Quick Start Guide

Navigation Overview

eTXT's navigation is simple and intuitive.

The eTXT Menu appears to the left of the screen, with the currently active menu item clearly highlighted so you can see where you are at a glance.

Let's take a look at those Menu Items and get familiar with them.

Main Menu Item Section Description
Compose Send messages and view recent messages from all sources such as SMS via email, API, mobile or Web... all your recent messages are in one place and updated regularly.
Inbox A filtered view of Messages you have received. This includes all messages received as replies to messages sent via the API, Mobile Interface and Email as well as your Web messages.
All Messages View all your messages.
Sent Messages A filtered view of Messages you have sent. This includes all messages sent via the API, Mobile Interface and Email and your web messages as well as MO messages to your virtual numbers.
Scheduled Messages View a list of messages that you have scheduled to send.
Draft Messages We save your unsent messages regularly, just to be safe.
Templates Add, find and manage your message templates. These are messages you might send frequently.
Keywords Add, find and manage your keyword configuration. This is used to configure inbound processing, such as Group Opt-In. Admin Users Only.
Numbers Add, find and manage numbers available to your Company.
Contacts Create, find and edit contacts in your online address books.
Groups Manage groups of recipients. Import/export contacts and access the bulk sender page.
Security Domains Partition your Contacts into Domains, to control which Users can see which Contacts.
Blocked Numbers Upload or edit numbers that are banned from receiving messages from you or your accounts. You must take opt out requests from recipients seriously or your service may be disconnected.
Contact Settings Configure properties about Contacts, including custom properties, STOP keywords, and ensure users can only send to Contacts rather than arbitrary numbers.
Profile User level settings allowing you define your name and contact details. Also define Account Alerting here.
Preferences User level settings allowing you customise your preferences such as Browser Notifications, Default Source Numbers, and your home page.
Email2SMS User level settings for Email2SMS. Define your Email signature and request email addresses here.
API Keys Define an API Key for your user here.
Company Limits Set and alter your companies settings to limit and control costs, functionality and user access. Admin Users Only
API Settings Allow eTXT to notify you when a message arrives, or a status changes. Admin Users Only
Email2SMS Control who can use Email2SMS in your Organisation. Import addresses via CSV files, add domains and adjust your companies security settings. Admin Users Only
Users View a list of users in your company. Click a user to edit eTXT settings for them including Group access, Email2SMS, Reply to Mobile, Forward to Mobile and Long Message options. Admin Users Only
User Requests Grant Requests from your users, including requests for access to Email2SMS. Admin Users Only
Mobile Settings Control if you want to allow Reply to Mobile and Forward to Mobile. Admin Users Only
Reports View reports on your user group. Admin Users Only
Log Out Leave eTXT.

Searching

Messages, Drafts, Templates, Blocks, Contacts

The search by default does a sub-string search so for example searching for food would return

Pet Food
Food fun
Fastfood

This can be useful when you want to broadly find something, but at other times you need something more precise, for example you may want to find food at the start of a sentence. In this case your search string should be:

Searching at the start of a sentence

^food

And if you want to find fun at the end of a sentence you would use:

Searching at the end of a sentence

fun$

You can do even more powerful searches - in fact you could make it hugely powerful. If you are keen - take a look at Wikipedia or one of the other guides to POSIX regular expressions on the Internet.

Inbox Searching

Because of the performance overheads of searching large Inboxes, searches begin when 3 characters are entered into the search box.

Sending a Message

How to Send a Message

The simplest way to send a message is via the Compose page.

Step Explanation
Enter the recipients' number in International format.. If you are sending to an existing Contact or Group then you can enter the Name or Alias of the Contact - suggested matches will show as you type.
Press the 'plus' icon or hit the Enter Key. Your recipient will be validated and recipient list updated.
Enter your message into the message field. We'll indicate how many text messages are required to send your message.
Double check your message and then Send it or Schedule it to send at a later time.

Your message will be sent using our global coverage of mobile networks. It usually works but sometimes your message may not get delivered. If it does not get delivered, check you have number correct, resend the message and if it is still not working then contact Support. You can see from the Status Pie Chart in the Sent Messages Section if there has been an issue in sending your message.

Once you have mastered sending a single message you can even import a list of numbers from Microsoft Excel using our Bulk Uploader functionality. You can also Schedule messages, Attach files or links to websites, use Templates and even use the Contacts and Groups from your Address Books. The recipient list allows a comma, space or semi-colon separated, list of numbers or Contacts from your Address Book. .

For example

john,6425484848,SALESTEAM

Although our service supports sending SMS via Email to mobile numbers, your administrator may have configured the system to only allow messages to be sent to people in your Address Book. An additional setting is to lock access so only the Company Administrator can add Contacts. This setting will apply to both the Web site and SMS messages via email.

These added levels of security aim to prevent system abuse. Contact your Company Administrator for more information if you are unable to access your desired Contacts or Groups.

Premium Service

Daily message limits apply until payments have been verified. For urgent changes after payment please contact Support.

Drafts

eTXT allows you to leave the compose screen and pick up where you left off by finding your message in the Drafts. A handy feature if you are waiting for confirmation on a location or date for a pre-planned event or meeting.

Emoji

Although we support the use of Emoji please understand that their use can have a huge impact on the number of ‘parts’ (also known as ‘fragments’) required to send your message. More parts means increased costs, so if adding that little heart or smiley face increases your message from a 1 part message to a 2 part message make sure you’re OK with that – you are doubling the cost of your message!

International Number Format

All numbers used in eTXT must be in International Format.

International Number Format is a number format that includes the country, carrier and phone numbers without any dialling prefixes (eg 00 or 001) or special characters such as the plus symbol (eg '6427000001' not '+6427000001').

The following table shows how some numbers are displayed in international format.

Destination Prefix Local Number Int'l Format
Australia 61 0403 416 7216 614034167216
New Zealand 64 021 525 582 6421525582
United Kingdom 44 07700 954 321 447700954321
United States 1 954 555 1234 19545551234
France 33 06 87 71 23 45 33687712345

More information on Country Prefix can be found here.

Contact Meta Data

Creating and sending messages is a key part of our service. We have looked at how people use it and the things that stop them from using it more often.

One of the things we know is that a lot of people do not know what International Number Format is. When you enter a recipient number we look up where we think it is likely to go and display a country flag. If you are only sending to your friends down the street or colleagues in another state then all your recipients are going to get the same flag. However, if you accidentally enter a wrong number this will be obvious so you change it before your message is sent.

As well as the flag, you can click the contact to view or edit the details and can even add new numbers to a Group.

In the example above we can see that the message has been composed for:

  • A number in the USA
  • A number we think is invalid, so it probably won't be delivered
  • A Contact called 'Charlie Chaplin'
  • A Group of numbers uploaded in a CSV file 'promo.csv'
  • A Group of Contacts called 'Celebrity Christmas Cards'
  • A number that has been blocked

The Inbox

Inbox and Sent Messages

The eTXT Inbox is a constantly updating stream of new messages. As new messages are received by the system they will be pushed to your inbox and highlighted in bold so you can stay on top of your communications.

The Menu options that are available to you depend on how many messages you have selected. These are are:

Menu Purpose
Export Download the Messages shown in the current view (up to 10000 messages)
Pause Refresh If you don't want to be interrupted when new messages arrive, temporarily disable the updating of messages
Filter An expanded Search function, allowing you to restrict the view by a time-range, or a specific Keyword
Translate Translate the message from one language into another
Mark as Read/Unread Indicate that you have/have not read the message. Unread messages are displayed in bold
Reply Reply to this message
Create/Edit Contact Edit the Contact associated with this message, or create a new one if they don't exist
View Contact's Messages View all Messages that involve this Contact's number
Show Properties View additional information about the message
Forward Create a new message, reusing the current message body
Delete Message Delete this single Message. All other replies will still be available
Delete Conversation Delete all Messages in the selected Conversation, including any Sent messages and other replies; be careful
Print Messages Print selected messages in a summarised format
Block Add this message's number to the block list, so they won't be sent more messages

All Messages

All Messages provides a sequential, unthreaded view of messages in real-time. This can be useful for monitoring activity (or use the powerful reporting interface)

You can set All Messages to be your home page by visiting eTXT Preference and changing the setting for Home Page.

Normally Inbox, Sent Messages and All Messages only display messages sent or received by the current logged in user. However, it is possible to view messages sent or received by other users in the same company and reply to their incoming messages, as long as you switch on Enable Shared Messages on user edit page .

Conversation

eTXT can show a view of your Inbox that allows you to see messages that are part of a conversation.

If you are expecting replies to your sent message then this may the best view for you. If you click on any message in the Inbox it will take you to the Conversation view.

Clicking on the pie chart beside the message shows the delivery statuses of the message.

Quick Reply

The option to Quick Reply means that you do not need to change screen, simply hit the Quick Reply icon and type your message. When you hit send the SMS message will be sent in the background and you can continue to answer your other messages.

On the right of the Send button is a dropdown providing you convenient access to your saved message templates - so you can use them in a Quick Reply.

Quick replies are billable SMS so count towards your account balance.

Block Lists

SMS messaging is a very personal form of communication and Spark would like you to take as much care with the people you message as possible. If someone replies with stop (or any other variant) then we would really like you to stop sending messages to that recipient. To help you stay on the good-side of your customers and also to prevent any accidents you should make use of the eTXT blocking functionality.

Whenever you are viewing a message you received you are able to easily Block that recipient. You can even do a batch of them at once to save you time. You can find your blocked number list in the 'Contacts' Sub-Menu 'Blocked Numbers'.

Some numbers may not be editable. If that is the case then these have been added by your administrator or at the system level. Do not ask to get them removed as they have been added at the explicit request of the recipient.

Block lists can be accessed on this page.

Unsolicited Messages

Sending unsolicited SMS messages is a breach of your terms of use and may result in your account being disconnected and other action being taken.

Sent Messages

As with the Inbox, the Sent Messagessection allows you to view messages in chronological order or in a conversation view that groups your messages together and shows how many replies each sent message has.

In the list view you can see a colour coded pie chart showing the delivery status for each message. We base this on data we get from the carriers as each message is sent. The more people you send to with a single message, the more 'pie' like the image becomes giving you a simple visual representation of the success of your campaign. To get more information on the message status click on the info-icon to the right of the status label.

You can also perform actions based on the status. For example, blocking all numbers that were flagged as 'Unreachable'.

Message Detail

The message properties and export options allow you to view and save data outside of eTXT if you need it for audit or other purposes.

Within the Conversation view, the status pie can be clicked to examine the recipient details and view or select a subsets of recipients for follow up messaging. Select the recipients by status to Resend, Start a new conversation or Block them. Resending will create a new message with all the same content as the last one. This is useful if you need to resend a message to a group that were unable to be reached.

You can start a new conversation with some or all of the recipients which is useful when you need to follow up the last one. For example you had 50 people respond to your first message and now you want to send a new message to only that 50.

Translation

Messages can be translated into other languages using our integration with Google Translate. Just click the 'Translate' button and choose your language.

Exporting Message Data

A message list or message detail can be exported to a standard CSV file using the Export option. This gives you the ability to take the data from eTXT and work with it in other applications such as Microsoft Excel.

If you require more information than is available in these data exports your administrator can run reports or you can contact Spark for customised eTXT reports (costs may apply).

SMS via Email

Email to SMS Messages

This feature allows you to use the email system you are already familiar with to send SMS messages. Simply compose your email normally and send; their replies will come straight back to your email.

You should address your emails to a contact alias or mobile number using the @etxtservice.co.nz domain. For example a.contact@etxtservice.co.nz if you have an existing contact in your email, or 6427000001@etxtservice.co.nz

For more information about SMS via Email see here

More Information

For a more in-depth guide of the functionality of eTXT please refer to the User Guide