(DM-9) Working with Text/SMS Messages

When we talk about a message in Workshop Angel, there are two components that can be defined and sent - an email part, and also a text/sms message part which gets sent to a contact's mobile phone.
While you are likely to focus your communication with clients on the email part, it is important to realise the text/sms part is there and to consider using it when you feel it will bring a benefit to your communication.
This lesson talks exclusively about the text/sms part of a message, in terms of how to enable that part to be sent, and create its content.

Text/SMS Sending Is Charged Extra

One important thing to know about sending text/sms messages is that due to the costs involved, we have to charge you an extra fee for sending these messages.
This fee is on a per message basis, and is based on the charge that we have to pay to send them plus a 10% surcharge for us to deal with the administration involved.

Enabling Text/SMS Sending

Because of the extra fees involved, we have a special switch which enables or disables text/sms sending for your entire Workshop Angel account. This defaults to disabling text/sms sending to prevent you sending them out by accident.
To enable text/SMS Sending
  • Go to Settings - Business Settings
  • Set the "Text/SMS message sending" option to ON
When you set this field ON, you will then be prompted in the field above to enter the details of where your message is sent from...

Text/SMS Message Sender Information

It is important that when the message is sent, it appears to your client to have come from someone. In the world of text/sms messaging, this can either be a phone number, or a short set of words.
To set the "From" information for text/sms messages:
  • In Settings - Business Settings
  • Set the phone number or text in the "Text/SMS messages are sent from" field
  • Click on [Save]
If you put a phone number in here then your clients will be able to reply to your text/sms messages. If you put a name or leave it blank, then any reply they send will be lost, so it is is best to mention not to reply in your messages.

Editing Text/SMS Messages

For each activity based message that you send, there is a text/SMS component to the overall message contents.
To see the text/SMS message component:
  • Start editing a message when inside an activity
Near the top of the message edit area is the field title "Content - Text/SMS message"
  • Click on [Show] next to this title.
The text/sms message editing area appears below where you clicked:
Because text/sms messages have no formatting, then the message editing area has none of the formatting options available in the email editing window below.
The text/sms message can contain any of the shortcodes that are available to the type of message you are creating.
As you may know, text/sms messages are charged per 160 characters of text that you send. The number just below the editing window show the total number of characters and the number after the '/' shows the number of messages this equates to. Be aware that after the shortcodes have been substituted, the actual message length could change.
When you have enabled the global sending of text/sms messages and also typed the message, you also have to enable a specific message to send:
  • Select the "Send Text/SMS Message" option
  • Click on [Save]

Viewing Text/SMS Messages

Once you have enabled the [Send Text/SMS Message] option and clicked [Save], then the content of the text/sms part of a message can also be viewed with all the shortcodes substituted:

Setting Correct Phone Numbers for Contacts

As you may know, phone numbers have different formats for whether they are local to the country they are being sent from, or in a different country.
For example, for a US based phone number:
Sending from the US: 123 456 7890 Sending from other countries: +1 123 456 7890
For a UK based phone number:
Sending from the UK: 07890 123456 Sending from other countries: +44 7890 123456
Our sending service will consider your messages to be sent from the country you specified your business is based in when you signed up to Workshop Angel. You will need to make sure to use this international format for all contact mobile phone numbers you send to from outside your home country.

Sending Text/SMS Messages

When you send a Message as we define it in the app, then if you have followed all the details listed above, then both the email component and the text/sms component will automatically be sent at the same time.
You can read more about monitoring how the messages have been sent in lesson SM-4.

Non Activity Based Messages

At the current time it is not possible to send a text/sms as part of a non-activity based message. This is an option we may add in the future if there is sufficient demand from our user base.

Summary

That is all there is to know about sending text/sms messages! We have looked at how to enable them in business settings, and how to enable a specific message. We've covered how to access the editing area, the issues around message length, and finally how to manage your contact's mobile phone number format to make sure all messages get sent.