It's well known that text messages grab people's attention in a way that an email often doesn't.  For practices it can therefore be a great way to contact a client when it's really 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.

Sending text messages is as easy as sending an email. Easier in fact, because you don't have to specify a number, 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 will need to edit the appropriate job template -- more details below. 

Text messaging in Senta comes from a no-response number. Your clients will not be able 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.

Enabling the text messaging service

Go to Settings > General Settings > Extras, and turn on “Text messaging”.

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.

Setting up a texting Task

To set up a text message Task, you will need to 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.  

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 and 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 4am.  

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, in which case the Task will be available as soon as the Job starts.  However, you can do something like this: 

to ensure that 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 text message.

From here you can compose a message and choose which contact to send it to.