Our Announcements feature allows you to send one message to a group of contacts, instead of texting each contact individually. You can also customize these messages using Variable fields. Variable Fields pull specific customer information like your customer's name into your Announcements.
To create an Announcement, select the Messaging Tools > Announcements, select your department (if you have more than one) and then click the blue New Announcement button to the top right.
Enter the title of your message (this is only seen internally) and the body of the text. Please note that the Announcements feature is not for marketing, sales pitches, or SPAM of any kind. Announcements also support MMS and attachments.
If you would like to include variable fields (pieces of information pulled from the customer's details), you can use fields from the Address Book or custom columns from a CSV Upload (done in Step 2). Learn how to use variable fields here.
Finally, select the Department - this will determine which phone number the Announcement comes from. If you only have one Textline phone number, you may skip this step.
On the next screen, you can choose to send the Announcement a number of different ways:
- Manually enter contact phone numbers
- Select any number of contacts directly from your Address Book
- Send to contacts with a specific tag
- Upload a CSV file (download the CSV template here)
Please note that if you utilize the tagged contact option, the list of contacts used for your Announcement will now be pulled until the Announcement is sent. You can tag contacts by selecting the View link next to their name in the Address Book or in their information section in the Conversation Dashboard. You can read more on tagging Contacts here.
This screen allows you to configure how you would like to handle any conversations that come up after you send your Announcement. The fields have a default setting, so feel free to skip this page. If you would like to read more about these advanced settings, head over here.
This is the step where you decide when you would like to send your Announcement. Your options are to Send Now or Schedule For Later
The final page is a preview of your Announcement. It shows you a summary of the settings you selected in the previous screens (minus the advanced settings in Step 3) and also has edit buttons to change anything necessary.
If the preview looks good, then click Send to send or schedule your Announcement.
Watch the video tutorial on Using Announcements here.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Sending mass messages over SMS is highly regulated, and there are legal restrictions around sending text messages for marketing purposes. The Announcements feature is intended to provide information to existing customers or contacts relevant to products or services that they have already purchased or that the customers have already agreed to be a part of. Please click here for more information on these regulations.
Due to the level of regulation, Textline will need to approve your first Announcement before it is sent to your customers. Once you've created and selected Send on your first Announcement, we will review the message and determine whether or not it has been approved. You will receive a notification when the message has been approved and sent.
If you would like to speed up your Announcements, the Smart SMS department is a great option. You can read more on Smart SMS and the effects it has on Announcement speeds here.