Two-way text messaging works
When contacting your next customers, two-way text messaging is a great way to do it. Studies show the majority of texts are read, so it’s an effective way to reach the people who matter to your business. While phone calls are still best for detailed conversations, text messaging is perfect for short introductions, reminders, and follow-ups.
Sending a text message
SMS text messaging is easy in BellesLink. You can create, send, and manage two-way conversations in the Messaging screen or you can send and receive texts in the Contact Manager. This tutorial shows you how to do it both ways.
Managing text conversations
When you use two-way text messaging you have several ways that you can manage your messages. Using the Messaging screen you can close, open, and block conversations.
Closing and opening conversations
When your done with a conversation you can close it by selecting the conversation in the Messaging screen and clicking the red x-button in the top right of the screen. This will remove the conversation from your open-conversations list.
A conversation can be opened by viewing your closed conversation list, selecting it and clicking the green check-button. If a closed conversation receives a reply message, it will automatically re-open in your open conversations list.
If you don’t want to receive new replies from a text conversation, you can block the conversation by selecting it and click the red block-button in the top right of the screen. The conversation will be moved to your closed conversations list. If this conversation receives a reply it will not automatically re-open, though you can manually re-open it if you choose to.
Texting is a great way to reach your customers, but it comes with additional compliance requirements that businesses don’t have when making phone calls. These Federal compliance requirements are defined in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). As a business, it’s important to understand the details of text message compliance laws and regulations before gathering contacts or sending text messages.
Express written consent
According to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), customers must give businesses “express written consent” before the business sends them text messages. Even text messages that are merely informational require consent.
When you send a text message to a contact who does not have an opt-in recorded in the BellesLink system, you will be required to self-certify that you have express written consent to text that phone number.
To record an opt-in for your contact’s phone number in the BellesLink system you can send them a pre-formatted opt-in request message. When your contact replies YES, their opt-in is recorded in your account.
If you do not have an opt-in recorded in the BellesLink system for a number you are texting, an opt-out message will automatically be appended to your text—Reply STOP to opt out. Once you have an opt-in on record the opt-out message will no longer be added to texts sent to that contact’s number.
To improve deliverability and overall compliance BellesLink requires toll-free numbers for texting. If your account does not already have a toll-free number you can quickly and easily add one through the Number Setup screen.
Federal regulations require that a phone number that is used for business texting is also setup to receive phone calls. You can also do that easily on the Number Setup screen. This video tutorial shows you how.