WhatCounts has partnered with Vonage to provide an SMS solution for the Professional Platform. The feature provides the ability to push SMS alerts to your customer base, as well as receive and process inbound messages. Here are a few things you should know:
- We support multiple codes and can provide an LVN (Long Virtual Number) for your use with the SMS feature.
- Short codes require an additional fee and set up time.
- The time to procure a new short code is 12-14 weeks.
- Transfering a short code to WhatCounts will take 6-8 weeks.
- Personalization is available though limited. Text messages have a 160 character limit. When you're building your message, we will calculate the number of characters used, so you'll know how many are available.
- There is no limit to the number of messages you can send, but you will be charged for every outgoing message.
- SMS: Short Message Service. It is a simple representation of the text content deployed in an SMS campaign. It is the equivalent of an email ‘template’. Emojis are supported
- Sender Code: This is your assigned short code. Recipients of messages sent from this number will see this code as the 'sender'
- Outbound SMS: messages that originate from the WhatCounts’ platform
- Inbound SMS: messages received by the WhatCounts’ platform
- Delivery Receipt: confirmation the message has been delivered
- SMS Contact: the entity that encapsulates a user's phone number
- SMS Campaign: the deployment of the message
- SMS Groups: collection of phone number or contacts. Similar to a ‘segment’ or ‘list’
A Sender Code is either a standard US phone number or an alpha-numeric ID that is used to send and receive text messages in the system. It represents the 'from' field when deploying an SMS. The message recipient will see this sender on their mobile device when a message is received. There are different regulations for different countries, but right now only US sender codes are supported. This is required in order to begin deploying SMS Campaigns.
- Sender Codes cannot be modified via the application. They are setup prior to using them and can only be removed by a WhatCounts' employee.
Outbound SMS are messages that are initialized from the Whatcounts' platform to a consumers' mobile device. Here are several things that can trigger an outbound message:
- The consumers’ actions with a client's product or service.
- A predefined SMS response to a consumer's inbound message sent to an active short code or number.
- Triggered through the WhatCounts’ application by submitting an SMS deployment.
Once the SMS message leaves the WhatCounts’ platform, it is routed to our SMS provider who acts as an aggregator. The messages are divided up by *carrier and then pushed to each respective carrier. The carrier processes these messages and send to the consumers’ mobile device. A delivery status, known as the Delivery Receipt (DLR), is sent back to our SMS provider and it is then passed along to WhatCounts for processing and tracking.
*refers to AT&T, Verizon,Sprint etc.
Inbound SMS are messages that are initiated from a consumer's mobile device. This is the reverse of the outbound SMS flow. The consumer sends a message to an active registered short code or number. The mobile carrier receives and processes the short code or number. The message is then sent to our provider who passes it along to our endpoints for processing. Here are a few reasons a consumer may send an inbound message:
- A consumer sends a predefined message such as 'HELP', 'STOP', 'SUBSCRIBE' or a custom client defined message such as 'BAL' to retrieve an account balance.
- A consumer sends a non-predefined message to short code or number. (Ex. "How do I reset my password?")
- Such messages will be processed by the 'automatic' Preset Message, if one exists.
Delivery Receipt (DLR)
The delivery receipt or DLR is simply the status information for a particular message that is sent by the mobile networks to the original sender of the message, which in this case is Vonage. Vonage sends this information to us via API call for us to process accordingly. These status messages basically tell us whether an SMS has been received at the destination device and whether it succeeded or failed. We use these receipts to update tracking records to report the status of that message.
An SMS Contact is simply the entity that encapsulates a user's phone number. It represents a registered mobile device owner that has agreed to receive mobile-based communications. There is other data stored along with the phone number such as country, and email Contact ID. A contact can be entered into the system through the UI, File Import, API, or FTP API. Here are some additional details:
- There are regulations around how phone numbers can be obtained, such as required disclosures. It will be your responsibility to make sure that you follow all rules and standards. WhatCounts is not liable for any infringement on those regulations.
- We only support US phone numbers.
- Linking an email contact to an SMS Contact will provide additional information on the email contact details page (SMS Tab).
- Linking an email contact also will allow for future SMS segmentation.
- We track the source of the entry in a 'source' column.
An SMS Campaign is the deployment of an SMS Message to all contacts to a Sender Code and/or Group. An SMS Campaign Deployment can be done through the Deploy Wizard. Campaigns can also be scheduled for a future date/time.
- Campaigns scheduled for a future date can be edited before the scheduled date is reached.
An SMS Group is a collection of phone numbers or SMS Contacts. A group can only be created through the UI. Contacts can be added to a Group through the UI, File Import, API, or FTP API.