While the reliability and functionality of outbound messages is our primary business, over the past 6 months we have been making some significant changes to the way we handle messages coming in to our platform. We have undertaken a fundamental change to the way we process messages coming into your account and while you won't have to make any great changes to you day to day campaigns, the reliability, speed and most importantly the flexibility in the way you can process inbound messages will be improved significantly
In explaining our updates there are two terms we use regularly that you should be familiar with:
MO - Mobile Originated message.
This is a message that has been initiated at the phone and is not a response to an outbound campaign or message.
MT - Mobile Terminated message.
This is a message sent to a mobile phone from our system.
The reason we undertook this project was to create more flexibility for receiving and processing MO messages when using dedicated virtual numbers and to create a more consistent approach to reply management across the board.
The overriding concept of the new system is that default inbound processing rules are set with your VIRTUAL NUMBER/SHORTCODE, and reply options can be overridden at the workflow level.
So for example if you have people texting a virtual number and want an auto response to go out, you can set that up on your number.
If you want to use the same number as the Sender ID for an outbound campaign, you can also do that but the response management can be overridden for each campaign.
Virtual Number Options
The first thing to note is that in the ACTIONS column of the NUMBERS section there are now links for shared and dedicated numbers.
Shared Number Reply Options
MO messaging is not possible with shared numbers so we have Reply Options, there is only one setting available here and that is the reply email address.
This is the default email address that when a recipient of any outbound message replies, the reply will go to this email. This setting used to be on the SETTINGS page and applies to all channels that us the shared number.
To unlock the more advanced reply options, you will need a dedicated virtual number.
Dedicated Number Inbound Options/Default Reply Options
With a dedicated number or shortcode you can now process MO messages directly without the need for a catch all keyword. The options set at the number are used to process MO messages and also are the default for out bound responses for Campaigns and Quick SMS. Campaigns and Quick SMS can also be overridden and saved within each workflow.
The options available for inbound message processing are identical to what are on keyword campaigns. This creates more flexibility for generic incoming messages.
Workflow Reply Options
Within both the SEND SMS campaign and QUICK SMS workflows is now a REPLY OPTIONS button that sits next to the sender ID.
From here you can access the same options that are available in the numbers section, except options set here will override the default reply options and remember your last saved settings.
This allows you to process MO messages with one set of options and process replies to reminders and campaigns with a different set if you wish.
New Sender ID Setup
With the different types of Sender ID options available, our users often found it difficult to understand which one to choose, and the implications of each choice. We have now simplified the display of Sender ID's showing exactly where replies go and the ability to quickly and easily setup new Sender ID's without interrupting your workflow.
Other Notable Changes
So what about Email SMS replies?
Email SMS will continue to operate independently of this reply options process. Replies to email will be returned as an Email SMS and can be replied to in order to send an SMS back to the recipient, however from this point it will become a 2 way conversation and will ignore reply settings at number or workflow level.
Exclusive sharing of numbers
For resellers, numbers can be shared exclusively with a client. This will allow you to pay for the number on behalf of the client yet have the same control as a dedicated number purchased directly by a client.
Keyword replies now show in reports
If you ask for a keyword response in a campaign, these will now also be shown in your campaign report, rather than just in your keyword report.
Email reporting on Quick SMS
Quick SMS now has an email reporting function. Many clients have asked for delivery confirmations on emails. This is specifically useful for checking if certain recipients in fact received or did not receive reminder messages.
Campaign Message Expiry
In this release we are adding campaign message expiry. While not strictly to do with message replies, this feature has been heavily requested. Essentially it is simply a setting to stop trying to deliver messages after a set period of time after the campaign has been sent.
By default it is set to 4hrs however you can set it to whatever you like. Sometimes messages get delayed for numerous reasons, (such as recipient out of range, phone off, recipient billing issue, carrier networking issue etc), and this option will stop people receiving messages at any inconvenient times as determined by you.