What can eTXT be used for?
eTXT provides you with an immediate, cost effective and simple way to communicate to your staff, suppliers and customers directly to their text capable mobile devices.
The service offers a couple of simple ways to send SMS messages. In addition, it is easily integrated with your existing systems using email or a simple API. We allow you to update or alert people with the added benefit that the message is received wherever the recipient is.
eTXT offers various interfaces to meet the needs of different users:
- Via an easy to use web site.
- From email systems such as Microsoft Outlook® or from normal email enabled automated servers and processes. Simply add @etxtservice.co.nz to the mobile number you want to send to (in International Format), and use this as the email address to send a short message. For example:
- email@example.com, or
- Using a simple messaging API for basic integration into your systems. Mobile message recipients can then reply from their phone straight back to the original sender using patented mTag technology from Spark. Advanced features are available using the power of the eTXT Address Books and customized security settings.
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.|
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
And if you want to find fun at the end of a sentence you would use:
Searching at the end of a sentence
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.
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.
|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. .
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.
Daily message limits apply until payments have been verified. For urgent changes after payment please contact Support.
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.
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!
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
Forward 2 Mobile
F2M messages are charged against your Account
Every forwarded message is charged at the standard destination tariff rate.
Forward 2 Mobile relays all conversations to your mobile phone via SMS. You can continue your conversation via SMS just like you do on a normal handset, but with the added advantage of all messages being stored within eTXT securely.
Company Administrators can enable/disable this feature by going into Mobile Settings under the User Management menu.
Individual users can then ‘switch on’ the forward function per message thread, or as a default for all messages. You can toggle this feature within a conversation when Composing the message, or viewing the Inbox, or performing a Quick Reply.
When selected, all messages will forward to the chosen mobile number. Copies of all messages will also appear on the web platform.
Keyword processing can also be configured to Forward 2 Mobile when messages are received.
If you decide that you want to disable Forward 2 Mobile when you are away from eTXT you can reply to forwarded messages directly from your phone, using the following commands via SMS:
F2M disabled for current conversation.
F2M disabled for all messages associated with your User; effectively disabling it until a new message is sent with F2M option enabled.
Simple to set-up, eTXT allows you to Schedule your SMS Messages for a future time. Recurring messages can also be scheduled which will reduce your workload and make sure your team never misses an important meeting again.
The process of scheduling is only slightly different from sending a message immediately. Once you have composed your message you are ready to schedule it. Simply click the
Schedule button rather than the
Send button. You will then be able to pick a date and time for the delivery.
The easiest way to schedule a one off message is to use the calendar to find a day, click that date and then edit the time of delivery. Your calendar will show other messages you have scheduled which is handy if you need to add this one in reference to any others or to avoid sending too many messages to the same recipients on the same day!
Alternatively, you can click
Schedule again and choose from the delivery options.
Advanced Scheduling Options
Recurring Messages - The process for recurring messages is similar to that for a single message, you can even change a one-off message to a repeating one by editing it after it has been created. When creating or editing a scheduled message, if you want it to repeat then check the
Repeats... check box and choose the period type (day, week, month or year) and a number between 1 and heaps. Each period also has different options that makes sense when you see it in action.
Time Zones - Handy for if some of your team is not in the next room, you can schedule a message for delivery in a different time zone. Think of it as time travel without the jet lag.
Scheduling to Groups - If you schedule a message to a Group, the recipients will be looked up as the message is about to be sent. This is a very powerful feature when you use recurring messages as it allows you to update your Groups with new members, delete old ones and the next time the message is sent it will go the new set of recipients.
For recurring messages you need to specify the start date and the end date allowing you to run a daily message for the last 3 weeks of term or a weekly message leading up to the election. Type in the start date and the end date if you want but we find it easier to use the calendar provided and click the start date followed by the end date (or visa versa) until your period is selected.
Viewing Future Messages
You can view future messages by clicking the Scheduled Messages menu item. The list view shows your upcoming messages and allows you to click through to view recipients and edit the schedule.
To get other perspectives on your future messages toggle between List, Day, Week and Month views.
Sending to Multiple Recipients
The power of eTXT is in the ease of use for group messaging and team communication.
Generally the Groups are sufficient for your needs but there are occasions where you need to send a one-off message to
a group of clients from another database. You can copy a list of numbers directly into the eTXT compose page
If you are copying a column of numbers from Microsoft excel then it will work without any modifications.
If you are copying from somewhere else then make sure there is a space or new line between each number.
Alternatively, you can browse to your file of numbers by clicking the bulk send icon to the far right of the
Your file can simply contain a list of numbers in international format, with one number per line, or you may wish to use our
more sophisticated 'SMS Merge' format, described below.
When sending any message you should consider the opt out responses. See the info box below for more information as it is especially important when sending bulk messages.
Opt Out is a commonly used phrase meaning that a recipient has indicated that they no longer wish to receive messages from a sender. Regardless of how the recipient originally got on the list, if they opt out then they should be immediately removed from any list or Group and cease to be sent any messages.
The normal method of opting out is for recipient to reply to a SMS message with STOP or REMOVE. However, if they use any other term, phrase or language to indicate they no longer want to receive messages then failure to abide by that request may result in loss of service. We suggest you add Stop SMS? Reply with STOP to each of your messages.
SMS Merge is a powerful free feature in eTXT. It brings you the power of Dynamic Tagging to the composition of your SMS Messages. Something you may be familiar with in Email Marketing but now through eTXT, its ready for SMS!
Using eTXT SMS Merge Tags you can personalise the content of thousands of SMS so each one of your clients feel like you are TXTing them, and them alone.
You simply import a CSV file containing fields of data specific to each individual recipient, then add the fields to the message. This allows the message to contain personal information that could include the persons name, location, subscription preferences, favourite colour, clothing sizes, literally any information you have about your customers.
Step 1. Prepare a CSV File for SMS Merge and Upload it
The first step to utilise the power of SMS Merge Tags is to prepare a CSV File (Comma Separated Variable). This file becomes a list of your Recipients.
A CSV file is a way to collect the data from any table or system so it can be imported to any other application. Microsoft Excel can read and also save your information as a CSV file. To save your file as a CSV file, select “CSV (Comma delimited)” from the Save As menu.
The top line of your CSV file should contain a list of all the fields you want to be able to add to your message, separated by a comma, for example 'Mobile,Name,City,Colour'. The first column should always be the mobile number for the recipients in international format.
Each line below the top line should list all the details for each individual recipient in the same order as your fields and again separated by a comma, for example '6427000001,Bob,Hamilton,Brown'
Mobile,Name,City,Colour 6427000001,Bob,Hamilton,Brown 44854212124,Jason,Bristol,Orange 14082225555,Kate,Carcassonne,Red
In this example a header row has been included defining the name of the tag you can insert.
Using the uploader you can either select and upload your pre-prepared CSV file or simply drag the CSV file into the drag and drop area. eTXT will then check to make sure the file is a CSV file and has the above layout and import all your recipients details into eTXT ready for you to create your Message and send.
Step 2. Composing your Message with SMS Merge Tags
Once you have imported CSV file details you are ready to compose your message. To do this simply enter your message text into the Message field and when you wise to add recipient specific data click the insert tag button and choose the field you wish to add. For example you could enter "hello" and then choose name from the Insert Tags menu. Continue entering text and adding SMS tags until your message is complete.
SMS Merge Tags and Templates
Please Note: At this time there is no method of saving your SMS Merge Message as a Template.
In the Preview Mode you will see the SMS Merge Tags rendered with the longest value as an example of the message you are sending out. This allows you to keep track of your Message Parts and Character Count as you compose your message.
SMS Merge Tags and Drafts
Composer automatically saves your messages as you are working and this applies to SMS Merge messages also so you can come back later without losing your Recipients, or your Message Content.
Entering Merge Tags directly
Rather than adding Tags via the Insert Tag dropdown menu, more advanced users can simply type in a "$" symbol followed by the
Merge Tag name in Parentheses. For example to add the Name merge tag a you would type `
Ready, Set.... Send
Once you are happy with your SMS Merge message and have checked how it looks using the Preview Mode you can send the message immediately, or schedule the message to be sent later.
eTXT makes it easy to 'attach' a file or web link to any message that you send.
When you insert a file, your file is uploaded to our servers and made available to the message recipient as a 'short link' that is added to the message.
You can also insert a long link from any website you like, and we will convert to a 'short link' in the message body.
If the ‘short link’ text forces the message to exceed your message length limits, we’ll warn you immediately.
Templates form the base of a message, allowing you to create and save messages that you send often or may need in an emergency. You can share them (admin users only) or duplicate/copy them as required via a the Template Menu
Templates can be named so they are easily recognised in the template list when creating a message. If your profile allows it, templates can be up to three SMS parts (about 459 ASCII characters, or if the message contains any non latin characters then the max is 201)
You can send a template from the Templates Section. Alternatively, you can select a template from the drop down list from the Compose page and through a Quick Reply message.
It's good practice to identify yourself when sending a SMS message. From the eTXT Compose page you can set and use your SMS signature.
A signature will take up space in your message so it pays to keep it short. You also have the option of having eTXT start every message you compose online with your signature already inserted so you don't forget to do it. If you don't need it for a specific message then you can delete it.
The eTXT Signature is unrelated to an email signature. When using Email2SMS we also suggest that you use your email to set a signature. See the Email2SMS Section for more information on customising your account to strip long email signature text from SMS messages.
Message Source and Reply Options
By default all messages sent via eTXT will use a pool of numbers designed to allow message threading so that if one of your recipients replies with "yes!" you can tell if they:-
- Are available for the meeting your have texted about
- Are interested in the latest Product Release or
- Are going to need to change the Staff Roster.
See how things could get confusing if we didn't use a pool of numbers?
The threading pool also allows you to setup forwarding options for when any replies come in. You can do this in your profile page before you send any messages but you may need to contact your Company Administrator to enable this feature for you. Forwarded messages will be deducted from your message balance as you use them.
For details on how to set your defaults see the Preferences Section
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:
|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|
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 ⓘ.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have an existing contact in your email, or email@example.com
For more information about SMS via Email see here
eTXT allows you to perform actions when an incoming message matches a particular pattern, or keyword, and is sent to a specific number.
The available actions include:
Opt-In to Group
Add the customer to a specific Group. More information
Keywords can be defined on this page.
If your Organisation has access to multiple 'source numbers' (numbers you can send or receive a message from), then you may wish to control who has access to these numbers.
The 'Owner' of a number is able to define the specific users that are able to use the number. The Owner will receive any messages are delivered to this number that are not replies to an earlier outbound message, and do not participate in keyword processing
The powerful reporting interface permits accurate drilldown on the usage of the platform including the ability to export and search.
Complete documentation is available here
Messages can be sent using a REST API. This is useful for integration with CRM tools such as Salesforce, websites and POS systems.
With callback functionality built in you are able to have replies forwarded back to your application or through to an email address so the right person gets to see the reply as soon as possible.
See the Developers Guide for further details
The Contact Management section of eTXT is where you can define, group, and control access to, 'Contacts'; people you can send messages to.
Security Domains control which Users can access which Contacts. Every Contact must be in one, and only one, Security Domain.
By default eTXT provides two 'Security Domains' that can be used by your users; The 'Shared' Security Domain, that can be accessed by all users, and each user has a personal Security Domain where they can store contacts that only they can access.
What about Address Books?
If you have been a customer for a while you might be wondering what happened to Address Books, because Security Groups seem similar. We have more information on that subject for you here
We strongly recommend that you limit your use of Security Domains until you are completely comfortable with their behaviour, otherwise you may find yourself getting confused, especially if you start mixing Contacts from different Security Domains in Groups. Consider this example:
- User Bob has created a 'VIPs' Security Domain that only he can access. This is for high-profile people who should not be visibile to other users.
- User Bob creates a VIP Contact called Donald and puts him into the 'VIPs' Security Domain
- User Bob adds VIP Contact Donald to an existing Group called 'Tsunami Alerts' which is in the normal 'Shared' Security Domain
- When User Mary, who has no access to Bob's 'VIPs' Security Domain, views the membership of the 'Tsunami Alerts' group she will not see Donald.
- When User Mary tries to compose a message to 'Don' the autocompleter will not include Donald in the search results.
- When User Mary sends a message to the 'Tsunami Alerts' group it will not be sent to Donald.
- Only when User Bob sends a message to the 'Tsunami Alerts' group will it be sent to everybody, including Donald.
When defining a Security Domain you must also select the Contact Properties that are appropriate for Contacts in this Domain.
If you decide you don't want a Security Domain, you can use the 'Merge' function to move its Contacts into another Security Domain.
Access to the Contacts within a Security Domain can be granted to Users individually, or more conveniently for large organisations, a Group of Users.
Access permissions are as follows:
|Viewer||User can only view the Contacts|
|Editor||User can edit the Contacts|
|None||User has no access to the Contacts, even if they may be a member of a Group that does have access|
An Access that is suffixed with (Default) tells you that no explicit Permission has been defined for the User, and that this is the default Access for the User that has been automatically determined based on the Groups they are a member of, and their Role.
Company Admin and Group Admin Users have Editor access to most Security Domains.
Access can be Granted when editing a normal User, or from the 'Accesses' tab when editing a Security Domain. In this screen shot we can see that Johnny B. Good is already an Editor of the Security Domain, and that we are about to add Peter Jones as a Viewer, and Sally Wills as an Editor. We just need to click 'Add Access'.
A Complicated Example
Some customers wish to tightly control who can access certain Contacts. Here's one approach that provides this flexibility in a manageable manner.
- Decide how you want to categorise your Users. Perhaps in a Movie Magazine business you would have 'Sales', 'Marketing' and 'Editorial'.
- Create a Group for each of those User categories in the 'User' Security Domain, and copy Users into their appropriate Groups
- Decide how you want to categorise your Contacts. Perhaps in a Movie Magazine business you would have 'Artists', 'Freelance Writers' and 'Advertising Agencies'.
- Create a Security Domain and Group for each of those Contact categories, and move Contacts into their appropriate Group.
- Grant the User Groups access to the appropriate Security Domains. eg:
- 'Sales' might have Viewer access to 'Advertising Agency'
- 'Marketing' might have Editor access to 'Advertising Agency', and Viewer access to 'Artists'
- 'Editorial' might have Editor access to 'Freelance Writers' and 'Artists'
- Now when you create a User, simply put them into their appropriate Group(s) and they will automatically get access to all appropriate Contacts.
- Now when you create a Contact, simply put them into their appropriate Group.
Going forward you can also easily change access for entire Groups of Users, rather than having to update many individual Users.
As an aside, notice that you can now also send a message to all 'Marketing' staff, because they have their own Group.
Granting Access to Groups, not Users
Granting Access to Groups, not Individual Users, gives you far more flexibility when controlling access to Contacts.
Contacts are people you want to be able to send a message to. All Contacts have to be placed into a Security Domain, so we can control which users can see the contact, and also must be placed into a Group. Contacts are defined on this page.
Other, less obvious, fields you may wish to provide include:
- An Alias, which can make the Contact easier to refer to when using Email2sms.
- A Public Identifier, which can help larger organisations who regularly import data from their own computer system.
- A Group. A Contact must exist in at least one group. You can put the Contact into more groups on the Group Membership tab.
If you have defined custom tags, such as position, location, or pet, these are also able to be defined here. You can customise displayed tags on the contacts page by editing the Security Doamin and selecting visible columns. Tags can be searched just like other contact details - handy if you have, for example, a team name as a tag and you would like to text them all without having a group.
If you cannot add Contacts or Groups to your Groups then contact your Group Administrator as they may have set higher security settings.
See Importing Contacts for bulk management options.
Groups are primarily collections of Contacts, although a Group can also contain Users, and other Groups. Creating a Group is very similar to creating a Contact. Groups are defined on this page of the Application.
You have the additional ability to control the types of 'Contacts' allowed in a Group:
|Contacts Only||Only allow Contacts in the Group|
|Users Only||Only allow Users in the Group|
|Users and Contacts||Allow Users and Contacts in the Group|
System Identifier is a read-only property that can be used when importing Contacts programmatically. More information available here
The Group Membership tab allows you to view the Contacts, Users, or other Groups, that are Members of this Group. A quick view of a Group's Members can also be accessed by clicking through the Group's name when it appears as a recipient on the Compose Page.
Mixing Security Domains
We strongly recommend that your Group only includes member Contacts and Groups that belong to the same Security Domain.
There are two methods to import Contacts into a Group. The first is an online process done via the website. The second can be automated to upload from a CRM system or HRM system.
The online import can be found when adding or editing a Group, as shown below.
If you are wanting to send to a list of recipients one time only (or the list changes regularly) then use the Bulk Sender option on the Compose page.
eTXT imports files in CSV format, such as those that can be exported from Microsoft Excel.
The first line of an import file is the header row.
The minimum import is a file with a
number header, followed by a number on each line after:
Number 61497565432 61492776143 61492776242 6149219878763 614921887863 614921828763 614918828762 61498828762
This can be enhanced with names and group information. In the example below, users "John Stamos" and "Nicky Tomb" are in no groups, but "Christine in Accounting" is in the "Work" and "Play" groups:
Name,Number,Group John Stamos,61497565432, Nicky Tomb,61492776143, Thistoo,61492776242,home Zeeble,6149219878763,Work Overseer,614921887863,Work Jenny,614921828763,Play Christine in Accounting,614918828762,Work|Play Support Phone,61498828762,Work
You can import any field within the eTXT Contact - including 'tags' such as email, company, position, function, city, department, country. For example:
Number,Name,Alias,Group,Email,Department 9898840240,a111112,a12357,TESTINGGROUPS,firstname.lastname@example.org,Sales 211601037,a111113,a12358,TESTINGGROUPS,email@example.com,Marketing 64211601038,a111114,a12359,TESTINGGROUPS,firstname.lastname@example.org,Finance 64211601039,a111115,a12360,TESTINGGROUPS,email@example.com,IT
Restrictions and Rules
When importing a Contacts it is important that the file meets the following criteria:
- Comma delimited format (CSV file)
- Header row with the applicable values of "number", "name", "alias", "email", and "group". Check the spelling of the header rows!
- Each row must have the same number of fields, blanks are acceptable.
- Phone numbers must be valid and should be in International Format.
- Name values must be less than 70 characters long.
- Alias values must meet validation requirements:-
- Must be less than 64 characters. Longer values will be truncated.
- Must only contain alpha-numeric characters (a-z, 0-9), hyphen, underscore or full-stop. (ie: no spaces or special characters).
- Email address must be 254 characters or less. Longer values will be truncated.
- Multiple groups can be defined by pipe-delimiting the "group" field.
When importing Contacts into a Group you must decide if you are fully defining the Group membership, or if you are simply adding or updating Group Membership -- call this 'Merge Mode'.
|Enabled||Merge all members of this group with the records defined in the import file|
|Disabled||Replace all members of this group with the records defined in the import file. Any existing records that are not in the import file will be deleted.|
Choosing a Key
When using Merge Mode (ie: you want to update existing Contacts) you must choose a 'key' so we can identify the Contact.
The best key to choose is the one least likely to change for your Contacts. If you have an external system with an existing identifier, you should provide a 'public identifier' with your imports and use that, but for most people 'Number' works fine.
Importing via HTTP POST
As well as being able to import Contacts interactively, we also offer the ability to import Contacts via an HTTP POST to the https://www.etxtservice.co.nz/abimport.jsp URL.
The http parameters are as follows:
Your eTXT user login
Your eTXT user password
The System Identifier of the Group you wish to import into. (Recommended)
The Alias of the Group you wish to import into. (Alternative to absid)
The Name of the Group you wish to import into. (Alternative to absid. Not recommended, because it will fail if the Group is renamed)
The legacy 'Address Book Id' of the Group you wish to import into. (Alternative to absid. Not recommended, and will not work for newly created Groups)
Do you wish to use 'Merge Mode' or not? Valid values: 'true' or 'false'. Defaults to 'false
Which field would you like to use as the Import Key. Defaults to you Company's 'Contact Key' as defined in 'Contact Settings'. Options are:
This is best illustrated via an example using cURL:
curl -k -F "username=foo" -F "password=bar" -F "absid=G#272478" -F "key=number" -F "merge=true" -F "firstname.lastname@example.org" https://www.etxtservice.co.nz/abimport.jsp
Contacts can be exported from the Group management screen. Upon clicking
Export you will be prompted for a local
location and filename to save the Group Contacts to.
When exporting you have the option of also including 'Public Identifiers', which is useful if your organisation imports Contacts with this value defined.
The Exported File contents are fully compatible with the Import File format. Column headings are as follows:
|Type||Indicates the type of contact. Options are: contact, user, or group.|
|Name||The name of the Contact, User or Group|
|Number||The phone number of the Contact or User|
|Alias||The alias of a Contact or Group. The login name of a User.|
|Public Id||The public-identifer for the Contact or Group|
|Group||The pipe-delimited list of Groups that the Contact, User or Group is a member of|
|Group Public Ids||The pipe-delimited list of Public Identifiers that the Contact, User or Group is a member of|
Optional properties such an 'Email', or other Custom fields, are also exported as columns if they are enabled on the Security Domain used by the Group being exported.
In the following example "Joe Famous" is in two groups; "Authors" and "Directors":
"Type","Name","Number","Alias","Public Id","Group","Group Public Ids" "contact","Anglea McFiction","770000001","ang","C342334","Authors", "G0001" "contact","Joe Famous","770000002","bigjoe","C724421","Authors|Directors", "G0001|G007"
Group Opt-In allows a Virtual Number and an Opt-in Keyword to be set on a Group. This means if any Contact sends an SMS with your selected Opt-In Keyword to your Group's Virtual Number, Spark will automatically add the contact to the Group. This allows Contacts to add themselves to your Groups without any action required.
Admins can also define an Opt-In Message that is sent to a contact who has opted in to a Group. We recommend including instructions on how to Opt-Out from the Group in this welcome text.
If Contacts decide for any reason they no longer wish to receive SMS messages from the Group they just need to send the Group keyword followed by STOP. For example if your Opt-in Keyword is 'MOVIE' to Opt-out Contacts just send 'MOVIE STOP' to the Virtual Number.
If your company has a Company-level Stop word this will continue to remove the contact from ALL Company messages.
NOTE: Default STOP keywords are ‘STOP’ ‘CANCEL’, ‘QUIT’, ‘UNSUBSCRIBE’ or ‘END’.
How to Configure Opt-In:
- Create a Group you want Contacts to be able to Opt-In to (eg: 'Movie News')
- Create a Keyword ('Messages' Menu)
- Choose a Keyword for your opt-in (MOVIE in the example below)
- Choose the Group you want Contacts to be added to ('Movie News' in the example below)
- Enter appropriate messages to send:
- When they send 'MOVIE' to 4040
- When they send 'MOVIE STOP' to 4040
- When they send 'MOVIE HELP' to 4040
Once you have configured a keyword against a Group, you can quickly access it from the 'Group Keywords' tab when editing a Group
Want to get Group Opt-In setup? Have a chat to Sales about getting a Virtual Number.
Most of your personal options are maintained and managed by a Company Administrator. However, your personal information can be managed on your Profile page.
|Name||Your name is visible to other users within your company and can be changed at any time.|
|Password||Click on the change password text to bring up the change password dialogue. On-screen instructions will help you set a password compliant with your organisations selected password policy.|
|Mobile Number||Your mobile number is an important detail to have correct if you are using the forward to mobile or Instant Messaging service. Please note that users cannot share a mobile number (no duplicates).|
|Country||Your country affects operation of the product, our smart number helper uses your country to work out the correct destination number formats. Country is also used to set your billing currency. It cannot be changed at this time and you must contact support|
|Time Zone||Change the time zone to alter the way times and dates are displayed in the web site. This does not alter the time displayed on SMS messages (on the handsets) but will give you freedom to be able to view the website in a local time zone.|
A User can control some of their prefered behaviour, such as the 'Home' Page they see when they log in, on the Preferences page.
If you'd prefer to have a sequential expanded list of messages select All Messages and that will be the default option after login or after a send. Inbox is the default.
Conversational Message Threading
Conversational Message Threading groups all messages within a related thread under a single conversation much like Gmail/Outlook and similar. With this box unchecked, threading will be disabled and all inbound messages regardless of conversation will be shown in your Inbox as well as your sent folder.
By default eTXT is configured to restrict you to sending one message part (160 char ascii or 70 char if the message contains any special characters). You can increase this limit here.
This long message setting will be applied to all your sent messages (email, web and API) to allow longer messages if you require them.
While each message part is one SMS and will be billed as such, the recipient will generally receive and see one long message (carrier and handset dependant) and each long message counts as a single message towards any company/system message limits.
This sets the time period after which messages are automatically trashed/deleted. Useful if you want to keep your inbox manageable or are an Email2SMS user only.
Web and Mobile Source Number
If you have multiple numbers, alpha tags or reply to mobile numbers assigned to your User you can choose to set a default for all messages sent via the Web or Mobile Application.
Email/Outlook Source Number
If you have multiple numbers, alpha tags or reply to mobile numbers assigned to your User you can choose to set a default for all messages sent via Outlook Messaging or Email2SMS. This allows you to set the source on Email2SMS traffic which is not possible over email itself.
API Source Number
If you have multiple numbers, alpha tags or reply to mobile numbers assigned to your User you can choose to set a default for all messages sent via the API.
Decide the type of notification, if any, you want to receive when a new message arrives for you in eTXT
These settings are shown only if Email2sms is enabled for your user by your Company Administrator.
Email Signature Separator Regex
If you are sending long messages then you should consider reducing the risk that long messages sent via email will contain standard signature/footer text included by corporate email systems. The Signature separator setting allows you to define a custom string that will be stripped (along with all text after it) from the email when it is forwarded by SMS. By Default, the service uses accepted Internet standards to determine where an email signature is included, looking for '-- ' (dash dash space) unless another is defined in your eTXT Settings. More information available in the Email2SMS Documentation
Addresses and domains enabled for SMS via Email
If the User is allowed to send SMS via email then any addresses verified and assigned to this User are also listed on this page.
Request an additional Email2SMS address
Clicking this link opens a dialogue permitting you to fill out a request for an additional email address to be activated by your Administrator. Your Administrator will receive a request for this within their Action Items list and can approve it with a single click.
Company Administrators have additional options including security settings, company limits and user management. To view the documentation on company administration click here.
All online signups have full administrative access. Administrators can add sub-users or other Administrators. Sub-users do not have administrative function.
If you are a postpaid customer usually the nominated individual in the organisation becomes an Administrator User within eTXT and then administers the company.
For answers to common questions see the comprehensive FAQ section.