Guides Getting Started with ImpactText

Now that you know more about the capabilities text messaging can add to your business, let’s take a look at the ImpactText web based messaging portal, an intuitive and user-friendly gateway for all your text communications.

If you are in business, any business with customers, chances are you already have a customer list that you would like to start communicating with via text message. Let’s start there.

First, we will create a new list.

Create List

 

 

In the List Name field, type a name for your list. This name will appear in your Manage List view, so please choose a descriptive name that will help you remember what type of contacts the list contains.

Click or tap Save list button.

 

You will see a message notifying you that your list has been successfully saved.

Now that our list has been created, let’s add contacts to it.

Add Multiple Contacts to List

 

You can now choose a .csv file containing contacts to be added to your list.

An example .csv is available on this page. Simply download it, enter your contacts in the correct format, resave as .csv and upload. Alternatively, you can format your existing list to the correct format, which is:

No headers or column labels. The phone number must be in column A. The following fields are optional: first name, last name, email, custom field 1, custom field 2, custom field 3, custom field 4, custom field 5. You can use custom fields to collect information about each contact’s preferences, or to segment lists for campaigns.
 

Once you have selected your .csv file by clicking on the file in your file browser and clicking or tapping the Open button, you will see the file name next to the Choose file button.

Now select the list that you would like your contact to be a part of. You can select more than one list if you would like.

Click or tap   Save contact(s) button.

You will see a message that your contact(s) were successfully saved.

If you would like to add a single contact to your list, follow these instructions.

Add single contact to List

 

Fill in the form with applicable contact information.

The only mandatory field is Phone number. However, you can use the other fields to help grow your database and collect relevant information about your customers or prospects.

After entering your contact’s information, select the list that you would like your contact to be a part of. You can select more than one list if you would like.

Click or tap   Save contact(s) button.

You will see a message that your contact was successfully saved.

Let’s move to the most fundamental aspect of ImpactText, which is learning how to send a text message. It’s so easy you can do it in minutes.

Compose a message

Choose  Compose Message button from left side navigation menu.
 

In the From field, select the phone number or short code that you would like your text message to be sent from. This is the number that will appear as the sender on your recipient’s phone. If you only have one phone number associated with your ImpactText account, there will not be an option to select a different one.

 

The From Name will appear in front of your message text followed by a colon. This tells your recipient who the message is from. Your company name is recommended for this field. From Name counts in your character limit. You can set a default From Name in Settings.

The To field is where you designate who to send your message to. You can send a text to a single contact, up to 10 contacts that you enter manually, or lists that you have already saved.

Message text: you can enter your actual text message here. Please be aware that U.S. text messages are limited to 160 characters. You can see how many you have used by watching the character countdown underneath the message field.

As you type your message you will see it appear at the right of your screen in the smartphone preview.
 

You also have the option to attach opt-out language to your text. An opt-out is a way of allowing recipients to stop receiving text messages from you. There are different options in the opt-out message field: Standard, Custom, None and Write your own.

Click or tap   Send Nowbutton.

You will see an alert that your text message has been successfully sent.

You can also schedule messages to be sent on specific dates and times.

 

Schedule a message (to send in the future)

Log in to ImpactText portal.

Choose   Compose Message button from left side navigation menu.

Follow the steps outlined in the Compose a message help topic to create your message.
 

 

You will see an alert that your text message has been successfully scheduled.

 

Once you start texting your customers you will get feedback in the form of replies. In this section you will learn how to see and manage your replies.

View incoming messages

Click or tap Messages from left side navigation menu and select Inbox.
 

Your incoming messages are listed here, with the most recent at the top. You can see the number of the sender, a preview of the message text, the date and time it was received, as well as the list or lists to which the sender belongs.

 

To view an individual message click or tap the sender or message text preview. You can now choose to reply, forward, forward to email, mark as read, opt-out, add to a list, or view related messages or delete this message.

View sent messages

Log in to ImpactText portal.

Click or tap Messages from left side navigation menu and select Sent.

Your outgoing sent messages are listed here, with the most recent at the top. You can see the number of the contact (recipient) or contact list, a preview of the message text, the date and time it was sent, as well as phone number or code from which it was sent.

 

To view an individual message click or tap the contact(recipient) list or message text preview.

You can now choose to resend, forward, forward to email, view related messages or delete this message.

Reply to an incoming message

 

A box will open allowing you to write your reply.

Choose your Reply from number and click or tap   Reply

 

An opt-out can refer to several different things, but the overall meaning is that text messaging programs need to acknowledge a recipient’s desire to stop receiving text messages. This is what the opt-out does.

Recipient-initiated Opt-out

Click or tap Messages from left side navigation menu and select Inbox.

When a contact no longer wants to receive text messages from you, they send a reply back with some pre-defined language. Doing this results in their removal from your lists. Once a contact is “opted-out” they will no longer receive text messages.

 

 

Sender-initiated opt-out instruction

It is considered a best practice to include an opt-out phrase in your text messages in the following scenarios:

 

  The first time you send a contact a message
  At regular intervals in recurring message campaigns
  On all advertising that promotes text messaging

 

The opt-out phrase in the above message is “Reply STOP to end msgs.” By including this phrase in your text message you give your recipients the choice to opt-out by send back the word STOP.

After a contact has opted out, you may not send any additional messages to that contact.

An opt-in is a confirmation from a contact that they consent to receive text messages from you.

Here are some ways a contact can opt-in to your text messaging program:
 

  Enter their mobile phone number in a special online opt-in landing page
  Tap an opt-in button on a mobile webpage
  Send a test message containing a designated keyword
  Sign up in store or at a point-of-sale
 

If you are sending transactional messages and already have a relationship with your contact, an opt-in is not required, because consent is implied. However, if you are sending promotional or marketing messages to a contact with whom you do not have a relationship, a written opt-in is required before you can send text messages from a short code.

Opt-in language must be clear and accurate and must not be obtained through deceptive means. A good opt-in message should also contain the frequency of messages in the program as well as a notice that consent is not needed if recipient purchases a good or service from the sender.

Examples of clear opt-in language

 

It’s important to understand the rules of text messaging. In the United States, text messaging is regulated by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and is supported by each individual mobile carrier. The laws governing text messaging are the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991) and the CAN-SPAM Act. In addition there are some important organizations that offer best practice advice on mobile marketing: The MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) and the CTIA (The Wireless Association).

The FCC says, for texts sent to mobile phones:

  For commercial texts, customer consent must be in writing. Commercial texts are any texts that are sales-oriented, or designed to generate a sale.   For non-commercial, informational texts (such as service notifications, or alerts or transactional or relationship purposes) consent is implied.

In order to stay compliant, you should integrate the following into your text message campaigns:

   Regular airtime message and data rates may apply   Frequency – this is the number of messages you will send to your list    Clear opt-out instruction

 

As long as you follow the guidelines above and ensure that your lists contain opted-in contacts, promptly remove opted-out contacts and include opt-out phrases in your messages, you will always stay within the law.

Impact Telecom has a zero-tolerance policy for spamming and phishing. Although Impact Telecom is not liable for text messages sent via ImpactText we fully support U.S. laws and will immediately suspend accounts that are found to be in violation of U.S. laws pertaining to text messaging.