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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions about SMS Text Alert Mobile Platform

PREMIUM FEATURES

When and how can I change my keyword?
You may have as many keywords as your plan allows for. You can add and delete at anytime. You don't change an existing keyword - but rather delete the old then add the new. If you require additional keywords - you may choose to upgrade your plan.
How do I add the SMS widget to my Facebook page?
You can view our comprehensive Facebook Widget Guide by visiting the link inside your customer panel. When creating your Facebook widget, you will need to know your Facebook fan page ID. Visit the link inside your customer panel for directions on how to find your Facebook fan page ID
Why can't I send a voice broadcast message to my imported contacts?
Due to legal requirements established by the Do-Not-Call (DNC) list, all contacts must sign-up via an OSP to start receiving voice broadcast messages.
How do I view the results of my mobile voting campaign?
Once a mobile voting campaign has been created and is active, you can view REAL TIME results by going to the “Mobile Voting” home screen, scrolling down to the “Recent History” box, and clicking “Report” next to the campaign you wish to view results.
How do contacts redeem coupons?
After a coupon campaign has been created, you will be provided with a redemption link that you can forward to any of your sales clerks. When contacts receive their coupon code, which is unique to each mobile number, they can just present the text with the code to clerk at which point the clerk will enter the code as well as mobile number on the redemption site.

MANAGE ACCOUNT QUESTIONS

Does SMS Text Alerts provide us with a list of phone numbers that we can add to our list?
No. SMS Text Alerts has a strict opt-in subscription policy. The contact information you are approved to upload must consist of your own customer database. In other words, only people who have voluntarily opted-in can be a part of your distribution lists.

GENERAL PLATFORM QUESTIONS

Is this International ready?
Yes, feel free to send texts to customers in the US, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom plus over 100 other major countries.
Does this integrate with Social Media?
Yes it does, in fact our Facebook integration is very popular. You can embed a mobile text signup page directly on your Facebook once logged in.
How do I use a certain feature?
We have video tutorials and a faq available to you 24/7/365 to always know how to use our simple platform. Feel free to share it with your team and staff as well.
Are custom or enterprise plans available?
We can custom tailor our platform to your needs and also bring in industry expert mobile marketers with over 10 years experience to craft the perfect campaign for you.

APPOINTMENT REMINDERS

How do I import appointment reminders?
You can import contacts by uploading a CSV (comma separated value) file. Please read the following instructions carefully.

File must be a CSV (comma separated value) file. For instructions on converting an Excel file to a CSV file, please watch our "Import Contacts Advanced tutorial video."

The CSV file should contain 7 columns with header row in the following order:
Appointment Date Time, Send Date Time, First Name, Last Name, Mobile Number, Org. Name, and Message. A minimum of one contact information for each record is required but names are optional.

Dashes, parenthesis, commas, apostrophes, quotes, and other special characters are not allowed in any field except in the Date Time field.

SEND MESSAGES

Why did someone receive 2 or more identical messages from me?
Our system is designed to only hold unique contacts within each distribution list.

If a contact happens to be on several distribution lists - if a message is sent to those lists, that individual will receive it as many times as the # of lists they are receiving it from.

It is for this reason that we strongly recommend carefully designing your distribution lists or sending to a single distribution list so that this situation does not occur.
Why did some of my messages fail?
i. The text message was sent to a landline. In some cases, consumers may have provided you with their landline number, which is not capable of receiving messages. Therefore to help resolve this situation we highly recommend that all customers use our filter landlines feature which is located under the “Manage Contacts” section. This feature will filter out any landline numbers from the list of phone numbers you upload to the site.

ii. Carriers are blocking third party messaging from being sent to the phone number. To help resolve this particular situation, the contact must call their phone carrier and asked to have third party messaging be sent to their phone.

iii. The phone carrier is unsupported. Although we do support all major phone carriers and some smaller ones like Boost and Metro PC, there are some instances where the carrier does not support third party messaging. The same is also true for prepaid phones.
Is there a cost difference between SMS and MMS?
Yes, because of the file size that is being sent, there is a cost difference in terms of text credits between SMS and MMS. A regular SMS text blast, which includes simple plain text and up to 160 characters will cost 1 text credit per mobile number it is sent to. A MMS text blast, which includes long text messages (160 characters and more), picture, and video, will cost 6 text credits per mobile number sent to.

Please note - not all US carriers or mobile devices support MMS.
How does shorten URL work? Do I have to have one?
a. In many of our features you'll notice there is a shorten URL tool, which is great way to save characters when sending text messages. What the shorten URL tool does is it takes a long URL code and shortens it to a bit.ly link. To implement this task, simply enter the whole URL (“http://” included) into the URL tool field and click “Shorten URL” . Next, copy the shortened URL and paste it into your message.

b. Although this tool will help you save on text characters, it does not mean you have to insert a URL to your message.

Please Note
You'll have to cut and paste the shortened URL into the text message box. If you do not complete this step - the URL link will not be present on the sent message.

COLLECT CONTACTS

How do I build my database?
There are two major approaches to building your contact list.

Via the Internet
- Using our online signup pages (OSP)
- Using our embedded signup page (eOSP)
- Facebook Widget

Via Mobile Keywords
- Normal Type
- Mobile Voting Type
- Shuffle Responder Type

What is the disclosure field when creating a keyword?
In compliance to MMA regulations - when an individual opts into a distribution list - the advertiser must provide an estimate of how many messages an individual will receive in a given month.

This will not prevent you to send messages above this threshold value.

The optee will receive a text notification.

"Welcome! Msg Data rates may apply. Up to X# msg/mo. Reply HELP for help. Reply STOP to cancel."
Why is my mobile keyword not working?
a. When creating a mobile keyword, the very last step would be selecting the frequency at which the auto-response message is sent to the contact after he/she texts the keyword to the short code. There are three options you can choose from in this step:

i. Only once per mobile number. If a number is already on the distribution list that is attached to this keyword they will not receive the auto-response message.

ii. Only once every (hour, day, week, month, year). A customer can only receive the auto-response message every hour, day, week, month, or year depending on which one you choose. For example if you select every hour and the customer texts the keyword twice within one hour, they will only receive the auto-response message once.

iii. Every time. No matter how many times the customer texts the keyword, they will get the auto-response message every time.

b. The reason a keyword might not be working when you test it, is because the last step was set to “Only once per mobile number”. Again, if the number is already in the distribution list, you will not receive the auto-response message. We suggest that if you are running test to select “Every time” in the last step. Once testing is complete you can go back into your keyword and change the selection to “Only once per mobile number”.
Why are two messages sent out when my customer texts the keyword, and can I remove the REPLY STOP to cancel?
When someone texts a keyword for the first time, there are two messages that are sent to their phones: a welcome standard data rates may apply and the auto-response message which you create. The “Welcome standard data rates” message is a requirement mandated by the MMA guidelines and our contract with our supported phone carriers. However, due to this requirement, it will not cost you any text credits. In addition - the “REPLY STOP to cancel” is required and therefore must appear on every message that is sent to a contact.

MANAGE CONTACTS

I want to create a completely new distribution lists. If a number has already been pinged when previously uploaded, will I have to ping that number again and use yet another text credit?
If the contact is in a distribution list on your current account, you will not be charged.

If the contact is deleted before the duplicate is uploaded, you would be charged a second time.

If you use the Utilities feature to upload the list, and filter the non-mobile numbers the list is kept on the server and you will never be charged a second time for importing those numbers even if they are removed from your distribution lists.
How do I import contact phone numbers into my distribution lists?
Start by Clicking "Request Access"

A member of the SMS Text Alert team will review and enable the importing feature on your account.

Once you are approved, we highly suggest you run your numbers through the Utilities filtering feature provided on your account before importing. This will separate the phone land-lines from the mobile phone numbers. The Utilities feature can be found under the “Manage Contacts” page on your account. It will only accept uploads from CSV (comma separated value) excel files in the format of:

Column A – Mobile Number (No leading 1s or 0s; No symbols)
Column B – First Name
Column C – Last Name

Once you run the CSV file through the Utilities feature, #[:Company]# will filter the file into 2 different CSV files; One for the mobile numbers (which you may import after approval), and another for non-mobile numbers.

When you are ready to begin the Import process, just click onto the “Manage Contacts” page on your account, and select the bubble that says “Import US Mobile Numbers from a spreadsheet file saved in CSV (Comma Separated Value) format”. You will then be prompted to upload the contacts from your CSV files into your desired distribution lists.

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