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When you send a text message it will be sent from a long code. A short code is a 5 to 6 digit number and a long code is simply a 10 digit phone number with texting capabilities. In addition to texting, it can be used for call tracking as well. In your account, you can add more than 1 long code phone number if needed. This is especially useful for organizations with multiple locations. A few examples are a religious institution, medical office or retail stores with more than 1 location. One additional point to remember is that some percentage of your contacts will reply or text back to your Sigma Voice long code phone number. These replies will be displayed in your account and you can reply to those replies and continue the texting conversation. It's important for your team to be aware of that so they are prepared to receive answer any questions or provide any additional information as needed. If the text broadcast message was about booking an appointment, the inbound team should be prepared to book an appointment for the customer.
During and after your text broadcast, some percentage of your customers want to reply to your messsage and they can too. No need to worry about keywords either. They'll just reply like normal. Those replies are available to view and you can reply to them right inside your Sigma Voice account. It's a great way to keep the conversation going.
There are 2 ways to add your list of mobile phone numbers into the Sigma Voice system. If you have a small phone list or want to create a testing phone list, you can enter the mobile phone number of each contact manually. For larger phone lists, there is an upload option. All the popular file formats can be used like Excel or even Notepad. In addition to the cell phone number, you can add the contact's first name and/or last name as well. After the group is created, it's easy to add new contacts, edit existing contacts or even delete existing contacts. In the event you want to delete a contact, we recommend adding the contact's mobile phone number to the Text Block List in order to prevent this phone number from being texted again. In your account, you can upload many lists of cell phone numbers. This makes it easy to text or sms a segmented phone list as needed. For example, a home services company may want to text message 10,000 customers over the course of 10 days. So the 10,000 contacts can be split into 10 groups of 1,000 mobile phone numbers each. Long codes phone numbers have a maximum limit of 3,000 text messages per day to stay compliant. Short codes can send up to 1 million or more text messages per day.
In order to stay compliant with the applicable laws and honor your contact's preferences, Sigma Voice offers a master do no text list for your convenience. Any phone number added to your text block list will be automatically "scrubbed" from your phone lists prior to sending the text broadcast. This is considered a best practice in the bulk messaging industry. Note: It's not enough to simply remove a phone number from your contact list. Invariably, a new contact phone list will be uploaded with one or more phone numbers that were previously removed. As a result, those phone numbers will be called again unless those phone numbers are also in your text block list. We also suggest downloading your text block list from time to time for backup purposes.
There are a few important settings to consider when setting up the text broadcast. The first is the date and time. By default, the text broadcast will be sent immediately during the window between 9am and 9pm. Alternatively, your text broadcast can be scheduled at a later date or time. It's up to you. For example, tomorrow from 1pm to 4pm. Next, you'll select the short code or long code you want to use. In general, the system can send 50 text messages per minute or about 3,000 per hour with a long code. A short code has greater speed and sending capacity. Next, you'll select 1 or more groups you want to call.
The Text Reports show a summary of how many contacts were sent and failed. At any time during the text broadcast, it can be stopped and restarted. Lastly, there is a CSV and PDF detailed text report that shows the result of each text to your contacts. The call report is automatically emailed to the admin contacts of your Sigma Voice account at the completion of the sms broadcast.