Email Post to a Friend: Tech Tuesday - Text Messaging Opt-In

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July
13

In this Tech Tuesday, Harley Wolfarth demonstrates the creation of an Email Blast that will lead your users directly to an SMS Messaging Opt-In page. Opting into SMS messaging will allow them to receive the text messages you send through the DeltaNET.

Video Transcription

Harley:

Hello, and welcome to Tech Tuesday, presented by Delta Media Group, where we made you some content. So today we are going to take a look at the SMS opt in page. This is actually a dedicated page to have customers opt in to the receipt of SMS messages from the DeltaNET. To give you a little background on the whole SMS system and how that works, and you can just search our channel for SMS and you'll find the other videos related to turning on a virtual phone number so that you can send those messages, and then also how you go about configuring those and how the opt in works. But to give you the Cliff's Notes version, what it comes down to is you can turn on the ability to send SMS messages through the DeltaNET by procuring a virtual phone number.

Harley:

When it comes to sending SMS messages, the rules around the ability to mass market through SMS or through text messages are a lot more strict than those used in email. So the only way that we can send those messages, or the only way the system can send those messages out from your virtual number is if the customer has opted in. So that means that each of the customers that sign up on your website would have to opt in or any customers that you import or just manually add into the DeltaNET would have to either opt in to SMS, like explicitly opt in to the receipt of SMS messages, or, when they sign up on your website, there is an option where they can select they want SMS or text messages to be their preferred communication method. So that also acts as a way of opting them in to receiving those text messages.

Harley:

Now there's an additional way that you can reach out to all of your customers after they're already in the system. So let's say that you have a bunch of customers in the DeltaNET, you've imported them, they've been added over time, and now you've just secured a virtual phone number and you want to be able to market to them through email campaigns and mass messaging via text message. In order for them to be able to receive those, they need to opt into text messaging. So a way that you can do that is you can send them a message with a link to a dedicated SMS opt in page. So this is a page that actually allows them to see the number that they're using, so the number the text messages will go to, and then click a button to essentially opt into those messages so that they'll start receiving them.

Harley:

So the way that you can send out that initial message or the message that basically requests that they opt in is by adding a special link to a mass email that you send out. Now, you can add this link to an email campaign or really anything in the system where you send an email, so any place where you would send out an email in the DeltaNET that allows you to do this, but for the purposes of this example, I'm going to set up an email blast as if I were just sending an email blast out to all of my customers with this opt in message so that it goes out to everyone, and then everyone has the option of opting in. So to go about that, first I'm going to go to the email blast page, and like anything else in the DeltaNET or in DeltaNET 6, there are a few ways that I can do it.

Harley:

So first, right here on the dashboard page, you can see on my dashboard in particular has a link directly to email blast. Alternatively, I could go over here to marketing and then down to message blasts and mail merge. So I'll go ahead and click on that just to get us there, but I could also use the quick actions bar up here on the top, and I could just type in email blast or message blast, and that'll also give me a link to this page. So however I choose to get here, once I get to this page, you can see we are on email blast, and it's going to default to email blast, which you can tell right here. So from here, I just fill this out like any other email blast. We've got some other videos that detail all the options here for email blast, so I'll just run over the first parts real quick here.

Harley:

Like any other message it's going to set the current day as my send on date, but I can modify that if I want it to wait and have it go out another time. I can put in my customers here, so in this case we'll say... If I wanted to send everyone, you can see when I click on it, this group, all marketing customers actually comes up. So go ahead and click on that. There we go. Now we can click out of that field. So now all marketing customers will be my recipient. So basically that is every active customer in my database. From here, I can copy myself on the message if I want, I can add additional CC or BCC recipients, and then ultimately put a subject line in here. Please opt into SMS messages. You probably won't want to go with that, but you can come with a nice sounding subject line to go with this message.

Harley:

From here you can add file attachments if you want. For this type of message I don't know why you would, but just to mention that you can add file attachments. And now down here, we'll go ahead and create our message. So dear... We'll use our system variables. Let's do customer first name. There we go. Please click on the link below to opt into text messaging. Again, you may not want to go with that exact phrasing, but the point is you can put out that message as whatever you want, and then ultimately what you're going to do here is insert a custom link or what's going to become a custom link for any recipient of this email that they'll be able to click on and that takes them to their own specific SMS opt in page. So again, that is under system variables. And if you haven't looked under system variables before, you saw me choose customer first name from there, but there are a variety of things I can do here. And you can see there are quite a many options.

Harley:

So if I want to fill in office phone number, if that changes, I can add that as a variable. For the customer related variables it's typically the most useful. Full name, first name, last name. So basically anything I click on in here, when the email goes out, will actually be replaced by the information that it signifies in here. The most important one in this case, or for this particular video is the SMS opt in URL. So if we click there, you can see there's my SMS opt in URL. So now when this message goes out, this will actually be replaced by a link to the page. Now like I said, that link will also be specific. I mean, this customer... It's sending out to the entire customer group, so every customer gets their own individual email, so each one will have their own first name first off and a link, an SMS opt in link specific to them, so that when they land on it, and I'll show you what the page looks like, but when they land on it, it'll be their version of that page.

Harley:

So really this is all there is to it. From here you can go in and you can change out this content however you'd like. You can add formatting. This is the full email WYSIWYG editor, so you can add pictures, you can add additional links in here. So there are a lot of different things that you can do. So once you have your email content built out the way you want it... Now I could say this is a draft if I want to use it later, or save it as a template if I want to use it over and over again. Maybe I just want to send it out to newer customers, so I'll just create a group of customers every month and send it out to those, that kind of thing, so the newest ones get it repeatedly.

Harley:

And then also I'll mention that you can use this in email campaigns. So what you could do is set this up as the first email to go out as part of an email campaign and then have all of your customers automatically added to that campaign, so that as soon as they're added, they'll get this email on their own. So that can be a nice way to do it now. So once you have this all set up, you'd just go down here, click on send, and that'll be it. It'll fire off this message to everybody else. The only content in this message will be what's here because it is an email blast. So it won't have a template or a wrapper or anything around it. But it will include the opt out links that are included at the bottom of all the emails that are sent out by the DeltaNET. So there you go. Now if I click on preview here, you can see there's an idea of what it'll look like, but obviously this will be filled in with customer's first name and this will be filled in with that URL.

Harley:

So there you go. Now, once they receive this email, ideally they will pick it up and they'll say, "Okay, I want to opt into receiving text messages," so they'll click on this link. That link will take them to a page that looks just like this. So it'll actually be loaded within your template, so this is a test template here, so it's not very pretty, but it'll be your webpage template, but the content will be loaded up as this SMS communication portion. Here it will be filled in with whatever mobile phone number we have on file for them. So if we don't have one, they have the opportunity to fill this in. Or if we do have one but it's incorrect, if there's one stored in the system, but it's not right, they can use this opportunity to actually update it.

Harley:

And now from here, they can choose whether or not they want to receive text messages at all. So this means that these would be direct text messages to them. And then additionally, whether or not they want to receive the automated text messages and notifications. So this really gives them the freedom to be able to not receive all the mass text messages here, but still allow direct messages from you. So I would turn this off and now direct messages would be allowed, but I wouldn't get any messages from email campaigns and email blasts or any of the notifications that can go out through the text messaging system. But if I want to get everything, I'll just leave these this way and they'll default that way, so the idea is that the customer will see this, verify their number, "Yep. I want to get text messages," just click save SMS settings, and there we go. Your SMS settings have been updated just like that.

Harley:

So now at that point, I can add this customer to any campaign that has text messaging included, or I can send out a message blast, so not an email blast like we just did, but if we go back over here, I can click on SMS blast, and I should add that the option here for SMS blast, as well as the ability to add an SMS message to a campaign are only available if you have created a virtual phone number. And we do have a video that goes through the details on creating a virtual phone number, but just to give you an idea in this one. If I click up here and my name and click on profile, and then scroll down here to the personal phone number section. Here we are personal phone numbers.

Harley:

You can see I already have a virtual phone number provision, so I can click on manage if I want to go in and make any changes to it. But there would be a button here to create virtual phone number if I didn't already have one, so that's how you would add one. As long as I've done that, I have those ability to create SMS messages and this customer has now opted in, so they would have the ability to receive them. So there you go. As always, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, feel free to send an email to support@deltagroup.com or give us a call and we can walk you through this or anything else you need. Thanks a lot.

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