend https://video.online-convert.com/convert-to-3gp to convert - the instructions below are fo this service, but any file converter will work.)
- Click “Choose file” and select the video to convert.
- Video size determines the height and width of the video. Note that larger dimensions make for a clearer video, but also increase the file size. We suggest “CIF (352x288)” as a happy medium.
- “Convert file.” Once the site has finished uploading and converting, you will be able to download the .3GP file.
- Back in the application, choose the file in a single message or go to Distribution Lists and select the new .3GP file to blast.
View Inbound MMS
When a mobile end-user sends an image to your number(s), a thumbnail image will appear. When clicked, a new tab will open, displaying the full image. Audio and video files received by the application will be accessible as a link titled either “MMS Video” or “MMS Audio” located within the Conversation. When clicked, a new tab will open and the media can be accessed.
To access an image:
- Click on the image thumbnail.
- Access the new browser tab that has opened.
To access video or audio content:
- Click on the “MMS Audio” or “MMS Video” link.
- Open your local “Downloads” folder.
- When the content has finished downloading, click on the file in the “Downloads” folder to launch and play it via your preferred video/audio player.
Note that audio or video media will not play if you do not have an audio/video player installed on the device you are using to access the content.
If you are using a 533-###-#### number for your message delivery, bear in mind that there is a known issue with the carrier Cricket that disallows MMS from being sent to numbers with area code 533.
Remember that MMS message rates are higher than those of SMS messages, so the application offers an administrative option for allowing or disallowing inbound MMS.
Currently, emoji are supported via inbound SMS/MMS, and outbound MMS.
For inbound messages containin emoji, the success of emoji receipt varies by:
- end-user carrier
- network type (LTE, wifi)
- other variables (e.g. carrier plan, phone OS)
Emoji sent inbound via LTE or wifi are received successfully, but those sent via 4G, 3G or slower networks may be encoded to look like ampersands, greater-than/less-than signs, numerical digits and � characters and will display accordingly.
Please note that at this time, emoticon/emoji sent via outbound SMS are not supported.
Use & Add Quick Replies
Quick Replies are saved, pre-written content that can be inserted easily into a message or note. When you create a Quick Reply, you may choose to do so for yourself only, or to share it across all other Agents.
To use an existing Quick Reply:
- Click the “Quick Replies” pop-up menu above the “SEND” Button in your conversation.
- Select the desired pre-existing Quick Reply. It will populate the text entry field.
- Click “SEND.”
To add a new Quick Reply:
- Enter your desired Quick Reply text in the text entry field at the bottom of the Reading Pane in the Conversation & Notes tab, as you would in a standard reply.
- Click the “+” to save your Quick Reply.
Add Notes & Quick Notes
Internal notes, visible only to Agents, may be inserted in a conversation. There are 2 types:
- Agent-written notes
- Automated notes generated by the system to describe a change of ownership or a status change.
Add Agent notes to keep track of information applicable to the end-user or the conversation thread, not only for your own reference but for the reference of other Agents, should the conversation change ownership.
Configure Auto-Replies (Time-based)
Similar to an email “out of office assistant,” you may configure messages to be triggered from the application automatically based upon chosen criteria, eliminating the need for an Agent to manually respond in the chosen circumstance. Multiple auto-replies can be set up for different schedules. For example, a common use of the auto-reply mechanism is to inform a customer that your business is currently closed, and to subsequently provide them with your business hours of operation.
To access your auto-replies:
- Go to the “Settings” section.
- Click “Auto-Replies.”
To create a new auto-reply:
- Click the “NEW AUTO-REPLY” button in the upper-left corner.
- Choose the code from which you would like to automatically reply. If you choose “Global” in the “Code” field, this auto-reply will respond to all codes across your account that do not have code-specific auto-replies configured.
- Choose the days of the week on which you would like the auto-reply to be triggered.
- Choose the timeframe during which you would like the auto-reply to be triggered.
- Enter your desired auto-reply message text.
- Choose the time zone in which you would like the auto-reply’s selected windows to apply.
- If you would like to limit the number of times that same auto-reply can be sent to a single end-user during the course of a single open conversation, check the first box.
- If you would like to disable the auto-reply, click “Disabled.”
- Click “ADD AUTO-REPLY” to save.
To edit an existing auto-reply:
- Locate the existing auto-reply you wish to edit.
- Click the “EDIT” button on the right-hand side the corresponds to your chosen auto-reply.
- Alter settings as-desired.
- Click “UPDATE AUTO-REPLY” to save.
Claim & Transfer Ownership
Simply viewing the conversation does not mark you as its owner. To claim ownership of a conversation:
- Click the “OWNER” button beneath the Reply Box.
- Click “CLAIM OWNERSHIP” to accept the conversation for yourself.
Transferring is a method of changing ownership of a conversation from one group or Agent to another. To transfer ownership of a conversation to another Agent:
- Click the “OWNER” button beneath the Reply Box.
- Select the name of the Agent to whom you wish to assign or transfer ownership of the conversation.
- Click “TRANSFER.”
In addition to claiming or transferring ownership of a conversation manually, conversation ownership can also be auto-assigned by business number and group. Use the Auto-Assign feature when you want all incoming messages to a number assigned to one Agent, or to one group. To access your auto-assign settings:
- Go to Settings
- Click “Numbers.”
- Click the “EDIT” button for the number whose incoming messages you would like to auto-assign.
- Select the Agent or group to whom you wish to auto-assign that number’s incoming messages.
In the case where an open conversation falls within a group whose auto-assignment has been changed to send to a different group, the preexisting conversation will remain in the ownership of the original Owners to maintain the integrity of the existing Agent-to-end-user conversation thread. The update to the auto-assignment will apply only to new conversations moving forward.
Please note that the auto-assign feature is established at the code/number level and not the account level.
To auto-assign by Keyword, check out the Admin Guide.
End a Conversation
There are two statuses for a conversation: open and closed. Open conversations are in-progress, typically in the midst of addressing an inquiry. When the inquiry has been answered or resolved, the Agent should manually set the conversation status to “closed.”
Before closing a conversation, the Agent should consider notifying the customer that they are about to end the conversation, just in case the customer has more to say. Use the Quick Reply feature to write a pre-defined message: “This conversation has ended, send another message if you need anything else!” Insert the message and send, then follow the steps below to end the conversation.
To end a conversation and mark it as closed:
- Ensure that the conversation you wish to end is displayed in the Reading Pane, and the “Conversation & Notes” tab is selected.
- Click the “END CONVERSATION” button below the Reply Box, beside the “SET OWNER” button.
- You will be prompted with: “Are you sure you want to CLOSE this conversation?”
- Click “OK” to permanently close the current installation of the conversation.
- The application will automatically insert a yellow System Note displaying the Agent who ended the conversation and date/time stamp.
Closed conversations have a red line along the left side of the conversation thread and a red note at the end with the conversation ID #, Owner, Group, and Number.
The conversation, once closed, will be visible in the “Closed” View. Once the conversation has been placed in closed status, an Agent or end user must start a new conversation to correspond with that end-user again.
Why End a Conversation?
It is a good idea to end a conversation after an inquiry or topic has been completed. Ending a conversation is useful in helping Agents determine which conversations require action. It also assists in differentiation between current, ongoing, open conversations and formerly closed conversations in a single conversation thread’s history.
Continuing Threads on Closed Conversations
Once a conversation has ended, the Reply Box will disappear. Notes may be added to closed conversations, but to reply to the conversation again the Agent must “Start a New Conversation.”
Conversations that have been Closed can be reopened with new correspondence from the mobile end-user. That interaction will be included in the conversation thread with a new ID and date/time stamp, marking the conversations as separate.
View Conversation History
To view the pre-existing history of conversations with a specific end-user:
- Open a conversation with the end-user whose history you wish to see.
- The history (if existent) will be displayed collapsed accordion-style, compressed to the top in the Conversation & Notes tab of the Reading Pane with the date and time stamps of both the earliest and most recent conversations.
- Click to expand.
- Individual conversation histories will remain minimized. Click the date and time stamp of the conversation you would like to see to expand it fully.
View User Information
- Open an existing or new conversation with the end-user whose information you wish to access.
- Within the desired conversation’s tab, click the “End-User Info” tab located to the right of “Conversations & Notes” below the conversation tab name in the Reading Panel.
Register an End-User
The first time that a mobile end-user interacts with your application, the fields under Mobile User Info will be blank. You may update these fields at any time with information collected from the end-user and save it. If there is a name saved for the Mobile End-User, that name will appear in the Mobile User column in the Views on the left-hand side of the screen in place of the end-user’s number.
*Note: If you have the End-User Info tab open in one conversation and switch to another conversation, the End-User Info tab for the new conversation will be displayed rather than the conversation content or history. To access the conversation history again, simply click “Conversations & Notes.”
View User Opt-Outs
To determine whether an end-user has opted out of receiving messages from your numbers:
- Open the desired end-user’s “End-User Info” tab.
- Scroll to the bottom of the tab within the Reading Panel, and locate the “Opted Out” checkbox.
- If the checkbox is ticked, the end-user has opted out of receiving further messages.
To manually opt an end-user out of receiving messages from your conversations in the future:
- Manually tick the “Opted Out” checkbox at the bottom of the Mobile User Info tab of the desired end-user.
- Click the “SAVE” button directly below.
This feature allows you to bulk-import your existing mobile end-users by CSV.
To import your bulk list of mobile end-users:
- Under Settings > Mobile End Users, select “Upload Users.”
- Download a sample/starter CSV file.
- Include the desired column names as-described on the Upload Mobile End Users page - the “number” column is required. (Note: Columns that do not match the provided list of column names will be ignored.)
- Ensure that all phone numbers included are unique - no repeat numbers. (Note: Numbers will be scrubbed of all non-numeral characters)
- Double-check that your file is either UTF-8 or ASCII-encoded.
- Export your file from Excel, Google Sheets or other available sources as a CSV.
- Under “Upload CSV File,” choose the CSV from your computer.
- Check “Prefix U.S. Country Code” if the numbers contained in the CSV are U.S. numbers and do not already include the country code (1) at the beginning of the number.
- Click “UPLOAD AND PREVIEW IMPORT.”
- If everything looks as-expected, confirm and submit the upload.
Distribution lists allow Agents to send a message to multiple mobile numbers simultaneously and can be named and saved for reuse. The type of sending number determines the size of the distribution list to which a message may be sent. Keep in mind that these limits are not a technical constraint but are instead based on carrier best practice guidelines for proper usage on each route:
- +1 Standard Numbers (Non-Toll-Free): Default 10. Check with your service provider for more details on this limitation.
- +1 8XX (Toll-Free) Numbers: Default 50. Max 5,000 set by service provider based on need.
- U.S. or Canadian Short Codes: Default 50. Max 5,000 set by service provider based on need.
View Distribution Lists
To access your distribution lists:
- Go to “Settings.”
- Click “Distribution Lists.”
Add Distribution Lists
To create a new distribution list:
- Click “NEW DISTRIBUTION LIST.”
- Create a friendly name for your list.
- Select the “Add to Inbox” option. (Note that this option impacts only the outbound message display within the application. Selecting “Yes” includes the outbound message in the Message Center’s preview as “Open” status. When “No” is selected, the outbound message will not be displayed in the Message Center’s preview. Inbound messages arrive in the Open” status regardless of whether this option is set to “Yes” or “No.”)
- Select the end-users you wish to include in the list.
- Add any additional, non-registered users in the “Add New Phone Numbers” text box.
- Click “SAVE.”
Edit Distribution Lists
To edit an existing distribution list:
- Locate the existing list you wish to edit on the Distribution Lists page.
- Click the “EDIT” button on the right-hand side that corresponds with the desired list.
- Edit as needed.
- Click “SAVE” to save your changes.
Send to a Distribution List
To send a message to the multiple users via distribution list:
- Go to the “Distribution Lists” page under “Settings.”
- Locate the list to which you wish to send your message.
- Click the “COMPOSE NEW MESSAGE” button on the right-hand side that corresponds with the desired list.
- The recipients of the message will be pre-populated by your list. Select the number from which you wish to send your message.
- Enter the content of your message.
- Click “SEND.”
Previous messages are visible at the bottom of the “compose message” page.
Opt-ins & Opt-outs
Customers can stop and restart receiving text messages at any time using specific keywords. By default, the application will opt a user out with the keyword “STOP” and restart them (opt them back in) with the keyword “UNSTOP.” Keywords are not case-sensitive. Regardless of the number type you are using (toll free number, standard landline, short code) STOP and UNSTOP works the same way across all number types.
When a Mobile End-User is opted out using STOP, they are opted out of all numbers and distribution lists on the account - not only the one they replied to with STOP. The same goes with UNSTOP - the user will be opted back into all numbers on the account.
Due to the conversational nature of texting, we have not included other common industry opt out keywords (CANCEL, QUIT, END, UNSUBSCRIBE, ARRETT) as account-level opt-out keywords within the application. This is to avoid an unintentional opt-out by a user who is texting these words for other reasons (e.g. “cancel my magazine subscription” or “end of game, leaving shortly”).
STOP and UNSTOP are reserved for the purpose of opting out and restarting message service at the account level. These keywords should not be used for the Join a List feature.
Though STOP and UNSTOP are the default keywords for stopping and restarting an end-user’s subscription, a Company Admin may add opt-out keywords through the Auto-Replies (Text Based) feature by creating a rule and checking the opt-out checkbox for the keyword or pattern.
There are some additional options for Service Providers which can and may be enabled on the application account.
When an inbound “STOP” message is received:
- Text boxes for conversations with that mobile user are locked at the account level - no Agents within that account will be able to compose a text to that mobile number.
- The status of the “opt-out” flag is changed from No to Yes in Settings > Mobile End Users and checked in the check-box in the Mobile End User Info Tab
When an inbound “UNSTOP” message is received:
- Text boxes for conversations with that mobile user are unlocked, enabling Agents on the account to compose texts to that mobile number.
- The status of the “opt-out” flag is changed from Yes to No in Settings > Mobile End Users and unchecked in the check-box in the Mobile End User Info Tab.
Agents and Admins can manually opt end-users in and out. Checking the opt-out box in the Message Center Mobile User Info Tab will opt the user out, and unchecking it will opt them in. (Be sure to SAVE!)
This page was last updated 1523396873003