Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Forwarding your SMS replies to your email address - extra tip

In addition to Replies coming into your Replies inbox in your SMS Express account, you can also tell the system to forward any replies to your email address. There is no charge for this.

You can set this up via your Account Settings. Scroll down the page until you get to Incoming Messages Forwarding Settings.

::: Update:: we now have a video for this: https://youtu.be/z1qKbAsuaaM

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A quick primer.. Place holder fields are "dynamic fields" or "merge fields". SMS Express has 6 "merge" fields in your Groups. Typically you'd use these fields to personalise your outgoing text messages:

E.g.: "Hi Jane, your membership expires on 30 January. Please quote your member number 5678. Thank you! Acme Insurance"

In SMS Express, the bolded bits in the above example may look like this in your spreadsheet/Group:  

"Hi @@value1@@, your membership expires on @@value2@@ @@value3@@. Please quote your member number @@value4@@. Thank you! Acme Insurance"

The placeholder tells the system to "replace the code with data"....in the example above we have a Firstname, Date/Month and member number for each contact in our Group that we want displayed in the text message.

You would have received letters and emails which are personalised to you..this is the same thing. In direct mail it's called a Mail Merge.
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At the moment SMS Express default settings for forwarding to email includes ALL the placeholder fields and message info, and this can look confusing.

But you can customise it and remove unecessary fields.

In Account Settings, you'll see on the below screen shot that I have customised my account to only send me the basics to my email when I get a reply to my SMS messages:





 
1. Type the email address/es you want the Reply forwarded to. If you have more than 1 email address, separate them with a comma: E.g. jon@acme.com,jane@acme.com

2. Select Custom.

3 & 4. You can customise the subject line with normal text, or use a Placeholder. When you click Place holders, a box pops up and you can click on the Placeholder/dynamic fields you want..see screenshot:


 


Of course, you probably only need a few of these fields, but you have the choice. Also you can add your own text in so the information is nice and clear. I have more examples below.

5&6. Customise the body of the email message.
7. Save the changes in your account.



You can see in my customised reply settings, my email will show a Subject Line containing the words that I added Reply from customer and I want the system to insert their mobile number.

In the Body of the email, I want the system to include a bit more info:





You'll also notice some extra bits in the custom template: <br> <i></i>

Without going too geeky on you, these are "HTML tags". Basically, what webpages and many email messages are composed of behind the scenes, and it's a set of instructions telling browsers and emails how the page is to be displayed to us humans.

Normally you wouldn't even worry about this, but you can use really basic HTML to tweak your Reply message if you wish.

What I have done is told the email program to put a line break after each command, plus at the end, I want the original message to be in italics...and here's what it looks like in my email program (GoogleApps/Gmail):



The above is all I need, but of course I can still view all replies online in my account:



If you do want to customise it, and you get it all wrong, just Reset Default, Update defaults to restore the original default template.


I hope that all made sense. Of course if you need help or would like us to customise it for you, no problem.

Just call 1300 668 287 or info@smsexpress.com.au .