We often get asked at TXT180 whether or not our clients can receive messages from their contacts. We know that the main purpose of text marketing is to reach out to your customers, but can they contact you as well?
Format of Reply
Yes! Of course they can send you a message, but because messages are managed through our online software, on your control panel, the way in which your customers will reply to a message (or send you a message) is different from replying to (or composing) the usual text message. Because TXT180 is on a shared short code, and the only thing separating your text messages from any other account on the short code is your unique keyword, in order for ANY message to reach you the message MUST contain your keyword as the FIRST word in the message. Only then will the message be directed to your TXT180 account, and can be viewed from your Inbox on your control panel. Prior to receiving the message you must also make sure that you have enabled the ability to view messages within the Inbox. If you would like to receive texts from your customers through your TXT180 account, please be sure to read this article in its entirety, you’ll be happy you did.
In order for a contact to send a message to your inbox the contact must first create a message to our short code 77948, and then put your keyword in the body of the message, then a space, then everything afterward is considered a message which will be forwarded to your inbox. The reason for this is because we are on a shared short code, which is nice because it keeps costs down. But, if the customer forgets to put your keyword as the first word in the message, before any other information, then our system doesn’t know which account it needs to go to. Any text that does not begin with your keyword will not be sent to your inbox and will get lost in the short code.
Limitations for Reply Messages
Messages received from customers have restrictions. Because every text has a limit of 160 characters, any messages from your customers must stay within the 160 characters (your keyword is part of that character count). Anything more than 160 characters and your phone will split the message, sending two different texts to send out all the information. Because the message is now split and two different texts are going to the short code the system will lose the second text because it didn’t start with your keyword.
Setting Up the Inbox
In order for you to receive the messages your account needs to be set up correctly. When you log in to your account, click on the inbox tab on the left, you will see two sentences at the top with boxes after them. The top box reads “Send Opt-ins and Messages to inbox” when this box is checked any new opt-ins and messages will be directed to this inbox.
There are a few other options in your inbox as well. The second box “Send opt-outs to Inbox” will send a message to your inbox whenever one of your contacts opts-out. You can also have the activity in your inbox forwarded to an email address or cell phone. To do this, enter in your email address, or cell phone number, and click the corresponding box to the left marked “forward”. If you choose to have your inbox messages forwarded to your phone it will deduct one out going message from your txt180 account. You may also have all your activity shown in your inbox exported into a CSV file, and saved directly on your computer, by clicking on the “Export to CSV” button. Make sure that after you make any changes to the inbox that you click on the update button, this will insure that all changes will be saved.
And if you have any other questions feel free to contact the TXT180 staff.