It's well known that text messages grab people's attention in a way that an email often doesn't. For practices, it can be a great way to contact a client when it's important. Senta has an easy text message service built-in, and you can use it to notify your clients about dates and deadlines -- anything important or time-critical.
Please note: our text messaging feature is currently unavailable during the 30-day free trial of Senta.
Sending text messages is as easy as sending an email. Easier because you don't have to specify a number or subject or choose a sender -- just the message itself when prompted.
Senta will send text messages as part of a job, so to use texting, you need to edit the appropriate job template -- more details below.
Text messaging in Senta comes from a no-response number. Your clients will be unable to respond to text messages sent from Senta. These messages are mainly aimed at being a way to remind your clients of upcoming work and deadlines.
To send text messages to a contact, you will need to make sure that you add a phone number to the "mobile" field on the contacts tab rather than the "telephone" field.
Enabling the text messaging service
Go to Settings > General Settings > Extras, and set Text messaging to On.
Raise a support ticket to let us know what you would like your sender name to be. This can be a maximum of 11 characters, including upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and spaces. Sender names are not supported in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Please see below for more information on how text messaging works in these regions.
Enabling the text messaging service outside the UK
Several regions do not support sender IDs. Countries that don't support sender IDs are the following: American Samoa, Argentina, Bahamas, Belgium, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Republic of Congo, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guam, Guatemala, India, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, South Africa, South Korea, Syria, Taiwan, Uruguay, United States, Venezuela, Yemen.
Any text messages sent from Senta will come from the standard phone number 18572548444. We recommend that you contact your clients when the text messaging service is set up, to let them know that this is the number you will be texting them from.
If you are based in any of these countries, please contact the support team at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can set this up for you.
Setting up a texting Task
To set up a text message Task, you must add it to an appropriate Job. For example, suppose you want to send a text to clients on the date their VAT payment is due; you would add a text message Task to your VAT Return Job.
You will need to add a new Task and set its type to Send text message. Please note that when using this Task type, you can only send a text to the primary contact.
You can also enter a standard message to be sent, but of course, you can edit this at the time the message is sent.
As with emails, you can use placeholders to customise the message, like this:
Scheduling and assigning the Task
You have all the usual options for scheduling and assigning Tasks, but we recommend you assign text messaging tasks to a person, not System. If you assign a Task to System, Senta could send this at any time... and your clients may not appreciate an urgent text message at 4 am.
As well as a specific individual, you can assign the Task to Auto-assign. This means that the appropriate person will be asked to complete and send the text when the time is right. He or she (usually the account manager) will be presented with a prepared text message in the normal way. It can be edited or sent as is.
You don't need to put a start or due date; the Task will be available as soon as the Job starts. However, you can do something like this:
Ensure Senta gives you the texting Task three days before the VAT return is due. In this example, it will be flagged as overdue on the date the VAT return is due.
Sending an ad hoc text message in Senta
On any client page, click on Send a text message.
From here, you can compose a message and choose which contact to send it to.